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Tutorial: Snow Soap with Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay

Snow Soap with Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay
Snow Soap with Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay

With the harsh winter weather upon us, and record-setting cold here in the Midwest, I decided it was time to cross off an item on my soapy to-do list!

Time for making snow soap!

Now, snow is notoriously dirty. You wouldn’t think so with how crisp and pretty it looks undisturbed, but it collects a lot of yucky stuff on it’s way down from the sky.

So before we even make soap, we’re going to capture some fresh fallen snow for our soap, melt it down, filter it, and then get to work!

Soap Formula Used

Freshly Fallen Snow
Freshly fallen snow, melting in a mixing bowl in the sink
  • 10 ounces Rice Bran Oil
  • 7 ouncesĀ Babassu Oil
  • 7 ouncesĀ Coconut Oil
  • 5 ouncesĀ Kokum Butter
  • 5 ouncesĀ Hi Oleic Sunflower Oil
  • 3 ouncesĀ Castor Oil
  • 5.12 ouncesĀ Sodium Hydroxide
  • 10.4 ouncesĀ Snow (or Distilled Water)

Essential Oil Blend Used

  • 22 grams Coriander Essential Oil
  • 15 gramsĀ Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 15 gramsĀ Orange Essential Oil
  • 7 gramsĀ Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil

Colorants Used

PREP WORK: Place a large mixing bowl outside where it is unlikely to be disturbed to collect snow. When you think you have enough snow, bring it inside and let it melt.

Once melted, filter the snow through a sieve with a piece of cheesecloth. Or if you have one handy, place a muslin bag inside a cup and pour the melted snow into the muslin bag. Lift the muslin bag out of the cup to filter the melted snow and catch all the nasties inside the bag! Magic!

Filtering the Melted Snow
Filtering the melted snow

PREP WORK: Make your lye solution with the melted and filtered snow, prep your soaping oils, and measure your colorants.

I like to premix a small portion of my soaping oils into my colorants for easier incorporation, and refer to it as my colorant slurry.

I also like to add my essential oils to my soaping oils so that I do not have to remember to add them later.

Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay
Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay
Measuring the Essential Oil Blend
Measuring the essential oil blend

GET STARTED: Add your lye solution to your soaping oils and stick blend until emulsified. Once you have reached an emulsified state, pour half of your batch into a measuring cup with your indigo & cambrian blue clay slurry. (If you have not added your fragrance, you need to do that first!)

Thoroughly mix your colorants into the split batch, and get ready to pour!

Adding the Lye Solution to the Oils
Pouring the Lye Solution down the shaft of my stickblender to minimize splashes!
Splitting the Batch in Half
Splitting the batch of soap in half
Incorporating the Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay
Incorporating the Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay

SWIRL Ā IT: Pour half of the white soap into the mold.

Next, pour half of the indigo & cambrian blue clay portion into the mold by pouring randomly around into the mold.

Switch back to the white soap and again, pour randomly around in the mold.

Finish it up with the rest of the indigo & cambrian blue clay portion.

Pour half of the white soap into the mold
Pour half of the white soap into the mold
Pour half of the indigo & cambrian blue clay soap into the mold, with a random pour pattern
Pour half of the indigo & cambrian blue clay soap into the mold, with a random pour pattern

THE FINISH LINE: Put the snow soap to sleep (insulate lightly), and unmold in 12 to 24 hours.

If the soap is too soft, leave it for another 12 to 24 hours before attempting to unmold again.

Slice it up, cure it out, & enjoy!

Snow Soap with Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay
Snow Soap with Indigo & Cambrian Blue Clay

The snow soap formula featured in this tutorial is a Modern Soapmaking original. It is palm-free & vegan friendly. It uses a 7% superfat and a 33% lye solution strength. Feel free to adjust as necessary!

Have you ever made snow soap? Tell me about it right here in the comments, I want to know what you did!

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25 Responses

    1. Label appeal, mostly.

      The plus side is that snow that has not reached the ground usually does not contain minerals like groundwater does – which is part of the reason we use distilled water in soap making (to keep the minerals that can cause issues, including DOS, out of soap.) Snow does, however, collect pollutants from the air on it’s way down.

      1. Snow or rain water are a natural source of hydrogen peroxide and are naturally “soft” water good (and softening) for the hair and skin as well as plants. I use it in all my body products that contain water and have since I started in “97. The only exception being my goat milk lotion. It’s why old time grandmothers used to use it for rinsing hair after washing or rinsing freshly washed clothes. Hang your clothes out to dry and if it happens to rain, leave them hanging until they are again dry and you will notice the difference.

  1. When Mother Nature gives you a blizzard, you make soap. The Blizzard of 2011 dumped about 5 feet of snow upon us. We were cold, wet and tired after digging out from it.

    I collected a few pails of snow, melted and filtered it to use in a Peppermint Bizzard soap. It was a hit in a temperature record breaking August of that same year. People “got” the inside joke and chilled with the soap.

  2. This looks great, made snow soap with my sister a few years ago just for fun and when we had a snowfall where I live. It was fun and turned out well. Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. We have SO much snow down here I’ve been using snow to soap like for ever! I’ve used it in my lye solution like you did in this tutorial before, but I also use snow when making my goat milk soap! I use snow instead of an ice bath to keep my lye/milk solution from meeting up! I just pack my sing with fresh snow and sit a stainless steel container in there and voilĆ !

  4. I’m going to make this but I don’t have all the essential oils. I’ll figure something out for scent. Maybe use the Nag Champa?

  5. It looks like the Cambrian clay you used is dry. Bramble Berry only has the wet. Do you have another source for it? I can’t find it anywhere. Thanks!

    1. Yes, I used dry cambrian blue clay! Brambleberry’s will work great in soapmaking, though. šŸ˜‰ The place I purchased this is in Russia and hasn’t had it in months, hence the link to Brambleberry as a place to get it! šŸ˜‰

      1. Hi! Living in northern Vermont, snow is what’s it’s all about here. Finding your recipe and looking forward to making this soap! I purchased the Cambrian blue clay from Brambleberry’s. Since the clay you have pictured is dry, would it work best (wet from BB) if dried out before using? Am not sure how to incorporate wet clay with the indigo. Thanks for any suggestions in advance!!

          1. Hi again!

            I tried making the soap with the wet Cambrian. I made the ‘slurry’ you suggest but all the clay does is sink to bottom of container and stays in solid form (I broke it up into little pieces, even tried mashing it with a fork to see if would help dissolve).

            I am not sure exactly how this is suppose to work if it does not blend with the indigo powder, how will the soap have the desire color?

            Please help, have really wanted to have this soap a success.

            Thank you, thank you!

          2. The Cambrian Blue Clay that is wet is likely mixed with water (or similar wetting agent), while the dry is free-flowing and can be mixed with oil. Since I mix my indigo and clay with oil, if your clay is mixing with water to be wet, the two will not incorporate. Oil and water don’t mix unless an emulsifier is present. If you mix it into the soap itself for the swirl with a stickblender, it should emulsify (the soap will do that.)

  6. Hi I bought some indigo but it is green and never turned blue. I’ve been researching indigo and apparently you’re supposed to mix it into your lye- water solution and let to sit overnight. But that left me wondering how people are making indigo and white swirl soap if the lye water has indigo in it. Unless you make two batches of soap at once, but wouldn’t one run out of time? Are you using a different indigo that is already blue? And why mix the indigo with clay? Thanks

    1. Like all natural colorants, there are a wide variety of plants that are referred to as “indigo.” The very specific variety that Bramble Berry carries (which is NOT Indigofera tinctoria, which is green in soap…), as listed in the tutorial, is what was used. Not all indigo-bearing plants require being directly added to the lye solution, remember, lye touches everything during saponification. So, no, that is not necessarily true for all varieties.

      I used the clay to produce more of a blue tone that didn’t fade, though I have no issue with Bramble Berry’s indigo resulting in steel blue by itself.

  7. hi! Can you please give instructions on how to use cambrian blue clay WET in CP soap making? I can just add the clay into the oils at trace? I do not have to add water to it prior to adding it? How much should I use PPO?

  8. Hi, I was wondering why you chose these two colors and mixed them? does the clay deepen the blue of the Indigo? sometimes its hard to see on the computer, from my side it looks black but the swirl is fabulous !

  9. Hi. I noticed recently that Bramble Berry seems to no longer carry Cambrian Blue Clay and I’ve been having trouble finding it. Would you happen to know of another source that does carry it?


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