Using Korean yellow ochre clay to colour soap

I have been experimenting with a new ingredient, Korean yellow-ochre clay which I received as a present from a lovely, and generous, friend of mine.

I have used different types of clay before (green, pink, orange) so I was very curious to see how the yellow clay will act in soap and I must say I wasn’t disappointed. The clay acted beautifully, no seizing, no changing the properties of the soap for the worst whatsoever. I have re-hydrated it in deionized water 10 minutes before starting to make the soap and it mixed just great and I had no clumps. I have added enough water to make it liquid enough so it’s easy to mix, especially as I wanted to do a two-step ombre design so I needed to add more clay to the soap batter later in the process. I also wanted to pour the soap batter with a piping bottle so I needed the soap batter to be quite thin.

I have used a simple Bastile formula with light coloured olive oil so I can see the full impact of the colour of the clay.


  • Coconut oil 125 grams
  • Olive oil 375 grams
  • Deionized water 150 grams
  • Sodium hydroxide 68.55 grams
  • Lemongrass essential oil 15.50 grams
  • 10 grams of yellow clay mixed with 15 grams of deionized water
  • 10 grams of green clay mixed with 15 grams of deionized water

I feel lemongrass essential oil fits very well with the yellow colour of the clay.


  • I have made the soap batter and mixed the lemongrass essential oil
  • I have set aside 190 grams of soap batter and mixed it with the green clay (all the green clay mixture was used)
  • I have weighed 190 grams of white soap batter and poured a bit in each of the silicone forms
  • I have added 7 grams of the yellow clay mixture to the remaining soap batter and gave it a mix
  • I have poured 190 grams of the yellow soap batter in a piping bottle and then split the soap between the silicone forms making sure I pour slowly on the side of the form so the batter will sit on top of the white batter
  • I have added the remaining yellow clay mixture to the remaining light yellow soap and poured it in the piping bottle
  • Again, I have split the soap between the silicone moulds pouring slowly on the side of each mould so the darker yellow soap will sit on top of the light yellow soap
  • I have then poured the soap coloured with green clay in the piping bottle and split it between moulds just as I’ve done with the white and the yellow

The yellow clay gives the soap a light peach tinge so it’s not 100% yellow, but that makes it so much more interesting!

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