Has Anyone Experimented With Loose Leaf Teas in Soap?

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batountry101

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Hello,

I'm Victoria. My quest is to eventually start up a small bath product line, and I'm looking to do some less common experimenting.

So that brings me to the question; Has anyone ever experimented with loose leaf tea in soaps? How long did the soap last? Was the scent comparable to an amount you would use of dried herbal flowers, or did it require a significantly larger amount? Are there any tricks to perfecting it?

I'm most comfortable with hot process, so that's more of the area I'm looking towards with it. (The major concern I have is whether or not I could burn the teas.)

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to respond and help me out in my endeavor :smile:
 

shunt2011

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I've tried using tea leaves in soap once. They can be scratchy (too scratchy for me) and are always brown. There are many that use tea infusion but most folks don't like stuff in their soap. The only thing I use in soap is finely ground coffee in a kitchen soap, salt in salt bars, and pumice in a hand soap. Calendula looks pretty in soap too.

As for perfecting it, that you will need to do on your own. Experimentation and testing.

Welcome to the forum - please go to the introduction thread and tell us a bit about yourself.

:)
 

Susie

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Tea leaves are always scratchy and yucky brown looking in CP soap. And tea made with said leaves looses all scent and most of the color when exposed to the lye.
 

earlene

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Welcome, Victoria.

Yes, I do occasionally use tea in my soap. Not so much anymore, but it was fun in the beginning. I used it in HP at first and later in CP. As was mentioned before , unless it is extremely finely ground, it is too scratchy on most body parts. I re-named my chamomile soap to Chamomile Foot Soap, and advised to use only on the feet for that very reason. I have only given that soap to family, btw. I would not give it to strangers.

Not one single botanical I have used has ever retained any scent in CP nor HP soap. So don't expect that to happen. Only beer and Kombucha tea retained their strong scents for any length of time, and eventually it fades quite a lot as well. If you are not familiar with Kombucha tea, feel free to ask me, especially if you ever want to use it in soap.

How the loose leaf tea behaves over time, is it turns Brown as most botanicals do, although only a few do not (tea leaves always turn brown.) Also the scratchiness of the tea leaves themselves became more pronounced as the soap aged, probably related to the continued evaporation of water from the soap. Hence 'Foot Soap'. I still have a few bars of this soap that I use on my feet when they get really rough, as they tend to do since I wear saddles almost all the time.

If I want to dye fabric a pale tan color, tea is perfect, so I decided to use tea infusions for soap for the same reason, to get a tan colored soap. It works well for that. Of course it would depend on the tea you use.

What I have not yet done and would like to, is to purchase an Earl Grey Fragrance Oil and try that in soap, as I love Earl Grey tea. I know it's probably a the Bergomot, but I haven't purchased any of it yet either. I did a sniff test of some from a vendor once and didn't think it smelled quite right at the time. So I remain hesitant to take the plunge.
 

cmzaha

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I also agree tea is much to scratchy. As for less common experimenting, I venture you will be able to come up with something most of us here have not tried, especially in our beginning soapmaking days. Herbs will not fragrance soap and many like lavender buds look like mouse droppings in soap. I quit using anything other than oatmeal for exfoliation in soaps several years ago. For my liking, seeds are also way to scratchy
 

Hazel

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Hi Victoria, Welcome to the forum! I've used tea leaves but I didn't find them too scratchy. I think it's personal preference. I know you only asked about tea leaves, but if you ever decide to use cornmeal, use the finely ground type. The coarse ground is horribly scratchy. I almost screamed the first time I tried it. :lol:. Also, apricot seeds aren't scratchy.
 

TeresaT

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Hi, one of the first soaps I made was with a strong brewed camomile lavender tea blend that I had. I steeped the blend for about half an hour then strained it. There was no noticeable fragrance in the unscented soap when I used that as the water; however, when I made the same recipe using distilled water the unscented soap smelled different. Based in that experience (and my coffee soap), I think that strong smelling liquids leave somthing behind. It's certainly not enough for me to call it fragranced or scented soap, but my unscented coffee soap smells completely different than my unscented water soap. This might be something to keep in mind. I drink a lot of camomile tea, so I have it on hand all the time. If I make camomile soap, I use camomile tea as the liquid. I just think the camomile tea along with the camomile essential oil are a good combination. I need to do an oatmeal lavender batch for a friend's little girl. I'll probably make a camomile tea, infuse some olive oil with lavender buds and use lavender EO with a bit of camomile EO.
 

batountry101

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Thank you all for the tips!
I was planning on buying organic tea (that's not exactly inexpensive) to use, so I'm glad I asked before investing in it! :)

earlene, I'd actually love a kombucha tea recipe! I've been tossing around the idea of making a batch for a few months, but lost the magazine that had the recipe! Also, a little shop carried Plant Spirit Apothecary's essential oils that included Bergamot, which smelled great! (I just checked and I don't think they have it available online yet though) :/

cmzaha and Hazel, have either of you used tapioca pearls as exfoliants before?

TeresaT, do you infuse many herbs into olive oil? I just got some calendula, comfrey and chamomile to infuse and I'm not sure how many herbs are too many for one infusion :lol:
 
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shunt2011

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I've infused calendula, comfrey, chamomile and some others. I infuse them separately and use what I want/need. I infuse in olive oil most times.
 

dixiedragon

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Rest assured that if it's in the healthfood store, somebody has tried adding it to soap. :) The lye monster is vicious, so most of my additives are of the cheaper and low-quality variety, because the good quality stuff is wasted in soap. By additives I mean stuff that doesn't fall in the categories of oil, color, and scent. I will pay more for a good quality, soap test fragrance. But I don't use my good cinnamon in soap - I use stuff I buy at Big Lots.

So if you want to try tea in soap, do your experiments with cheap tea. If you like that, then maybe consider pricey tea if being organic is important to you.
 

amd

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I think it depends on what kind of tea you use. I have played with three different "tea" types.
1. Green tea for water, ground up the used loose leaf tea for the batter. The batter was an, um, interesting shade of brown. It sold well and no one complained of it being too scratchy. Haven't done it since that one batch as I didn't like the look of it.
2. Chamomile tea for water. I adore this one and use it in my lavender chamomile soap.
3. Mint tea leaves. I buy Bigelow Mint Medley tea, cut open one tea bag and soak the tea leaves in just enough distilled water to make all the leaves wet. (Maybe this is why neither of my tea soaps were scratchy?) I add these leaves to uncolored batter, fragrance with 4:1 spearmint:patchouli, and it is one of my best selling soaps. It's my favorite facial soap. Never scratchy. I think it is just gorgeous.
 

Omneya

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I use a sleepy time tea at bed time. I tried it in soap. Didn't leave the leaves in there either. I just boiled the water and let it sit in the water over night. I used 6 bags and the scent came threw and stayed in the soap. I still have one bar left and it still smells nice. I wouldn't leave any type of dried botanical in soap, because it looks all dead and brown in the final product. If you are set on using them. Infuse them in either oil or in the water as I did. and use fresh ones to "decorate" the top
 

fuzz-juzz

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If leaves go brown and yucky imagine what happens to all the goodness in the tea. Lye monster will eat it all haha.
Maybe leave infusions etc for creams, lotions.
Or make a cuppa... way better use of tea leaves :)
 

Seawolfe

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I have ground up and sifted dried lavender to make pencil lines in HP soap - it actually worked pretty well, if a little blobby. I dont know how much, if any, scent survived because the EO was lavender too, but I liked it and that soap was popular.
 

Hazel

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have either of you used tapioca pearls as exfoliants before?
I've never used them. Do they make a nice exfoliant?

I've used hemp meal which I like because it adds visual interest and isn't scratchy. I know it's a tad on the pricey side but you don't have to use very much. It's been a long time since I made a batch with it but I think I only added one or two tablespoons.
 

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