Monday, 19 September 2011

Rhubarb Experiment

After reading online about rhubarb root being able colour soap anywhere from pink to red, we thought we would see how actual rhubarb fared.  We weren’t able to find any information online about this so we thought we’d show you what we did so you can AVOID doing this in your own soap making adventures.
We cut a ‘bushel’ (is that what you would call it?) of Rhubarb from our mom’s garden, cut it up, boiled it, strained it, then reduced and concentrated it. Our intention was to use the liquid in place of water for a regular soap recipe. This is what the liquid looked like:
Now, we didn’t just rush into this blind, we actually did a test before starting the recipe.  To test the colour, we mixed 1 cup of water with a teaspoon of lye. We then added a spoonful of the rhubarb liquid to see what color it would become. To our surprise, it turned green! (Sorry, no picture)
When we went to mix the lye into the rhubarb liquid for our soap recipe, the liquid turned green at first…THEN it turned puke brown orange.  It smelled terrible, the lye would not dissolve and passersby may have been able to hear gagging noises outside. Basically, the lye burned the rhubarb liquid into oblivion.
Here is a picture:
Perhaps adding the rhubarb liquid to the soap at trace or freezing it and keeping the mixing bowl in an ice bath would prevent it from burning. Maybe we will try that another day.


  1. Hehe, awesome! Have you guys tried vanillin powder in any experiments?

  2. We have never tried Vanillin Powder...we would be interrested in your experiences if you have though!

  3. No, I haven't yet. I just read about it on the Dish the other day but haven't seen any actual photos/experiences on how it works.

  4. you use the root in an oil infusion.i have made oil havent tried it yet suppose to be anywhere from blue pink to tomatoe pink.