Rice Soap Recipe

Once you make soap you will start to see that anything might be “fair game” to use in soap making. There are so many additives; colorants, herbs, oils that there is no end to the possibilities. I came by my rice soap recipe by visiting a sake brewery. During a tour one of the owners jokingly lamented the vats of sake kasu, the leftover fermented rice from the sake making process. A few days later, containers of the kasu in hand, I made my first sake kasu soap.

f7875-img_0523 Rice contains ‘ pitera’ along with many vitamins and minerals. Pitera is considered a “beauty wonder” and reading varying testaments by companies that use it insist that it is the best for sensitive skin, has anti-aging oxidants and lightens dark spots. I never profess that my soap will do amazing things. I will say that I like to make soap because I know what is in it and who made it. I trust that person.

I have made an amazing mess of a few batches over the years in trying new things. One day I may talk about my attempt at a carrot buttermilk soap. You know, I still intend to make that soap one day. In fact, there is probably enough left in the baseboards from the bubbling mass that came out of the mold that day that I could scrape enough out to use as a starter. As a result of a few mishaps,  I was not afraid to give a rice soap a try.

Rice Facial Soap
Facial Soap

So here you go: I use brown rice as I no longer have access to sake kasu.

Rice Soap (makes 4.5 lbs. of soap)
1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup brown rice

When the water boils, add the rice and simmer on medium low for about 12 minutes. You do not need a dry “edible” rice so don’t worry if there is still water. Let your cooked rice completely cool to room temperature. You can blend this into a paste and measure what you need for your recipe.  Any extra can be frozen for later use.


As always, I assume you are an experienced soap maker and know all the safety procedures.

The soap part of the recipe follows:
12 oz. olive oil
16 oz. coconut oil
16 oz. palm oil (RSPO sustainable)
4 oz. blended rice
6.9 oz. lye
15.8 oz. distilled water

Add the lye to the water (never the other way around!) and sit it aside to cool. Blend the melted olive oil, coconut and palm oils together. While these two mixtures are cooling to within 5 degrees of each other (I like to blend at 110 degrees), measure 4 ounces of your rice into a bowl and stick blend this with a tablespoon or two of your oil. Since you want the rice mixture to be a fairly smooth paste, start with 1 tablespoon of oil, pulse and add up to 2 tablespoons more of oil, one at a time, pulsing each time. Have your mold ready to go. This soap can trace quickly when the thick rice mixture is added so when the lye/oils are within five degrees of each other, add your lye to your oils and bring to a light trace. Gently add the rice mixture, stirring it in.  You may need to pulse the mixture to get the rice mixture to mix in smoothly with the oil and that is when timing becomes limited. Pour your trace into the mold, tapping the mold a few times against a counter so that the mixture settles and bubbles diffuse. I wrap mine with a towel for 24 hours. This is ready to cut in a few days.




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