How to Harvest Clay for Shampoo, Face and Body Masks

The process is simple and only takes a few hours to get usable results. This project is best started outside as it can be very messy. Baking the clay is an essential step to kill any parasites that may be living in the soil. Try to save the water runoff for flowers or other gardening chores. Remember, “Waste not, want not.”

Finished Clay

Things You’ll Need

  • Bucket
  • Shovel
  • Cheesecloth
  • Baking Pan
  • Oven
  • Water


  1. In an area that you know to be clean and free of all pesticides/herbicides, get a shovelful of yard clay and place it in a bucket. Use a strong jet of water from the hose to fill the bucket.
  2. Stir the soil vigorously to dislodge large particles. Wait a few seconds before scooping the floating debris off the top. Repeat this step several times until most of the large particles are removed.
  3. After the last stirring, before the particles settle, pour the water out slowly. Fill the bucket again and repeat step 2.
  4. The final step in rinsing the clay is to stir and the pour the clay and water through cheesecloth into wide mouthed containers. Allow this mixture to settle for several hours. The sediment is very fine and can take overnight or longer to completely fall to the bottom.
  5. Once the clay has settled, pour off as much water as possible.
  6. Place the clay into baking dishes and bake at 350-degrees until the clay is fully dried. The time depends on how much water is left in the clay.
  7. Once finished baking, pound the clay into a fine powder or leave it in chunks.

To use this mixture as shampoo simply add enough to a bowl of water that a runny “melted chocolate” consistency is achieved. Apply to the scalp, roots and oily part of your hair and massage gently. Leave on for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. This mixture is easy to remove and leaves hair clean. For blondes; it may be a good idea to do a strand test or use a clay that is white. I am a brunette so if this mixture stains hair I wouldn’t notice.

The same consistency should be made for face and body masks. Leave on the skin until completely dry. Rinse with warm and then cool water. Moisturize as needed.


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