Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fruit and Herb Soap How-To

What's Playing: Right There by Nicole Scherzinger Featuring 50 Cent

picture from

Recipe from

Tools and Materials
  • Assorted citrus peels, berries, and herbs
  • Paper coffee filters, if using herbs
  • Clean, dry containers, such as milk cartons, drink boxes, juice-concentrate cans, or yogurt cups
  • Heat-resistant glass measuring cup or bowl
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray or petroleum jelly
  • Dough scraper
  • Glycerin soap base
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paring knife
Fruit and Herb Soaps How-To:
1. Make Purees
Wash and dry all fruits and herbs; use whole berries, herb leaves, or citrus rinds with pith removed. Puree separately in a food processor. To make the herb purees, you may need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons water; place pureed herbs on a coffee filter, and wring out excess liquid before mixing into soap. Set purees aside.
2. Prepare Molds
To determine how much glycerin soap base you need, fill mold with water, then pour the water into measuring cup or bowl. Note the amount, pour out the water, then dry mold completely. Evenly coat interior of mold with cooking spray or petroleum jelly; wipe out excess.
3. Melt Soap
Use dough scraper to chop soap base into 1/2-inch pieces. Microwave soap in a glass measuring cup or bowl covered with a paper towel on medium in 30-second intervals until melted but not boiling. (A double boiler can be used instead.) Add more soap pieces as needed, and continue melting. Remove from microwave, and stir until smooth.
4. Mix In Purees
Start with 1 teaspoon puree per cup of soap. Add more as desired. The color will intensify as the purees steep in the warm soap; stir frequently to keep soap from setting. Heavy additives may settle at the bottom, while light ones float to the top. For consistent distribution, let the soap cool (but not solidify); then stir in puree, and pour into mold.
5. Pour Soap into Molds
Fill small containers 3/4 inch full with soap; for cartons, fill partially to form 1 bar at the bottom, or completely to make a block for slicing into bars. Spray surface with alcohol to eliminate bubbles. Let soaps set, 20 to 60 minutes, depending on size. Transfer molds to freezer for about 2 hours (this will help the soaps release from the molds).
6. Release Soap From Molds
Tear away cartons to unmold bars. For hard containers, pry soap away from the sides, and press bottom of container to release. Neaten soap edges with paring knife. Slice large bars into smaller ones. Use soaps within 3 to 4 months.

I'm the kind of woman that likes to take shortcuts.  Sometimes I end up at the same destination as you do, other times I've ventured off somewhere completely different.  I'd like to call it spontaneity.  If you ask other people, they might call it frustrating.  If you ask me, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I also like to make things easier.  That said, I must confess that I didn't follow these directions exactly.  In the end, I was still happy with the results.  The only thing that I would have done differently would be to add a little less herbs.  I was so excited to use what I've been growing outside that I added a little too much herbs to the soap.  Adding the large quantity of herbs to the soap made it hard to see the herbs inside.  But hey, they are extra-nutritious for the skin and they smell wonderful.  Enjoy!

Photo Gallery
Here is the glycerin soap that I used.  You can really use any glycerin soap that you want.  This is what was available at Raley's. 
I'm a flower lover.  I have a big basket that I throw my dried flowers in for making paper or for occasions such as this.   
My herb station.  Wow, it looks like I know what I'm doing.  Really, I have no idea what I'm doing or how this is about to turn out.
I threw in some lemon verbena and ground it up to release the oils.  I did the same thing with my other herbs before adding them to the soap.  I also made sure to tear the herbs into small pieces.
I used some cartons that I'd saved for my soap molds.  I swiped some olive oil around the inside of the container to prevent the soap from sticking.  
A few years ago, I had purchased this soap kettle when I was in one of my soap making crazes.  You could also use a double boiler for melting your soap.
After the soap melted, I added the herbs and some lemon peel too.
Here is a rose scented glycerin soap that I melted.  It was already scented and dyed.  All I had to do was add some rose petals and some lemon verbena from the garden.
While I was working in the kitchen, Ben and our neighbor were working hard outside on the farm.
Once everything was mixed and melted I poured them into the containers and let them sit for an hour or so.
After they had dried, I pulled them out and cut them up into individual bars.
Look closely. This has honeycomb inside.
This was a fun and easy craft project.  I made the following scented glycerin soaps:  vitamin e soap with sugar and sage, lemon verbena with rose, aloe vera with triple mint mocha and lavender lemon soap.  Get creative and have fun with it.  Happy bathing!

~Scrub A Dub Dub~


Annesojka said...

Just curious, how did the fresh herbs fair after awhile? Did they turn brown or moldy?

The Green Mama said...

Thanks for posting your comment. Actually, the darker colored soaps did not show signs of darkened herbs or any discoloration. The high heat of the heated soap may have helped to evaporate some of the water from the herbs,thus,keeping the herbs from getting moldy/discolored.

Do try this recipe if you are looking for fast and easy soap project. Also, it is a wonderful way to use the herbs from your garden or farmers' market.