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Project

Fruit and Herb Soaps

Introduction

We used plain, unscented glycerin soap base for these projects (available at most crafts stores). Soap bases with natural additions, such as aloe vera, goat's milk, or olive oil, are great, too.

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

Steps

  1. Step 1

    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. Step 2

    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. Step 3

    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. Step 4

    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. Step 5

    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. Step 6

    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.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, April 2011

Reviews (16)

  • 22 Feb, 2013

    Been making soap for years - to get more fragrance just add a few drops of EO or FO & if the color isn't right I use soap safe colors, might work better than food coloring to get the right color. I buy most of my supples at Wholesale Supplies Plus they have free shippingwith a $30 order, I buy my soap bases & mold there as well.

  • 7 Aug, 2011

    I was very excited about making such lovely, fresh soaps. I started with the strawberry puree. What a failure; the strawberries cooked in the warm soap, and adding a tsp. or so of puree gave absolutely no scent (need to add one). I also tried lemon and Clary sage. It was pretty, but had little or no scent again. I hate wasting my time! Your guest did not do her homework! I like the idea, so I'll tweak it until it works( something your guest should have done)!

  • 20 Jul, 2011

    Gosh, Martha, why not show us how to actually make the soap rather than just fancying up someone else's soap?

  • 15 Jul, 2011

    I was so excited when I saw the rerun of this episode. It came just at the right time because my new project was soaps. But this recipe was disappointing. On the show it said that strawberry would work well but the soap turned to an ugly dried blood color <-- EW! However, the lemon peel worked so well. I tried something random and tried peach but it discolored as well (food coloring to brightens the color a littlle)...So far the soaps are stuck in the mold pans I used so we'll see how that goes.

  • 19 Apr, 2011

    I'd like some instructions about how to make liquid soap. I love the kitchen lemon types, but really like to use a soap pump. Any ideas?

  • 8 Apr, 2011

    If there any reason I couldn't use the lemon juice too?

  • 7 Apr, 2011

    After the strawberry puree soap, I found that it got very discolored. I haven't used it yet, but I only made it two weeks ago. Also, I didn't find that my soaps had much scent while using. Maybe I did something wrong :/. I did a mint (with fresh mint leaves), a lemon zest, a grapefruit zest, and a strawberry puree. Any suggestions??

  • 6 Apr, 2011

    How much of the EOil or Benzoin is needed? I've never made soap, but would like to try this.

  • 2 Apr, 2011

    Your soap recipes for fruit or herbal soaps are great but unless you add a natural preservative like Vitamin E Oil or Benzoin (a natural resin), your soaps could get moldy within the shelf life you've recommended. I've learned the hard way....

  • 1 Apr, 2011

    can I use this for avocodo soap?

  • 28 Mar, 2011

    I tried lemon tree leaves, fresh tangerine peels, and fresh strawberry puree. While the lemon leaves and tangerine peels looked amazing and brilliant in color, the strawberry puree was the most aromatic. I haven't tried the herbs yet though - rosemary and lemon peel must be a good combination - great for spring (yellow and green colors) gifts! I will probably try that next and use a lavender ribbon to finish off the presentation!

  • 20 Mar, 2011

    any fresh herb will discolor in the soap after a while. some dried herbs will also as I found out with lavender.

  • 16 Mar, 2011

    I'd puree dried apples for the apple soap

  • 16 Mar, 2011

    I'de puree dried apples for the apple soap!

  • 16 Mar, 2011

    I wonder if you could puree fresh lilac blosoms as you would puree herbs. I think I'll try this in the Spring.

  • 14 Mar, 2011

    How would you make an apple scented soap?