Thursday, February 17, 2011

My experiments making fruit and vegetable soaps for Etsy

An idea I've been brewing for a while is to make fruit soaps to sell on Etsy. The recipe is pretty simple (glycerine, fruit or vegetable juice) and can be made in the microwave.

But I thought it'd be ultra luxurious if I could come up with a way to cram seeds, pieces or fruit, bits of pulp, etc. into the soaps to make them extra yummy.

Of course, this presents a question of how long the soaps will stay fresh with various ingredient, so I will need to experiment with my ideas before being able to list anything I make on Etsy.

The first round of experimenting started yesterday. I made four kinds of soap: papaya, cucumber, strawberry, and carrot.

For each scent (flavor?) I made four bars with two kinds of fillings. For papaya, I blended the pulp with a little water and strained it through a sieve. I then mixed it with glycerine (melted in the microwave) and poured it into a mold.
In two bars I put chunks of fruit and in the other two I put seeds (just in the middle, so they'll look -- hopefully -- like the seeds in the center of the actual fruit)

Next I made cucumber. Two bars with a pulpy mixture and two with strained juice and a cucumber slice in the middle.

Strawberry turned out strange. My plan was to make two simply with strained juice and two with a smaller amount of juice (so it'd be more transparent) and slices of fruit.
But, the second the hot glycerine hit the bright red juice, it turned dark, dark purple. It still smells awesome, and the color is lovely, just not what I would have expected.

Finally, I did carrot. I used store-bought juice ('cause it's easy to buy a small amount of it). In two bars I put carrot curls, and in the other two I put grated carrot.

Part of the reason I'm trying several different things with each flavor (scent?) is to see what is prettiest/nicest, but I also want to see if it makes a difference in shelf life.

The finished products are pretty and smell really, really good. I've wrapped one of each kind of bar in plastic to see how long they store and I'm using one of each in the bath myself to see how I like them.

Don't they kind of remind you of jelly beans or easter eggs?

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