I’ve finally ventured into the world of hot-process soap making!! I’ve made two batches so far: an acne bar (from The Everything Soapmaking) and a peppermint bar (my adaptation of the one from The Everything Soapmaking). Even though hot-process soaps are technically ready to use once they harden, the general consensus out there on the worldwide interweb 🙂 is that giving them a little bit of cure time makes for a harder bar. I’m doing my best to make it to two weeks! Well honestly, I have to wait. I think I added too much peppermint essential oil to the batch, so I’m hoping that some curing time will allow for some evaporation. When I tested the bar my hands were a little too tingly :-).
Anywho, I’ve been wanting to do another soap post so until my peppermint bar passes inspection, I’m excited to share with you my Tomato Tea Tree Soap.
I don’t know if you remember, or knew, but Burt’s Bees used to make a tomato soap for acne prone skin. I was a teenager at the time, but I remember being amazed that there could be such a thing as tomato soap. I only ever used one bar (it lasted forever), but the memory of a tomato soap stuck with me. When I started making soap, I knew I had to learn how to make my version of the Tomato Complexion Soap. I did my research and learned that you can sub the water for 100% tomato juice, so that’s just what I did. I’m a simple soaper and love the bar that is produced from olive oil (I use pomace–I actually buy my olive oil in bulk from Gordon Food Service), coconut oil, and castor oil. Sometimes, I’ll superfat with something fancy, but usually I’m satisfied with simplicity. In this bar, I added in a little shea butter to shake things up and add a little more creaminess.
If this is your first time making soap, STOP and do your research! I identify some good resources in my first soaping post.
- 21.5 oz Olive Oil (pomace)
- 10.75 oz. Coconut Oil (76 degrees)
- 8.06 oz. Shea Butter (refined)
- 2.69 oz. Castor Oil
- 5.85 oz. Lye
- 14.19 oz. Tomato Juice (chilled)
- 2 tbs. Tomato Paste (stick blend this into the tomato juice prior to adding the lye)
- 3 tbs. Tea Tree Oil (added at light trace)
- Prepare your mold. I use a wooden mold lined with freezer paper. Here’s how I learned how to line my wooden mold.
- Measure out your oils (melting your coconut oil, if necessary). Make sure you keep your oils around 110-115 degrees.
- Prepare the lye solution by weighing your tomato juice into your mixing container. Add the tomato paste and stick blend it into the juice to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Weigh your lye and slowly add it to the tomato juice mixture, stirring as you pour. Don’t let a crystal cake form on the bottom of your container. If you feel one forming, you’ll know, stop adding your lye and gently scrape/stir at the bottom to dissolve the lye. Stir to dissolve all your lye fully and cool to 110-115 degrees (I do this by placing my lye mixture container into an ice bath and stirring constantly to incorporate air).
- Once your lye solution has cooled, slowly pour it into your oils. Be careful no to splash!! Stick blend to very light trace. Add your tea tree oil. Stir it around a bit with your stick blender to incorporate it and then blend to medium trace.
- Pour into your mold, tap on the counter to remove air bubbles, cover with plastic wrap, and let it cure for 24 hours before cutting.
Don’t you just love my photo?? It’s terrible, I know. 🙂 I had to do something so they wouldn’t look like my beer soap photos! I’m calling this one my “Glamour Shot.”