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Curious about adding food to soap

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Donna

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Hi All,

I've been making soap for a few years and have yet to try adding any food products to my soap.
I have two questions re: food and soap.
1) Does it really impart any benefit to the soap, or is it just for label appeal?
2) Does it increase the chances of rancidity?

Personally, I'm not sure I would like bathing with something that had pumpkin puree or carrot juice in it, but if there
are benefits, I'd give it a go!

I know there are all sorts of threads re: the addition of food products and how and when to add them.
Just wasn't sure of the point.
Many thanks!
 

sistrum

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IMO anytime you add an unsaponfiable ingredientit its going to change the character of the soap. Not sure if I would call it "benefits" it is a wash off product after all. I really like carrot, milks and yogurt in soaps. As far as going rancid I think it would depend on what you use and how you add it. None of my "food" soaps have gone bad but the oldest I have here at home now is just three years old so I don't really know for sure.

I'm sure some of things I've seen people add could just be for lable appeal but if I don't think it brings a noticeable NICE difference to my product I don't use it.
 

Saswede

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Hi Donna!
I make a lovely carrot soap, with unrefined cane sugar, which I use as a facial soap - in the hopes that the vitamin A in the carrots (from my garden - which I boil, puree, and add at trace) aren't lost to the lye. And I also made a cucumber soap which is great for oily skin (a bit drying for me, but a friend really loves it). I have a few bars of each which I've kept for over a year now, to see whether they do deteriorate faster than other bars, and they still look as good as they did when they were made ....




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Saswede

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Just realized that I neglected to mention oatmeal and honey - I use both fairly regularly, and love them in a plain, unscented bar (either together or with other additives like yoghurt or rooibos tea).


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Moody Glenn

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Hi Donna! Your posting set-off my pet-peeve response about soapmaking - adding food items and whole organic materials to soap. I am probably a minority but I think soap should be soap without added fleshy, pureed or whole materials. Food items should be eaten and not smeared all over the body or hair. The sole purpose of soap is to clean - that's it.

I have absolutely nothing against milk-based (it is fat and water) soaps nor soaps made by infusing color into the oils via various herbs and spices since those materials are strained out but adding un-strained, pureed vegetables and fruit makes me ill. I have a mental image of plopping baby food into the soap batter. Over time those items will mold and rot. Sorry - its not for me. I want soap to clean me and make me feel absolutely refreshed without the worry of having unidentified organic materials clinging to my body and hair or clogging the drains. That's the way I feel on this subject. I am now off the soapbox.
 

houseofwool

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I'm kinda with you on this one! I do use things like milk and beer to replace the water in a batch, but I don't add actual food stuff. The only one I might consider making and exception for is avocado because I can only imagine that some of the fats in it will survive saponification.
 

shunt2011

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I've not added anything other than pumpkin puree for the color. I would like to try avocado as I've heard it makes awesome soap too. Otherwise the only things I use are milks, tea or beer.
 

OliveOil2

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I've done beer, oatmeal milk honey, and I've done carrot two ways, the first time was with pureed carrots, and the second carrot juice. This is just my take on it, I liked using the carrot juice much more.
 

judymoody

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If the food substance is liquefied or finely pureed, it shouldn't mold or have a negative impact on the soap's shelf life. That said, I limit my "food" items in soap primarily to beer, teas & other herbal infusions, and pumpkin, carrot, and avocado puree. The avocado makes a very luxurious, conditioning soap. Pumpkin and carrot are primarily for color and the natural sugars contribute to a nice lather.

I haven't felt the urge to use blueberries, apples, bananas, or peaches though.
 

Saswede

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While I don't use many food stuffs in my soaps, I don't really understand why it should be OK to use herbs and spices, tea, coffee, sugar, honey, or milk products of various types, but not fruit or vegetables. After all fruit and veg have been used for beauty treatments for hundreds of years - from cucumber or avocado for skin treatments through to egg yolks as a protein treatment for hair.

And I really do like carrot soap ......


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Donna

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Wow! Thank you all for posting. Glen, you are so funny. I'm glad my post sparked a "pet peeve"!
I can see both sides. I have used milk and love what it does for soap. I have used things like cucumber, egg yolk, yogurt for facials, but since soap is a wash off product, I'm not sure much is to be gained other than making the soap more luxurious, which in itself might justify using food.
I've used oatmeal and walnut shells (ground finely) as exfoliators in soap,and I do know that sugars contribute to more bubbles, so I have used that as well.
I guess we all have reasons for either using or not using food in our soap, but I just wanted to know what the pros or cons were. Also, I live in a humid climate and was concerned about soap becoming rancid.
The old saying "If it's not broken, don't try to fix it" comes to mind. I am happy with my soap, but always itching to try something new and different.
Think I will stick to the aesthetic challenges for the time being.
As always, this forum and it's members are so helpful. Thanks.
 

jennikate

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I am for the most part also of the food is food not for in my soap. My exceptions to that rule are milk ground oatmeal and honey once in a while. I want try beer soap but haven't yet. I just have no interest in putting something in that will by its nature rot.
 

Candybee

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Well if you haven't tried a soap with freshly pureed avocado in it you are really missing out. Its got to be the most creamiest luxury soap I ever used. Now I have added an avocado soap to my regular line.

Other ingredients I have used successfully in my soaps are:

Milks/liquids: goat milk, coconut milk, buttermilk, yogurt, dairy cream, aloe juice (getting ready to try out oat milk and hemp milk this weekend.)
Fruits/veggies: strawberries, lemons, pumpkin, limes, aloe (I have yet to try pureed carrots and tomato but know several soapers that do and swear by them.)
Grains: oatmeal (extremely fine ground/colloidal)
Honey, sugar, salt

Anything I use in my soap I puree and run through a sieve or filter. For milk and fruit purees I split my liquids and use add the puree to my soap oils or at trace.

I have been making soap for about nine years now and experimenting with different natural additives for most of those years. I have not had one incidence of soap going rancid. However, I have had an oil go rancid on me once so I just threw it out.

Personally I like the way the soap feels on my skin when it has milk in it or a nice pureed fruit. For my strawberry puree I leave the seeds in for an exfoliating soap.

I think its all in the amounts and how I use them that work for me. Milks I can use as a full liquid or a half of my liquid. Purees I tend to use 1 oz of fruit puree ppo.

Personally I don't see anything wrong with trying out something new and testing it. As mentioned, fruits like pumpkin, cranberries, carrots, lemons, coconut, have been used in body products for many years and in some cases for centuries and have well established uses for the body, skin, and hair.

Then you have a variety of herbs and spices. For these I tend to make infusions. For example, I crush lavender buds and put them in a container with distilled water to make my own lavender water. I then strain the water and use it as my liquid. I certainly gives my lavender soap an extra boost of lavender scent and label appeal. I have other teas and infusions I make but won't list them all here.
 

ShayShay

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I am completely on board with Candybee. Food items have been used as body care for thousands of years. What has only been used for a relatively short time are chemicals and dyes.
Considering that I first used an apricot facial scrub more than thirty years ago, food in soap seems perfectly normal to me. I really like soaps that have food stuff added such as pureed cucumber, pumpkin, avocado, carrot, etc. I even recently bought a soap made with watermelon puree that I stumbled upon at an out of town farmer's market about a month ago. I was skeptical, but wanted to give it a try. I love it and at some point will try making my own watermelon soap. Personally, I would much rather use soap that is made with a food item, giving it a nice natural color and texture than soap colored with dyes. I downloaded Ruth Esteves' book "Coloring Soaps Naturally" and it is a great guide for using natural colors, including many food items.
 
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hlee

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I have used carrot and pumpkin puree for color and banana just to try it.
The carrot soap is unscented, a golden color, really mild and one of my favs.
The pumpkin did not stay orange, turned brown, but maybe because of the fragrance.
The banana is also a really mild and creamy soap.
I have not had a problem with any of them and I love any kind of milk soaps .
Experimenting is part of the fun for me.
 

neeners

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great thread!

how much ppo should be added for food items? I've read 1tbsp per lb of oils...
 

Saswede

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I think the amount varies depending on the additive and your objectives for the soap, Neener.
For cucumber soap I liquidize fresh cucumber, and for carrot soap I boil and then purée the carrots, and then use the juice/purée instead of water to make the lye solution.
For yoghurt soap, I apply a water discount for the weight of the yoghurt, which I add at trace (I'm no good at working in pounds, but I generally add about 100g of yoghurt for 1kg of oils - so 10% of the weight of the oils).
I haven't used avocado yet, but seeing some of the comments in this thread I'm very tempted ......!




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neeners

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thanks! it's avocado season right now, I may put some avocado in my next soap batch!
 

djk17

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I often add:
Salt
Honey
Milks (animal & coconut)
Aloe Vera
Pumpkin
Cucumber
Carrot
Oats
Coffee
Cocoa
Sugar...

I've never had anything go bad, and especially the aloe and carrot are gorgeous in soap
 
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