Carrot and Calendula Soap

So the thing is: I saw this baby food jar and it was really cute.

baby food jar

right?

I wanted to buy it because it was so jar-ish and round and I wanted it for my jar collection. The problem? I have no baby to feed it to (and let’s be real, I’ll probably just make baby food when I have a baby because so far I haven’t met a DIY I haven’t liked. Except knitting. And making pickles. I digress.)

As it turns out, baby food is something you can add to soap. Sound gross? It’s not; the only ingredients in this stuff are pureed fruits and vegetables and water.

Using a an adapted recipe from the Nerdy Farm Wife, I made 12 pretty little bars of carrot calendula soap. The carrot gives it a great color but doesn’t do much for the scent since it all gets saponified, so you’ll need to add something extra if you want your soap to actually smell like carrots.

Also, I’d heard that using salt water will help your bars come out harder but had never tried it before this batch. Holy smokes, does it make a difference!

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Now that I’ve got the whole function thing down, I took a stab at improving the form of my soap and took four extra steps that made for a really pretty bar. First, I added dried calendula flowers to the batter. I’ve got gobs of them lying around because I have eczema that attacks every winter with the might of a thousand jellyfish and calendula’s good for weird skin stuff. Second, I used my new soap stamp to put a little mammoth tusk in each bar after I sliced them up. Third, after the bars had hardened for a few weeks, I used a vegetable peeler to bevel the sides. See how the corners are square in the naked picture and kind of smooth in the wrapped one? That’s beveling. Finally, I designed wrappers for my soap so that anyone I give a bar to knows exactly what they’re getting.

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Carrot and Calendula Soap

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Ingredients

In the spreadsheet blow, make your own copy in google drive (“File” > “Make a copy” > “OK”). Enter the amount of soap (in grams) you want to make in the pink box and the spreadsheet will auto-calculate ingredient amounts for you in the blue box. Use a lye calculator to calculate the amount of lye you will need and enter that number in the yellow box.

Instructions

Follow my general soap making instructions and lye safety tips.

Make sure that the only ingredients in the baby food you’re using are carrots and water; anything else could lead to weird results. The only real variation is this recipe is the carrot baby food and salt. Some recipes have you add the carrots at the end, but I like to add them to the water at the beginning so that I’m sure there’s won’t be bits of moldy, unsaponified carrots when my soap cures. Stir together the water, carrot baby food, and salt until they’re well combined, and then proceed as you normally would by adding the lye.

Once your soap has reached trace, fold in the dried calendula flowers.

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