Marmot Day Soap
February 2 is Marmot Day. You thought it was Groundhog Day? Well, it is! Groundhogs are just one of 14 species of marmot. And what do marmots have to do with soap?
Follow me for a minute.
Marmots are usually vegetarians. And on a day to recognize a vegetarian animal, let’s channel our inner marmot, juice a vegetable, and make some soap.
I juiced some Alaska grown carrots to get my 4 ounces of carrot juice. (Lucky me – I ended up with 8 ounces of carrot juice, so I got to drink the rest! Alaska grown carrots are so sweet!)
Why make soap with carrot juice? Because the properties of carrot juice are great for skin!
Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. The traditional orange colored carrots get their bright color from beta-carotene, an antioxidant our bodies convert to vitamin A. Antioxidants are prized for helping alleviate signs of aging in our skin, and many high-end skin care products are crafted to take advantage of antioxidants.
Carrot juice also makes a lovely colored soap all by itself. I like using natural colorants; they are popular with consumers who want to stay away from artificial additives.
I was talking with a friend about making soap with carrot juice, and we got to thinking about fragrance. I had been focusing my thoughts on a sweet, cake-like fragrance like Frosted Cupcakes. But the vanilla in most of the sweet food scents will discolor the soap brown. My friend thought of bright citrus scents, which had not occurred to me at all! So I went to my stash of oils and found Alice Fragrance Oil. Perfect! Our catalog describes Alice as “sparkling orange, lemon and linen … delicate with violet jasmine and mimosa … sexy amber, sheer wood and musky.” That sounds just right.
I used a simple recipe for this batch. The carrot juice was bound to make the lye solution get hot (and yes, it sure did!). Who needs oils to make things more challenging?
Here are the supplies to gather before getting started. Make sure you’re wearing long sleeves, closed-toe shoes, gloves, and goggles. And if you don’t know how to make cold process soap, please look at this blog post on beginning soap making! We want you to be safe and successful!
Palm Kernel Oil
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Fresh Carrot Juice
Fragrance of choice
Carrot Juice Soap Recipe:
Recipe in Ounces
1.12 oz Avocado Butter
5.62 oz Coconut Oil
4.5 oz Olive Oil
6.75 oz Palm Kernel Oil
2.58 oz Lye
3.5 fluid oz carrot juice
3.5 fluid oz distilled water
0.54 oz Alice Fragrance Oil (strong scent)
Recipe in Percentages
6.25% Avocado Butter
31.25% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
37.5% Palm Kernel Oil
I used the round about half-and-half method for my liquid, diluting the carrot juice with water. After melting the oils, I slowly added the lye to the liquid. It zoomed quickly to about 200 degrees, so it got to chill in a sink of cold water until it was cool enough to make soap.
When both the oils and the liquid were around 120 degrees, I combined them and mixed with a stick blender to light trace. I hand stirred the fragrance oil into the soap batter then gave it a few more pulses with the stick blender. Time to pour it into the mold.
I used a Rubbermaid drawer organizer lined with plastic wrap for a mold. I set the mold in the refrigerator for the first few hours of curing to keep it from going through gel phase.
When I unmolded the soap after 12 hours, it was still pretty soft. I cut it at 18 hours. It had turned a pale, creamy yellow. I’m glad the brownish hue changed! Though I was expecting the soap to be more orange, I like the soft yellow.
Have you ever soaped with carrot juice? How was your experience?