Friday, 4 October 2019

Carrot and Calendula Soap

In Jan Berry's book Simple and Natural Soapmaking she has a recipe for carrot soap which I can't tell you the name of at the moment as the book is packed away in a box somewhere in readiness for the next lot of house painting. Anyway, last weekend I thought I would make up a batch based on her recipe which I doubled.

Firstly, the day before I juiced four medium carrots which I then put in the freezer in ice cube trays so that they would be ready for the soapmaking session. In Jan's book she says to chill the carrot juice but I wanted to get that out of the way beforehand as I usually fiddle fuddle around weighing the oils etc. which takes time. I added water to the carrots when juicing so that the total weight came to the required 600g.

The next day I added the lye to the container of carrot juice ice cubes and dissolved the lye. Once again I used the room temperature method but should have made sure the coconut oil had completely melted before adding the lye mixture because the latter didn't heat up too much and it took a while to completely mix in the coconut oil. In this weather I just put the bottle of coconut oil out in the sun and it melts quite quickly then but I brought it inside a tad too soon.

It didn't turn out too badly and I took a photo to give you an idea of what the colour is compared to  the 100% coconut oil soap as some of the photos in this post like the two below don't show the exact colour. My photography skills are somewhat lacking unfortunately. 

The recipe made 24 individual soaps. These were very soft for four days so I put the moulds into the freezer for a couple of hours so that I could get the soap out without ruining it due to it being so soft. That did the trick.

Some of the soaps have a bit of a speckled look which may or may not go away as the soap dries. I didn't add any fragrance or colour as I wanted to see how the colour of the soap turned out after curing without turning darker from fragrance oil which can happen.

I had some dried calendula petals which I added to the mix but there would only have been about 1/2 cup of them I would say. Normally I have a lot of calendulas to dry for soapmaking but because it is so dry I am literally drying them one by one as the flowers appear and only have three or so plants which have come up this year. The recipe I used is below if anyone is interested.

Carrot Soap

416g Coconut Oil
850g Olive Oil
114g Castor Oil
198g Sunflower Oil
600g Combination of carrot juice and water
221g Lye
1/2 c Calendula petals

I will let you know what it is like to use after it has cured if anyone wants to know. There is a tomato soap in Jan's book too so perhaps one day.......

We are heading for some really hot days next week which will be 35C or so and I am not looking forward to that particularly as we will have the painters here. It might be a good time to head off to the movies to see Downton Abbey :-)

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. You make the most delicious looking soap Nanna Chel.

    It amazes me the variety of ingredients you can use. I made some salve with my calendulas and am enjoying the process. Hopefully this is getting me closer to making soap haha!

    Its hot here today. Typical drought weather, strong wind, lots of dirt and 41C!

    Have a lovely weekend xxx

  2. Tanka, haven't you plucked up enough courage to make soap yet? 😄 Go on...have a go. You will enjoy the process.

  3. Calendulas are practically a weed in my Kandos garden, they don't seem bothered by the dry.
    Did you enjoy the movie? I went this week and while it was nice to see the caste again and on the big screen a movie just can't have the same story impact as a full TV series.

  4. No I thought I might go during the heatwave on Monday. I hope there is another series coming up.

  5. Our outside thermometre, read 36 degrees C, this afternoon. They're predicting 40 and 41, for Monday and Tuesday. I'm not looking forward to my garden, after those days. But predicting 90% chance of showers, for Friday. Here's hoping.

    I thought your soaps turned out really well, and I'm always surprised by what new experiments you attempt. The colour definitely says carrots to me. Better watch, Bugs Bunny, doesn't show up for a bar or two. ;)

  6. I am not looking forward to the heatwave either, Chris. The older I get the less I can tolerate the heat. The prospect of rain is encouraging.

  7. Tomorrow I’m going to make another batch of soap. I’ll try the room temperature method. Thank you for the link Chel.
    I remember you added beeswax to a previous batch. How did it turn out?

    1. Nil, that batch has another week to cure so I will let you know.

  8. Once again Chel you've astounded me with your adventurous soaps. We had one hot day yesterday (34C) but today we're back to 16C so it's ideal for working in the garden. When it heats up again and I can't work outside I'll be making a few batches of soap. I might even have a go at carrot soap. XX

    1. Sally, do have a go and see how it works out. Once the next two hot days are out of the way the temps return to normal thank goodness. 16C sounds wonderful.

  9. I love your soaps! Those are cute molds, too. Thank you for including the soap recipe. I think I'm going to try it tomorrow or Tuesday morning.
    Thanks again,

  10. Toni, you might need to leave it in the moulds a bit longer than usual. I left it for four days then put the moulds in the freezer for an hour or so which made it easier to get the soap out. I would be interested to hear how it works out for you.

  11. What beautiful soaps. I have always wanted to make soap.

    1. Sharon it is fun once you get the hang of it.

  12. Your soaps inspired me to make soap. I did one batch today for xmas and ordered some more lye. I love your molds I just used a square silicone pan I had. My old plastic molds cracked with age. Thank you for the recipe.

  13. Alison, we can buy the lye in our Coles supermarket or at Bunnings. I am not sure where you live. My plastic moulds cracked too so I only use silicone ones now which make it so much easier to get the soap out. I hope the recipe works for you. You do need to chill or freeze the carrot juice first though.


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