|Our front office has an aloe plant that is just about ready to bloom. When the aloe blooms, I’ll take a picture to share. I was sitting and admiring the plant when I decided that the aloe needed some of the leaves trimmed. As I was trimming, I thought that it would be very fun to make soap that used some of the pulp and juice from the leaves. I collected the trimmed leaves and headed off to the blog kitchen to make some soap.
Come join me on my new soaping adventure!
Collect needed items:
I found the most effective way to remove the desired aloe pulp was to slice the leaf open. I trimmed the tip of the leaf and then cut one of the serrated sides off the leaf. This allows the leaf to be pulled open like a book. I also found that slipping the knife through the leaf would make it easier to open. Once the leaf was opened, I could use a spoon and scrape out the inner pulp of the leaf that I wanted. Definitely easier than trying to squeeze everything out of the leaf! 😉 Don’t worry if the pulp varies in color from leaf to leaf. I had two leaves that had a brownish color to the pulp, but the pulp was fine.
I filled a plastic jar with the pulp until I felt that I had enough for the soap. Once I had filled the jar, I used an immersion blender and blended the pulp until the pulp was broken into small pieces, like watery gelatin. Now I can make the soap with my aloe juice!
Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. Measure the desired amount of aloe juice.
Combine oils and lye solution. Mix until thin trace. Upon light trace add the aloe juice. Stir well. Pour soap into the desired mold, I used a Rubbermaid Drawer Organizer #2915. Allow to sit until soap is firm.
The next morning cut into bars. Stack to allow good air circulation. Allow to cure for several days before using. Longer curing will result in a harder bar.
I did not scent this soap because I wanted to smell the soap without any other odor interference. This soap has a soapy clean smell without an overwhelming scent. This soap would be very easy to scent with any fragrance since there would not be a conflicting scent.
The Aloe soap samples have been sent to the Shipping Department to send out in orders. I really want to hear your comments about this soap. I hope that anyone wanting a sample soap will request one and if we have any samples we will send them to you.
Wow. What a beautiful plant!
Growing up, we always had a potted Aloe or two growing in the house, but they never got that big and never bloomed. Maybe too much trimming with a house full of fair-skinned kids out in the sun all day. I still turn lobster red every time I go swimming (then it all peels off and I’m barely less moonlight-white), but now I keep a jar of aloe vera gel in the fridge; it smells much better than the fresh stuff.
I’m curious, do the soothing properties of the aloe carry through in the soap?
I think aloe comes through in the soap. I think the soap is delightful!
Andee, what was the shelf life of this soap? Did the addition of fresh plant material shorten it as far as you know? Also, I’ve been told by other soapers the beneficial properties of aloe don’t survive the saponification process. What do you think about rebatching, but with aloe juice as the liquid rather than water?
The shelf life for this soap is the same as a normal soap. The addition of fresh plant material did not affect the shelf life. You do want to make sure that you don’t have excessive amounts of fat left over as that will always shorten the shelf life of a soap.
I think that the beneficial properties of aloe do survive the saponification process, because the soap feels better on my skin than a soap made with water. I would think that if everyone made two test batches side by side (one aloe and one water). Then used the aloe soap on one side of the body and the water soap on the other side, most would agree that aloe soaps feel better. I’ll release this as a blog challenge and we will learn what others think.
Rebatching. I don’t like it. It is cosmetically ugly and it also shortens the shelf life of the soap. I’m of the opinion that if I couldn’t do it right the first time, why do it a second time? It is like making brownies and accidentally forgetting the vanilla or the salt. After the brownies have baked, I can’t crumble the brownies, add the missing ingredients and re-bake the brownies. It doesn’t work that way for brownies or soap.
I hope this helps!