Thursday, October 3, 2013

Soothing Cucumber Soap

Hot summer ended, temperature has been ramping down and so is the production of my Dad's home grown Japanese cucumber from his backyard.  For a period of time we eat cucumber everyday, that's how crazy it gets, when they grow, they go off the roof!  Naturally I took one and pureed it to soap.  Cucumber doesn't have a lot of juice, and I don't want to use all the pulp nor do I want to cook it first before puree.  Some people cook the vegetable before soaping.  Personally I think that kills some of the nutrients, so I prefer and always soap vegetable (or fruit) raw.  This soap I pureed the home grown cucumber with coconut water.  The liquid came out a very beautiful dark green from the peel, but sadly I don't think that green would survive the saponification.  I used cheese cloth and filtered out most of the pulp, left some in for texture.
The beautiful greens you are seeing?  They are colorants I added knowing the natural green from the cucumber peel would disappear in soap.  See those green spots through out the soap?  That's the pulp.  I thought I would like the texture, but I keep on thinking it's pimples!  Next time I'll totally filter out the pulp and use juice only.



9 comments:

  1. Gorgeous!! Cucumber has been on my list to try, the added pulp gives it character, and your color choice is perfect and beautiful!

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  2. It's so beautiful! You got an additional shade of green with the cucumber. I've always liked cucumber speckles. I use the pulp in combination with another liquid because sometimes the soap comes out with quite a vegetable-y scent to me.

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    1. I did use coconut water in conjunction with raw cucumber, but I also added cucumber FO to scent this soap for that same reason, I don't like the raw cucumber soap smell, kind of rotten to me... yuck.

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  3. A very beautiful Soap! I like the look.

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  4. Very beautiful and the colors are outstanding! I'd like to see a cured bar for the contrast in color.

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  5. Oh, I've been wondering about this! Maybe you can offer some insight. I was slightly over-ambitious with my first ever soap (I've now made four in total) and I made it with cucumber puree and greek yogurt. I know, I know, trying to run before I can walk is unwise. Anyway, I did it. That was in July. And the green specks from the skin have gone sort of yellowy now. And the soap (which I left unscented) now smells a bit...cheesy or something. It didn't at first, and I used one bar and didn't notice anything particularly wrong with it. It was maybe a bit drying but I think I used more coconut oil than I should have, as I have quite dry skin anyway. So anyway, I thought maybe something had gone wrong in it, but you mention a bad smell in cucumber soap anyway. What kind of bad smell is normal? And is it normal for the specks to fade/discolour or am I seeing yellow where there is really orange (as in DOS)? I'm wondering if the soap is usable/rebatchable or if I should just chuck it.

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    1. The cheesy smell might be your yogurt. All my animal milk soap smells sort of cheesy if I left it unscented. I make my animal milk soap with 100% milk, sometimes the lye will scorch the fat and protein when temperature gets high, it's not a pleasant scent personally. But if I scent my milk soap then I don't smell any cheese. Vegetable and fruits are different, they get burned by lye too but it's more like a rotten smell. I've soaped with lots of raw vegetable and fruits, out of all those, cucumber stinks the most to me. And most of them will eventually change color, some fast some slow. The yellow you are seeing might be the seeds. Typically if it's in puree form when you soap it should not cause DOS. DOS is caused by rancid oil, not organic matters. If you soap with high lye discount (or superfat) then add yogurt on top of that might cause DOS. Or you use oils that have short shelf life like hemp, grapseed, safflower, sunflower, flaxseed for example.

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  6. Just wanted to say - no matter what you make it comes out inspiring! I have made cucumber soap... don't use the pulp either, but then I grind the skin of the cucumber and use that in my soaps. I like those kind of specks better. Keep up the great work... your close ups are to die for!
    Susie

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