Welcome to the beginnings of our soap garden! Here are tomato plants and chamomille - they've been started, had more soil added and now are "toughening up" by having a fan blow across the seedlings and creating tomato plants with super-strong stems.
I was super excited about the possibilities in the soap garden until I received this gem - Farmer's Market Vine Rip Tomato's - as a free sample. It taunted me until I had to give in an make tomato soap NOW! Fortunately, I still had frozen last year's tomatoes and they were about to become tomato soap.
With this batch of soap, I'm off to answer 3 questions:
1. Do I like the new fragrance?
2. What color will the soap turn from the tomato pulp?
3. Will the acid in tomatoes affect the final pH of the soap?
Step 1: Create the Pulp. I replaced all the liquid in my recipe with tomato pulp. I wanted to give it the chance to be as red as possible, with the lowest pH as possible. The color after blending the tomatoes into pulp seems more pinkish than red.
While we're here, we're going to go ahead and find out what the pH value of our tomato pulp is.
Tomato pulp is acidic with pH between 4 and 5. In contrast, water is neutral at 7.0, goat's milk is slightly acidic with pHs in the 6.4.-6.7 range, and on the other end of the scale is lye which is a base with a pH of 14. Normally, bar soaps run in that 9-10 range. So one of my questions, is it possible for tomato juice to lower the pH of bar soap lower than 9.0.
Step 2: Mix the lye and tomato pulp together.
Wow! That color really changed to a vibrant red!
Step 3: Mix the oils and lye mixture together.
The vibrant red has been replaced with an orange.
Step 4: Pour into the mold
It was just a little too hard for me to have a solid colored soap, so I added ground lemon basil (also from last year's garden) to a portion of the soap.
Step 5: Wait
Here's what the soap looks like so far. From what I've read, the color from tomato pulp will change over the course of a few weeks and final color will be somewhere from a light salmon color to an orangish red. The green from the basil is a bit nicer than what the picture shows.
I couldn't resist checking the pH after 4 days. Hmmmm....not bad...Looks to be in the 8-9 range. We'll take a look at the color and final pH in a month or so after it's done curing. Then it will be your turn to let me know what you think of the fragrance!