I've had this idea for a banana soap in my head for quite some time. Something like a banana cream pie soap maybe. But what would the end result look like and would I be happy with it? I started to do some research and saw a variety of banana soaps that ranged from very brown to very speckled to creamy yellow with few specks. Some soap makers reported the specks would disappear after a while. Well, I decided it was time to do my own little research project on using bananas in soap.
Here's what I did:
Using Bananas in Soap Trial No.1:
- I used a fairly green, not ripe banana mashed it up with a fork and then stick blended it into the base oils (you absolutely want to avoid clumps here)
- Then I split my batch of soap batter in half: one part went into the oven at 170 degrees F to force gel, the other part went into the freezer to prevent gel
As you can see the gelled soap turned brown with small speckles and the non gelled soap stayed nice and white with I would say the same amount of speckles as the gelled soap.
Using Bananas in Soap Trial No.2:
- This time I used a very ripe banana where the peel was starting to show some brown marks, but the inside wasn't
- I proceeded the same way as above: made sure the banana was incorporated well by stick blending and then split the soap batter, one to be gelled and one to be frozen
The gelled soap - no surprise here - turned brown, but with more speckles. The non gelled soap has a lot more tiny specks as well with colors ranging from brown to almost orange.
The pictures you see in this post were taken after a 2 week cure. I didn't notice the speckles becoming over time, and if anything they became more especially with the ripe banana. But I will keep an eye out for any changes and as always I will update this post in 6 months with a follow up picture.
Curious to know what recipe I used? Here it is (makes 1 lb of soap or 454 g):
I made this recipe twice using the same amount of banana puree for both batches. The only difference was the ripeness of the banana. This recipe is superfatted at 5% and uses a lye concentration of 40% (which is steep, but accounts for the added liquid coming from the banana).
- Coconut Oil (30%): 3.5 oz / 99 g
- Olive Oil (virgin) (30%): 3.5 oz / 99 g
- Shea Butter (25%): 2.9 oz / 83 g
- Soybean Oil (10%): 1.2 oz / 33 g
- Castor Oil (5%): 0.6 oz / 17 g
- Lye: 1.6 oz / 46 g
- Distilled Water: 2.5 oz / 70 g
- Banana (pureed): 1 oz / 28 g
- Scent (optional, I left my soap unscented)
Have you tried using bananas in soap before? How did it turn out?
Until next time. Happy Tinkering!
Looking for more natural soap recipes? How about: