Fruit and Veggie Wash Soap

I’m a huge fan of fruits and veggies of all types! From green smoothies to kale salads, I rarely meet produce that I don’t like. And of course, for me using soap to clean my veggies goes together like…peas and carrots (pun intended!). You’ve probably already noticed that many of your soap making oils are also common oils used in food preparation, and many can be found in your kitchen. Common fixed oils like Coconut, Palm, and of course Olive Oil are food-grade and often used in cooking. Sodium Hydroxide is even used in food preparation. True story! Pretzels, bagels, and lutefisk all have preparation methods involving lye.  Sodium Lactate is also a food additive (FDA listing here). That being said, fixed oils from Bramble Berry aren’t meant for use in your food, because our warehouse isn’t certified for food storage and handling practices. But for a wash-off product like this fruit and veggie wash, the vegetable oils will do just fine!

Fruit and Veggie Wash Soap


13.2 oz Coconut Oil

6.6 oz Olive Oil

2.2 oz Palm Oil

3.37 oz Sodium Hydroxide (lye)

7.26 oz Distilled Water

1.5 teaspoons Sodium Lactate

 2# Wood Loaf Mold

 Click here to add everything you need for this recipe to your Bramble Berry shopping cart!

SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! Long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection are necessary when making cold process soap. Be sure that kids, pets, and other tripping/distraction hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, this is a great recipe for getting your feet wet! However, I still highly recommend checking out our FREE four part series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, as well as digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.

MOLD PREP: Line the Wood Mold with freezer paper shiny side up. In this tutorial, I used an early-release exclusive-to-Bramble Berry silicone liner for the 2 pound molds. Want to know when we receive the full stock? Send an email to and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop!

Poured soap

ONE:  Carefully add the lye to the water. Stir until clear and set aside to cool.

TWO: Melt and combine the Coconut and Palm oils. Stir in the Olive oil.

THREE: Once both the lye and the water have cooled to 125 degrees F or below, add the Sodium Lactate to the lye water and stir well. (psst…I’m loving Bramble Berry’s Easy Pour Containers for lye water! They really are lye water safe!)

Adding Sodium Lactate

FOUR: Slowly and carefully add the lye water to the oils, pouring down the shaft of a stick blender or a spatula to prevent air bubbles.

Pouring lye into oils

FIVE: Stick blend the soap batter until a medium trace is achieved. What’s trace you ask? Awesome photo of trace and explanation here. Definitely review that document in full before undertaking this project. =)

Traced Soap

SIX: Pour the soap into your lined 2# wood mold. Tamp the mold on the counter top to remove any air bubbles. Be sure to spray with 91% Ispropryl alcohol and let go through full gel phase.

Pouring soap

SEVEN: Allow the soap to sit in the mold for about 24 hours. Unmold, cut, and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks. To wash veggies, just lather your veggies up and rinse cleanly away.

Stacked with Apple

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  1. Ranee says

    Hi, I’m new to soaping and was wondering if I could use fractionated coconut oil for this recipe or would Virgin coconut oil be more appropriate. Also I want to omit the sodium lactate, how long will I have to wait to unmould and would 6 weeks cure time still be fine. Is it necessary to insulate, my first and only attempt so far at cp soaping volcanoed on me, I wrapped it in two towels. I realise I probably messed something up but I live in Australia and I’m unsure if the temperature difference here could mean I don’t really need to insulate, thanks.

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Ranee!

      Coconut oil is an oil that is solid at room temperature. It’s great for cleansing and making a nice hard bar of soap. You can use it up to 30% in your recipe.

      Fractionated coconut oil is always liquid. It can be used in cold process soaps up to 30%, though it contributes to a more soft bar and does not have the same cleansing and bubbling abilities of solid coconut oil.

      Also, if you do switch those oils out, make sure to run your recipe through the Lye Calculator again. :)

      If you use fractionated coconut oil and leave out the sodium lactate, that soap will take a little longer to unmold. I would recommend leaving it for 5-7 days. If it’s still sticky, leave it in there a couple more days.

      Also, what did you use in your recipe that volcanoed? I’d be happy to help you troubleshoot. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

      Lye Calculator:

      Free Beginner’s Guide to Soapmaking: Common Soapmaking Oils:

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Sandy!

      You can absolutely use this recipe in a hot process method!

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  2. Tereze says

    Can this recipe be used as a body wash or shampoo bar. Sorry, I’m very new to soap making. In fact this is my first attempt at making soap

  3. Christine bowes says

    Hi, I haven’t progressed to the CP soap yet and I’m still exploring melt and pour. Can the veggie wash be made using melt and pour or better still is there a recipe for a liquid veggie wash?

    I love this web site and come to it most days to see what your talking about or making next.

    • says

      Hi Christine!

      There is not a recipe for melt and pour or liquid veggie wash specifically, but you could certainly use our melt and pour soap bases to wash your veggies :) The Clear Melt and Pour Soap Base for example contains Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Safflower Oil, and Glycerin which are safe to use on produce :)

      Clear Melt and Pour Soap Base:

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  4. says

    Thanks for the thorough answer! I will study that information and run a couple of test batches. I’ve only used palm oil twice out of the umpteen batches I’ve made, and both times in low amounts like this. But steering away from animal fats seems like the best bet for this type of thing. You would not believe the requests I have been getting for this soap (apparently my sister thinks each of her friends should be using it!). Thanks so much for all your interesting blog posts and your thoughtful answers! You guys rock!

  5. says

    Hi, I am wondering if the palm oil serves a purpose in the recipe … is there a reason for it being there? I would prefer to steer away from it, but I’m not sure of a great sub in this case — especially since it seems like a great recipe to steer clear of any nut product, common allergen, or non-food oil. Any help to define its purpose would help me pick something! I did make this recipe as it is (sans the sodium lactate), and it has been a huge hit. I’ve had to ration the rest of the batch, since people keep taking them (and giving them to their friends). And I LOVE using it on some little apples someone gave us a billion of. Mine soaped a little green, but the bubbles are big and white and beautiful on the produce.

    • says

      Good morning!

      We are so happy to hear that you had a chance to try this recipe out. It’s such a fun (and easy) one to make. If you were able to get any pictures of your soap, we’d love to see them on Bramble Berry’s Facebook page. =)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  6. Kristina says

    Would it be appropriate to label this soap as all natural? I’ve found different evidence regarding the sodium lactate. If not, is it possible to leave it out of the recipe?

  7. Ann says

    Do you recommend spraying with 91% alcohol and insulating this recipe? I mixed the lye and oils around 100 degrees, spritzed with alcohol to help prevent ash, but I did not cover/insulate because it was such a small batch. My soap appears to have gone through partial gel (darker oval in center of loaf) and the exterior is crumbly with a thin crack line along the top. I would like to try this again…any suggestions? Thanks for our help! Ann

    • says

      Hi Ann!

      That thin crack lines sounds like it might be from heat cracking. Do you know what temps you were working at? Does it look like the soap in this blog post:

      Successful? Coconut Milk Batch:

      Are the outer edges sort of an extra white and crumbly? IF so, it just sounds like it is a classic temperature variation issue and your soap should be just fine. But, just to be safe, always do a zap test on your soap. We always spray our cold process soaps with the 91% rubbing alcohol as well as letting it go through full gel phase and we haven’t had any problems with this recipe. I hope this helps! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Ann says

        Thanks for the quick reply! My oils and lye water were both around 100 degrees, and I did not cover or insulate with a towel. Yes, the outer edges are sort of extra white and crumbly…this is even more pronounced than the hairline crack on top. I will check the pH just to be sure. Not sure what to chage for next time? Maybe just try insulating?

        • says

          Hi Ann!

          It sounds like your temperatures that you were working with are just fine. Did you follow this recipe exactly? The next time you make this recipe, try insulating and letting it go through it’s full gel phase. Keep us updated! =)

          -Becky with Bramble Berry

  8. Karla says

    I love the idea for this bar! Any thoughts on adding GSE (grapefruit seed extract) to the recipe for it’s anti-bacterial properties? I love Bramble Berry!!!!!

    • says

      Hi Karla!

      You will just adore this soap, I’ve used it for the past couple of weeks and don’t think I will ever go back to not using it! You could totally add GSE into this bar and still have great bar of soap. The GSE has been known to help with antioxidant issues in soap. We’d love for you to try it out in this recipe and let us know what you think! =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  9. Patricia says

    Forgot to say….sodium hydroxide is an ingredient listed on my mother’s prescription eye drops, so when people question why such a “harsh” ingredient is used in soap, I share that tidbit with them. I’m sure it’s used in a lot of products that we haven’t taken note of.

  10. says

    Great idea. I just got back from the store yesterday with lots of fruit I had to wash. I grabbed a soap I had at the sink and started using it. Later that day I saw this post on your blog. I am excited to try it. Thank you :)

  11. Melissa McClary says

    Any chance some of these bars will be added to your Etsy shop? I would love to buy some! Thank you

  12. says

    Shouldn’t this soap have any kind of essential oils? The liquid veggie wash I use from Trader Joe’s has lemon and orange oil in it.

    • says

      Hi Maria!

      We decided that we wanted this recipe to be as natural as possible without adding any extra essential oils. Some people have sensitivities to essential (and fragrance) oils in their soap and they definitely wouldn’t want to wash their food with it. But, you can totally add it to your batch of soap if you’d like. Let us know how it turns out for you. =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  13. Jen says

    My batch did a number on me and completely cracked all the way down & deep, I’m so bummed. I did full water and lye water & oils were both at 100. Any help would be great!

  14. says

    What a great idea. I never thought of a fruit/veggie wash made by homemade soap. I love it! And I love the
    Easy Pour Containers you are using. That is so cool that they are lye-water safe. You have such great products! My daughter bought me the mini temperature gun and I use it all the time. Once you experience the ease of using one of these goodies you NEVER want to use the stick thermometer again!
    Thanks, Anna

  15. Dawnia says

    Thanks so Much for this recipe!! I was just getting ready to buy another jug of expensive produce wash!
    You seem to have such great timing with your recipes. Thanks Again!!

    • Anne-Marie says

      I use it every day – love it! I have for years and never thought to share until a girlfriend came over and acted like I had invented s’mores. =)

  16. Jen says

    I do this time to time with my regular bars but we have hard water. Would you suggest lowering the superfat if you have hard water?

    • Anne-Marie says

      You could go down to 2-3% and be okay but if you use it on your body, it will not be moisturizing =)

  17. Patricia says

    This is cool! I paid nearly $4 for a 16-oz. liquid fruit & veggie wash, but you only need a teaspoon in a sink full of water, so it lasts a while. It’s not thick like liquid dish soap, so it might be a dilution and they’re making a killing off it. I can see the money savings here in your recipe. Good one, A-M & Co.!

    • Anne-Marie says

      That’s interesting – a teaspoon in a sink full of water. I wonder what it is? No ingredients listing presumably?