How to Make Tomato Basil Soap

A Fresh Italian Garden in the Tub

Hand holding freshly picked tomatoes

Elaine Lemm

For a warm, speckled orange-red color in your soap, try using tomato paste or ground tomatoes in your soap. To keep with the theme, add a touch of basil as well. You won't get any basil scent from the plants, but they will impart color and interest to your bars of soap.

How to Add Tomatoes to Your Soap

You can add these ingredients to any soap recipe, or create your own soap recipe. Here are the options:

  • Add about 1 tablespoon of tomato paste per pound of oils. Add it in at trace.
  • Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of finely ground sun-dried tomatoes, also at trace.
  • Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of finely ground fresh or dried basil leaves at trace.
  • Substitute well-pureed tomatoes (get out that old blender!) for the water in your recipe. The tomatoes have so much water in them as it is, you can use up 100% tomato puree in exchange for the water.
  • All of the above!

Tomato Basil Soap Recipe

This recipe makes two pounds of soap. You can make any substitutions you'd like just be sure to run your recipe through a lye calculator if you change the size or oils!

You'll need:

  • 7.5 oz. Olive Oil
  • 7.5 oz. Coconut Oil
  • 7 oz. Palm Oil
  • 1.5 oz. Castor Oil
  • 1.5 oz. Cocoa Butter
  • 7.5 oz. total liquid (3 to 4 large tomatoes, well pureed)
  • 3.6 oz. lye
  • Optional: 1-2 tbs tomato paste and/or 1-2 tsp. of finely ground sun-dried tomatoes

To make:

  1. Follow the directions in Making a lye solution with alternative liquids to make your lye solution with the tomato puree.
  2. Make your soap recipe using basic soap making instructions.
  3. Add in the tomato paste and/or sun-dried tomatoes at trace.
  4. Pour the soap into your mold, wait overnight, unmold, slice, cure and enjoy!

Expert Notes

  • There are several tomato and tomato-basil fragrances available if you want to try using those instead.
  • Other natural colorants like turmeric or paprika can give you a darker red swirl of color in the more light red-orange soap.