4 Color In~The~Pot Swirl Soap Tutorial

This recipe is the second of two that come with the quick start guide in Bramble Berry’s brand new Business in a Box kit, and the second of many that are possible when you purchase the full kit. Along with this unique In-The-Pot Swirl recipe, in the quick start guide you’ll also receive the Sunset Ombre Soap tutorial. The Business in a Box quick start guide is a handy, downloadable PDF that contains beginning soapmaking tips, some helpful forms for business, two advanced recipes tailored just for the kit, and tips for getting your business started. The kit also contains full ingredients, equipment, 7 books and more. We’ve updated the Business in a Box kit based on your feedback from when we first launched it and  it’ s better than ever. Like all businesses, it will take hard work, perseverance, and has a learning curve but this kit will save a lot on the testing, experimenting and give you a library of my favorite books to learn from.

In the pot swirl soap

This technique is fabulous for achieving that “wow” factor in your soaps. It’s a very intense result for catching your customers’ eyes from across a room, and is quite photogenic if you plan on listing your soap online. By pouring three contrasting-colored batches of soap into one larger batch without overmixing them, an intricate-looking swirl emerges that has the feel of hours worth of painstaking work when really it’s super quick to get the hang of!

For those of you that don’t have a Quick Mix oil blend at home, a 3% Castor, 30% Coconut, 30% Palm, 34% blend of Canola and Olive for your recipe is where I’d start with this project. You can use the Lye Calculator at BrambleBerry.com to figure out recipes via percentages or do it from scratch using this blog post.


54 oz Lots of Lather Quick Mix Oil

18 oz Distilled Water

7.8 oz Sodium Hydroxide

1/2 Tablespoon Titanium Dioxide

1/4 teaspoon Ultramarine Pink

1/8 teaspoon Black Oxide

1/4 teaspoon Green Chrome Oxide

3 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil (or any liquid oil)

4 oz Rosehip Jasmine Fragrance Oil

5 pound Wood Mold with Sliding Bottom

5 pound Wood Mold Silicone Liner

 If you’d love to try out this tutorial but aren’t ready to purchase the full Business in a Box kit, click here to add the ingredients for just 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. Eye glasses are not sufficient protection. 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.

COLOR PREP: Disperse the oil soluble colorants in sunflower oil as follows; 1/2 tablespoon Titanium Dioxide in 1-1/2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon Ultramarine Pink in 3/4 teaspoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon black oxide in 3/8 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon Chrome Green in 3/4 teaspoon oil. Mix well using a mini-mixer, but make sure to saturate the pigment in oil with the tip of your mini-mixer before blending otherwise the color will turn into a messy cloud of pigment!

ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and stir until clear. Set aside to cool.

TWO: Heat the entire container of Lots of Lather Quick Mix and give it a good stir. Measure the appropriate amount of oil into a heat-safe container.

NOTE: Reheat the entire container of Lots of Later Quick Mix before each use. Like with Palm Oil, separation can occur with the different ingredients, causing unequal amounts to measure out if the oils aren’t reheated and mixed properly.

THREE: When the lye water has cooled to 130 degrees or below (and is within 10 degrees of the oils), add the lye water to the oils and mix with a stick blender until a light trace is achieved. To eliminate air bubbles from being mixed into the soap batter, pour the lye down the shaft of the stick blender and burp the stick blender by tapping it on the bottom of your container before turning it on.

Adding lye to oils

FOUR: Split the soap into 4 separate batches, three measuring 2 cups each and one measuring 4 cups. Tip: Pour the three 2 cup batches first, and you’ll be left with about 4 cups in your original container!

Splitting soap

FIVE: Add the 2 tablespoons of dispersed Titanium Dioxide to the container with 4 cups of soap batter. Then add 1 teaspoon of dispersed Ultramarine Pink to the first 2 cup portion, 0.5 teaspoon of dispersed Black Oxide to the second 2 cup portion and 1 teaspoon of dispersed Chrome Green Oxide to the third. Mix all of the colorant in well using a whisk. Tip: Mixing the colors from lightest to darkest allows you to reuse the mixing tool (in this case, the whisk), leaving you with less dirty dishes to clean.

coloring soap

SIX: Fragrance each of the batches with Rosehip Jasmine fragrance oil. Use 1.6 ounces in the 4 cup batch and 0.8 ounces in each of the 2 cup batches. Mix in well using the whisk.

Fragrancing Soap

SEVEN: For the in-the-pot swirl, start by pouring the Black Oxide colored soap into the Titanium Dioxide colored soap in 4 places: 12:00 o’clock, 4:00 o’clock, 8:00 o’clock, and center. Repeat with the Ultramarine Pink and Chrome Green colored soaps. Pour from a high point so that the soap penetrates the entire depth of the soap in the pot, which will create a swirl throughout the soap. Using a spatula, chopstick or dowel, swirl the soap by running the tool through each of the entry points once. Only once! You want to swirl but not mix the soap.

ITP swirl

Swirled soap

EIGHT: Pour the swirled soap into the mold, keeping the pouring container in one place as the soap fills the mold. Tamp the mold on the tabletop to eliminate any air bubbles.

Pouring soap

NINE: Spray the entire top with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to help prevent soda ash. Cover and insulate for 24 hours and unmold after 3-4 days. Allow to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!

In the pot swirl

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  1. Rachel F says

    ok, I wanted to try this but I don’t have the quick mix and you guys suggested “For those of you that don’t have a Quick Mix oil blend at home, a 3% Castor, 30% Coconut, 30% Palm, 34% blend of Canola and Olive for your recipe”. Now, 3+30+30+34= 97%… what is comprising my other 3%? or was it just a typo? If I were to guess, I would say to have 6% of castor instead of only 3%, to bring me up to 100% and for castor’s foamy, creamy lathering properties. But maybe you meant for the canola olive blend to be 37%? I was just wondering what you guys intended this recipe to be

    • says

      Hi Rachel!

      You’re right, those numbers don’t quite equal 100%, nice catch! This formula was more of a suggestion, so you can tweak it how you like, but I think where it went wrong is that the 34% of Canola and Olive should read, 37% . I would recommend using 17% Olive and 20% Canola :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  2. Jennifer says

    I know that I shouldn’t have as I have never made soap before (and I do still intend on making a basic soap/lye soap), but this is the first recipe I made because I couldn’t contain myself, and did so late Thursday night. I traced too thick, panicked and tried to pour in-the-pot globs LOL, put it to bed and then myself. I ‘think’ it gelled … It is soooo hard to keep it in the mold and not cut into it, especially when it is pretty firm to the touch! Not having a clue if it turned out yet, I am already addicted and am so glad, I bought as many things as I did. Soap making is going to be awesome!

    • says

      Hi Jennifer!

      Welcome to the soapmaking world! We are so excited that you were able to try this recipe out, and you’ll have to keep us updated on how it turns out. If you get any pictures, be sure to share them with us on Bramble Berry’s Facebook page.


      Did you go with the same scent as in the kit or did you choose another one? =)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • Jennifer says

        I used Lemongrass from Bramble Berry and WOW does it smell refreshing! It’s for sure a morning shower scent. I did use the Rose/Jasmine in my 2nd attempt at this recipe/design but I was over zealous with the stick blender! The Rose/Jasmine from Bramble Berry is heavenly and I can’t wait for the soap to cure!

        • says

          Good morning, Jennifer!

          The Lemongrass is one of my favorites from Bramble Berry. It has such a fresh scent to it and I love to use it in my soaps. We are so glad that your soaps are turning out and we can’t wait to hear more from your soaping adventures. =)

          Happy Soaping!
          -Becky with Bramble Berry

    • says

      Hi Katrina!

      What a great question, I am more than happy to answer it for you. :) You can definitely separate the Lots of Lather Quick Mix into multiple batches. But, because this mix has palm oil in it, you will want to melt the entire 35 lbs. down and make sure it is mixed up.After you have done that,you will be able to separate it into smaller batches without any issue (and don’t forget to use the handy-dandy lye calculator on the quick mix page!).

      Lots of Lather Lye Calculator: http://www.brambleberry.com/Lots-of-Lather-Quick-Mix-P5524.aspx

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions.
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  3. says

    Hello! Recently purchase the 5lb wood loaf mold with silicone liner… My tops are textured… How would I insulate this mold? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Nicole!

      We like to make little ‘tents’ with the cardboard and the put the entire batch on a heating blanket with a towel over the whole thing.Typically, we put the heat on medium for 30 or 60 minutes depending on the ambient temperature. Hope this helps! =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial! It looks like a fun project, and the swirls turned out so beautifully. I will have to add this to my growing list of techniques to try!

  5. RachaelSG says

    This is an amazing kit, but I already have a good bit of soaping supplies, mostly for M&P. I would be interested the business-related printed materials and video tutorials that are in this kit, if you folks at BB ever get a mind to put together a kit with just those items. I’d love to make my new hobby one that pays for itself, and so would my husband.

    • Anne-Marie says

      Great feedback; will totally get to work on this concept in the next few months after I source out even a couple more business books that I’ve recently been reading and reviewing for just this purpose! =)

  6. says

    This is such a fun looking project!

    If the pink color was changed to brown and a masculine FO was used this would be a perfect camo soap!

    1 question:
    Does BB carry a similiar fragrance that will allow time for coloring and pouring (crisp apple rose, maybe)?