Despite our recent weeks of summer fun, fall is definitely in the air in the Pacific Northwest. I’m ready to leap into fall with this seasonal color palette and in-the-pot swirl soap. Check this out if you’ve been on the hunt for a great palm-free recipe, and check out another palm free recipe here and here. This recipe turns out super hard and the bubbles are medium in size with an easy rinse-off.
20.0 oz Coconut Oil
40.0 oz Rice Bran Oil
8.3 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
19.8 oz Distilled Water
3 teaspoons Merlot Mica
2 teaspoons Super Pearly White
1 teaspoon Cellini Blue Mica
1 teaspoon Cellini Yellow Mica
1 teaspoon Cappuccino Mica
2 tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil
Buy everything you need for this project with the click of a button!
If you have never made cold process soap before, I highly recommend you get a couple of basic recipes under your belt. Check out this (free!) 4-part series on cold process soap making, especially the episode on lye safety. Bramble Berry carries quite a few books on the topic as well, including this downloadable book on making cold process soap.
SAFETY FIRST: Before getting started, suit up in the proper safety gear: goggles, gloves, long sleeves. Make sure that kids and pets are out of the house or in another room without potential for distraction or tripping hazards, and ensure that your soaping space has excellent ventilation.
COLOR PREP: Disperse the oil soluble Yellow and Blue Micas in Sweet Almond oil at a rate of 1 teaspoon mica to 1 tablespoon oil. Mix well using a mini-mixer, but be sure to saturate the powders with oil before turning on the mixer or you’ll get a messy cloud of pigment! Once the oil soluble micas are dispersed, blend the Merlot Mica and Super Pearly White Mica to create a lovely pink color.
ONE: In a well ventilated area, slowly and carefully add the lye to the water. Stir until clear and set aside to cool.
TWO: Melt and combine Coconut Oil and Rice Bran Oil. When the lye water has cooled to 130 degrees or below, slowly add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until a light trace is achieved.
TREE: Separate your soap batter into 4 parts, three weighing 24 oz and one weighing 16 oz.
FOUR: Color one of the 24 oz batches with 3 teaspoons dispersed Cellini Blue Mica, the second 24 oz batch with 3 teaspoons dispersed Cellini Yellow Mica, the third 24 oz batch with 5 teaspoons (all of the) Super Pearly White + Merlot Mica mixture, and the 16 oz batch with 1 teaspoon Cappuccino Mica. Mix each of the colorants in until fully incorporated.
TIP: Want to do less dishes in the end? Mix in your colorants from lightest color to darkest color so you can use the same mixing tool!
FIVE: Fragrance each of the colored batches with Lemon Earl Grey Fragrance Oil. Reserve about an ounce of each of the colored and scented batches in a separate container. We’ll get to those in a moment!
SIX: For the in-the-pot swirl, start by pouring the Cellini Blue colored soap into the Cellini Yellow soap in 4 places: 12:00 o’clock, 4:00 o’clock, 8:00 o’clock, and center. Repeat with Super Pearly White + Merlot and Cappuccino colored soap. 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 not mix the soap, and there will be a bit of further swirling when the soap is poured into the mold.
SEVEN: Pour the swirled soap into the mold. Tamp the mold on the tabletop to eliminate any air bubbles.
EIGHT: Remember the soap we reserved earlier? It’s showtime! Start with the color of your choice (I did yellow first) and pour over the top of the soap in an a wide s-curve running down the length of the mold. Follow that s with the next color and the next.
NINE: Drag a chopstick or dowel inserted into the top 1/4″ of the soap down the length of the mold, making a series of short s-curves that are perpendicular to the s-curve created by the poured soap. Once you’ve gone from one end of the soap to the other, lift the swirling tool out of the soap and start again where you did the first swirl, except this time make loop-dee-swoops down the length of the mold following the original s-curves.
TEN: 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!
Are you a visual learner? You can buy this soap to check it out and see printed instructions here.