For this recipe, we went all natural: earth colorants and a soothing blend of rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils make this soap a raw beauty. We were very excited to incorporate our brand new natural Indigo Powder colorant into this soap and it turned a beautiful blue-grey in the finished product. Handmade soap with indigo provides a great contrast to the Paprika, which turned a lovely orange, and the Safflower Powder, which turned a soft yellow. The spoon plop is also an easy technique that yields intriguing results every time.
What You’ll Need:
11 oz. Coconut Oil
2.2 oz. Mango Butter
13.2 oz. Olive Oil
11 oz. Palm Oil
6.6 oz. Sweet Almond Oil
6.1 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
14.5 oz. distilled water
1.1 oz. Rosemary Essential Oil
1.1 oz. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
.6 oz. 40/42 Lavender Essential Oil
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If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out our FREE four part SoapQueen.tv 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, including my newest book, Soap Crafting. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, and other distractions and tripping 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 1 teaspoon all colorants into 1 tablespoon of liquid oil (we like Sweet Almond or Sunflower). Prepping your colors in the beginning will allow you to work quickly and give you more time to work with your soap. Use the mini mixer to get all those clumps worked out smoothly.
FRAGRANCE PREP: In a glass container, combine the Rosemary, Eucalyptus and 40/42 Lavender Essential Oils. Set aside.
ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water, and stir until clear. Set aside to cool. If you’d like a harder bar of soap, you can add Sodium Lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of Sodium Lactate per pound of oils in the recipe.
TWO: Then, melt and combine the Coconut Oil, Mango Butter, Olive Oil, Palm Oil and Sweet Almond Oil in a large glass container. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130 degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace.
THREE: Equally split the batter into three containers.
FOUR: Add one colorant per container in the following measurements:
- 3 teaspoons dispersed Indigo Powder
- 3 teaspoons dispersed Paprika
- 3 teaspoons dispersed Safflower Powder + 1 teaspoon Titanium Dioxide
Mix in the colorants using a wire whisk or spoon.
FIVE: Split the essential oil blend equally between the three containers and stir in with a wire whisk or spoon.
SIX: Use a large spoon (we like our Round Silicone Spoon) to plop spoonfuls of color into the mold. Repeat this process with each color, keeping the same color order, until you have about 1/5 of the soap remaining in the cups.
SEVEN: Using the remaining soap in the cups, pour lines of soap horizontally into the mold.
EIGHT: Insert a chopstick or dowel about 1/4″ into the soap and make a vertical zig-zag pattern down the length of the mold for that finishing touch swirl.
NINE: Using your chopstick or dowel again, make a series of small loops down the length of the soap. Once you’ve gone from one end of the soap to the other, make small loops back down the length of the mold. When you reach the end of the mold, create one big loop that carries you into the next row, and do a reverse loop back across the mold again. You may recognize this swirling technique from the Elemental Swirl.
Spray the entire top with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to reduce soda ash. It is particularly important to insulate this soap for 24 hours because gel phase will help bring out a nice, vibrant color in the Indigo. Unmold after 3-4 days and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!
Want to hold this soap in your hands? If you’re a tactile and visual learner, we have another way for you to learn. Click here to grab one of these soaps for your very own, complete with a full color instruction sheet, from the Soap Queen Lab Etsy shop.