Silicone Column Oatmeal Milk and Honey

Phew! I’m sorry this blog post is a day late. We had our big Soap Crafting Book release party last night where we announced our special Soap Crafting Club. The celebration went late! =) Stay tuned to hear more about that and see photos of the cupcake laden event.

The rain has really picked up around here, and we’re once again starting to live up to our nickname as ‘Evergreen State’. But cooler temperatures and a wetter climate doesn’t have to be a bad thing — in fact, for this soap we took a cue from all the evergreen trees around here that give us our lush reputation. I love the way the brown, white and black colors swirl to look like tree rings, and the gold mica dusting on the outside mimics bark. For this technique, we used our fabulous Silicone Column Mold, which seals so tightly you can fill it with water and not worry about spilling a drop. We scented this soap with our ever popular Oatmeal Milk and Honey Fragrance Oil for a warm, comforting touch.

What You’ll Need:

3.6 oz. Canola Oil
.69 oz. Castor Oil
7.5 oz. Coconut Oil
3.4 oz. Olive Oil
7.5 oz. Palm Oil
3.3 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
7.5 oz. distilled water
1.5 oz. Oatmeal Milk and Honey Fragrance Oil
Titanium Dioxide
Brown Oxide
Black Oxide
Silicone Column Mold

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

Side note: This soap stayed pretty soft for a while. I wish I would have used 1 tsp of Sodium Lactate per pound of oils (added to my lye water).

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I 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, including my newest book, Soap Crafting. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.

COLOR PREP: Disperse 1 teaspoon of each colorant into 1 tablespoon of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil (or any other liquid oil). Use a mini mixer to get clumps worked out smoothly.

MOLD PREP: This mold is absolutely water and soap tight but you need to make sure it is FULLY CLICKED in the seam area. Run your fingers over those seams extra times just to be on the extra safe side.

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.

ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool.

TWO: Combine the Canola, Castor, Coconut, Olive and Palm Oils (remember to fully melt then mix your entire container of Palm Oil before portioning). 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. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that lasts longer in the shower and releases faster from the mold, you can add Sodium Lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of Sodium Lactate per pound of oils in the recipe.

THREE: Once the batter has reached thin trace, divide it into three equal portions (each container should hold approx. 4 cups of batter). Side note: How awesomely amazing are these containers? They can even hold lye water and their long pouring spouts make for easy design work.

FOUR: Now add the dispersed colorants. We added 3 teaspoons of dispersed Titanium Dioxide to one cup, 1 teaspoon disperse Black Oxide to the second and 1 teaspoon dispersed Brown Oxide to the third. Whisk the colorant into the batter so as to not accelerate trace.

FIVE: Divide the fragrance evenly between the three cups. Use a spatula or spoon to incorporate the fragrance into the batter.

SIX: Once the fragrance and colorant have been fully mixed into the batter, pour off about 1/4 cup of one color into the mold. In between pours, use a Powder Duster to dust a thin layer of Sparkle Gold Mica directly over the opening of the silicone column mold.

You can see from the above photo how thin of a trace I’m working with. I really wanted to have the colors swirl beautifully together, rather than be a traditional faux-funnel pour (which works with slightly thicker trace to suspend the design).

SEVEN: Continue alternating between pouring each color and dusting a mica vein. Continue the pattern until the soap fills the mold. I count to ‘three’ to know when to stop with each color. It’s more accurate for me than eyeballing the pour.

To unmold the soap:

Because this is a particularly soft soap, we recommend waiting 1-2 weeks before unmolding it and then another week after that to cut it. Really, I said “weeks”. You can freeze the soap and it will come out sooner but we just were super patient. The recipe combined with the nature of silicone molds to  not release and evaporate water makes this a longer release and cutting period that most soaps.

ONE: Stand the mold up on its end and pull apart the seam on one side. If you find that the mold is pulling soap off the loaf, it is still too soft and needs to be left in the mold for a few more days. Once the seam has been opened on one side, gently pull apart the seam on the other side.

TWO: Even though you’ve unmolded the soap, it may still be soft enough to show finger prints if you touch it directly. To eliminate this, roll the loaf onto a piece of wax paper (shine-y side up!). Using a sharp knife, cut the soap between 1 – 1.5 inches thick. Place on a cookie cooling rack to dry.

Allow the soaps to dry for another 1 – 2 weeks, then enjoy!

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  1. Tom Neier says

    Two questions.

    1. In setting up the colorants step , 1 tsp of each substance was mixed into 1 Tbl of oil, BUT when the colorant mix was added 3 tsps of titanium oxide is called for. Were the 3 tsps of titanium pre mixed into 3 Tbls of oil, or were 3 tsps of titanium mixed into 1 Tbl of oxide?

    2. Has the extra oil used to premix the colorants been account for in computing the amount of NaOH to use ? After all we are adding at least 3 extra Tbls of oil. Or is 3 Tbls too small to worry about? I’m worried about getting an oily soap!

    Thank you!

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Tom!

      We prepared 1 teaspoon of the colorants into 1 tablespoon of oil. That gave us about 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of oil and colorant total. So, we used all of the Titanium Dioxide. Sorry for any confusion!

      Also, the extra oil is not taken from the total amount of soap. We consider them additives, so it’s extra oil going into your soap. It helps that color disperse nicely and adds more luxurious oil to your soap. :)

      If you’re worried about too much extra oil in your soap, you can decrease your superfat slightly. This soap is superfatted at 5%, so you can drop that to 3% or 4%.

      You can also mix the colors in your premade oils. To do that, use a spoon or a dropper to transfer some of your soaping oils into a separate container. Then, mix your colors in and add them at trace. You can see that in action in the Making Sunshine Soap video on Soap Queen TV:

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry


  2. Tom says

    Question: The final patterns appear (cross section) to be RINGS, yet this soap was made by pouring in LAYERS. I do not understand how you got a RING-like pattern. Did you stick a
    chopstick down into the cylindric mold, and swirl it around? Or do the colors just naturally mix like that? I like the RING look, so I need to understand this. Thanks!


  3. Stephanie says

    I’ve been looking for the perfect way to ‘serve’ my woodsy soaps and this instantly made me think of a cut tree! It’s too late for this year, but my pine/fir based soaps would be marvelous done like this. I’m thinking I could make the more cedar-ey scents the same way but with reds and creams…oh dear lol I’m going to go on a tree soap bender now 😀

  4. Anna Marie Geving says

    I don’t see the sparkle gold mica in the kit. But I see it in the tutorial. Do you think Pringles cans could work? I have lots of those.

    • says

      Hi Anna Marie!
      Pringles cans could certainly work, what a clever idea! Love the creativity. The only problem I see with them is unmolding could be very tricky! I definitely recommend our silicone column mold for the easiest unmolding.

      Thanks for eagle-eye, we will be adding the gold mica very soon!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

      • Manda says

        Since they’re so cheap and easy to come by, ripping them apart (or using scissors to cut down the length) is a great way to easily unmold Pringles can soaps. :)

        • Kelsey says

          That’s a great tip Manda, thanks for sharing. Lining them with freezer paper would help too. :)

          -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  5. Lori says

    This is beautiful soap. I have all of these ingredients except the brown mica. Do you think that cocoa powder will work? I just love this soap and don’t want to wait. :)

    • says

      Good morning, Lori!

      You can totally try out the Cocoa Powder in this recipe. We would love to hear how it works out for you. Be sure to share any fun pictures you get with us. =)

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  6. Leanna says

    Can you use the vertical round mold to make a melt and pour version? I love the vertical soap mold!

  7. Elizabeth says

    I’m extremely new to soap making (still a virgin, but that’s about to change!) and, like a good engineer, have been obsessively researching the subject before diving in. Although I’ve read the entire blog history on this site, I haven’t seen an answer to this question: is it necessary to cut your loaf before curing?

    I ask this because I was just recently introduced to the joys of handmade soap, and the kind ladies who were selling it at the farmer’s market had their soaps still in the loaf; when I bought a piece, they cut it off the big loaf. But all of the instructions here at Soap Queen show the cutting of the loaf before the curing, so I wonder if an uncut loaf cures slower than cut soaps.

    Thanks for any advice you can give! And BB please ship my order soon! :)

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth!

      Welcome to the soapmaking world! We are so excited that you are wanting to get started and will be here to cheer you on. =)

      It isn’t necessary to cut your soap before curing it, but you will find that we like to cut ours so that we can photograph it and show our readers and customers what it looks like! But, the more surface space you have of soap that is exposed to air while curing, the faster your soap will cure. So, if you cut it before fully curing, it will harden and cure faster.

      I hope that this helps explain it! =)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. We are working hard to ship your order out, and if you have any questions about it, be sure to contact customer service at info(at)brambleberry(dot)com