I hope everyone had a relaxing midweek holiday! Thankfully, Jamisen, slept right through all of the bangs and booms from the fireworks (and there sure were plenty!). I’m back in the office today, refreshed after a full day off, and super excited to share this tutorial with you. The mantra swirl is a gorgeous, delicate “dance” of a swirl that looks great no matter how many colors are used. For this technique, an additional splash of a contrasting color adds interest while a quick modify to the mold gives to soap an extra kick!
15.5 oz. Canola Oil
3.1 oz. Cocoa Butter
12.4 Coconut Oil (76 degree)
12.4 oz. Olive Oil
6.2 oz. Palm Oil
3.1 oz. Palm Kernel Flakes
9.3 oz. Rice Bran Oil
8.62 oz. Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
20.5 oz. Distilled Water
Silicone Liner for 5# Wood Log Mold
1- 14 ounce Condiment Squirt Bottle
Buy all of the ingredients you need for this project at the click of a button!
If you have never made cold process soap before, I strongly suggest getting a couple of basic recipes under your belt before diving in. This is an advanced recipe and should not be attempted without first doing some basic recipes. Check out Soap Queen TV on Cold Process if you want to get started with cold process. It’s a 4 part series that will take you through the basics (and be sure to watch the episode on Lye Safety). And for all of you bookworms out there, Bramble Berry also has some helpful reading on cold process soap making or a Beginner’s Kit for $36 here.
Color Prep: Pre-mix the Oxides into any light-weight oil (I used Sunflower Oil) at the rate of one teaspoon of colorant to one tablespoon oil. Use a mini-mixer. Make sure to saturate the powder in the oil before you turn on the mixer, or you’ll get a messy poof of powder!
Mold prep: Using cardboard, cut two dividers that snugly fit down the center (lengthwise) of the mold. Cardboard brackets on either end can help with stability.
ONE: GLOVES and GOGGLES (!!) on and make sure you have all children and pets away while you are soaping. In a well-ventilated area, slowly and carefully add the lye to the water (never the other way around!) and stir until the lye is fully dissolved. Be careful not to breathe in fumes. Set aside to cool.
TWO: In a separate heat-safe container, melt and combine Palm, Palm Kernel Flakes and Coconut oils. Add Cocoa Butter, Canola, Olive and Rice Bran Oils. Stir until Cocoa Butter has melted; you may have to stick the container back in the microwave for a few more seconds.
THREE: Once the oils and lye have both cooled to 120 degrees or below, carefully the lye water to the oils and pulse your stick blender until just incorporated and a super light trace starts. Tip: Before pouring the lye water into the oils, insert your stick blender into the oils. Pour the lye water down the shaft of the stick blender to reduce the amount of bubbles in the soap batter!
FOUR: Split the soap so that you have 3 batches of 4 cups each. Pour the excess soap into the condiment squirt bottle.
FIVE: Color the soap in the squirt bottle with 12 mL of Lime LabColor and 1 teaspoon of dispersed Titanium Dioxide. Place a gloved finger over the tip of the bottle and shake to incorporate the color. Point the tip away from yourself when you remove your finger (there may be some backsplash!).
SIX: Color each batch of soap as follows: 2 teaspoons of dispersed Brown Oxide in one, 2 teaspoons of dispersed Titanium Dioxide in the second, and all of the dispersed Ultramarine Violet and Ultramarine Blue in the third.
SEVEN: Add .7 ounces of Island Coconut and .7 ounces of Vanilla Bean fragrance oils to the brown colored soap, and 1.3 ounces of the Lime fragrance oil to the white soap and the purple/blue colored soap. Mix well. If necessary, switch to a whisk to keep trace from accelerating.
EIGHT: Grab a pouring buddy for this step! Pour all three soap batters at the same time into the soap cavities you created with the cardboard dividers (one of you take two of the containers of soap, the other take one). Whoever is only pouring one soap can use the free hand to ensure that the dividers stay in place. To achieve the same look as I got, pour the white soap in the middle section of the mold.
NINE: Slowly and carefully remove the cardboard dividers. With the squirt bottle’s nozzle close to the top of the freshly poured soap, squirt the lime green soap down the length of the mold, on either side of the white strip right where it meets the other colors.
Tip: I poured my lime green stripe at a super thin trace. Vigorously shake your condiment bottle (with a gloved finger over the tip) if you want the lime green soap to be a thicker trace before you pour it.
TEN: Using a chopstick or dowel inserted all the way into the soap, swirl the soap in a figure 8 pattern.
The tops and bottoms of the “8”s should touch the sides of the soap mold. Here’s a quick illustration of the swirl without soap:
ELEVEN: Allow the soap to sit in the mold for 24-48 hours. When it’s time to cut, you can cut the loaf in the traditional way, but I find that the swirls really shine when I cut the bars horizontally. Cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!