Soap Queen » Cold Process Soap http://www.soapqueen.com Tutorials on soapmaking, bath fizzies, lotions and more Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:58:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 Christmas Tree Swirl Cold Processhttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/christmas-tree-cold-process/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/christmas-tree-cold-process/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:13:55 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=40614 Handmade cold process soap makes a fantastic gift. Everybody loves the beautiful designs, fun colors and skin loving properties. Because many people have never experienced handmade soap before, it’s extra […]

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Handmade cold process soap makes a fantastic gift. Everybody loves the beautiful designs, fun colors and skin loving properties. Because many people have never experienced handmade soap before, it’s extra fun to give! This festive Christmas Tree Swirl Cold Process features a reverse hidden feather swirl, made popular by Handmade in Florida. Topped with Sparkle Gold Mica, this cold process project would be perfect under the tree.

Cold process soap requires a four to six week cure time, making now the optimal time to create soap for the holidays. If you are looking for more holiday project ideas, check out the Handmade Holiday Gift Inspiration post. From lip balm to melt and pour, there is a gift for everybody on your list.



What You’ll Need:
1.8 oz Avocado Butter

10.2 oz Canola Oil

1.8 oz Castor Oil

14.4 oz Coconut Oil

13.2 oz Olive Oil

14.4 oz Palm Oil

1.2 oz Palm Kernel Flakes

3 oz Sweet Almond Oil

 8.4 oz Sodium Hydroxide

19.8 oz Distilled Water

3.5 oz Christmas Tree Cybilla Fragrance Oil

Hydrated Chrome Green Pigment

 Green Chrome Pigment

 Black Oxide Pigment

Super Pearly White Mica

Sparkle Gold Mica

5 lb Wooden Log Mold with Sliding Bottom

Silicone Liner for 5 lb Wood Mold

Click here to add everything you need for this project to your Bramble Berry shopping cart!
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 of each colorant into 1 tablespoon of sunflower or sweet almond oil (or any other liquid oil). Use a mini mixer to get the clumps of color worked out smoothly.

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: Fully melt and combine the coconut, olive oil, canola, castor, avocado, sweet almond, palm kernel flakes 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 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. For this recipe, you’d add about 5 tsp. sodium lactate.

THREE: Once you have reached a light trace, pour 100 mL of soap into 3 small containers.
FOUR: To the large container of soap, add 2 tbs. of the dispersed Super Pearly White Mica and 3/4 of the Christmas Tree Fragrance Oil. It’s okay to eyeball it! Use a whisk to thoroughly combine the pigment and colorant. Pour 500 mL of this soap into a separate container and set aside. This soap will later become the top. Portioning out this soap now ensures you will have soap left for the top!
FIVE: To one 100 mL container, add 1/2 tsp Hydrated Chrome Green, 1/8 tsp. Black Oxide, 1/2 tsp. Super Pearly White Mica and 1/4 tsp. Chrome Green Oxide. To the second container add 1/2 tsp of Chrome Green Pigment. To the third container add 1/2 tsp Hydrated Chrome Green Pigment. Use a whisk to thoroughly incorporate the colorants.
SIX: Pour each green shade of soap into a squeeze bottle. Doing so allows you to create clean, even lines.
Left to right: dark green, medium green and light green soap.
SEVEN: Place the hanger tool in the center of the mold. You may find taping the wire hanger tool to the mold helpful. Slowly and carefully, pour the white soap over the hanger. During the entire pouring process, it’s important to not move the hanger. Pour soap until hanger is just covered.

EIGHT: Using the hangers edges as a guide, squirt a line directly over the hanger with the dark green soap. After making the first line, squirt a second line directly next to the first, to create one line that is two lines thick.
NINE: Slowly and carefully, pour a thin layer of the white soap over a spatula. Pouring over the spatula helps avoid breaking through the layers below. Continue to pour until the green line is just covered.
TEN: Using the medium green soap, squeeze two, side by side lines over the hanger and dark green soap line.
ELEVEN: Slowly pour the white soap over a spatula until the medium green line is lightly covered. Using the light green soap, squeeze two side by side lines down the length of the mold, over the hanger and medium green lines. Continue the process of squeezing lines over the hanger and covering with a thin layer of white soap until you have two lines of each green color.
TWELVE: Once two lines of each color have been drawn, cover with a thin layer of white soap. Slowly and carefully, pull the hanger straight up and out of the mold. Do your best to keep the hanger straight while pulling out of the mold. Set hanger tool aside.
THIRTEEN: Stick blend the remaining 500 mL white soap until a thick trace is reached. 
FOURTEEN: Gently spoon the thick white soap on top, and use a spoon to create a textured top. Be careful to not disrupt the layers below.FIFTEEN: Using a powder sifter, dust the top with Sparkle Gold Mica.
Allow the soap to harden for 3-4 days before unmolding. Allow it to cure for 4 – 6 weeks and enjoy!

I love giving cold process soap as gifts. Everybody uses soap, and very few people have ever tried handmade soap before. What is your favorite kind of bath and body product to give or receive? 

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Cold Processhttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/pumpkin-spice-latte-cold-process/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/pumpkin-spice-latte-cold-process/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:55:33 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=40415 The first signs of fall have begun. The morning air is crisper, the sun is setting earlier and leaves are changing color. This Pumpkin Spice Latte Soap celebrates the arrival […]

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The first signs of fall have begun. The morning air is crisper, the sun is setting earlier and leaves are changing color. This Pumpkin Spice Latte Soap celebrates the arrival of fall and the debut of a delicious fall beverage, the Pumpkin Spice Latte! Made with a delectable combination of Espresso and Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oils, this project is a great way to spend a fall afternoon.

This cold process recipe combines several soaping techniques, including melt and pour embeds and soap frosting. If you’ve never made soap frosting before, check out the new Soap Queen Tv Video, How to Make Soap Frosting, which covers the process. It’s easier than you think! 

 What You’ll Need:
Cold Process Soap (the “base” of the multi-layered soap creation)
9 oz. Coconut Oil
1.5 oz. Coffee Butter
9 oz. Olive Oil
9 oz. Palm Oil
1.5 oz. Pumpkin Seed Oil
4.2 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
9.9 oz. Distilled Water
9 Bar Unfinished Birchwood Mold
Silicone Liner for 9 Bar Mold
Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
Titanium Dioxide
Copper Sparkle Mica
Surplus Pumpkin Orange Mica
1 oz. Espresso Fragrance Oil
.4 oz. Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oil

Melt and Pour Pumpkin Embeds
Pumpkin Wax Tart Mold
2.5 mL Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oil
2.5 mL Vanilla Color Stabilizer
Perfect Orange Color Block
Chrome Green Color Block
1 oz. White Melt and Pour Base
2 oz. Clear Melt and Pour Base Injector Tool

Cold Process Frosting
2.8 oz. Avocado Oil
5.6 Coconut Oil
5.6 oz. Palm Oil
2 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
4.6 Distilled Water
Disposable Frosting Bag
1 M Frosting Tip
Copper Sparkle Mica (to dust on top)

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

Make Melt and Pour Pumpkin Embeds: *Note: The Pumpkin Wax Tart Mold makes eight pumpkins, while the 9 Bar Birchwood Mold creates nine bars of soap. If you’d like each bar to have a pumpkin embed, make one extra pumpkin embed. Be sure to make these first, at least 4 hours before you make your Cold Process Soap, to allow them time to harden.

ONE: Cut and melt 1 oz. Clear Melt and Pour Base on 5 second bursts. Add shavings of the Perfect Orange Color Block and stir to combine. Using the Injector Tool, fill the pumpkin shape and spray with isopropyl alcohol to get rid of any bubbles. Allow to fully harden. Tip: Keep a glass of very super duper hot water too wash the injector tool out in between colors. Pushing out hardened soap is no fun. TWO: Cut and melt 2 oz. of White Melt and Pour, and add Chrome Green Color Block until desired color is achieved. Add Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oil and Vanilla Color Stabilizer and stir to fully combine. THREE: Spray orange pumpkins with isopropyl alcohol and pour the greens soap into each cavity, filling only about halfway. Spray with isopropyl alcohol to disperse any bubbles, and allow to fully harden. TIP: Once you are ready to unmold the embeds, place them into the freezer for about 15-30 minutes. This makes them much easier to unmold!

Make the Cold Process Base:

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: To ensure that the Titanium Dioxide blends smoothly into the soap batter, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. Please note this is an optional tip but it does help with the titanium dioxide clumping in the soap =) To micronize colorant, simply use a coffee grinder to blend the colorant to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable, stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning. Then, disperse 1 teaspoons of the Titanium Dioxide into 1 tablespoons of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil (or any other liquid oil). Finally, disperse 1 teaspoon of each colorant (including the Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder) into 1 tablespoon of light liquid oil. Use a mini mixer to get the clumps of color worked out smoothly.

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: Fully melt and combine the coconut, olive oil, pumpkin seed, coffee butter 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 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. For this recipe, you’d add about 2 tsp. sodium lactate.

THREE: Once you have reached a light trace, split the batch in half into a separate container. Each container should contain about 3 cups. FOUR: To one container, add all of the Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder. To the other, add 1 tsp. (dispersed) Sparkle Copper Mica, 2 tsp. (dispersed) Surplus Pumpkin Orange Mica and 1 tbs. (dispersed) Titanium Dioxide. Use a whisk to thoroughly combine the colorants.  FIVE: Add Espresso Fragrance Oil to the container with the Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder. To the orange container, add the Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oil. Use a whisk to thoroughly combine the fragrance. SIX: Pour the brown container of soap into the mold. Tap the mold firmly on your counter to release any air bubbles. SEVEN: Drizzle the orange soap into the brown soap. No need to be exact with your pattern! Just make sure the orange soap is poured into all areas of the mold. Insert a dowel or chopstick all the way through the soap, and create small circles down the length of the mold. Once you’ve gone from one end of the soap to the other, make small loops back down the length of the mold. EIGHT: Insert the dividers into the mold and set aside. Time to make your soap frosting!

Make Soap Frosting:

LYE & OIL PREP: In order to get soapy frosting to actually look like frosting, the lye and oils must be very cold. We recommend making the lye water a full day ahead of time, clearly labeling it (*poison* *danger* *do not drink!*) and keeping it in a refrigerator not used for food. Alternately, you can use frozen water (eh hem: ice) to add your lye flakes to but the lye will still need to cool down. The lye should be around 60 degrees F before adding it to the oils. Additionally, you want your oils to be around 70 degrees F. You can even refrigerate them for several hours too! They should be semi-solid at this temperature. If your oils become completely solid, don’t worry! Soap frosting can be created with solid oils as well.

ONE: With a hand mixer (or a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer), whip the oils for 1 – 2 minutes. Occasionally take a break to scrape the bowl and sides of the container to incorporate all the oils. You want the oils to be nice and fluffy before adding the lye.

TWO: Slowly pour the lye into the whipped oils, and use a spoon to incorporate. Be super careful not to splash any lye at this point before the lye water is fully incorporated into the hardened, slushy, cool oils. Turn the hand mixer or Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer on low, and continue to whip oils until a fluffy, frosting texture is achieved. Scrape any batter that has splattered on the side of the container and then turn the mixer to a medium setting. Continue to whip for another 3 – 7 minutes.  THREE: Once a frosting texture has been achieved, cut off about a half inch from the tip of the frosting bag and push the tip through. Scoop the frosting into the bag, and begin piping the frosting onto each bar. Optional Step: If you prefer a smoother, “foamier” looking top on your frosting, use a spoon to smooth the frosting and create peaks. FOUR: Once each bar has been piped with frosting, lightly dust Copper Sparkle Mica onto the top of the soap. Because mica is so fine, this part can get messy. Be sure to have paper towels and isopropyl alcohol on hand to clean up any mica that sticks to the mold or your work surface. Place the pumpkin embeds into the corner of each soap. Allow the soap to harden for 3-4 days before unmolding. Allow it to cure for 4 – 6 weeks and enjoy!

Are you ready for fall? What kind of fall projects are you looking forward to?

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Whipped Cold Process Soap Frosting on Soap Queen TVhttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/make-soap-frosting-soap-queen-tv/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/make-soap-frosting-soap-queen-tv/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:42:38 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=40440 One of  the amazing things about soap making is the wide variety of different techniques and possibilities. In this episode of Soap Queen TV, I show you how to create […]

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One of  the amazing things about soap making is the wide variety of different techniques and possibilities. In this episode of Soap Queen TV, I show you how to create one of my favorite soapy techniques…cold process soap frosting! Simply whip together cool oils and lye to create a light and fluffy texture that is great for piping. Soap frosting is incredibly versatile, and works great for soap cupcakes, or soapy flowers. 

To create the base you need:

12 Bar Round Silicone Mold
3.3 oz. Apricot Kernel Oil
9.9 oz. Canola Oil
9.9 oz. Coconut Oil
9.9 oz. Palm Oil
4.6 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
10.8 oz. distilled water
Aqua Pearl Mica
2 oz.  Sweetgrass Fragrance Oil

To create the frosting you need:

7.5 oz. Coconut Oil
1.8 oz. Mango Butter
7.5 oz. Palm Oil
2.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
5.5 oz. distilled water
 .7 oz. Rise & Shine Fragrance Oil
17 mL Diluted Emerald Lab Color
3 mL Diluted Canary Lab Color
11 mL Peach Lab Color
 2 Frosting Bags
1M Frosting Tip

Click here to add everything you need for this project to your Bramble Berry shopping cart!
I can’t wait to see what soapy frosting creations you create; I know you’ll have better skills than me! Post them to our Facebook page and brag it up; who knows, maybe you’ll be our next Facebook Photo of the Week! =) 

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Cold Process Beginners Kit How-To + Free Soap Band Templatehttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/cold-process-beginners-kit/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/cold-process-beginners-kit/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 23:33:28 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=40172 Making cold process soap for the first time can be intimidating. With so many recipes and options it can be difficult to find a good place to start. The Beginner’s […]

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Making cold process soap for the first time can be intimidating. With so many recipes and options it can be difficult to find a good place to start. The Beginner’s Cold Process Soap Kit was created especially for the first-time soaper. With a simple combinations of oils, a tried and true fragrance and no colorants, making your first batch of cold process soap becomes straight forward.

Not only does this kit include everything you need to make soap, you also receive a PDF booklet. Full of tips, tricks and essential cold process information, this booklet is a great tool for beginning soapers. If you are looking for more information to get started with cold process soap making, the Beginner’s Resource Roundup is a great place to start.

The Beginner’s Cold Process Kit Contains:
2 oz. Cranberry Fig Fragrance Oil
2 lbs. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
1 lb. Coconut Oil
1 lb. Palm Oil
1 lb. Olive Oil
4 oz. Castor Oil
Cardboard Soap Mold
Making Cold Process Soap E-Book
Summer Cigar Bands

 You will need to provide:
Scale
Shatter proof, heat resistant, non-reactive bowls (2)
Safety Goggles
Gloves
Mixing tool (preferably a stick blender)
Freezer paper or plastic

Beginner’s Cold Process Kit Recipe:
6 oz. Coconut Oil
6 oz. Palm Oil
9 oz. Olive Oil
1 oz. Castor Oil
7 oz. Distilled Water
3 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
1.4-1.8 (depending on your personal preference) oz. Cranberry Fig Fragrance Oil

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, I highly recommend checking out the 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.

LYE WATER PREP: Before making soap, you first must prep your ingredients. This involves making your lye water, measuring fragrance and oils and lining your mold. Measure distilled water and lye in two heat safe containers. Wearing gloves, goggles, long sleeves and pants, slowly add the lye to the distilled water. Using a spoon, stir the lye until the water becomes clear. Label the container, and set aside in a safe place to allow the lye water to cool. I like to make lye water about 2 hours before soaping. This gives the lye time to cool down as it becomes very hot.

OIL PREP: The Cold Process Beginners Kit comes with four oils: Olive, Coconut, Palm and Castor. Before soaping, the correct amount of oils need to be measured. Place a large mixing bowl on the scale and tare. Add the oils one by one, taring between each to ensure the correct amount is added to your bowl. Palm and Coconut Oil can become hard when cool. To heat them up, simply pop the microwavable bags into the microwave to fully melt. Oils should be completely clear, and not murky. Note: It’s very important to fully melt the Palm Oil before use. If not completely melted, the stearic and other fatty acids will not disperse evenly and the Palm Oil will not produce consistent soaping results. 

FRAGRANCE PREP: Measure out the correct amount of Cranberry Fig Fragrance Oil into a glass container. Be sure to use glass, as undiluted fragrance oils can begin to disinegrate some types of plastic. You can read more about this in the Undiluted Aroma Oils + Plastic Don’t Mix blog post.

MOLD PREP: The ingredients of the Cold Process Beginner’s Kit come in a sturdy cardboard box. Once lined, the kit box serves as a great mold! Using the box allows you to try cold process soap making first, before investing in a mold. If you already have a mold, feel free to use it! Using parchment paper, line the box with the shiny side of the parchment paper facing up. Without lining the mold, the soap will stick to the cardboard. For more info on how to line a mold, the How to Line Any Mold post may help!


Once the ingredients are prepped, the lye has cooled and the mold is lined, it’s time to make soap!

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 pour the lye into the bowl of oils. Pouring over the stick blender helps reduce bubbles. Gently tap the stick blender against the bottom of the bowl to “burp” the blender, and release any trapped air bubbles.
TWO: Pulse the stick blender to begin emulsifying the oils and lye water. Alternate between pulsing and stirring with the stick blender.Within about a minute, the soap will reach trace. Trace refers to the stage in soap making when the oils and lye water have emulsified, and will not separate. Trace looks like thin pudding, where faint trailings of soap stay on the surface of your soap mixture when lightly drizzled from a few inches overhead.

THREE:  Once your soap has reached a light trace, the batter will continue to thicken the more it is stick blended. Because this soap is simple and does not feature swirls or an intricate design, you can continue to stick blend until a medium trace is acquired. Below, you can see an example of a medium to thick trace.

FOUR: Add Cranberry Fig Fragrance Oil, and use a whisk to fully incorporate into the soap. Because fragrance can sometimes accelerate trace, it is best to add it last. Using a whisk rather than the stick blender will help avoid the soap from becoming too thick to pour.

FIVE: Once the fragrance is fully incorporated, pour the soap batter into the mold. Firmly tap the box on your work surface to release air bubbles. Optional Step: Spray with  99% isopropyl alcohol to avoid soda ash. 

SIX: Allow the soap to sit in the mold for 3-4 days before unmolding. Remove the soap from the mold, and cut! Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy.


Looking for a way to package your project? These Summer Cigar Bands are perfect for giving your soap a professional look. Simply download the free PDF, print, and wrap them around your soap!

What was the first soap recipe you ever made? And if you haven’t tried soaping yet…what’s holding you back?

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Lemon Poppy Seed Cold Processhttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/lemon-poppy-seed-cold-process/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/lemon-poppy-seed-cold-process/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 05:36:59 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=39956 There is something about the color yellow that just screams, “happy!” If you are looking for a project full of cheer, this Lemon Poppy Seed Cold Process Tutorial is the […]

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There is something about the color yellow that just screams, “happy!” If you are looking for a project full of cheer, this Lemon Poppy Seed Cold Process Tutorial is the soap for you. Scented with the bright Lemon Verbena Yankee Type and the bubbly Champagne Fragrance Oil, it smells as sunny as it looks.

Poppy seeds give this bar of soap gentle exfoliation, and the contrasting mica vein really makes the layers pop. Tip: when cutting into cold process soap that features a mica vein, don’t cut the soap from the top down. Lay the soap on its side and cut in the direction of the line. This will prevent the mica from dragging through the layers.

What You’ll Need:

9.9 oz. Coconut Oil

9.9 oz. Olive Oil

9.9 oz. Palm Oil

3.3 oz. Rice Bran Oil

4.6 oz. Sodium Hydroxide

10.8 oz. distilled water

Titanium Dioxide

Fizzy Lemonade Colorant

Luster Black Mica

1 tbs. Poppy Seeds

.5 oz. Lemon Verbena Yankee Type Fragrance Oil

1 oz. Champagne Fragrance Oil

10″ Silicone Loaf Mold

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

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: To ensure that the Titanium Dioxide blends smoothly into the soap batter, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. Please note this is an optional tip but it does help with the titanium dioxide clumping in the soap =) To micronize colorant, simply use a coffee grinder to blend the colorant to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable, stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning. Then, disperse 2 teaspoons of the colorant into 2 tablespoons of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil (or any other liquid oil). Finally, disperse 1 teaspoon Fizzy Lemonade Colorant into 1 tablespoon of light liquid oil. Use a mini mixer to get the clumps of color worked out smoothly.

FRAGRANCE BLEND: In a glass container, combine 1 oz. of Champagne Fragrance Oil and .5 oz. of Lemon Verbena Yankee Type Fragrance Oil. Set aside.

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 Coconut, Olive Oil, Rice Bran 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 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. For this recipe, you’d add about 2 tsp. Sodium Lactate.
THREE: Once you’ve reached a light trace, pour about 3 cups of batter into a second container.
FOUR: Add 3 tsp. dispersed Fizzy Lemonade Colorant to the newly poured 3-cup container. Mix in the colorant with a wire whisk.
FIVE: Add half of the fragrance oil blend, and use a whisk to fully incorporate.
SIX: Carefully pour yellow soap into the mold. Tap down firmly to release any bubbles and evenly disperse soap.
SEVEN: To create the mica vein, use a powder duster to sprinkle a thin layer of Luster Black Mica over the freshly poured yellow soap. To help the mica vein to disperse evenly, spritz lightly with isopropyl alcohol. Just a few sprays will do the trick!
SEVEN: In the second container, add 2 tbs. dispersed Titanium Dioxide and the remaining fragrance blend. Use a whisk to fully incorporate.
EIGHT: Add 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds, and use a whisk to fully mix in.
NINE: Gently and slowly, pour the white soap into the mold. In order to avoid the white soap from breaking through into the yellow layer, you may choose to pour the soap over a spatula into the mold. We found the yellow layer was firm enough at this point that this was not necessary.
TEN: Using a spatula, gently swirl the top of the soap to create a wave pattern. Allow the soap to sit in the mold for 3-4 days before unmolding. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy.

To see this tutorial in action, check out the video below!

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Tile Inlay Cold Process Tutorialhttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/tile-inlay-cold-process/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/tile-inlay-cold-process/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:04:45 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=39077 The architecture in Rome is stunning (don’t believe me? Google Image Search Rome + Architecture). Within the various building techniques and styles, the mosaic is among the most popular and […]

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The architecture in Rome is stunning (don’t believe me? Google Image Search Rome + Architecture). Within the various building techniques and styles, the mosaic is among the most popular and recognizable. Created by placing small, multi-colored pieces of stone within cement, mosaics can be found in many Roman buildings.

Inspired by these intricate mosaics, this Tile Inlay Cold Process project is sure to wow. With a cold process base and pieces of melt and pour to create the design, this soap brings together both soaping techniques. Scented with  Neroli & Shea Blossom and using Lemon Peel Powder for texture, this project brings a bit of Roman architecture to your home!


What You’ll Need:

3.8 oz. Castor Oil

22.8 oz. Coconut Oil

22.8 oz. Olive Oil

19 oz. Palm Oil

7.6 oz. Rice Bran Oil

10.8 oz. Sodium Hydroxide

25 oz. distilled water

5 oz. Neroli & Shea Fragrance Oil

Lemon Peel Powder

Titanium Dioxide

LCP Clear Melt & Pour Base

Liquid Red

Liquid Blue

Liquid Violet

Liquid Orange

Silicon Tray Mold

18 Bar Birchwood Mold with Liner

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

To make the melt & pour tiles

ONE: Cut 24 oz. of LCP Clear Melt and Pour. Split it into 4 heat-safe containers with about 6 oz. in each. Note: Why LCP soap? Like Cold Process melt and pour soap is short on liquid glycerin (this is why the clarity in the LCP clear isn’t quite as awesome as the traditional house clear base) which means it is less prone to sweating when exposed to moisture. Anything you can do to prevent your melt and pour soap from getting glycerin dew is worthwhile.

TWO: Melt each container individually on 10 second bursts. Be careful! You do not want to scorch the tiny amount of melt and pour in each. Then, add .3 oz. of Neroli and Shea Blossom Fragrance Oil to each and stir.

THREE: Add one color per container in the following rates:

  • 1/8 tsp. Liquid Orange
  • 1/4 tso. Liquid Red
  • 1/2 tsp. Liquid Violet
  • 1/4 tsp. Liquid Blue

Stir to fully incorporate color.

FOUR: Pour a thin layer of colored soap into the Silicone Tray Mold. You can either pour one color, wait 30 minutes for it to dry, unmold it, and then pour another color or pour one color into four separate trays. Spray the top of the soap with 99% alcohol to disperse bubbles.

FIVE: Allow the soap to dry for at least 30 minutes. Once it’s fully dry, unmold it and cut each color into small, square & rectangular chunks. The size you cut is up to you, but our pieces varied between 1 to 1.5 centimeters in length.

SIX: Now comes the important part! This will be the most time-consuming part of the whole process. We cut a large sheet of paper to be the exact size of the 18 Bar Birchwood Mold, and used it as the pattern to lay out our design. That way, we knew exactly what the design would be and how to lay the pieces to save time. We started with an outside layer of blue, followed by orange, and then a cluster of red in the middle. From there, we encircled the red with purple and orange squares. Then, lined the left and right inside edges with purple before forming half circles of blue with another half circle of red inside. Cut orange triangles to fit inside the half circles, and fill in the empty space with purple squares.

To make the cold process base:

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: To ensure that the Titanium Dioxide blends smoothly into the soap batter, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. To micronize colorant, simply use a coffee grinder to blend the colorant to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable, stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning. Once micronized, disperse 1 tsp. Titanium Dioxide into 1 tablespoon of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil (or any other liquid oil). Then, disperse 2 teaspoons of lemon peel powder into 2 tablespoons liquid oil.  Use a mini mixer to get the clumps of color worked out smoothly.

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: Melt and combine the Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Rice Bran Oil and Palm Oil (be sure to melt the entire container of palm oil). 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 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. For this recipe, you’d add about 4 tsp. Sodium Lactate.

THREE: Add 2 tsp. dispersed Titanium Dioxide plus 4 tsp. dispersed Lemon Peel powder. Mix in with a whisk.

FOUR: After the colorant has been fully incorporated, mix in the Neroli & Shea Fragrance Oil. Stir with a wire whisk.

FIVE: Once the color and fragrance have been fully incorporated, pour into the mold.

SIX: Now for the tricky part! Here is where you’ll start transferring your design from the pattern you made earlier onto the actual soap. We started from the outside and worked inward. This process can get messy, so be sure to wear gloves. Don’t worry if your melt and pour chunks get cold process on them — you can wipe it off when the soap is dry. You’ll have about a half an hour to transfer your design.

SEVEN: Once you are happy with your design, ensure  all melt and pour pieces are deep enough in the cold process to ensure they do not fall off when the soap is cut into. Allow the soap to stay in the mold for 3-4 days before unmolding. After unmolding, carefully cut into the bars and allow to fully cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!

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Coconut Cream Pie Cold Processhttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/coconut-cream-pie-cold-process/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/coconut-cream-pie-cold-process/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:41:28 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=39339 If you’ve been dreaming of an exotic vacation, this is the soap for you. This Coconut Cream Cold Process tutorial is all the fun of a tropical beach getaway without […]

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If you’ve been dreaming of an exotic vacation, this is the soap for you. This Coconut Cream Cold Process tutorial is all the fun of a tropical beach getaway without the sand in your shoes!

Made with 100% coconut water instead of distilled water, and featuring our brand new Coconut Cream Fragrance Oil, it’s a unique soap that smells as good as it looks. The top is finished off with melt & pour soap frosting and cold process “coconut flakes” to make this a truly decadent dessert soap.

Speaking of sunshine, this week we’ve been showing you all kinds of tutorials to give your skin that radiant glow perfect for a summer get away. Check out the Beautiful Bronze Lip Tint, Bronze Goddess Nail Polish and Magical Bronze Shimmer Stick. As a bonus, a few of the ingredients in the tutorials are 20% off as part of this month’s web specials

What You’ll Need:

9.9 oz. Coconut Oil

9.9 oz. Olive Oil

9.9 oz. Palm Oil

3.3 oz. Shea Butter

4.7 oz. Sodium Hydroxide

10.9 oz. 100% pure coconut water (choose a brand with no additional sugars or flavors)

Titanium Dioxide

Brown Oxide

Foaming Bath Whip

4 oz. White Melt and Pour Base

2 oz. Coconut Cream Fragrance Oil

Vanilla Color Stabilizer

2 oz. Chipotle Caramel Fragrance Oil

10″ Silicone Loaf Mold

1M Frosting Tip

Frosting Bag

Droppers

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

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: To ensure that the Titanium Dioxide blends smoothly into the soap batter, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. To micronize colorant, simply use a coffee grinder to blend the colorant to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. I like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable, stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning. Then, disperse 2 teaspoons of micronized Titanium Dioxide into 2 tablespoon of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil (or any other liquid oil). Finally, 1 teaspoon of Brown Oxide into 1 tablespoon of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil. Use a mini mixer to get the clumps of color worked out smoothly.

TOPPING PREP: To achieve the look of toasted coconut flakes on top, grate two different leftover bars of brown & tan cold process soap with a cheese grater. This step is optional and completely up to you, but the shavings do add a nice pop!

ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the coconut water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved. Set aside to cool. Be aware: the lye will do some strange things! Check out this awesome progression of color as we added the lye to the liquid. You are watching the lye react with the sugars in the coconut water right before your eyes!

TWO: Fully melt and combine the Olive, Coconut, Palm and Shea Butter. 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. For a harder bar of soap that releases faster from the mold, add Sodium Lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of Sodium Lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, add about 2 tsp. Sodium Lactate.

THREE: Once the batter has reached a light trace, add all of the Titanium Dioxide mixture. Stir with a whisk.

FOUR: Split off two cups of batter into a separate container. Set aside.

FIVE: To the original batter, add all of the Brown Oxide mixture. Stir with a whisk.

FIVE: The Coconut Cream Fragrance Oil will discolor soap to a light tan, so  only add it to the dark brown soap to retain contrasting colors. Add 2 ounces (by weight) of Coconut Cream Fragrance Oil. Stir with a whisk to incorporate.

SIX: Now for the in-the-pot-swirl! Pour the white soap into the brown soap in four places: 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock. Pour steadily from a high point to get the color all the way to the bottom of the container.

SEVEN: Run a chopstick or dowel just once through the soap, hitting each entry point. Only swirl once because you don’t want to overmix!

EIGHT: Hold and pour the soap steadily into the mold. Do not move the bowl as you pour. Tamp the mold on the table several times to disperse air bubbles. If you’d like, you can do a fun design on top, but be aware it will soon be covered by soapy frosting! 

NINE: Now make the soapy frosting. Cut and melt 4 oz. of White Melt and Pour base in the microwave on 10 second bursts. Once melted, add 3 mL of Chipotle Caramel Fragrance Oil and 3 mL Vanilla Color Stabilizer. Stir to incorporate.

TEN: Add the White Melt and Pour to 16 ounces of Foaming Bath Whip. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer,  whip the mixture until it can form stiff peaks (usually about 3 – 6 minutes of mixing).

This is a good texture for the frosting. Notice that it’s stiff enough to hold its shape.

ELEVEN: Cut about an inch off the Disposable Frosting Bag and insert the 1M Frosting tip. Then, fill the bag with frosting. 

TWELVE: Frost the top of the loaf. Make short fluffy rows down the length of the mold. Garnish with your “coconut flake” soap shreds. Don’t be afraid to push them into the frosting to secure them.

Allow the soap to sit in the mold for 3-4 days before unmolding. Keep in mind, the melt and pour frosting will not get as hard as cold process frosting. It won’t be sticky or tacky, but you will be able to push and dent the frosting so handle with care! After unmolding, cut into bars and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!

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Cotton Candy Cold Process Soaphttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/cotton-candy-cold-process-soap/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/cotton-candy-cold-process-soap/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 01:16:19 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=39286 This is a fun technique that gives you a surprise whichever way you cut your soap. Using squirt bottles I create a cross-hatch pattern in tones of pink and teal. […]

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This is a fun technique that gives you a surprise whichever way you cut your soap. Using squirt bottles I create a cross-hatch pattern in tones of pink and teal. Although this technique is easy it does take some time and careful attention to your trace. To make a successful Cotton Candy soap be patient and keep your trace very, very light.

To make this soap you will need:

Click here to get everything you need 

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4th of July Fireworks Cold Processhttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/4th-july-fireworks-cold-process/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/4th-july-fireworks-cold-process/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 23:41:15 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=38889 With little ones running around, I like to keep our 4th of July fireworks display kid-friendly — lots of Pop-Its and maybe a heavily supervised sparkler. To imitate the big […]

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With little ones running around, I like to keep our 4th of July fireworks display kid-friendly — lots of Pop-Its and maybe a heavily supervised sparkler. To imitate the big booms without actually having to set one off, I created this fun firework-inspired soap. This soap features droplets of gold mica painting and lots of swirly red, white and blue soap to imitate even the most dazzling of fireworks displays. If you make it now, it will be nearly cured just in time the the fourth!

What You’ll Need:

33 oz. Lots of Lather Quick Mix *

4.8 oz. Sodium Hydroxide

10.9 oz. distilled water

Merlot Mica

Electric Bubblegum

Gold Sparkle Mica

Titanium Dioxide

Ultramarine Blue

1 oz. Grass Stain Fragrance Oil

1 oz. Red Apple Fragrance Oil

9 Bar Birchwood Mold with Liner

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

*If you don’t want to use a Quick Mix, do a long-lasting recipe that has at least 60% liquids or soft butters in it and doesn’t contain over 40% solids.

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: To ensure that the Titanium Dioxide blends smoothly into the soap batter, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. To micronize colorant, simply use a coffee grinder to blend the colorant to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable, stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning. Then, 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 the clumps of color worked out smoothly.

FRAGRANCE BLEND: In a glass container, combine 1 oz. of Red Apple and 1 oz. of Grass Stain Fragrance Oils. Set aside.

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: Fully melt the Lots of Lather Quick Mix and pour into a large bowl that holds at least 48 oz. 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 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. For this recipe, you’d add about 2 tsp. Sodium Lactate.

TWO: Once you’ve reached a thin trace, split the batter equally three ways. Eyeballing is okay!

THREE: Add one color to each container in the following rates:

  • 3 tsp. dispersed Ultramarine Blue.
  • 3 tsp. dispersed Titanium Dioxide.
  • 1 tsp. dispersed Merlot Mica + 2 tsp. dispersed Electric Bubblegum

Mix in with a wire whisk.

FOUR: Split the fragrance oil blend equally between the three containers. Mix with a wire whisk.

FIVE: Pour the blue soap into the mold. Leave about 3 oz. (100 mL) in the container for the top design. Tamp the mold on the table several times to disperse bubbles.

SIX: Now pour the red soap. You may want to pour over a spatula to make nice straight layers. Keep about 3 oz. (100 mL) for the top design.

SEVEN: Pour the white soap. You may want to pour over a spatula to make nice straight layers. Keep about 3 oz. (100 mL) for the top design.

EIGHT: Smooth the white soap over the red soap as best you can to give yourself a flat surface to pour the drops of color. We started with large dollops of blue.

NINE: After you lay down the blue, pour the white and red soap. Using a dropper, drop small amounts of dispersed Gold Sparkle Mica around the circles of color.

TEN: Insert a chopstick or dowel about 1/4 inch inch the soap. Start in the middle of your drops of color and make a circular swirl pattern outward. Don’t be afraid to swirl into another circle or swirl into the drops of gold. This is where you can really get creative!

Allow the soap to sit in the mold for 3-4 days before unmolding. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy. Happy 4th of July!

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Guest Post: Testing Natural Colorants in Cold Processhttp://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/guest-post-testing-natural-colorants-cold-process/ http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/guest-post-testing-natural-colorants-cold-process/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 20:50:18 +0000 http://www.soapqueen.com/?p=38444 We’re taking today off from our normally scheduled cold process tutorial to show you this fantastically thorough recap of a session at the 2014 Soap Guild. Our guest blogger Jean […]

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We’re taking today off from our normally scheduled cold process tutorial to show you this fantastically thorough recap of a session at the 2014 Soap Guild. Our guest blogger Jean Horn attended Ruth Esteves’ session on natural colorant testing in cold process. Natural colorants are a beautiful option for cold process soaping, but it’s important to know how they behave and which ones will stand the test of time. Read Jean’s excellent recap of the session, and then give natural colorants a try. — A.M.

Ruth was fighting a cold the day she presented, but she was happy to let me snap a picture of her anyway. She did an excellent job on her presentation, and she is co-owner of The Nova Studio in California.

Have you ever thought about moving toward using mostly natural colorants? Is this something your customers are asking for? If so, the information presented in this session will be extremely helpful to you.

Which natural additives will withstand the rigors of cold process? What is a natural colorant? Ruth’s presentation on testing natural colorants contained some great information addressing both of these issues.

Some natural ingredients that can add color to CP soap include plants, spices, Herbs and Botanicals, Clays, vegetables, and fruits. This Brazilian Clay Sampler from Bramble Berry is an example of the beautiful colors that clays lend to Cold Process Soap.  Wow. Aren’t those soaps gorgeous?

Just because a natural ingredient adds color doesn’t mean that it is an FDA approved colorant for soaps and cosmetics. So use them with the caveat that they only are called a colorant on your label if they are approved as such by the FDA. The FDA website offers a wealth of information on the subject. Here’s a jumping off point that shows approved FDA colorants for cosmetics. It’s not limited to natural colorants, though. It also includes synthetics.

That leads to a question. Just what is synthetic vs. natural? Ruth described ‘natural’ as being from the ground and minimally processed. She stressed that there is no concrete definition of ‘natural’. See this post on the Soap Queen Blog about Natural vs. Organic for much more in-depth information on the ambiguity of the term natural in soap and cosmetics.

Some colorants that may have natural components but that are manufactured include micas, oxides, ultramarines, and lakes. FDA colorants are also manufactured. I am personally addicted to colors of all kinds. I love to use natural colorants, but I also love the variety of skin safe manufactured colors that are available. When I choose the colorant for a product, I keep the type of product and the consumer in mind and make my choice accordingly.

This beautiful geode was (and still is – I didn’t make off with it) on display in the hotel. Does anyone else see a soap colored with a natural colorant in the making here?

On to the meat of the session. There are so many natural colorants that we can use to add beautiful color to our soaps. Experimentation is a must so that you know how that colorant will act with your recipe and with your essential oil or fragrance if you choose to scent your soap. The soapmaking process can be very damaging to natural additives, especially plants. The importance of testing is front and center in this Soap Queen blog post.

In her presentation, Ruth laid out a testing procedure for us to teach us how to do our own tests on natural additives as colorants. By using her procedure, we can design colors in our soap that will come out consistently time after time.

Ruth’s method includes testing a small batch of soap before incorporating a new natural additive in a large batch of soap. This allows for troubleshooting without a major investment of materials and cost.

Here’s an abridged version of Ruth’s testing method. The main elements are:

1. A plan

2. The Right Tools

3. Recordkeeping

The Plan:

  1. Choose a recipe for testing purposes. Use one that is as white as possible so you get an accurate representation of the color (try a recipe with canola oil instead of olive oil to prevent that green-ish tinge!).
  2. Test a small batch. Ruth likes to use a one pound batch because it’s small and also makes it easier to calculate amounts needed for larger batches (the 4″ Silicone Loaf Mold is perfect for testing).
  3. Additives may be incorporated in various ways, such as directly into the lye, into the soap at trace, or as an oil infusion.
  4. To gel or not to gel? Ruth recommends testing both ways side by side. The gel phase will often produce a more vibrant hue.

The Right Tools:

  1. Small molds. These don’t have to break the bank. They can be boxes, single bar molds, paper cups, or other non-metal containers. Keep in mind that the containers must be able to withstand the heat of saponification.
  2. Small container in which to mix the soap. Bramble Berry’s Easy Pour Mixing and Measuring Container would be perfect for a one-pound batch. Ruth also suggest the quart-sized round Ziplock containers with the screw on lids

3. Heat Seal Teabags can come in handy when you want to infuse botanicals into the oil.

Record Keeping:

  1. Keep track of what you do.
  2. Refer to the results and use them.
  3. Keeping accurate records allow you to replicate the result. Or not, in the case of a test gone awry.

Ruth provided a testing sheet as a jumping off point. You can fine tune the sheet to include your own recipe and other notes you may find helpful.

Here is Ruth’s 10 Step Testing Procedure. This procedure is applicable for many things, in addition to the natural colorants:

  1. Decide what ingredient you want to test.
  2. Print your testing sheet and fill it out.
  3. Prepare your soap, making lots of notes on additives, amounts and procedures.
  4. Pour soap into molds. Set molds aside.
  5. Unmold the soaps. Cut if necessary.
  6. Assign a batch/control number to each bar. Note this on your testing sheet.
  7. Etch the batch/control number into each test bar.
  8. Take photos.
  9. Let the soap cure.
  10. Take photos, observe results, and note observations.

You can learn more from Ruth’s e-book, Coloring Soap Naturally. She describes the testing process in more detail, and she also shares her test results of 34 natural colorants.

There is a wealth of natural colorant information at Bramble Berry and on the Soap Queen Blog. Here are just a few examples:

Sunday Night Spotlight – Natural Colorants – this one has tons of info and links.

Tutorial: Naturally Colored Eye Candy

Tutorial: Natural Colorant Taiwan Swirl Tutorial

Infusing Herbs, Spices, Teas and Clays

Natural Colorants Online Video

Here’s a really great tutorial for creating an All Natural Rose Clay and Pink Salt Bar on the Otion Blog.

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