The spin swirl technique refers to pouring layers of soap into the mold, then spinning the soap to create a unique design. The key to the spin swirl is a slow-moving recipe and fragrance oil that does not accelerate trace. This Clover and Aloe Spin Swirl Soap is made with the new Clover and Aloe Fragrance Oil, which behaves wonderfully in cold process. I also like to use a lazy Susan for this project – it really helps with spinning motion!
If you’re a beginner soaper, I would recommend getting a few recipes under your belt before attempting this project. The soap batter must stay fluid for a long period of time, so a good understanding of trace is essential. If you’re looking for more spin swirl tutorials, check out the Psychedelic Spin Swirl Cold Process Soap and the Pantone Spin Swirl Cold Process Soap for more inspiration.
What You Need:
9 Bar Birchwood Mold + Dividers
Silicone Liner for 9 Bar Mold
16 oz. Canola Oil (40%)
0.8 oz. Castor Oil (2%)
8 oz. Coconut Oil (20%)
8 oz. Palm Oil (20%)
4 oz. Rice Bran Oil (10%)
3.2 oz. Sweet Almond Oil (8%)
5.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
13.2 oz. Distilled Water
2.5 oz. Clover and Aloe Fragrance Oil
Kermit Green Mica
Optional: Sodium Lactate
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- 9 Bar Birchwood Mold + Dividers
- Silicone Liner for 9 Bar Mold
- 16 oz. Canola Oil (40%)
- 0.8 oz. Castor Oil (2%)
- 8 oz. Coconut Oil (20%)
- 8 oz. Palm Oil (20%)
- 4 oz. Rice Bran Oil (10%)
- 3.2 oz. Sweet Almond Oil (8%)
- 5.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
- 13.2 oz. Distilled Water
- 2.5 oz. Clover and Aloe Fragrance Oil
- Titanium Dioxide
- Kermit Green Mica
- Evergreen Mica
- Black Oxide
- Optional: Sodium Lactate
- Slowly and carefully add the 5.5 ounces of lye to 13.2 ounces of water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool. 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 2.5 teaspoons.
- Melt and combine the 16 ounces of canola oil, 0.8 ounces of castor oil, 8 ounces of coconut oil, 8 ounces palm oil, 4 ounces of rice bran oil, 3.2 ounces of sweet almond oil and 8 ounces of palm oil (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 a very thin trace.
- Be careful to not over emulsify the batter. The soap batter should be very thin. You can always stick blend more later. Split the batch into four containers. Each container will hold about 400 mL.
- To one container, add 1 tablespoon dispersed titanium dioxide. To another add 2 tablespoons of dispersed Kermit Green Mica and ½ teaspoon titanium dioxide. To the third container, add 2 teaspoons of Evergreen Mica. To the final container, add 1 teaspoon of dispersed black oxide. Use a whisk to mix in the colorants.
- Add the Clover and Aloe Fragrance Oil to each container evenly - it's okay to eyeball it.
- Now it’s time to pour. We like to place the mold on a Lazy Susan to help spin the soap. The order in which you pour the colors into the mold is up to you. We like to pour two contrasting colors into opposite corners of the mold at the same time. Continue to pour varying colors into the corners of the mold.
- Count to three during each pour to help pour an even amount. Pour color in the opposite corner of the mold, counting to three to help pour evenly. Start pouring various colors into both corners of the mold. As you layer the colors, the soap is pushed toward the center of the mold. Work as quickly as possible during this process, as the soap will continue to thicken up with time. Every now and then, give the colors a whisk to help keep them fluid. Jiggle the mold to loosen up the soap if it begins to mound up.
- Once all the colors have been poured into the mold spin the Lazy Susan, stopping it quickly to help give the soap movement. You want the centrifugal force created by the spin and stop movement to move the soap in various directions within the mold. Be careful not to spin too hard, or the soap may spill out of the mold.
- Continue swirling until you’re happy with the pattern. Be careful to not over-swirl the soap, or the colors will muddle together.
- Once you’re happy with the swirl, place the divider set into the mold until it reaches the bottom. Spray the top of the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to help avoid soda ash.
- Let the soap stay in the mold for about 4-5 days.
- Remove the silicone liner from the wood mold. Pull the silicone liner away from the soap to release the airlock. Push the entire slab of soap out. If it's still quite soft, allow it to sit upside down for 1-2 days to harden.
- Gently remove the soap from the dividers. To prevent tearing, do not pull the dividers. Push the soap down, or slide the dividers up or down to remove the soap without tearing. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks, and enjoy!