This soap ended up being a happy accident. We were originally going for a marbled scarf look (very similar to this pattern) but ended up with something quite different though equally as beautiful. We combined several dispersed micas to achieve soft pastel colors, and fragranced this soap with a blend featuring our brand new Palmerosa Essential Oil, giving it a gentle floral scent. The pouring pattern leads to an exquisite and interesting inside pattern during the cutting process. Here’s to happy accidents!
What You’ll Need:
3.7 oz. Avocado Oil
11.1 oz. Canola Oil
1.8 oz. Chia Oil
5.5 oz. Coconut Oil
9.2 oz. Rice Bran Oil
5.5 oz. Shea Butter
4.8 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
12.2 oz. distilled water
(Apricot Blush has been discontinued. This kit now contains Peach Shimmer Mica. When the recipe calls for Apricot Blush, substitute with Peach Shimmer.)
Comb Swirl Tool
Fragrance Blend: 1.8 oz. Litsea Essential Oil, .5 oz. Egyptian Geranium Essential Oil, .5 oz. Palmerosa Essential Oil
Click here to add everything you need for this project to your Bramble Berry shopping cart! If you’re using a Quick Mix and are wondering which one to use, choose the Swirl Quick Mix.
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 pigment except Titanium Dixoide into 1 tablespoon of liquid oil (we like Sweet Almond or Sunflower). Disperse 2 teaspoons of Titanium Dioxide in 2 tablespoons of liquid oil. 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 Litsea, Egyptian Geranium and Palmerosa Essential Oils. Give the mixture a good stir, and then set it aside.
TOOL MODIFICATION: This tutorial uses the Comb Swirl Tool, which will come fitted and ready to use with our 18-bar Birchwood Mold. To size it for the 9-bar Birchwood Mold, unscrew the wingnuts, pull the tool apart, and remove all but 12 nails. This will fit the 9-Bar mold perfectly!
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 that lasts longer in the shower, you can add Sodium Lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of Sodium Lactate per pound of oils in the recipe.
TWO: Melt and combine the Avocado, Canola, Castor, Coconut, Chia, Rice Bran and Shea Butter oils 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: Split the batter evenly into 5 containers (each container should hold about 10 oz.). Then, add one color per container in the following measurements:
- 1/4 teaspoon dispersed Brown Oxide + 1 teaspoon dispersed Titanium Dioxide
- 1 teaspoon dispersed Aqua Pearl + 1 teaspoon dispersed Titanium Dioxide
- 1 teaspoon dispersed Ultramarine Pink
- 1 teaspoon dispersed Apricot Blush + 1/2 teaspoon dispersed Tangerine Wow
- 2 teaspoons dispersed Titanium Dioxide
FOUR: After the colorant has been fully incorporated, split the essential oil blend between the five containers and stir in with a wire whisk or spoon.
FIVE: Pour off about 2 oz. of each color into a condiment bottle. Set the bottles aside for now.
SIX: Now take the five containers and pour each color, one by one, directly into the center of the mold. Pour off just a small bit of color (counting “one-one thousand, two-one thousand” worked for us!). Pour the colors in the same spot in the same order until you’ve emptied the containers.
SEVEN: Now get your condiment bottles ready. Make half-dollar sized circles randomly around the mold until you’ve emptied the condiment bottles.
EIGHT: Use the the modified Comb Tool to make one make stroke vertically. Lift the tool straight up and out.
NINE: Rotate the mold and make a second stroke horizontally. Because the tool won’t have enough nails to do it all in one stroke, do one half of the mold first and then the second half.
TEN: Make a final vertical stroke, but make sure you do it from the opposite end you did the first. We originally dragged the tool from the top down, so for the last swipe we went from the bottom up.
Spray the entire top with 91 or 99% Isopropyl Alcohol to reduce soda ash. Cover and insulate for 24 hours and unmold after 3-4 days, and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!
This recipe seems to make an extremely soft bar of soap. Any tips about keeping it moisturizing, while adding some hardness?
This is a softer bar of soap in general because it does not include Palm Oil, but it still set up really nicely! If you prefer a harder bar if soap, you could use sodium lactate in your lye water at a rate 1 tsp per pound of oils. Sodium lactate is a liquid salt that will lead to a harder bar of soap 🙂
Sodium Lactate: https://www.brambleberry.com/Sodium-Lactate-P5127.aspx
I hope this helps!
When you get to using the swirl tool are you going through all the layers? Thank you.
When you use the Comb Swirl Tool, it does not go through all the layers, but instead swirls the top of the soap. It makes creating beautiful patterns on your soap incredibly easy!
Comb Swirl Tool: https://www.brambleberry.com/Comb-Swirl-Tool-P5771.aspx
-Amanda with Bramble Berry
is there a reason you used these ingredient, rather then say your “lots of lather” recipe? I’m always curious as to the combination of oils and why soapers decide to use particular ingredients in their recipes. I have used chia before. how do you find working with rice bran? can you sub mango butter for the shea butter?
We did not say our “Lots of Lather” recipe because this recipe differs slightly from our quick mix. The Lots of Lather Quick Mix is comprised of Coconut, Palm Oil, Canola Oil, Olive Oil and Castor Oil.
We like using Rice Bran Oil in our soap! It is an effective substitute for Olive or Canola Oil and contributes to a stable bar of soap with small and mild bubbles. It’s effective for treating dry and mature skin and can be used up to 100% of the oil in your cold process recipes. You can substitute mango for shea butter, you will just need to recalculate your recipe with a lye calculator.
You may find this post helpful!
Guide to Common Soapmaking Oils: http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/free-beginners-guide-to-soapmaking-common-soapmaking-oils/
Hope this helps!
-Amanda with Bramble Berry
I love the look of this soap just before the swirl tool was used. It’s like camouflage.
You’re right, it definitely does! You could certainly leave it like that if you preferred that design better 🙂
If you give this soap a try, be sure to share it with us on our Facebook page!
-Amanda with Bramble Berry
When will we add chia oil? Also, what is the characteristics, like lather or moisture, of chia oil? I’m trying to use chia oil in other soap recipe, but I can’t find it in the lye calculator. Thus, i don’t know how much chia oil do I use 🙁
Thanks for the eagle eye, I have updated the instructions to include Chia Oil. You would add the Chia Oil in step two, along with the other oils.
Chia Oil is a very skin nourishing oil, great for those looking to soothe dry, itchy, or inflamed skin.
Chia Oil: https://www.brambleberry.com/Chia-Seed-Oil-P5612.aspx
You’re correct, Chia Seed Oil is not on the Lye Calculator. When a particular oil is not in the lye calculator, what you can do is find another oil with the same SAP value. If you’re unfamiliar with SAP value, it’s basically a term that refers to how a particular oil will react with lye to make soap. Chia Oil and Castor Oil have the same SAP value, so simply place the amount of Chia Oil in the Castor Oil spot instead.
You can learn more about soapmaking oils here: http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/free-beginners-guide-to-soapmaking-common-soapmaking-oils/
I hope this helps Tiffany!
-Amanda with Bramble Berry