Creating custom oil combinations is one of my favorite aspects of creating cold process soap. Each soapmaking oil contributes something a little bit different to the recipe. For example, palm oil makes a firmer bar of soap, while coconut oil creates a more cleansing bar. It can take a little trial and error to find the perfect recipe for you. After years of soaping, I have developed a few go-to recipes that produce consistent results.
These go-to recipes were the inspiration for Bramble Berry’s Quick Mixes. The Quick Mixes are pre-measured cold process oils that you can heat up, measure and use! They save time because you don’t have to weigh and blend oils, and they work great for both cold and hot process recipes. There are three different varieties of Quick Mixes, each designed to produce a slightly different bar of soap. Read more about each kind of Quick Mix below.
Basic Quick Mix: Produces a fantastic “basic” bar of soap. Produces stable, medium sized bubbles and rinses away cleanly in the shower. This recipe does best at 10% superfat or below.
Botanical Name: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Elaeis guineensis (Palm) Oil, Canola Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Tocepherol (Vitamin E)
Swirl Recipe Quick Mix: Produces soap batter that reaches trace slowly, making it a great option for complicated swirl designs. This recipe makes a bar with a creamy and stable lather. This recipe does best at 7% superfat or below.
Botanical Name: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Elaeis guineensis (Palm) Oil, Brassica Napus (Canola) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sweet almond oil (Prunus amygdalus dulcis), Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Tocepherol (Vitamin E)
Lots of Lather Quick Mix: Produces an extremely hard bar of soap with large, stable bubbles. The bar of soap rinses away cleanly in the shower.
Botanical Name: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Elaeis guineensis (Palm) Oil, Brassica Napus (Canola) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil
Each Quick Mix recipe comes in a heat resistant plastic pouch to make it easy to completely melt down the oils in order to pour and measure. The bags can be melted in the microwave, or placed in a pot of boiling water. Click here to learn how to boil the heat resistant pouches. Because all the recipes contain palm oil, it’s important to melt down the entire container of Quick Mix. Palm oil contains stearic acid, which can sink and solidify if the mixture is too cool. Then, give it a good shake to mix all the oils together. If the entire mixture is not melted and thoroughly combined, you may end up with an incorrect proportion of oils. This could cause the soap to not set up properly or behave quite right.
To easily calculate how much lye and water you need, you can use the Bramble Lye Calculator and enter how many ounces of each mix in the corresponding box, select the superfat you prefer and press “Calculate.” If necessary, resize the batch according to how much soap you need. You can also find a Quick Mix Calculator on each Quick Mix product page, along with lye and water amounts for popular Bramble Berry molds.
If you’d like to further customize a Quick Mix with additional oils or butters, you certainly can! Just keep in mind that by doing so, you may lose some of the properties of the original recipe. Additional oils and butters may result in reduced lather or a shorter shelf life. One option is to select a 0% superfat in the Lye Calculator, and add your extra oils and butters as a superfat. Click here to learn more about superfatting your soap recipe. You can also enter the amount of oils of Quick Mix into the calculator, and then enter additional oils in ounces or percentages. Once you purchase a mix, you will also receive the exact recipe for each mix in your Bramble Berry account so you can tweak it on the Lye Calculator.
Looking for some Quick Mix projects? The Leopard Spots Cold Process Tutorial is made with the Basic Quick Mix to create layers which resemble a leopard print once cut into bars. This mix is also used in the Red Apple Cold Process Soap, and the Waves of the Seas Cold Process Soap. As you can see, this mix is great for a wide variety of techniques.
The Blue Rain Drop Swirl Cold Process tutorial uses the Swirl Quick Mix to give you plenty of time to swirl. This mix is also great for other swirl techniques, like the butterfly swirl! Check out the Monarch Butterfly Swirl Cold Process tutorial to learn more.
If you’re not concerned with creating swirls, the Lots of Lather Quick Mix is a great option. In the Spiced Copper Cold Process Soap Tutorial, the Lots of Lather Quick Mix gives the bars a rich and stable lather. This mix also works great for the design, which requires a slightly thicker trace to create five layers accented by mica lines. The Cherry Blossom Glitter Cold Process is also created using this mix along with leftover soap shavings for a colorful confetti appearance.
Have you used a Quick Mix before? I would love to hear what your thoughts are! If you prefer to create your own recipe, check out the Formulating Cold Process Soap Recipes blog post for tips and tricks.