Back to Basics: Layered Lavender Cold Process Tutorial
Recipe type: Cold Process
This Layered Lavender Cold Process Soap used LabColors to give a beautiful ombre effect!
  • 5.1 oz Canola Oil (15%)
  • 8.5 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
  • 10.2 oz. Olive Oil (30%)
  • 10.2 oz. Palm Oil (30%)
  • 4.8 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 11.2 oz. Distilled Water
  • 3 oz. Lavender & Cedar Fragrance Oil
  • Diluted Periwinkle High pH LabColor (small)
FRAGRANCE PREP: In a glass, fragrance safe container, measure 3 oz. Lavender & Cedar Fragrance Oil. Set aside.
COLOR PREP: LabColors are super concentrated liquid dyes. In order to use them in cold process soap and other projects, they first need to be diluted. If you have never diluted Lab Colors before, check out this blog post. For this project, the small Periwinkle High pH LabColor needs to be diluted in 4 oz. distilled water. Don’t forget to add a preservative!
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.
  1. 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.
  2. Combine the coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil and canola 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 you reach a light 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, add about 2 tsp. sodium lactate.
  3. Place your stick blender into the oils. Gently tap the blender on the bottom of the bowl several times to release any bubbles that got trapped by the stick blender head. This is called, “burping the stick blender.”
  4. Once bubbles no longer rise to the surface of the oils, gentle pour the cooled lye water down the shaft of the stick blender and into the oils.
  5. Turn on the stick blender and pulse several times. You will immediately see the lye and oils begin to come together, and begin to create a creamy yellow color. Alternate between using the stick blender to stir the mixture, and pulsing the stick blender. After about 20-30 seconds, test for trace. Below, you can see that when the stick blender is pulled out of the mixture, the drips or trailings of soap do not suspend on the top. This soap is still a very thin trace. Later, this soap will be stick blended further for a thicker texture. But to help mix in the colorant and fragrance easier, stop once you have reached this point.
  6. Pour in the 3 oz. of Lavender & Cedar Fragrance Oil, and use a whisk to thoroughly stir in. Once the mixture is completely mixed into the soap, split the soap into three equal containers (it’s okay to eyeball it!) Each container will hold about 2 cups of soap.
  7. Add the diluted Periwinkle High pH LabColor to each container in the amounts listed below. Use a whisk to mix in the LabColor. You will notice the LabColor will turn the soap a shade of blue/green, and soon morph into a gray color. Don’t worry! Once the soap fully saponifies and goes through gel phase, the grey will transform into purple. Check out this blog post to learn more about LabColors and gel phase.
    Container A (dark purple): 7 mL diluted LabColor
    Container B: (medium purple): 5 mL diluted LabColor
    Container C (light purple) 3 mL diluted LabColor
  8. Check the trace of your soap. In order to make the layers in this project, the soap needs to be a medium to thick trace. If your soap is still fairly liquid, stick blend each container for several seconds to thicken. You want the soap be the texture of the soap to be a thick pudding.
  9. Pour the entire container of the darkest soap into the mold, and tap it down on the counter to eliminate air bubbles. Use a spoon to smooth the texture and make peaks.
  10. Use a spoon to gently place the medium purple (gray) color onto the bottom. Use a spoon to spread the soap throughout the mold and create subtle texture within the layer.
  11. Finally, spoon the lightest color of soap into the mold. Use a spoon to spread the mixture evenly throughout the mold, and to create texture. There is no right or wrong way to create a textured top, just have fun with it!
  12. Once you’re happy with how the top looks, spray the top with 99% isopropyl alcohol to avoid soda ash.
  13. This soap needs to go through gel phase in order to make the colors really pop! Depending on your climate, you may need to help the soap heat up with a heating pad. Turn the heating pad on medium/high, and place the soap on top. Then, cover the soap. To avoid mashing the textured top, we created a cover out of cardboard, shaped like a tent. Place the tented cardboard on top of the mold, and cover with a blanket to insulate. After about 20-30 minutes, turn off the heating pad, but leave the blanket and cardboard on top. Allow to remain under the cardboard and blanket for 24 hours. Allow the soap to remain in the mold for 3-4 days. Remove from mold, cut into bars and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!
Recipe by Soap Queen at