Bramble Swirl Soap Projecthttps://www.brambleberry.com/in-the-studio/projects/cold-process/bramble-swirl-soap-project/PS000201.html
This soap is scented with Bramble Berry Fragrance Oil, which is a delicious blend of berries, white florals, and a touch of amber and musk. The swirl incorporates our favorite colors - pink and purple!
This is an advanced soap project. It requires a good understanding of trace, because you need plenty of time to pour all the colors into the mold and swirl. Be ready to work quickly. To help, we recommend adding the dispersed colorants into each container before emulsifying the soap. Adding the fragrance to each individual container right before pouring also helps keep the soap fluid longer.
If the soap starts to thicken as you pour, don't panic. Keep whisks nearby to stir each container throughout the pouring process. This helps keep the soap fluid and pourable. Toward the end when the soap is at its thickest, you can drizzle with a spoon if pouring gets tricky.
Once all the soap has been poured into the mold and you're happy with the swirl, insert the dividers. They create 18 perfectly-shaped bars of soap. We recommend promoting gel phase by covering the mold and placing it on a heating pad for 1-2 hours. A thorough gel phase will help the soap release easily from the dividers. Give the batch a full 3 days before unmolding to ensure the bars don't stick.
- Skill Level: Advanced
- Time to Complete: 2 hours
- Kit Yields: 18 bars of soap
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Berry Swirl Soap Project
We created this soap to celebrate our 20th anniversary! It's scented with Bramble Berry Fragrance Oil.
18 Bar Birchwood Mold
Silicone Liner for 18 Bar Mold
5.3 oz. Avocado Oil (7%)
15 oz. Olive Oil (20%)
2.3 oz. Castor Oil (3%)
18.8 oz. Palm Oil (25%)
18.8 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
15 oz. Rice Bran Oil (20%)
10.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
23.5 oz. Distilled Water
3.5 tsp. Sodium Lactate
3.5 oz. Bramble Berry Fragrance Oil
Queen’s Purple Mica
Merlot Sparkle Mica
Rose Pearl Mica
FRAGRANCE PREP: Measure 3.5 ounces of Bramble Berry Fragrance Oil into a small glass container and set aside.
COLORANT PREP: Disperse 3 teaspoons of titanium dioxide into 3 tablespoons of sunflower or sweet almond oil (or any other liquid oil). Disperse 2 teaspoons of Queen’s Purple Mica into 2 tablespoons of oil. In separate containers, disperse 1 teaspoon of charcoal, Merlot Sparkle Mica, and Rose Pearl Mica into 1 tablespoon of lightweight liquid oil. Use a mini mixer to get rid of any clumps. Optional: To ensure the titanium dioxide blends smoothly into the soap, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. Use a coffee grinder 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.
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices. That means goggles, gloves, and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, other distractions, and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your space. Always make soap in a well-ventilated area.
Slowly and carefully add 10.5 ounces of lye to 23.5 ounces of water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool. Add 3.5 teaspoons of sodium lactate and stir throughly.
While the lye cools, set out 6 containers. Add the following amounts of dispersed colorants.
Melt and combine 5.3 ounces of avocado oil, 15 ounces of olive oil, 2.3 ounces of castor oil, 18.8 ounces of coconut oil, 15 ounces rice brain oil, and 18.8 ounces of palm oil (remember to fully melt then mix your entire container of palm oil before portioning). Once the lye water and oils have cooled to 130° F or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and whisk together to combine. Use the stick blender to pulse the soap a few times - do not bring it to a full trace. It will get blended more later.
Be careful to not over-emulsify the soap - it should be very thin. Pour 300 mL into Container A, which contains activated charcoal. Split the remaining soap between the other 5 containers - each will contain about 600 mL. Whisk each container to thoroughly mix in the colorants.
Add the fragrance oil proportionally between the containers (it’s okay to eyeball it). Use a whisk to thoroughly incorporate. The soap should still be very thin. Quickly stick blend it in each container - just a short pulse will do the trick.
Pour some of the first color (it doesn’t really matter which) into the mold in long S-curves lengthwise. Pour some of a different color in the mold, still going lengthwise. Continue pouring alternate colors lengthwise into the mold. Note: As you pour, the soap will continue to thicken. Work quickly. Every now and then, whisk the soap to keep it fluid.
For the first few passes of color, the order doesn’t really matter. Once the mold is about halfway full, take more care to pour thinner lines of soap and differentiate the colors to make a more distinct pattern when you swirl them. Once you get to the top, pour so that each color is showing. Note: If the soap gets too thick to pour, use a spoon to drizzle it in the mold.
Once all the soap is in the mold, tap it firmly on the counter to settle the soap. Insert a chopstick or dowel into the very top of the soap and drag the tool so that it crosses the lines you created. Continue this S-curve pattern down the length of the mold until the entire soap has been swirled. Swirl loops across the entire mold. Continue to swirl until you're happy with the effect.
Insert the dividers into the soap until they reach the bottom of the mold in every section. Note: If you prefer to cut your bars, you can skip this step.
Spritz the top of the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Cover the mold and place on a heating pad for 1-2 hours to promote gel phase. Gel phase helps the colors pop and it helps the bars release from the dividers faster and more easily.
Allow the soap to stay in the mold for at least 3 days. Because this is a soft recipe and the soap was poured at a thin trace, it may take a little longer to unmold.
After 3 days, check to see if the silicone mold pulls away easily. If it does, remove the soap. If it doesn’t, give it another day or 2 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 bars without tearing. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks, and enjoy!
Photographer: Amanda Kerzman