Lime Swirl Soap Project
The design in this bar is called a drop swirl. It involves pouring colors into the mold from varying heights. It's a great technique for beginners because no precise movements are necessary. It does require thin trace, so be careful to not over stick blend in the beginning.
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Time to Complete: 1 hour
- Kit Yields: About 3 pounds of soap
10.9 oz distilled water
Green herb of your choice
Lime Swirl Cold Process Soap Project
This cold process soap is made with lime butter and multiple green colorants to create a vibrant swirl.
10" Silicone Loaf Mold
3.5 oz. Lime Butter (10%)
14 oz. Olive Oil (40%)
7 oz. Palm Oil (20%)
8.8 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
1.8 oz. Deodorized Cocoa Butter (5%)
4.9 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
10.9 oz. Distilled Water
1.6 oz. Lush Succulent Fragrance Oil
1 tsp. Titanium Dioxide
1/2 tsp. Green Chrome Oxide
1/2 tsp. Apple Moss Green Mica
1/2 tsp. Kermit Green Mica
Green Herb for Topping
COLORANT PREP: Disperse 1 teaspoon of titanium dioxide into 1 tablespoon of a lightweight liquid oil such as sunflower or sweet almond. In separate containers, blend 1/2 teaspoon of Apple Moss Green Mica, Kermit Green Mica, and Green Chrome Oxide Pigment with 1/2 tablespoon lightweight liquid oil. Use a mini mixer to work out clumps. Set colorants aside.
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.
FRAGRANCE PREP: In a glass container, measure out 1.6 ounces of Lush Succulent Fragrance Oil. Set aside.
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 soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
Note: This project was originally made with Lime Leaves, which were discontinued. A green leafy herb of your choice creates a similar effect but it will look different from the photos below.
Slowly and carefully add 4.9 ounces of lye to 10.9 ounces of distilled water. Gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved. Set it 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 teaspoons sodium lactate.
Melt and combine 3.5 ounces of lime butter, 1.8 ounces of deodrized cocoa butter, 14 ounces of olive oil, 8.8 ounces of coconut oil, and 7 ounces of palm oil (completely melt the entire container of palm oil before portioning) into a large mixing bowl. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130 degrees F or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend the mixture to a thin trace.
Split the batch into 4 containers with the following amounts, add color, and whisk:
Add the measured Lush Succulent Fragrance Oil proportionally to each container of soap - it's okay to eyeball it. Use a whisk to fully mix in the fragrance oil.
If the soap is extremely thin, give each container (from lightest to darkest) a few quick bursts with the stick blender to slightly thicken. The soap batter should be thin enough to pour, but thick enough that the colors don't completely blend together.
Begin by pouring a bit of the white soap into the mold - just enough to cover the bottom. Then begin pouring in the green colors in different places of the mold and at different heights. Between pouring each green color, pour some white soap.
Continue pouring the soap into the mold until the containers are empty.
Allow the soap to thicken to create a textured top. Check after 5 minutes, and continue to check until the soap is thick enough to hold its shape. Use a spoon to create texture - we created a side wave, but you can make whatever design you prefer.
Apply the leaves to the soap - we placed them all on one side. Gently press them into the soap to help them stick. Once you're happy with the top, spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash.
Allow the soap to sit uncovered for 2-3 days. Remove from the silicone mold and cut into bars. Allow them to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!
Photographers: Amanda Kerzman, Kelsey Bray
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