How to Make Raindrop Swirl Soap
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Yield: 10 Bars
- Prep Time / Clean Up: 45 Minutes
- Perform Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
- Total Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
- Cure Time: 4-6 Weeks
- Extra Long Disposable Nitrile Gloves (easily found in dishwashing section at local supermarket)
- Digital Scale
- Digital Thermometer or Infrared Thermometer
- Stick Blender
- Mini Cordless Mixer (optional)
- 2 Quart Glass Mixing Bowl or Microwavable Plastic Bowl
- 2 12 oz Squeeze Bottles (if you have smaller ones, use those and refill)
- 2 x Funnel Pitchers
- 6 Small Containers (for holding lye, sodium lactate, fragrance oil, mica, and 2 titanium dioxide mixtures)
- 4 Spatulas, 3 regular and 1 skinny (to fit in squeeze bottles)
- Measuring Spoons
- 1 Ziploc® Bags (quart freezer bag if possible, but not necessary, use what you have)
- Fine Mesh Strainer (stainless steel)
- Paper Towels
- 10” Silicone Loaf Mold with Dividers
- Skewer or Chopstick
- Heating Pad (optional)
- Timer (optional)
- Cardboard Box That Fits over Mold (optional)
- Towels/Blankets (optional)
- 20 oz Olive Oil (59%) (plus around 1-1/2 oz for mixing colorants)
- 12 oz Coconut Oil (36%)
- 1.7 oz Castor Oil (5%)
- 6.7 oz Cold Distilled Water (20% Water as a percentage of oil weight)
- 4.8 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) (6% Super Fat/Lye discount)
- 2 teaspoons Sodium Lactate (optional) (helps soap to harden and release from mold sooner (1 teaspoon per pound of oils) If not available, dissolve 1/4 teaspoon salt per pound of hard (saturated) oils in distilled water. For this recipe use a scant 1/4 teaspoon.)
- 2 oz. Manuka Lavender Body Wrap Fragrance Oil or any other fragrance oil that doesn’t discolor or accelerate (1 oz. per pound of oils)
- 2 teaspoons Titanium Dioxide
- 3/4 teaspoon Coral Mica
Step 1 – Make Lye Solution
Measure cold distilled water into a funnel pitcher.
Now put on your long sleeves, long pants, shoes, safety goggles, and gloves. Work in a well ventilated area that is free from distractions.
Measure the lye into a bowl and then sprinkle around half of it into the water, stir gently to avoid splashing. Make sure to avoid breathing any fumes. Repeat, and stir until mixture is dissolved; always add lye to water and not the other way around.
Measure sodium lactate and add to lye solution. Set aside in a safe place to cool.
Step 2 – Make Oil Solution
Measure the coconut oil into your large mixing bowl, and melt in 30 second bursts until completely melted.
Next, measure the castor oil into a funnel pitcher. Keep that pitcher on the scale, zero the scale, and then carefully measure the olive oil (or use another container for olive oil if that makes you more comfortable.) Now pour these oils into the container of melted coconut oil. Stir and set aside.
Step 3 – Prepare Colorants and Additives
Measure 3/4 teaspoon Coral Sparkles Mica and 2 teaspoons of olive oil into to a small bowl and mix.
Measure 2 teaspoons of titanium dioxide and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into your Ziploc® bag. (You can also use a tall glass measuring cup or shot glass with the mini mixer, but I prefer the first option for titanium dioxide.) Use fingers to incorporate colorant particles completely. Take your time and make sure no specks remain. Notice in the photo there are still specks remaining. Titanium dioxide can be tricky, but if you don’t want white specks in your soap, it is worth taking your time on this. Use a paper towel to make your hand glide across the surface easier. (This step can be done in advance.)
Measure 2 teaspoons of the titanium dioxide mixture into a small bowl. Next, add the remaining titanium dioxide mixture (around 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon) to another small bowl.
Next, measure the fragrance oil into a glass container. Pouring down a stick of some sort helps to prevent spills. Then, pour the fragrance oil into the oil mixture and stir.
Step 4 – Prepare Mold
Make sure your mold is clean and ready to go.
Step 5 – Make Soap
When the temperatures of the lye solution and the oil solution are within 85°- 95° F, carefully (with safety gear still on) strain the lye solution into the other funnel pitcher. Use paper towels to wipe strainer and empty pitcher. Next, pour the strained lye solution into the oils, pouring down the side of the container to avoid incorporating bubbles.
Before turning it on, insert stick blender at an angle to the bottom and shake it a bit to release any trapped air. Blend in short bursts until emulsified (when the oils no longer separate from the lye water). You still want the batter to be thin at this point.
Step 6 – Split Batter and Add Color
Now pour around 12 oz. the of batter into each of the funnel pitchers. Add the coral mica mixture to one funnel pitcher and the larger amount of the titanium dioxide mixture to the other funnel pitcher. Next, add the remaining titanium dioxide mixture to the large mixing bowl. Stir with a spatula to incorporate each color completely.
Step 7 – Pour the Batter
If you are using a heating pad, now would be a good time to set the temperature to medium to preheat.
At this point you want your batter to be at light trace which is the consistency of a runny milkshake. If it is too thin and watery, either wait a bit for it to thicken or give it a pulse or two with the stick blender, being careful not to incorporate air bubbles. Next, pour the funnel pitcher’s contents into each of the squeeze bottles.
Quick Tip: If your batter has progressed to medium/thick trace, don’t worry; you just need to work quickly. In the past I have used fragrance oils that are known to accelerate with this technique and the batter progressed to thick trace. I still put it into the squeeze bottles and it came out fine; the raindrops were just bigger. Thick batter seems to introduce more air bubbles though, so make sure and tap your mold on your work surface really well once all the batter is poured.
Pour all the batter from the mixing bowl into the mold.
Next, squirt some coral batter into the mold, making sure to break the surface of the previously poured batter. Then, repeat several times, alternating colors.
Using your skinny spatula, add as much of the batter as possible from the squeeze bottles to the top of the poured batter. Tap your mold on your work surface several times to release any trapped air bubbles.
Step 8 – Swirl the Soap
Using a skewer, barely insert the tip and swirl in a diagonal pattern. Next, repeat a diagonal pattern in the opposite direction. Then, swirl in a random pattern as desired.
Step 9 – Put Through Gel *
Next, set your mold on top of the heating pad. Then, cover with a box with not much headspace. Next, insulate with blankets/towels. Set your timer for 20 minutes. When the timer rings, slide your hand up under the box and feel the air. If the air is warm, turn off the heating pad. If it’s not warm, keep repeating in 20 minute increments until the air in the box feels warm, then turn off the heating pad. At this point, make sure the mold is snug and keep it covered for at least 48 hours. (The sooner the soap is exposed to air, the more likely it is to develop soda ash.) Ambient temperature matters as well. If your home is warm you probably won’t need the heating pad.
*You don’t have to put your soap through gel; you will get soap no matter if it goes through gel or not. This soap is made with a water discount to prevent glycerin rivers. With less water, soap goes through gel phase faster, often causing partial gel. That’s why it often needs to be forced through gel. Other benefits of putting soap through gel is that it releases from the mold easier, it is harder, cures faster & lasts longer, the colors are often more brilliant, and it avoids partial gel.
Step 10 – Unmold and Cut Soap
If the soap releases from the mold easily without sticking to the sides, it’s ready to unmold. If not, let it sit until it’s ready. (It doesn’t pay to rush unmolding.)
Mark your soap top and cut it into 10 pieces.
You can wait a day and bevel the edges with a vegetable peeler if desired. Finally, allow them to cure for 4-6 weeks and Enjoy!
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