This soap was inspired by a beautiful spring-like day we had back in February before we got buried in masses and masses of snow. It was 75º outside and we were wearing t-shirts and flip flops. The kids and I spend the whole day outside, it was just gorgeous. I want that again!!! Come on spring you can do it.
Since starting this little blog I’ve had quite a few people email me requesting a coconut oil free soap due to allergies. And since I love coming up with and testing new recipes (seriously, I find running a recipe through SoapCalc and seeing if the numbers match up super exciting) and love a good soapy challenge – here it is. As a little bonus it’s even palm oil free as well.
The technique I’m about to show you is definitely not something you would want to attempt as a beginner, but you can certainly use the recipe and create a beautiful one colored soap. If you prefer using an essential oil you can do so too. I use eocalc to calculate safe usage rates for essential oils.
The reason why this soap is a little tricky to make is that I use a floral fragrance oil (it’s terrific by the way). What would a spring soap be without a nice flowery scent, right?
Here’s the deal with most floral fragrance and essential oils – they accelearate trace, meaning your batter can go from nice and fluid to super thick in a second.
That’s exactely what happened to me in the video. I meant for it to get a little thicker so I could layer it, but I used the stick blender for 2 seconds too long and uh–oh, I could barely work the colors in. When I shot the video I thought for sure this was going to be a soapy fail. The batter was so hard to work with and I was so focused on getting everything in the mold in time that I was a little sloppy. But – and that’s the beauty of soap making – you just never know, and in the end it turned out pretty cute I think.
If you want to see me wrangle this soap into submission, you can see the video here:
So, let’s dive in.
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- Canola oil (38%): 11.78 oz. (334g)
- Babassu oil (30%): 9.3 oz. (264g)
- Shea Butter (20%): 6.2 oz. (176g)
- Cocoa butter (7%): 2.17 oz. (61g)
- Castor oil (5%): 1.55oz (44g)
- Distilled Water: 7.73 oz. (219g)
- Lye: 4.16 oz. (118g)
I’m using a lye concentration of 35% and a superfat of 7%.
Special equipment, other than regular soaping equipment:
- Hanger tool: I use one I bought from Brambleberry, but you can use a wire clothes hanger and reinforce it with a drinking straw
Colorants and additives:
- 1 tsp of titanium dioxide mixed using a milk frother in 1 Tbsp of oil from your main batch
- 3/4 tsp of “Electric Bubblegum” oxide (Brambeberry) mixed in 1 Tbsp of oil
- 3/4 tsp of “Hydrated Chrome Green” oxide (Brambleberry) mixed in 1 Tbsp of oil
- 3 tsp of sodium lactate added to cooled lye solution
- French Lime Blossom (Majestic Mountain Sage): 24g
- Let lye solutions and oils cool to below 100º F
- Add fragrance oil to your oils
- Combine oils and lye solution, stick blend until light trace
- Separate 2 x 14 oz. of the main batter into separate bowls
- Add pink color to one small part and green color to the other, stir or whisk thoroughly
- Add titanium dioxide to remaining main batch, stir or whisk thoroughly
- By now trace should be fairly thick so you can start layering without one layer breaking into the other
- Start with one layer of white, then one layer of pink, then one layer of green. Taking care that you leave enough batter for another layer of each as well as enough to deck out the top (this is something I didn’t do well – my bottom layers are much bigger than the top one). Also, take the time to evenly spread and smooth each layer as you go – also, something I should have paid attention to more 🙂
- Continue with another layer of white, pink, green
- When you’re done layering, tap your mold thoroughly on the table. Thick trace tends to harbor big air pockets.
- Take your hanger tool and, starting at one side of the mold,very slowly push it straight down
- Keeping it at the bottom of the mold slide it 1/4 inch to the side and slowly pull straight up again
- Move it over the top a 1/4 inch and push it straight down again
- Continue until you reach the other side of the mold
- Move your hanger tool just slightly next to where you did your last pass and start over until you reach the other side again
- Use the remaining white soap to cover the top and smooth it out
- With a small spoon scoop out little bits of pink soap and create little dollops evenly spread on the top
- Do the same thing with the green soap and place a little dollop right next to a pink one
- If you wish to gel your soap, place in oven at 170º F for an hour. You can read more about it here.
- After 36 hours unmold, cut into bars and cure for 4 weeks.
Until next time. Happy Tinkering!