It’s amazing to me how excited I get when time for the Soap Challenge Club rolls around each month! I rather impatiently awaited the opening of January’s soap challenge, signed up right away, and eagerly planned out my batch using this month’s Taiwan Swirl technique.
My excitement this time around had a lot to do with this:
Thanks to this (and my handy husband):
Matt’s Christmas gift of a new miter saw really worked out in my favor! (Wink, wink, nod, nod.) He loves his new saw and was honestly excited to make me some new soap molds, and to my specifications. Awesome, right?!
Anyway, on to the challenge!
In hopes of getting a very slow-moving, fluid soap to work with, I used a basic recipe of 68% olive oil, 25% coconut oil, and 7% castor oil with 7% superfat. To make an even more moisturizing soap, I replaced about a third of the water in the lye solution with yogurt and whey (added to the melted oils). I worked with my oils right around 90 degrees and my lye solution at room temperature. Satsuma was my fragrance du jour because it has always behaved very well, and because I completely sold out of that soap just before Christmas. I adore this scent. It’s so fresh and bright and invigorating. I just feel happy when I smell it!
After blending my oils and lye just to emulsification, I split off one cup of soap into neon citrus colorant and another cup into a beautiful blend of neon mango, coral mica, and neon pink. I was going for a gentle shade of orange and a brighter tangerine orange to match the sweet citrus smell of the fragrance.
Much to my disappointment, in the short time it took me to mix the colors, the main batter was already setting up! Should I blame it on the castor oil? Or were my temperatures too high? Could it be the addition of yogurt and whey? Hmmm. I worked as quickly as I could to pour the uncolored batter into the mold. Then I frantically poured alternating stripes down the length of the mold.
Next came the swirls.
Then a spritz of alcohol, and the soap was put to bed in a 170 degree oven.
And here it is! The final product!
Even after much banging and pounding, the soap never did get flat. But I rather like the textured top! It adds a lot of interest to this soap.
Despite my (once again) quickly tracing soap, I really love my results. I’ll definitely keep this technique in my regular rotation!
And did I mention that I absolutely LOVE my new slab mold? So many awesome techniques to try now! And Matt even made me some real, legitimate columns to use for more column pour soaps!
I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful, artistic soaps made for this challenge. Thanks for stopping by for a peak at mine! Happy Soaping! 🙂