Friday, February 1, 2008

How to Swirl Colors in Soap by Sinclair A. Sheers

Oct 18, 2001

This article describes how to swirl two or more colors of soap in a single bar. There are several different ways to do this depending on the type of soap you are making, the type of mold you use, and what you want the final product to look like.

Melt and Pour

Use water-based colorants with melt and pour soap. There are two different methods to swirl melt and pour soap colors. The first method is to melt two separate containers of soap, color each one separately, and then carefully pour them into the mold. The second method is, if you have liquid colorant, to fill the mold with uncolored soap and then drop a different color into the soap at opposite ends of the mold. Then, no matter which method you used, gently swirl the colored soap with something like a toothpick or a craft stick. If the mold is deep, remember to swirl the soap at the bottom, too.

Cold Process, Hot process, or Rebatching

There is a certain time in the soapmaking process when you add the additives like scent. In cold process, this time is right after you reach trace. In hot process or rebatching, this time is after the cook. When you reach this point, mix in all the additives except the colorants. Divide the soap into stainless steel containers, one for each color. The original pot can be one of your containers. Mix each oil-based colorant with a little oil and then add it to the soap in one container. When it is mixed in, put that soap into the mold.

If you are using one large mold, put all of one colored soap into the mold then add the other colored soap. When all of the colors are in the mold, gently slice a spatula or spoon through the soap until you get the swirl you want. Try to pull some soap off the very bottom of the mold and replace it with a different color. Slice up and down as well as from side to side.

If you are using several small molds, pour a bit of each color into each mold until each mold is full. Try to put about the same amount of each color in each mold. Then stir the soap gently until the colors swirl.

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