How to make swirled colors in soap

Learn three methods of making swirled soap along with helpful tips.

Making beautiful swirled soaps is a wonderful way to add character and distinctness to the everyday batch of soap. Each batch of swirled soap is different and in each batch each bar is different. The color combinations are endless and only limited by the soapmakers imagination. When creating swirled soap there are three main methods most soapmakers use. Each method involves a different process of stirring and pouring. The methods each start with the soap already made with additives added and the mold prepped. At this point the soap should be at a light trace and from there the methods begin their different steps.

Method One:

To make a swirled soap with two pours you will need a base soap with a small amount taken out and dyed the color for the swirl. Pour the base soap in the mold and the pour the swirl color over the base in a random pattern. Mostly a series of horizontal and vertical lines are used to ensure full coverage of the base soap. The soap is then swirled.

Method Two:

To make swirled soap with four pours you will need a base soap with about a quarter of it taken out and dyed for the swirl color. The soap is then poured in layers of base - swirl - base - swirl. The soap is then swirled.

Method Three:

To make a swirled soap without having to pour a separate color you will need a base soap with about a tablespoon of it removed and added to a dye for the swirl color. Once the soap is ready at a light trace you will begin adding the swirl color. Holding the container of swirl color up higher will add in making sure it reaches the bottom of the pot of base soap. Move the swirl color container around above the pot when adding. The soap can then be stirred once or just poured. Pouring the soap will swirl it just fine without stirring.

No matter the method use when swirling soap some general tips can help produce a distinct swirled soap.

- Soybean and olive oils in the soap recipe will work best to help the swirl effect.

- If the base soap is too thick the soap may not swirl at all and end up producing a two tone soap instead.

- The thinner the base soap when the swirl color is added the shaper the swirl look will be.

- Fragrance can speed up the trace, so be aware of how different fragrances will react when using in a swirled soap process.

- For a swirling tool you can use any stick-like object, such as chopsticks, a spoon handle or a thermometer.

- When swirling with a tool, make sure that the tool touches the bottom of the mold so the swirl effect is throughout the soap.

Choose the method that works best for you and your experience or give all three a try and see which you like best. The distinct look of each batch of swirled soap is what makes it a favorite, so do not be afraid to give swirling a try. Follow the tips given above and remember to choose complementary colors. Swirled soap can be a beautiful addition to gift baskets or your own home decor.

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