Soap Making Technique ~ Swirling

Soap Making Technique SwirlMost of us were introduced to the notion of swirling colors together as young children when playing with paint.  There’s something truly magical about seeing colors interact with each other, and being able to create something different and unique with beautiful swirly designs.

To make swirls in handmade soap, you can use as many colors as you would like and use different techniques to create delicate or bold patterns throughout your soap that will be seen in each bar when unmolded and cut.  There are a few different methods that are popular when it comes to marbling or swirling colors in soap.

The “In the Pot” method of swirling is done by adding 2 different colorants to the soap mixture while it is still in the pot.  Once the soap mixture has reached trace, the colors are poured in at strategic points in the pot, then the colors are partially mixed by using a spoon or spatula to make one big clockwise turn around the pot.  You only need one turn to get the colors started mixing.  Then the mixture is poured into the mold.  If you are using a log or loaf mold, you would start at one end and pour until the bottom is covered, then you would keep pouring and slowly move back and forth from one end to the other until all the soap mixture is in the mold.  This gives a beautiful swirled pattern throughout the soap with little effort.

You can also make swirls using the “In the Mold” method of swirling.  For this method you would divide the soap mixture into as many colors as you have and color each separated batch.  Then you would use a tray or loaf mold to pour each color in thin lines going down the length of the mold.  Keep alternating colors and pouring in thin lines until you have used all the soap mixture.  At this point the soap should look like lots of crazy striped colors. You can use a thin chopstick or skewer to draw perpendicular lines, or you can make swirls.  To make the swirls, you would use a thin popsicle stick, chop stick, or wooden skewer that is long enough to reach the bottom of the mold.  Use the stick, start at one corner and draw diagonal lines that zig zag all the way across and down the mold to the opposite corner.

Tray Mold                                              Log Mold                                                   Curly Loops

Then you would start at one corner and make curly loops the length of the mold in an S pattern from site to side until you cover the whole mold.  You only have to go over it once; messing with it too much will create an ugly muddled mess and ruin your swirls.  And make sure the stick reaches the bottom and you cover the whole area of the mold so the swirls will be seen throughout all the soap. You can have fun and play with different colors and combinations for your own beautiful custom patterns.  But be careful, once you start making soap you might find yourself addicted!

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Peace, Love, and SOAP! :)