The oil you use can effect the overall color of your finished soap. If you want a beautiful white then lard is a good choice. Another good addition was rice bran oil, it tends to make a soap look shinier.
Soap Method: Cold Process
Design Method: In the Pot Swirl
Mold: Tall & Skinny
Soaping Temperature: 117 (oil) 130 (Lye)
Fragrance: Aqua Di Gio from Natures Garden
440 g manteca
330 g coconut oil
110 g castor oil
110 rice bran oil
110 g shea butter
330 g H2O
15.7 g NaOH
34 g fragrance
Mica: Caribbean blue, celestial blue and black knight mica’s from Brambleberry and Natures Garden.
This recipe is 80% coconut oil with 15% olive oil and 5% cocoa butter with a 10% superfat and no water reduction. I used Breton Sea Salt at 75% the weight of the oils. The colorant is Stormy Blue mica, the scent is a mild Cedarwood.
I used a lot of rice bran oil, Shea butter and cocoa butter in this recipe and bentonite clay. The clay adds some slip to this soap as well as changing the texture of the bubbles to be dense and foamy. Because of the clay the batter set up faster than I was prepared for, I didn’t have a chance to flatten out the tops before they were solid but these are just for family so it doesn’t matter much.
This recipe I used for this soap is 55% Lard, 25% coconut Oil, 8% Castor Oil 8% Sunflower oil and 4% palm oil with a superfat of 5%. I rendered the lard from bacon fat for this one, it’s my first animal fat soap.
It will continue to darken as it cures..
I went back and forth on how I was going to design this soap. My original request was for lemon. The problem here is that lemon essential oil wont hold its scent in soap. I went looking for a fragrance oil and after reading reviews of its performance I decided I would likely loose my lemon scent with fragrance oil or it would be so mild the lavender would simply overpower it. I know that I could use lemongrass, but it just isn’t as perfect of a match with lavender as an actual citrus scent, after reading many reviews on fragrance performance the closest match turns out to be a bergamot black tea fragrance. Bitter orange is not far off from lemon so it should work to fill the request and will blend with lavender perfectly. After that there were questions like would the yellow and purple be too silly looking? If I left it at white and yellow and ground up lavender flowers… should I mix the scent or split it between the colors. In the end I went with both colors even if it’s silly and to split the scents between the colors. So the extra made an additional two lavender bars on the side.
Soap Contents: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Distilled Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Rice Bran Oil
Colorants: Queens Purple Mica, Yellow Mica, Racing Stripe Orange Mica, Gold Shimmer Mica, Activated Charcoal
Fragrance: Lavender Fragrance Oil, Bergamot Black Tea Fragrance Oil
Method: Tilted Base, Pencil line, Hangar
I am using the other half of my frozen coconut milk cubes for this recipe. so half coconut milk half distilled water. Because of the sugars it should reach a higher temperature, hence the freezing of the coconut milk. The soap wont be insulated at the end because I don’t want a mess, I find that my soap mold fits perfectly into the door part of my freezer so I will place it there until it cools off.
This soap will have two layers that are both going to discolor so I am not particularly worried about scorching. I expect it to darken considerably from the fragrance oils. I will be using pearly white mica to bring it down to a lighter brown vanilla layer and tan espresso layer with flecks of finely ground coffee. Because the fragrances will discolor differently I will have twice as much Mica in the Vanilla portion. I am also hoping to get a nice jagged look between the layers. For my extra leftover soap I made individual Vanilla and Espresso soaps without mixing them(much).
10.25 oz Coconut Oil
10.75 oz Palm Oil
10.25 oz Olive Oil
2 oz Castor Oil
1.75 oz Cocoa Butter
4.99 oz Sodium Hydroxide
5.77 oz Distilled Water
5.77 oz Coconut Milk
2-3 tablespoons Bentonite Clay
Pearly White Mica
1.2 oz Espresso Fragrance
1.2 oz Vanilla Fragrance
one pinch of Espresso, fine ground
I added the clay to the oils before the lye and I added the frozen coconut milk cubes to slushy, near frozen distilled water just before incorporating the lye into the water.
At light trace I separated the batter and added the mica then added the fragrance oil to the bottom layer, and brought it to a fairly thick trace in an attempt to make jagged edges that wont squash as soon as I layer on top of it. Once the bottom layer is poured and ready to go I added the fragrance to the second batch then layered it gently on top. In reality my technique evolved into using a spatula to create channels to pour soap into. I’ll have to regroup and try that technique again some time.
Cut Bars & Discolor Progression
I always expect the worst with new techniques and scents. I am using a bamboo scent for this one. I expect it to rice so I will take an extra step to blend the fragrance into a small portion of batter before fully incorporating it. It’s my first coconut milk soap and I expect heating. I am also a little worried to put the soap in the fridge/freezer with my food. So I’ve sort of created a quarantine area of the fridge where the soap mold will be held prisoner in it’s own little soap containment unit until it cools off. I generally am making a soap that I would apply heat to so cooling is a bit of a difference for me. Also I would recommend being careful with strong scents because your leftover takeout rice could absorb some scent and for example become ‘bambooed rice’.. or you’ll have ‘bambooed-butter’ or something awful so take this into consideration scent by scent, this one didn’t cause any trouble.
I am making this soap with palm, coconut, olive, castor and avocado oils. about 60% of the water was substituted with coconut oil and I added bentonite clay. I ended up using an in the mold swirl: which is two colors divided and then poured into the mold half the batter at a time, swirling the colors in together.
I added a portion of the batter to the fragrance oil and it didn’t know if it wanted to become solid or rice or both and I mixed like crazy, divided it into the separated portions and I had to blend it until it was at a thick trace before it smoothed out so I ran a chopstick through it since it was very gloppy when poured and I wanted to ensure it mixed enough. I hope I pounded the majority of the bubbles out after that.
This particular green mica goes through some interesting shades of vibrant green to grey color transformations.
I did have a few blemishes, the top of the soap had two small cracks, I got almost a complete gel so the two end pieces aren’t as pretty, the bubbles were about what I was expecting for how thick it was. Here we are unmolded and cut. The white still may yellow a bit from the fragrance oil. We shall see. At this point the green color change is nearly complete and the grey is almost gone.