I have been wanting to do some swirling for some time and had a little try with it when making my last batch which was made with goat's milk. Annabel from The Bluebirds are Nesting sent me some pigment that she used to make her pink soap. It came complete with warnings about not to use too much so I was very wary about turning my whole soap batch red instead of pink.
So I put the tip of a wooden skewer into the powder and then added some of the oils I had already weighed out and started stirring and as I stirred it got redder and redder and redder. It was quite and interesting process and took a while but I thought I had better not go overboard and add too much so left it at that so that I could see how it behaved when added to rest of the oils.
450 mls rain or filtered water (weighed)
172g caustic soda
250g coconut oil (copha can be used)
1000g olive oil
I added the cold water and caustic soda mixture to the cold coconut oil and olive oil and then mixed it together by stirring with a spoon at first and then with the stick blender. I didn't want it to get to trace as I wanted to add colours. Then I divided the mixture into three and added one third to a jug and then the other third to another jug before adding ultramarine liquid to the pink jug and the red pigment to the yellow jug. I left the other third uncoloured.
At this stage I remembered that I was supposed to add the fragrance oil and essential oil so tried to divide that evenly between the three and hope it didn't make the mixtures seize. I wanted to finish off the fragrance oil as I find that it is just so expensive to buy oils for scent that it just isn't worth it for me as I don't sell my soaps and the menfolk certainly couldn't care what it smells like.
With my mould ready, I then brought each third to a light trace and started pouring in some of the uncoloured soap, followed by the blue then pink and so on until the mould was full. I used my new loaf mould this time. Using a skewer, I tried to swirl the colours together but the mould isn't all that wide unfortunately so it was a bit difficult. I had seen swirling done with a wire coat hanger but the mould was really too small for that. I then scraped what was left in the containers onto the top and fiddled with a spoon trying to make some kind of design. LOL! This is how it turned out. Not too bad for the first time I guess.
I know I took it out of the mould much too early as it was still fairly soft and I did put it in the freezer for a little while beforehand to help it along but next time I will be more patient. I didn't wrap it up like I normally do either. The pink pigment actually turned out looking more apricot but I don't mind and perhaps when I use it again I will add more. The soap also has quite a few little holes which I presume would be from air bubbles although I did drop the mould onto the bench a number of times to get rid of them. They don't really bother me and I can't see them at all unless I have my glasses on. LOL!
I took a photo of the soaps with my beautiful dishcloths/washcloths done in Tunisian crochet by my Down to Earth Simple Living Forums swap partner. It was her first time doing this crochet and she did an extremely good job don't you think?
These bromeliads are flowering at present and look stunning which is amazing considering they don't get any TLC. Love plants like that. Don't you?