I really need to use up some of my Rice Bran Oil as I have had it for a while so I worked out a recipe using the Brambleberry Lye Calculator which gives different amounts of lye and water to SoapCalc which I usually use. I also wanted to add the Egyptian Amber Fragrance Oil I recently bought from Gavin's Little Green Workshops which smelled delightful.
The intention was to have three layers of colours...the pink and green from the clay and one uncoloured layer and then I was going to try and do some swirling. I needed to get the soap to a light trace to do this but unfortunately it went to a thick trace quickly even before adding the fragrance oil. Still, not to be deterred, I poured in the three layers and then used a skewer to do a pattern of sorts and covered up the mould. However, when I peeked at it a very short time later to see if it was behaving (I can't help myself) I couldn't see a pattern at all on the top so I grabbed the skewer once again and did a little more 'swirling' to incorporate the top of the soap....which wasn't a good idea.
When I unmoulded the soap the top was very dry looking and crusty so I knew I had made a mistake somewhere along the line.
However, it is amazing what you can do with a Staysharp knife so I cut off the crusty bit to use later on in liquid soap and then sliced the rest up and probably could have done a better job of that as it isn't all that straight but that's okay and I don't think the menfolk will yell from the shower when it has cured in a few weeks ...'This soap is crooked!'
Here is the recipe I used if anyone is interested.
Soap with Pink and Green Clay (using Brambleberry Lye Calculator)
400g Rice Bran Oil
300g Olive Oil
300g Coconut Oil
1T (almost) of Green Clay
1T Pink Clay ...the clays were mixed with some of the 330g water
These are my last four batches of soap. I thought I would take a photo before they went down the drain so to speak. The pink one at the top is Coconut Oil Soap with Aloe Vera next to Oatmeal Stout Soap which gets darker and darker as time goes on and also had a little soda ash on it for some reason. On the bottom left is Calendula Soap with Green Clay beside my last soap experiment.
It is a lot of fun to experiment with soap making so give it a try if you have always wanted to but couldn't pluck up the courage. You just have to be careful with handling the lye like you have to be careful when using a hotplate or something else that could be dangerous if you were careless. Be brave and I am sure you will wonder why you took so long to make your first batch.