Friday, 28 October 2016

Soap with pink and green clay

I had no idea what to call my latest batch of soap so 'Soap with pink and green clay' will have to do. After my previous experiment using green clay I was quite keen to try out the pink clay which I also bought 12 months ago. I like to document my soapmaking 'experiments' for future reference so you might like to skip this post and head over to The Soap Queen if you want to see what more experienced soap makers are churning out these days. I won't fact I won't even know if you don't tell me :-)

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!'

 There isn't much 'swirling'  to be seen but I don't mind the rustic look. I didn't have quite a tablespoon of the green clay so it looks more brown than green on the top but the colour might improve as time goes on. The middle layer is uncoloured and the bottom layer is coloured with the pink clay.
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
138g Lye
330g Water
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.


  1. It looks amazing to me! And I have seen single bars of handmade soap for $8 to $10 and most often it is quite rustic and this is considered a good thing! I like the stamp in it too.
    Making soap this year has given me so many presents in my gift cupboard and I made most of it in January so it is really solid and hard. Net year I will do it again and try some new things. I want to save my lemon peels and grind those (once dry) and try other things like coffee grind etc. I really found it so much fun to make. You encouraged me a lot! xxx

  2. Chel, I really like the rustic look. Which is the nice thing about soap, it all gets used eventually. Hope you are enjoying the fine weather and keeping cool.

  3. I love your soap, still haven't been game to make any myself, maybe when we have a new place and the kitchen is bigger than my current shoe box, Ill be able to play. Thanks for sharing your soap adventures. Guida

  4. Your soap looks lovely! I've done a little soap-making course which I was given as a birthday gift over a year ago but I still haven't made any by myself here at home. Keep putting it off and not quite sure why! Should stop procrastinating over it and just do it and then I'd remember how easy it was! Thanks for sharing your soaps and offering a gentle nudge in the right direction! Meg:)

  5. I think it looks interesting, and you are right about the menfolk not caring bout the little imperfections!!

  6. I love these colours, I think the soap looks great :) and agree with Annabel, these would sell well :)


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