From time to time, I have people ask me about soap making and, “How do you do that swirl, shape, etc”. So I thought you might like to see a little of what happens behind the scenes before the soap gets to you.
This is a batch of lotus blossom soap (made with certified 100% natural fragrance oils-YAY!!!) I made late last month. In these pictures you will see a batch of soap I did using a swirling in the mold technique. To do this, I layered different colors of liquidy raw soap in a loaf/log mold, and then I swirled the layers using a secret soaping tool (ha, ha, just kidding it’s actually a kitchen utensil- I love the cooking/baking section of stores for cool new soap swirling tools), and once I swirled the soap, I drizzled some more raw soap on top, and then swirled it to add a pretty design to the top too.
This first picture show the soap in the mold, and even though I can see the swirls on top, it’s always a mystery if my swirls on the inside will also be pretty. Sometimes it seems like an eternity waiting for the soap to set up (24-72 hours) so I can unmold it and see the inside swirls.In this picture, I am carefully and gently unmolding (ie pushing the soap out of the mold) so I don’t put any dents in it. This picture shows the bottom and sides of the soap loaf……and this picture shows the top.Now it’s time to slice the soap loaf. Many soap makers use a wooden and wire loaf cutter ($150-$400..ouch!), but I prefer a mitre box and dough slicer (less than $50 for both) since it’s much easer to store and keep my two little ones out of it. Now it’s time to see what the inside swirls look like.Now these bars will cure for at least 4 weeks before they are ready for you!You will notice I am wearing gloves in these pictures. Although this soap is no longer caustic since the saponification (the process that turns caustic lye+ fats into soap) is complete after 24-48 hours, the soap is still really soft until it’s fully cured (at least 4 weeks) and all the excess water has evaporated. So I wear the gloves to prevent leaving my finger prints on the bars.