I have recently been experimenting with making all kinds of soap, but I had quite a few problems making my first batch of in-the-pot swirl cold process soap. I was attempting to make a soap with the signature colors of Nature’s Garden swirled into it. Wouldn’t that be so cool? We thought so, and I was so excited to try it out! However, as I’m still a newbie to the soap making process, I had quite a few problems!
One of the first problems I had was getting my colors to thoroughly disperse in my soap mixture. After having completely mixed the oils and butters with my lye water and pouring into separate bowls to mix colors, I was having problems with getting my colors mixed thoroughly. Especially the blue. As you can see in the picture below, my blue pigment ended up not mixing completely, which left little blue speckles throughout my finished soap. This is possibly caused by the color separating within its bottle. Do you know what to do if this happens to you? Deb has taught me that if I notice my color has separated, that it can be fixed by mixing it with vegetable glycerin and agitating.
See all the blue speckles?
One of my other swirl soap problems was that I did not mix my colored soap batters long enough. While this does coincide with not mixing my blue thoroughly, it did cause a completely different problem apart from the speckles. When the colored batters were still in their separate containers, I should have kept mixing them until they came to a slight trace. (Trace happens when the batter has begun to thicken. If you hold your spoon or mixer over your bowl with some batter still on and it leaves little trails on top, then it is at trace.) Instead of bringing each colored bowl to trace, I only brought them to the emulsification stage. This caused my colors to dissolve into each other while they were in the mold instead of producing an actual distinctive swirl.
There should have been a swirl instead of how the colors have just blended into each other here.
I would love to hear about any problems you’ve had with in the pot swirl technique, or just soap making in general! I’m just a newbie at this, so I am actually glad that I have been having these problems so I can learn from them! Soap making is so much fun! I’m getting ready to remake this recipe so I’ll be back to let you all know what happens! Please contact us here at Nature’s Garden if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns!
Make sure to check out all of our wonderful free recipes and classes, you’re sure to find some awesome recipes that you’ll absolutely adore! And our classes are perfect for any new soap makers out there like myself, I highly recommend reading through them all, as you can learn so many valuable things about soap making! I’d love to hear all of your feedback on any soap making problems so that I can learn from them as well! Keep watching for even more Enlightened by Layla!