What You’ll Need:
18 Bar Birchwood Mold
Silicone Liner for 18 Bar Mold
Flowers and Spirals Impression Mat
14 oz. Avocado Oil (20%)
3.5 oz. Castor Oil (5%)
7 oz. Cocoa Butter (10%)
17.5 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
7 oz. Mango Butter (10%)
21 oz. Olive Oil (30%)
23 oz. Distilled Water
9.7 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
Green Chrome Oxide Pigment
3.5 oz. Bamboo Mint Fragrance Oil
If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out our FREE four part SoapQueen.tv series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including my newest book, Pure Soapmaking. You can also check out the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, and other distractions and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
IMPRESSION MAT PREP: The first step is cutting the Flowers and Spirals Impression Mat to fit into the inside of your mold. If you use the silicone liner inside the mold, it needs to be cut to fit inside the silicone mold, rather than inside the 18 Bar Birchwood Mold. My mat measured roughly 12.5 x 9.25 inches. If you’re using the silicone liner, once you cut the mat to size, I would recommend placing the mat inside the silicone the mold along with the impression mat. When the silicone liner is placed into the mold, the sides are pushed up and in which may cause the impression mat to fit slightly different inside the liner. You may find the impression mat needs additional trimming.
COLOR PREP: To ensure that the Titanium Dioxide blends smoothly into the soap batter, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. Please note this is an optional tip but it does help with the titanium dioxide clumping in the soap. =) To micronize colorant, simply use a coffee grinder to blend the colorant to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable, stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning. Then, disperse 1 teaspoon of the colorant into 1 tablespoon of sunflower or sweet almond oil (or any other liquid oil). Then in separate containers, disperse 2 teaspoons of the Evergreen Mica into 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of the Chrome Green Oxide Pigment into a 1 tablespoon of oil. Use a mini mixer to get rid of any clumps.
FRAGRANCE OIL PREP: Measure 3.5 ounces of Bamboo Mint Fragrance Oil into a glass, fragrance oil safe container.
ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool.
TWO: Melt and combine the avocado oil, castor oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, mango butter and olive oil. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 110-120F degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that releases faster from the mold, you can add sodium lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, you’d add about 5.5 teaspoons sodium lactate. Because this recipe contains a large amount of olive oil, you may find it takes a little bit longer to trace.
THREE: Once the soap has reached a thin trace, split off about 200 mL of soap. Add 1.5 teaspoons of dispersed titanium dioxide. Use a whisk to mix in.
FOUR: Pour enough white soap into the mold to just cover the bottom.
FIVE: Use a Scraper tool to spread the soap throughout the mold. You want the white soap to fill the indents of the design, while the raised pattern should be wiped clean of white soap as much as possible. Place any leftover white soap back into the small container.
SIX: From the main batch of soap, split off about 500 mL of soap into a separate container. Add 1 teaspoon of dispersed Chrome Green Oxide and use a whisk to mix in.
SEVEN: Carefully pour the green soap into the mold. Try to avoid breaking the white layer as much as possible; the idea is to let the dark green soap show on only the raised design as much as possible. I found using a spoon to carefully cover the pattern worked best. Continue until all the green soap is used up.
EIGHT: Add the Bamboo Mint Fragrance Oil to the main batch.
NINE: Pour off about 900 mL of soap into a separate container, and add 2 tablespoons dispersed Evergreen Mica and use a whisk to mix in.
TEN: To the uncolored soap, add 1 tablespoon of dispersed titanium dioxide. I also added the leftover white soap used to fill in the impression mat back into this container of white soap. Now it’s time for an in-the-pot swirl! Pour the green soap into the white soap, pouring from about 6-8 inches above. Pouring from above allows the green soap to break through to the bottom of the container. Continue to pour the soap into various areas of the white soap container. Use a dowel or chopstick to swirl the soap once or twice.
ELEVEN: Spoon the swirled soap on top of the dark green. Once you have covered the green layer, continue to pour the white and green soap into the mold until completely full.
TWELVE: Spread the back of the soap with a spoon or spatula to smooth. Spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol to help prevent soda ash, then cover and insulate for 24 hours. Allow the soap to stay in the mold for 3-4 days. Remove from the mold and remove the impression mat. Cut into bars. Allow the bars to cure for 4-6 weeks to allow them to fully cure. Enjoy!