I love ombre designs – one color layered in ever-deepening tones. Mulling over how to best do an ombre soap, I decided to try the wall pour method.
The wall pour method is when you tip your mold at an angle and pour the raw soap batter on the “wall” of the mold to create a gentle, whispy swirl and to get colors to gently lie on top of each other. I’m hoping that combining the ombre layering with a wall pour will give my soap a neat appearance.
This is part of my series on our electric Ultramarine Blue pigment. It’s been fun experimenting with such a gorgeous color!
I began with a loaf mold and a soap recipe that should remain fluid enough to get through the many steps of adding more color, mixing, and pouring.
Let’s gather supplies and make some soap!
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Rice Bran Oil
Soap Cutting Tool
1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon
Ultramarine Blue premixed with glycerin*
* Dispersing the pigment in liquid glycerin makes it easier to add to the soap batter. I mix 1 ounce of pigment into 2 ounces of liquid glycerin (by weight). Stir well, then store in a bottle.
Make sure you run your recipe through our Lye Calculator to be certain you are using the correct amount of lye and liquid. It’s also helpful to use our Fragrance Calculator to determine how much fragrance you’ll need to scent your soap at the desired level.
I chose Champagne Sugar Fragrance Oil for this recipe because it does not cause any discoloration. That’s very important when working with color. You don’t want your base soap batter to be discolored, as that will affect the tone and hue of the added color. Sometimes we use a particular fragrance oil because of the discoloration it provides. This is not one of those times.
|Recipe in Grams
136.4 grams Soybean Oil
589.7 grams Palm Kernel Oil
552.8 grams Coconut Oil
479.1 grams Olive Oil
479.1 grams Rice Bran Oil
221.1 grams Avocado Oil
516.5 grams lye
1448 milliliters distilled water
79.4 grams Champagne Sugar Fragrance Oil
|Recipe in Ounces
4.81 oz Soybean Oil
20.8 oz Palm Kernel Oil
19.5 oz Coconut Oil
16.9 oz Olive Oil
16.9 oz Rice Bran Oil
7.8 oz Avocado Oil
18.22 oz lye
49 oz distilled water
2.8 oz Champagne Sugar Fragrance Oil
|Recipe in Percentages
37% Soybean Oil
16% Palm Kernel Oil
15% Coconut Oil
13% Olive Oil
13% Rice Bran Oil
6% Avocado Oil
Follow basic soap making instructions and safety precautions: Wear gloves, goggles, long sleeves, and close-toed shoes. Tie back your hair and get rid of distractions.
Set up the loaf mold with one long edge elevated so that the other long edge is tilted toward you. This is the side you’ll pour soap along – the wall.
Once the soap batter is at thin trace, I stirred in the fragrance oil and added 1/4 teaspoon of premixed Ultramarine Blue pigment. I gave the batter a quick mix with the stick blender, stirred with my spoon, and made my first pour down the side of the tilted loaf mold.
I added another 1/4 teaspoon of colorant, briefly mixed with the stick blender, stirred well with a spoon, and made another pour – one time down and back along the tilted length of the loaf mold. I repeated these steps until I ran out of soap batter. I believe it was 8 pours, but I lost count.
I used a craft stick to make a swirly design on the top of the soap, sprayed with alcohol to keep soda ash from forming, and then I wrapped the mold in a couple of towels to force gel phase, as I did not want the soap to appear opaque. I feel like colors really pop when the soap goes through gel phase. I was very glad to see the insulation worked, creating a perfectly gelled loaf of soap.
Upon unmolding and cutting the loaf, I realized that the last few additions of color did not make a lot of difference in the hue, so there is a saturation point. The blue is just gorgeous, though! Looking back, I would do the first pour without any color, and I would probably add 1/8 teaspoon before each new pour.