I’ve been intrigued by the idea of pouring soap into clamshells as both a mold and a package. This afternoon finally was the day.
Unscented soap is kind of dull, so I reached into my fragrance oil stash and told myself I’d use the first bottle I grabbed. Rose Garden Fragrance was what turned up in my hand, and I was immediately excited; it’s a great fragrance!
From our catalog:
“Roses are considered the ultimate in the garden, and many follow this challenge to get the perfect roses. But what about a fragrance oil that represents the whole garden and not just the roses?
“We were up to the challenge to pull this off. A little rain, a little damp soil, a few green leaves, and some other floral notes combined with colored roses to make the most luscious garden scent ever. When the soap is finished, you will discover a whole garden in your curing room!”
Now for color. What is more classic than deep red roses with bold green leaves? I mixed up some Brick Red Color and some Moss Green Color with a bit of Avocado Oil to disperse it.
What design to do? I’m going to color 20% of the soap (10% each color), then I will pour it in layers into a pitcher as a layered in-the-pot swirl. Hopefully as I pour, the soap will create a neat design. Let’s see if all the factors work out!
The first step is to make up a batch of soap. Join me in the workroom!
Rose Garden Soap
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Soybean Oil
Recipe to fill four 2.7-ounce Clamshells
3 oz Soybean Oil
If you have never made cold process soap before, please begin by visiting this blog post for some general instructions.
Prepare to soap safely with protective gear including long sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and no distractions.
Weigh oils into a soap bucket and microwave in 30-second bursts until all oils are liquid. Set aside to cool.
Weigh liquid (I’m using water) into a lye-safe container. Weigh lye in a separate container, then carefully pour into water. Stir to dissolve, being careful not to inhale the fumes. Set aside to cool.
Once lye solution and oils have cooled below 100 degrees, slowly pour lye solution into oils and stir with a spoon. Use the stick blender to bring the soap batter just to emulsion. Be careful not to overdo it with the stick blender. You want the batter quite fluid.
Weigh the soap batter and subtract the weight of the jug it’s in. (It’s helpful if you remember to weigh the empty jug before you get started, but if you don’t, hopefully you have an empty jug the same size to weigh.) To figure out how much soap is 20% of the batch, multiply the weight by 20%. Then divide that number in two, because you have two colors to use. Pour off the appropriate weight of soap into small paper cups, then add all the premixed red to one cup and the premixed green to the other. Stir well with a small scraper.
Pour the uncolored soap into a jug with a pour spout. Carefully pour some of the red soap down one side of the pitcher, then pour some of the green down the other side. Don’t use all the colored soap.
Now just pour from the spout directly into the clamshell, moving the spout around a bit to make the swirls. When you’ve filled one clamshell, move to the next. When you run out of color in your jug, repeat adding color. Do this until you have used all the color and filled all the clamshells.
If you have any extra soap (I usually make a bit extra), pour it off into some individual molds, scraping the jug to get all the last of the soap.
Set the filled clamshells aside for the soap to harden at least 24 hours. As soon as the top of the soap has become opaque, spray with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to prevent soda ash. You’ll want to spray it a few times in the first few hours.
Once the soap has finished saponifying and producing heat, you can shut the clamshells and add labels. Voila! Your soap is packaged and ready to go!
Well, shoot! I stick blended too much, and the soap batter was too thick for the technique I wanted to do. No worries! I just did a little swirl with my spatula and poured it into the molds. The colors were perfect, though I could not help noticing they look a lot like Christmas! That’s not going to be a problem when people smell this soap, though. The rose garden scent is strong and true. It’s lovely!