Almond & Honey Pipe Swirl Soap Challenge July 15, 2016 12:22 7 Comments

This month's soap challenge was the pipe swirl.  In the guidelines, participants were restricted to using only four colors, a slab mold, and the soap had to be made using cold process soap only.  I actually made my slab mold for this competition because my old slab mold has a warped bottom.  I went to the local Home Depot, purchased the lumber and three different sizes of PVC pipes.  Once I had my mold made,  I calculated the volume of it and the pipes so that I could resize my soap recipe.  With all of that completed, I was ready to begin this challenge.  I began by lining my mold, choosing my colors and melting cocoa butter to adhere the PVC pipes to the mold.


The colors I chose are from TKB Trading, Nurture Soap & WSP.  

 From left to right.  Arora Mica, Sahara Gold Mica, Titanium Dioxide & Black Pearl Mica.  The fragrance oil I chose to use for this soap was Almond & Honey from WSP.

Time to soap, pour and swirl!  Once I had my soap batter emulsified, I separated it out into four portions.  Before I began, I had already calculated the amount of soap that would fill the pipes and subtracted that from the total so I knew exactly how much soap batter to reserve.  I then added my colors and mixed part of the fragrance oil into the two larger portions I had separated out.  I waited to add the fragrance oil to the other two colors until I was ready to pour them.  After all the batter was in the mold, I removed the  PVC pipes and did a freehand swirl.  Here's what it looked like after the pour and swirl.  I also sprayed the top with 90% alcohol to help prevent soda ash.

 I calculated my recipe to be double thickness so as to end up with twice as many bars.  The mold I built is 9" x 9" , so I ended up with 18 bars of soap once the slab was cut into logs, then double sized bars and again to regular bar sizes.

Here they all are after the final cut.  I planed the top and beveled the sides to clean them up.

Here is my opinion about this soap technique.  If done correctly the results are beautiful, on the other hand, doing the dishes afterward was totally not fun. PVC pipes are a pain to clean out and scrape all the soap left on them.  I ended up with enough leftover batter to make another bar of soap.  Guess that one's for me.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so below.

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I have also made a video documenting the whole process of making Almond & Honey pipe swirl from beginning to end through the cut.  I will post a link on here once I have all the editing finished.