Saturday, September 19, 2015

Incredibly Purple

Yet another challenge that looked deceptively simple, but wasn't, at least for me. And it took me several tries to realize the problem. Not the oils, not the fragrance -- the usual culprits -- but the water. Or lack thereof...

In the old days (OK, so last year), I soaped at 2:1 water:lye, as that's what all the recipes said to do. But over time I discovered that using so much water leads to glycerin rivers, long cure times and quite a bit of shrinkage. So, one day I premixed a huge batch of 1.5:1 water:lye, and never looked back.

Until today (OK, so last night), when I realized it's not possible to get a thin enough batter with that ratio. It needs to be incredibly liquid for the Clyde Slide, or you get too much definition -- doh! I posted a few pics at the bottom to show my mishaps.

This final batch was thinner, but clearly should have been more. The bars are not as feathery as they could have been -- good ones look like clouds (this one is a perfect example, IMO), and most of these still look pretty drop-swirlish.

Nonetheless, it is Incredibly Purple.

Nothing makes me happier than a sweetly scented, brightly colored, girly bar of soap! 

All this batch is missing is some iridescent glitter and a melt-n-pour Hello Kitty embed... 

Could the tops get more swirly? I think not.

My daughter has been patiently waiting for us to make brown and green soap. Maybe I'll buy her some for Christmas. :)


I'm still rocking my super-cheap tallow-soybean recipe, with some rice bran, too, cuz I had it:
  • 32% Coconut - $20/gallon from Amazon
  • 32% Lard - super cheap, from Walmart
  • 16 % Rice Bran - also from Amazon
  • 16 % Soy  - also super cheap, from Smart & Final
  • 4% Castor - Wholesale Supplies 
  • 1.75:1 water:lye 
  • 1 oz/ppo fragrance oil - Black Raspberry & Vanilla - Nature's Garden (link
  • 0.5 oz/ppo 60% Sodium Lactate to harden bars - Wholesale Supplies (link)
  • 0.5 oz/ppo 1:1 Simple Syrup to increase bubbles - DIY (link)


Previous Attempts

Very interesting. The color palette is strange and striking, but not what I was going for. The two in the back are particularly odd.

BTW, early on I thought that getting bright, true reds and oranges in soap was impossible!

The trick is to skip the micas and go straight to TKB Trading's lake colors. Some of them bleed and others might morph, but you can't go wrong with Red #30 for bright, true red, and Yellow #6 for bright, true orange (despite the name). FWIW, the pink above is Cosmic Carolyn and the teal is mostly Hydrated Chromium Oxide.

I knew something was up when I kept getting theses same odd shapes. Reminiscent of a spoon plop, but more jagged.


  1. I LOVE. love your pinks & purples soap.

    Thanks for the info on TKB lake colors - I have used some of the ones you mentioned, but great info on the Yellow #6...I will add that to my list. I think the #30 red is the truest red I've found....but pricey!

  2. Yes, the #30 red is $15/oz, but it's very pigmented so a little goes a long way. I might try mixing it with their reformulated neon red ($4/oz), rouge red ($8/oz) or soapberry red ($4.5/oz), and will post something if I do.

  3. I recognized your signature purple soap right away, Claudia! :) I love ALL your attempts at this technique. I didn't realize the yellow #6 would create a perfect orange - that's really great to know. I've been using the red #30 for a lot of years now and love it!

  4. Love the incredibly purple, so many colors

  5. I thank you for the tips on colors. I am barely starting to experiment with them - Awsome beautiful technique!

  6. Striking colours as always! They are bold, but they don t shout. Red 30 makes the foam red with me, doesn't t it with you? one must also be able to match it with colours just as strong. I admire this capacity you have. They are all beautiful!

  7. Lovely, as usual! And thanks a lot for the color tips.