Time: 1 hr
Yields: 1000 g soap
When I think of the colour purple, I think of my favourite purple tie dye skirt, which were so popular in the eighties (yes, that’s how old I am!). Everyone I knew was wearing those tie dye skirts and I remember buying mine at the good old Victoria Park Market here in Auckland. I wore the skirt constantly and only took it off to wash. I even brought it with me to Europe! But eventually, things get old and discarded. But to bring back the eighties, here’s a soap to pay homage to the tie dye fashion!
If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly suggest you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first.
Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!
For this tutorial, I’m using the wooden soap mold with silicon insert from Pure Nature, which can hold soaps with up to 1000g of oils. I’ll be making smaller soaps of approximately 90g each, depending on how much they have cured.
ONE: First, prepare your lye. Weigh out the caustic soda in a small container. Measure the water in a small pyrex or other heat proof glass jug. Then carefully add the caustic soda to the water and gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Stir two teaspoons of sodium lactate to harden the soap quicker and shorten the curing time. This is particularly important for this soap, because we are using mainly olive oil in the recipe and working with a very fluid emulsion. Set aside to cool.
While you are waiting for the lye to cool down, you can prepare the colour and the oils.
TWO: For the colour preparation, you will need two small containers, Silken Violet mica, Dark Violet Purple mica, and a little rice bran oil or other light weight oil. If you don’t have any, just use olive oil. In one container add 1/2 teaspoon of Silken Violet mica and 1/2 tablespoon of rice bran oil and stir well. In the other container, add 1/8 teaspoon Dark Violet Purple mica, 1/8 Silken Violet mica, and 1/2 tablespoon of rice bran oil and also stir well. Set aside for later use.
THREE: Next, prepare your oils. In a large heat proof jug (I’m using a 1.5L Pyrex jug), weigh out 750g of olive oil and 50g of castor oil.
FOUR: When the lye has cooled to room temperature, i.e. the outside of the jug feels cool to touch, you can carefully pour the lye to the oils. Make sure you are wearing protective gear (goggles and gloves) and avoid making any splashes.
FIVE: Using a whisk, hand stir until the mixture has emulsified, but before it starts to thicken. You know that it has emulsified when there are no more oil streaks and the mixture doesn’t separate if you stop stirring.
SIX: Add your fragrance and give it a good stir to mix the fragrance through the soap. Make sure the fragrance you use doesn’t cause the soap to accelerate (thicken). Because we are doing colour work, this is particularly important here. I’m using lavender essential oil because I know it will behave and not cause any problems.
SEVEN: Next, divide the soap up as follows: Into one jug pour 150 ml of soap, and into another jug pour 300 ml soap. You should have about 550 ml of soap left in the original jug.
EIGHT: To the smallest portion (150 ml) add the dark mica/oil mixture. To the 300 ml portion add the violet mica/oil mixture. Stir both containers well to disperse the colour evenly throughout the soap. The largest portion will be left uncoloured and will turn white once cured.
NINE: Now it’s time to start pouring. First, pour a line of uncoloured soap along the edge of the mold.
TEN: Next, take the jug with the violet coloured soap. Pour a line of soap INTO the line of uncoloured soap. From now on, you’ll keep pouring into the previous line as you keep alternating the colours. The order of the colours is as follows: WHITE, VIOLET, WHITE, VIOLET, WHITE, DARK, and then from the beginning again. Keep pouring until you have used up all your soap.
ELEVEN: To finish off with a nice top, take a toothpick and draw straight parallel lines in the surface of the soap from edge to edge.
TEN: Leave the soap to cure for a few days in the mold, before removing. Then leave it to cure for another few days, before cutting it into bars. The bars of soap will need at least another 6-8 weeks to finish curing.
To prevent (harmless) soap ash from forming, like it has on my soap, force-gel the soap in the oven. If you do forget, like I did, you can gently wash off the soap ash using a little bit of water.
- 750 g olive oil
- 50 g castor oil
- 100 g caustic soda
- 200 ml water
- 2 teaspoons sodium lactate
- Dark Violet Purple mica
- Silken Violet mica
- 40 ml lavender essential oil
- Prepare your lye: carefully add the caustic soda to the water and stir gently until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Add two teaspoon of sodium lactate. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare your colour as follows: in one container add 1/2 teaspoon of Silken Violet mica and in another container add 1/8 teaspoon Silken Violet and 1/8 teaspoon Dark Violet Purple mica. Add 1/2 tablespoon of rice bran oil to each container and mix well.
- In a large jug (I use a 1.5 L Pyrex jug), weigh out your oils.
- Once your lye has cooled down to room temperature, add the lye to your oils and stir with a whisk until the mixture has emulsified. Be careful not to over-whisk, because you don’t want the mixture to thicken.
- Add 40 ml of lavender essential oil and stir well.
- Divide the soap into three portions: approximately 150 ml, 300 ml, and 550 ml.
- Colour the smallest portion (150 ml) with the dark mica/oil mixture, and the 300 ml portion with the violet mica/oil mixture. Stir well to disperse the colour evenly throughout.
- Now, pour a line of uncoloured soap along one side of the mold. Next, pour a line of violet soap INTO the line of uncoloured soap. Then, pour another line of uncoloured soap into the violet line. Alternate between white and violet/dark, and pour twice as many violet lines as dark lines. So the order is: WHITE, VIOLET, WHITE, VIOLET, WHITE, DARK, and then from the beginning again.
- Once you have poured all the soap, take a toothpick and draw straight parallel lines in the surface of the soap from side to side to finish off.
- Leave the soap in the mold for a few days to harden. Once the soap is firm enough, remove from the mold and let it cure for another couple of days before cutting into bars. The bars will need at least another 6-8 weeks to finish curing.