Time: 30 mins
Yields: approximately 500 g of soap or 4 bars of soap
The consistency of melt and pour soap bases doesn’t allow for the same swirling techniques you can use in cold process soaps. Still, it is possible to get some really cool swirling effects using both white and clear melt and pour soap bases. The trick behind the swirling technique used in this soap is using both clear and white soap bases and pouring them at different temperatures. As the white and clear soaps cool, they will have a different consistencies, allowing for a swirling effect. The temperature difference is important, because is we were to pour both the white and clear soaps at the same temperature (= consistency), the clear and white soaps would just blend into each other and the result would be one solid pastel pink colour, instead of swirls.
The mold I’m using is the small square silicon mold from Pure Nature, which is ideal for melt and pour projects like this. It holds about 500 g, giving you 4 bars of soap.
Pure Nature also stocks several types of melt and pour soap bases. For this project I used the normal white base and clear base. If you wish to leave your soap unwrapped, I recommend using the low-sweat white base and low-sweat clear base.
ONE: Cut up approximately 250 g of white melt and pour soap base into cubes and add it to a heat proof glass Pyrex jug. Heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts until the soap has melted. Make sure you don’t bring the soap to boil.
TWO: Add 1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil and give it a good stir.
THREE: Pour a layer of about 1 cm of white soap into your soap mold.
FOUR: Cut up approximately 250 g of the clear melt and pour soap and add it to a separate heat proof glass Pyrex jug and again, heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted.
FIVE: Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil and 2-3 drops of red food colouring. Give the soap a good stir until you have an even colour throughout the soap.
SIX: Pour about a third of the red soap into the mold from a height of about 20-30 cm, making sure you break through the surface of the white soap.
SEVEN: Using a spoon, give it a little swirl.
EIGHT: Wait a few minutes, and then pour in some of the white soap and give it another quick swirl. Wait again for a few minutes. Keep repeating this, alternating between pouring red and white soap until you have used up all the soap.
If the soap should set in the jugs, heat them up briefly in the microwave to melt again.
There are no set rules for swirling melt and pour soap, so feel free to play around. Try pouring from different heights, or pouring different consistencies of soap, some a bit thicker and some more fluid. Swirl when the soap is a bit thicker, or don’t swirl at all and let the soap do the movement for you. You can even plop in a few unmelted blocks of soap.
NINE: Once you’ve poured all the soap and you’re happy with the swirling, sprinkle some gold bio-glitter on the surface.
TEN: Let the soap cool down and harden completely before unmolding. I usually leave it overnight, and unmold the next morning. Cut the soap into 4 bars and wrap in glad wrap or place them in cello bags. The soaps contain a high amount of glycerin, which draws moisture to its surface, especially in a humid climate like we have in New Zealand. To prevent this, we wrap the soaps.
Candy cane swirl melt and pour
- 250g white melt and pour soap base
- 250g clear melt and pour soap base
- 10 ml peppermint essential oil
- red food colouring
- gold bio-glitter
- small square soap mold
- Cut 250 g of white melt and pour soap base into cubes and add it to a heat proof Pyrex jug and heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts or until melted.
- Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil.
- Pour approximately a layer of 1 cm into the soap mold.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the clear melt and pour soap base.
- Add 2-3 drops of red food colouring to the clear melt and pour soap base and stir until the colour has evenly dispersed throughout the soap.
- From a height of about 20-30 cm, pour about a third of the red soap into the mold, making sure you break through the surface of the white soap.
- Using a spoon, give the soap a swirl.
- Wait a few minutes, then pour some of the white soap into the soap mold. Give it another swirl, and wait for a few minutes. Keep repeating this, alternating between the red and white soap, until you have used up all the soap.
- Give the soap a final swirl.
- Sprinkle a little gold glitter over the surface.
- Leave the soap to cool down and harden completely (or overnight).
- The next day, carefully unmold the soap and cut into 4 bars.
- Wrap the soap into glad wrap or in cello bags.