For this batch of cold process soap, I used my standard oil combination of 1/3 olive oil, 1/3 coconut oil, and 1/3 palm oil (shortening). First, I measured out the palm oil and melted it since it has the highest melting point. After I melted it, I added the coconut oil which melted in the heat of the palm oil. Then I added the olive oil to the soap pot.
I set the oils aside and measured out my distilled water in a pyrex measuring cup. I set that aside and measured out my lye in a dedicated small plastic container with a wide bottom. I like to use wide-bottomed containers for my lye and for the container that holds the water to which I will add the lye. The wide bottoms give them more stability — less likely to dump over if accidentally bumped. Then I added my lye to the water (NEVER the other way around) and stirred it with a plastic spoon until all the lye dissolved. Then I cooled the lye water in a bowl filled with ice. I cooled it this time because I used sodium lactate in this batch and the instructions say that you add it to your cooled lye water. I was afraid of what would happen if I added it to hot lye water. Sodium lactate helps to harden soap bars which will help them last longer.
Then I added my lye water to the oils pot and used my immersion blender to bring it to a medium trace. For this batch of soap, I divided my soap batter into three portions and colored one portion with prepared* Ultramarine Violet Pigment from Brambleberry and the other portion with prepared* Hydrated Chrome Green Pigment also from Brambleberry. The other third I left uncolored.
Then I poured one of the colors into the uncolored portion at 4 different places. I repeated that process with the other color. Then I took a chopstick and passed through each spot twice. The reason I did it twice rather than once was because I was at a thick trace and the first pass didn’t seem to move the colors much. I didn’t want to combine the colors so I was careful not to swirl too much in the pot.
I used this silicone cylinder mold that I bought from Brambleberry. This was my first time using this mold. This is a well-constructed mold. There was a little bit of leaking into the seams but that doesn’t bother me. I could clip the sides with some heavy duty clips to try to prevent that but otherwise I just can slice off the edges. I have no illusions of “perfection.” I purposefully made more soap batter than would fit in this mold because I wanted to make a few snowflake-shaped soaps. I have a snowflake-shaped muffin pan made out of silicone that I use for molding soap and hard lotion bars.
Here is the photo of the cut bars. I forgot to take a picture of the unmolded cylinder of soap before I cut it. Oops!
*Before you add a powdered colorant, you must mix it with a bit of oil, water, alcohol, or glycerin (depending on the instructions) before adding it to the soap batter. You should follow the instructions for the powdered colorant and for the type of soap that you are making. Some should be mixed with oil while others should only be mixed with water, etc.