Today I made my first melt and pour – tried to do the swirl technique. Let me tell you now, it was a FAIL!! 🙂
I wanted to make a melt and pour soap. About a month ago I started watching some videos and reading some information on various sites, and it just seemed so easy! And it is, I am sure. As I “researched” and watched various videos on youtube, I “discovered” the swirl! Wow, such pretty soaps! So, I decided to do a Melt and Pour soap using the swirl technique.
I wasn’t sure if the Swirl technique was for Melt and Pour or for the Cold Process, so I googled “Melt and Pour Swirl” and some articles appeared so I thought “OK, it is possible”.
This is what a soap swirl may look like (there are so many diferent and beautiful swirl soaps):
So I decided to make my own swirl soap using Melt and Pour method.
I got all my stuff ready and started preparing myself to make my first soap. I had been imagining this for a few days and was pretty confident. I did a mental visualization of the process – material I needed, pouring the soaps and the final result beautiful…
So, first all the material I needed on the countertop:
- Glycerin (opaque)
- Fragrances and colouring
- 4 Bowls
- Sticks to mix (one for each bowl)
- Molds (ideas here for economical molds)
- Rubbing alcohol (which I forgot)
The 4 bowls:
- Green+ 1 tablespoon of 100% olive oil + Rosemary fragrance (5 drops)
- Pink + Rose fragrance (5 drops)
- Orange + 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- White glycerin (didn’t add any colour) + vanilla fragrance
Goog idea: Since I don’t have a dropper, I dipped one of the sticks in the fragrance bottle and the drops that rolled off I poured in the bowls. I counted 5 drops for each fragrance I added. The “dropper” worked really well.
The melted base started to solidfy really quickly, so I reheated the bases with the fragrance and colouring added. Now I was ready to pour and do my swirl technique…or so I thought.
As I started to pour the liquid, each base in a corner, it was too thin and the 4 melted bases began to intersect eachother, but it seemed like it was going to work out. I finished pouring the 4 bases and started to rotate the mold about 45º at a time, around and around expecting the 4 bases to begin to swirl around each other (like this example). But the bases were beginning to solidify really quickly and weren’t flowing like I had seen in the youtube videos… So this is what happened:
I then poured the rest of the melt and base in another mold I had, hoping to be able to do something like this, but what I got was this:
Lastly, I forgot the rubbing alcohol to spray on top of the melted base (it bursts the soap bubbles that might acumuluate on top), but then again I don’t think anyone will notice the bubbles on this beautiful melt and pour soap 🙂
24 hours later I umolded my soaps:
I cut them in pieces and I’ll turn them over to have the prettier side on top.
They turned out OK, not as pretty as I hoped but they will be used up like any other soap 🙂
Conclusions: Melt and Pour swirl is possible but not using the technique I used (video here with Melt and Pour Swirl). The technique I used is for Cold Process soaps.
But even if I had seen the video of Anne Marie Soap Quenn before my experience, I don’t think it would have worked out because my melt base was cooling up to quickly. I am not sure if it is because I wasn’t heating up (or maybe heating too much) my melt base. The right temperature to pour melt and pour base is 60ºC (140ºF) – NOTE to myself: I need to order a thermometer. Also, since my batches weren’t very big I think the melt base was cooling more quickly than if I had larger batches. Hopefully, I will be able to make my conclusions within the next soaps I make.