Archive | Coloring Your Soaps

Testing, Testing

Now that the holiday rush has passed, the store is settling back down to what feels more like a ‘normal’ and relaxing pace. The practice of making soap can be a very calming and relaxing process in itself, so it was a pleasure to take time this morning to whip up a 3 pound batch of cold process soap to test a group of new fragrances in the silicone mold.

All of our fragrance oils are tested for bad behavior such as discoloring, seizing, accelerating or decelerating trace, super-heating, and weakness in scent. It is important for us to see the stability of the fragrance through the entire month-long waiting period because there are usually significant changes that occur at a later point.


I like experimenting in the rounds because it’s not such a let down compared to making a full loaf when fragrances act up. We’ve had our share of loaves split down the center from super-heating and of course discoloration finds its way into the soaps we are sometimes most proud of– particularly one that was a beautiful blue with orange square embeds that ended up going all brown and the scent faded into a lovely Play-Doh aroma. I’m not holding and grudges or anything :-p

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Ginger Peach Jam Test Batch

While testing another fragrance in cold process, I didn’t expect to encounter such a great chemistry experiment! I used titanium dioxide to whiten the yellow hue of the natural soap (which is caused mostly by the palm oil) and colored the other half of the swirl with cellini blue mica. I was expecting this color:… not pink and then purple! Immediately, the raw soap turned a bright pink and by the end of the day, the color deepened into a beautiful purple. When I put my used Pyrex in the sink for a rinse after I finished pouring, the pink soap leftover in the dish turned bright blue as soon as the water hit it. This is a great reminder to always do a small test batch when using a new color or fragrance for the first time before making large quantities, particularly if you intend to sell your soap. I’m curious to see if this batch will go back to blue by the end of the month-long waiting period. Either way, it smells great and will make a wonderful addition to our bulk loaf soaps for sale in the store!

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Cow Soap?

Behold, the cow soap! Created by one of our enthusiastic cold process class participants on December 19th, she used black oxide and titanium dioxide to get that great contrasting swirl pattern. Simply alternate pouring the black and white and then don’t touch! No swirling with the spoon– you’ll get gray. Turned out pretty cool!

We also had fun with additives such as ground green loofah and lavender buds. Remember, those buds will eventually brown over time, as will any dried plant that naturally decays. The loofah looks great and will be an awesome exfoliant.


Our next class is on Saturday, January 16th. Sign up here or give us a call at (360) 676-1030 to grab your spot! Happy Holidays everyone!

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Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I’ll admit it, this job is way too fun to consider work! One of my favorite things to do here at Otion is test fragrances in cold process soap. It’s a great opportunity to practice swirling techniques and try different color combinations, not to mention the thrill of using a totally new scent. Here, I used antique blue mica, yellow mica, and coral mica to create this fiery swirl for a Chipotle fragrance. Can’t wait to see how the pattern changes with each bar!

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