A regular in-the-pot soap swirl involves mixing your soap to emulsion, dividing it out into several containers, coloring each container, pouring it back into your base container and then pouring it into your mold. As you pour, it swirls together.
Here are some in-the-pot (ITP) swirls with recipes here on the blog.
The lazy soap maker’s in-the-pot swirl does not involve extra containers. You color the soap directly in the base container. I hate doing dishes, and I hate throwing out disposable cups so this works well for me!
This is an advanced technique for sure. You have to be comfortable with making cold process soap and the varying stages of trace.
So here is how you do it!
Mix your soap base to medium trace.
If your soap is too fluid, this won’t work. The colors will mix in too much.
Add your mica as shown below. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of grape nehi, tahitian teal, the maniacal pea, charcoal and white mica from Mad Micas.
I like to use a mini-mixer (coffee frother) for this part. Simply stick the coffee frother underneath each color and mix. The mini-mixer will pull the powder down and will blend it into the soap as shown.
You want to use colorants that easily mix in. Micas work great! Titanium dioxide and oxides/ultramarines and non-mineral cosmetic pigments (such as neons) don’t work well. They need to be pre-mixed to disperse correctly.
Sticking the mixer below the white mica.
Do that for each color! It is okay if the blend into each other a bit, because then you’ll get different shades of colors.
Here they are all blended in. There is a bit of charcoal that blew up, but it isn’t a big deal.
And here is a side view!
You can see how deep the color goes and use a spoon to mix it in even more if you want more colored soap.
Now, just like a regular in-the-pot soap swirl, take your spoon or spatula and swirl in the pot just a bit. I simply do one rotation in the bowl.
Then it is ready to pour into your mold! As you pour, it will swirl even more. The cool thing about having the soap this thick is that it won’t muddy together while pouring. The colors stay nice and defined.
I added a bit of texture on top using a spoon.
And here is a side view of the swirl! I can’t wait to cut this one!
After 24 hours, unmold and cut! Cure for 4 weeks.