Domestic U.S. shipping: discounted on orders $40+ & free for orders $50 or higher!

July Soap Challenge Club: Natural Marble

The goal

Advanced category: create a natural looking Marble soap. My inspirations are closest described as Harlequin White and Calacatta (Calcitic) Marble, images from TINO Natural Stone.

Harlequin White Marble Calacatta (Calcitic) Marble

Prep

I did the normal measuring and prep with some Sodium lactate 60% in attempt two from Wholesale Supplies Plus (WSP) to aid with removal from the mold. I prepped the colors with oil in separate containers. I hand stirred the oils and lye water in the first batch, but was able to use a stick blender in attempt two. I mixed the fragrance at light trace.

Attempt one

White Marble with Black and Gray veining. Fragrance 8th & Ocean from Nurture Soap, anchored with Kaolin Clay.

Colors: Mostly from Nurture Soap Winter White+Titanium Dioxide, Nocturnal, Neutral Gray.

  • 35% Olive Oil
  • 23% Coconut Oil
  • 14% Palm Oil
  • 13% Rice Bran Oil
  • 6% Castor Oil
  • 5% Sweet Almond Oil
  • 4% Cocoa Butter
  • 5% Superfat
  • 33% Lye Strength

  • The total batch weight was just under 44 fl oz. The white became medium to thick trace too fast, so the black and gray remained too distinct. I did not do mica lines, and just got all the batter in the mold ASAP.

    Thick Pour Marble Soap Try 1Full Slab Marble Soap Try 1 Cut Bars Marble Soap Try 1

    Attempt two

    White Marble with Black and Gray veining, natural mica lines in brown and copper; fragrance Awaken from Nurture Soap.

    Colors mostly from Nurture Soap (again): White (Titanium Dioxide)+Winter White, Snowflake Sparkle (only in first white layer mix), Nocturnal, Neutral Gray, Bronze Brown, Copper Penny.

  • 57% Olive Oil
  • 20% Coconut Oil
  • 10% Palm Oil
  • 5% Sweet Almond Oil
  • 5% Rice Bran Oil
  • 3% Castor Oil
  • 5% Superfat
  • 28% Lye Strength

  • I changed the recipe to add more Olive oil, reduced Castor, Coconut, Palm, Rice Bran, removed Cocoa Butter and Kaolin Clay, used full water, and re-added the distilled water that seemed to evaporate while the lye water solution was cooling. The total batch weight was just under 77 fl oz.

    Fluid pour for Marble July Soap Challenge Try 2

    This recipe remained so fluid! I've never had a batter so runny for so long. The 7% colors for veining (7% of batch for each color) just became medium trace on the final pours. The FO seemed to reduce trace as well. Temperature soaping at oils/lye water at 72-74 F. Below are photos of the first mica line in Bronze Brown which was somewhat punctured. The second image is the Copper Penny mica line which had some overlap with the first line, but it remained more a line (less punctured by soap). Third image is a close-up of the finished soap top. Fourth image shows the full bars, before slicing to reveal the mica veins.

    First Mica layer Bronze Brown for Marble Soap Try 2Mica Line Two Copper Penny for July Marble Soap Challenge Try 2Close-up of Top for Try 2 July Marble Soap ChallengeCut full bars July Soap Challenge Club Advanced category Natural Marble

    Takeaways

    • Use a non-accelerating or decelerating scent
    • Stick blend each white before adding vein colors and pouring
    • Cut along the mica line
    • Pour at light-medium trace, seemed to be defined with less color blending
    • A more defined mica line behaved better than a mica line that had soap batter break through
    • A slow-moving recipe and re-adding evaporated distilled water made so much difference
    • I'd try to leave more white or "main" color at the end, or reduce "vein" colors from 7% each to 5-5.5%
    • In the future on a large batch this size, try one mica line and cut evenly in the middle
    • I love Marble and wished I had more time to make a fun entry, and do river rock soap. I will be playing with these designs in the future, for sure!
     Natural Marble Soap July Challenge Artistic Photo
    Natural Marble Soap July Challenge Flat Photo

      1 comment

      • Great job, Amy! I really enjoyed reading about your soaps and processes, and your entry soap is definitely beautiful! The 7% refers to the TOTAL amount of colored soap compared to the base soap, so that’s why you ended up with more color than you wanted. :)

        Amy Warden

      Leave a comment

      Please note, comments must be approved before they are published