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September Soap Challenge Club: Ultra-Thin Horizontal Swirls

The goal

Amy Warden's Soap Challenge Club Regular Category: The entire soap must be made with cold process or cold process/oven process featuring ultra-thin horizontal swirls only using a slab/tray style square or rectangular mold with 1-4 different solid colored soap swirls in addition to the base color.

The guest teacher was Tatiana Serko from Creative Soap by Steso.


I did the normal measuring and prep with 0.5% Sodium lactate 60% from Wholesale Supplies Plus (WSP) to aid with removal from the mold. Temps were 76-80 F lye/oils.

Recipe & Process

  • 45% Olive Oil
  • 25% Coconut Oil
  • 15% Palm Oil
  • 10% Sweet Almond Oil
  • 5% Castor Oil
  • 5% Superfat
  • 28% Lye Strength

  • Colors: Mostly from Nurture Soap, TD from WSP

    Fragrance: Avalon an apple-scented fragrance oil from Nurture Soap

    "Top notes of citrus with middle notes of apple, sugar and violet intermingle with bottom notes of peach and musk to create this enchanted fragrance."

    Ultra-Thin Colors Pre-Swirl

    I used my stick blender and thought perhaps I ruined the trace, but the swirls appear to behave as I wanted. I pre-mixed my oils with sweet almond oil, and carefully pre-calculated my total batch weight to have an even 10% for my 4 colors (2 oz each). I mixed Avalon with the whole batch, then split the 4 colors off. After I finished mixing the colors, I mixed the base TD color and poured into my homemade mold. Since I was afraid the batter was setting quickly, I tried to pour from high and did not scrape the colors out. I did mix each color before adding to the soap base. I used the handle end of my silicone spatula as my swirling tool, but I do wish it was smaller (perhaps half the circumference).

    I did one scrape against all the sides, but no other internal swirls or bar designs to stay within the regular category. I am glad I re-read the rules because I was also going to use a brown mica.

    Ultra Thin Horizontal Swirl Artisan Soap


    • I really wish the Rapunzel color mixed in throughout the soap instead of pooling at one side. I believe I should have moved the soap slower on that side, and moved starting from that side instead of only from one side. I was trying to move fast without over mixing and adhere to moving horizontal - oops.
    • Use a smaller circumference swirling tool. I tried to use the best item I had on-hand that would be safe to use, but I think it made the base color portions too large.
    • My pours seemed a bit wide in my haste, but I'm not sure what impact that made to the design.
    • The end-result was not exactly what I expected, but it seems to resemble wood grain, totally fits a fall theme, and it smells fantastic!

    1 comment

    • I love the wood-grain effect! It is most definitely a beautiful fall themed soap! I haven’t smelled that fragrance before, but the colors sure scream fall. :) Excellent documentation and takeaways – great job on the challenge! Hope you had fun!

      Amy Warden

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