After creating Swatch Mania! and More Swatch Mania!, I had tons and tons of little sample swatches of solid colored soap. Naturally, I shredded them to bits using a Salad Shooter, and stored them for use later on. Most of those shreds became confetti soaps I donated to various organizations. However, I used some of them for tutorials for you!
This layered soap uses various shades of pink and green soap shreds embedded against white soap for contrast. I often get asked for more “normal” soap recipes, so I used this opportunity to go there! I used the Holy Trinity soap formula (olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil) to create the samples in both Swatch Mania ebooks. As such, unlike other tutorials on Modern Soapmaking, this one isn’t palm-free and is a nice basic recipe for most beginning soapmakers.
This layered soap recipe is sized for a 10″ Bramble Berry silicone mold, like most of my other tutorials. You can resize it using a lye calculator for whichever mold works for you. As requested, I have started to add percentages to the formula for your convenience.
Layered Soap Recipe Used
- 14 ounces Rice Bran Oil (36.8% of the oils)
- 9 ounces Coconut Oil (23.7% of the oils)
- 8 ounces Palm Oil (21.1% of the oils)
- 5 ounces Mango Butter (13.2% of the oils)
- 2 ounces Castor Oil (5.3% of the oils)
- 5.16 ounces Sodium Hydroxide (5% superfat)
- 10.48 ounces Distilled Water (33% lye solution)
I buy most of my soaping oils from Soaper’s Choice (Columbus Foods).
Fragrance Oil Used
- 50 grams of Hedonic Tonic Fragrance Oil (Mad Oils)
You can use any fragrance oils or essential oils your heart desires.
- 1 tsp Titanium Dioxide (Mad Oils)
- 1 tsp Bazooka Joe Mica (Mad Oils)
- 1 tsp The Maniacal Pea Mica (Mad Oils)
Additional Ingredients Used
- 2 ounces of various shades of green soap shreds
- 2 ounces of various shades of pink soap shreds
PREP WORK: Weigh out your soaping oils. I like to add my fragrance oil to my main soap pot so I can’t possibly forget it later. Make up your lye solution, too!
I keep my Titanium Dioxide premixed and diluted, so I can easily add it to my soap. If you don’t, you’ll want to prep your TD. In two measuring cups, I measured out the micas so they’re ready to go.
This layered soap recipe also calls for four ounces of soap shreds, this is a great opportunity to use up scraps, end cuts, and shavings from beveling soap! If you need to shred your soap scraps, I highly recommend snagging a Salad Shooter to make quick work of it!
GET STARTED: Add your lye solution to your oils by pouring your lye solution down the shaft of the stickblender. Stick blend or mix until barely emulsified. (Not sure what that means? Find out in this guide to controlling trace.)
Pour a quarter of the soap batch into one measuring cup, and a quarter of the soap batch into the other measuring cup.
You should have half of your batch in your main soap pot, and the other half evenly split between the pink and green micas in the two measuring cups.
Add your titanium dioxide to your main soap pot, coloring half of your layered soap batch white.
Lightly stickblend the colorants into each portion of the soap. Typically, I would use a whisk or spatula to disperse the colorants to prevent thickening of the soap, but in this case, I’m aiming for a light to medium trace during pour.
When you have a small portion of soap to mix with a stickblender, you can prevent air bubbles by tipping the container so that the bell of the stickblender is fully submerged in the soap.
Add the colored soap shreds into the white portion of the soap batch.
If you want smaller flecks of color instead of the big curly bits of soap shreds, stickblend the shreds into the white soap instead of stirring them in. The stickblender will chop them up into tiny pieces!
POUR IT: It’s time to layer it up! Start by pouring the entire portion of soap with the green mica into the mold. If it’s uneven after pouring, smooth it out with a spatula before pouring the next layer.
Add the second layer, the pink soap, into the mold. You can do this by floodfilling (pour the soap over a spatula into the mold) or by scooping the soap into the mold. If your first layer has already set up, you can simply pour the next layer, as shown!
Again, if your layers are uneven, you can use a spatula to gently smooth them out!
TOP IT OFF: Flood fill (pour the soap over a spatula into the mold), pour gently (it will likely be thick enough at this point), or scoop and layer the remainder of the layered soap into the mold.
FINISH IT UP: Texture the top of the soap with a spoon or spatula, if you wish. I used a spatula to drag both sides of the layered soap into the middle of the mold, and then created divots with a spatula.
To add more visual interest, I sprinkled the top of the soap with both of the micas I used to color the layers.
Spritz the top with rubbing alcohol when it loses the sheen of wet soap, and cover with plastic wrap to help keep the ash monsters away.
Remove the soap from the mold, slice it up, and give it a good cure. Enjoy!
The layered soap recipe featured in this tutorial uses a 5% superfat and a 33% lye solution. Feel free to adjust as necessary!