Soap Maker's Course & Resources

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Lesson 2.5: Swirl Technique - Clay Layers

The 'Clay Layers' give us another design with stark contrast. Let your customers see beautiful exotic clays with every color imaginable using our layered clay technique. Clay makes a great facial soap, known for drawing out impurities in the skin.

Lucky Springs Aloe, Clover, & Clay

This recipe will make 3 lbs of soap, 11 bars at 4.5 oz a piece after cure time.

What You Will Need:

  • 18. 24 oz. Distilled Water

  • 6.82 oz. Lye (NaOH)

  • 14.4 oz. Coconut Oil

  • 28.8 oz. Olive Oil

  • 4.8 oz. Canola Oil

  • 1 oz. Bentonite Clay

  • 1 tsp. Green Mica

  • 1/2 tsp. Titanium Dioxide

  • 1 tbsp. Dried Aloe Powder

  • 1.5 oz. Green Clover & Aloe Fragrance Oil

Instructions & Notes:

  1. With safety in mind, wear your gloves, safety glasses, and a mask to protect yourself from the toxic fumes of the lye water solution. Carefully pour 6.82 oz of lye crystals into 18.24 oz. of cold distilled bottled water. Stir continuously until the lye crystals are completely dissolved into the water. It's important that the crystals aren't allowed to settle and sit on the bottom. If they do, sometimes they can harden at the bottom and you won't end up with the correct amount of lye in your recipe.

  2. Next, in a separate bowl add the three oils and mix. Leave these two bowls standing until the lye water solution has cooled to room temperature. You can speed this up by placing the lye water solution in the fridge, but don't chill the water only allow it to cool to standing room temperature.

  3. While you wait for the lye water solution to cool, it's helpful to get your minor ingredients ready and standing by. Measure 1 oz. of bentonite clay into a cup. Add 1/2 tsp of green mica directly into the clay and mix this until the clay becomes tinted green. In a small cup add 3 tbsp. of light corn oil and mix 1/2 tsp of titanium dioxide. Blend this down until the white colorant is completely smooth. 

  4. When the lye water solution has cooled down to the same (+/- 20 degrees) temperature as the oils gently pour the lye water into the oils and mix with a stick blender. Blend this until it is completely emulsified. You can watch the emulsification take place as the surface of the soap looses the oil slick sheen on the top and becomes thick.

  5. Add 1.5 oz. of Green Clover & Aloe Fragrance Oil into the soap. Mix well.

  6. Separate the soap into 3 bowls. In one bowl add 1 oz. of bentonite clay. Mix well with a stick blender and pour this on the bottom of your loaf soap mold.

  7. In the 2nd bowl add 1 tbsp. of dried aloe powder and 1/2 tsp. of green mica. Mix this well and gently pour this over the top of the first layer. If the clay layer is not stiff enough to hold the second layer, try gently breaking the pour over a spoon and let the second layer roll down the side of the mold and slide across the top.

  8. In the third bowl add the white titanium dioxide colorant and ix. Gently pour this on top of the top without interrupting the middle layer.

  9. Set this aside for 24 hours and allow it to become firm.

  10. Once the soap has set, unmold and cut into 11 pieces. When the soap has been cut fresh it weighs about 6 ounces. This will need to be set aside for 4 - 6 weeks to cure. During this time the water will evaporate and the bars will weigh about 4.5 ounces a piece.