Marbled Citrus – “one pot swirl”

Having successfully made a good entry for the Soap Challenge Club, I decided that for my next soap I wanted to have another attempt at the “one pot swirl” or Japanese swirl.

Marbled Citrus Soap - "Clyde slide"

Marbled Citrus Soap – one pot swirl

My inspiration for the soap was some pink grapefruit essential oil.  But knowing that citrus EOs don’t stick very long in cured soap, I thought it could be interesting to blend a couple of citrus EOs (in this case, pink grapefruit and mandarin) with a few drops of citronella EO – which definitely does last.  So my colours for the soap were selected to be fairly pale, subtle “citrusy” lemon yellow and pink grapefruit colours, along with a dark grey for a good contrast.  The natural colourants I used were French yellow ochre for the yellow, and blended some of the yellow soap with a very small amount of Italian pink ochre to try to get the pink grapefruit colour.  The grey was activated charcoal, and I added kaolin to the lye water to lighten/whiten the soap a little, and to have the benefits the clay brings to the bar.  (I love clay soaps!!)

After bringing the soap to emulsion or very light trace, I separated out the soap for the colours and mixed the base and the 3 colours to a light trace.  Then I drizzled the colours, one at a time on the surface of the white base soap in the pot – starting with the grey, then the pink and finally the yellow.

First colour drizzled into the pot ....

First colour drizzled into the pot ….

.... and the second .....

…. second colour drizzled in …..

..... and finally the third colour

….. and finally the third colour







This all went without any problems, and the soap stayed at a fairly thin trace throughout.  For this soap I tried moving the pot less during the pour into the mold than I’d done for the Clyde slide.  So just once up the length of the mold, and then back to my starting point at the other end.

Marbled Citrus Soap

Marbled Citrus Soap in the mold

As my acrylic molds allow me to get some idea of of what the soap looks like around the edges, I was really excited that this batch seemed to be more feathery that the first one ……

Cut bars - with the feathery marbled pattern in all of the bars

Cut bars – with the feathery marbled pattern in all of the bars

And I wasn’t disappointed when I cut either.  The pattern is not exactly what I was shooting for, and the pink grapefruit colour was a little lighter than I’d hoped.

But I absolutely love it because the soap really looks like it’s marbled, with “seams” of citrusy colour and grey!  And the fine, feathery pattern is in pretty much every bar (these are all of the bars after cutting, except for the slivers from the ends of the loaf), which was another objective of trying this technique rather than the faux funnel pour that Clyde uses.

Here are a few more bars ……

Marbled Citrus Soap

Marbled Citrus Soap

More Marbled Citrus Soap

More Marbled Citrus Soap

Although I really love this batch, I still wanted to get closer to the feathery “one pot” pattern which is similar to what Clyde achieved in his green tea and pear soap – so I tried another batch!  If you’re interested, you can read more about the making of that soap in a separate post – “Épices de Soie”.


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