Linear Swirl – Cold Process Soap Technique Focus

For our recent winter campaign, we were inundated with lots of soapy inspiration and it made us makers in the creative team eager to try out some new techniques! One technique we were yet to try was the ‘Linear Swirl’. So, kitted out with Christmas-y coloured micas, we put it to the test. Our first attempt didn’t look as polished as planned but it still made some lovely photos for our winter campaign!

For this ‘Make it Monday’ we tried this technique again with a lot more success.

Here’s how we did it…

What you need:

  • A suitable mould – Preferably wide so you have more room to achieve the technique.
  • 2 Stainless steel pans
  • Accurate scales
  • 3 Heatproof jugs
  • A Balloon whisk
  • A Silicone spatula
  • Measuring spoons (Teaspoons/5ml)
  • Pipette
  • Suitable eye and hand protection
  • Towels or blankets


*Makes 1kg of Soap*

  1. 340g Water
  2. 125g Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic)
  3. 454g Olive Pomace
  4. 284g Coconut Oil
  5. 170g Shea Butter
  6. ¼ Tsp. Vitamin E
  7. 20ml of your chosen Essential oil or Fragrance (We used the Champagne Fragrance)
  8. 1 Heaped tsp. charcoal mixed in to a paste with a little bit of olive oil
  9. 2/3 Drops of water dispersible red colour
  10. 1 Heaped tsp. titanium dioxide mixed in to a paste with a little bit of olive oil


*why not grab a bargain, click here for our CP soapmakers ingredients bundle, on offer now!


Before we begin to take you through the steps of creating a linear swirl within your soap, make sure you have your lye cooled and ready to add to your pan of oils.  Be sure to check that the temperature of your lye is a similar temperature to your oils.

If you need a reminder of how to get to this stage in a cold process soap recipe, follow this link:

Step 1:

Combine the oils & vitamin E, then add your lye and mix everything thoroughly using a balloon whisk till you reach a light trace. You can use a Stick blended to speed up the process but be vigilant on reaching that light trace.

Step 2:

Once you have reached a light trace, add 20ml of your chosen fragrance or essential oil.

Step 3:

Now decant 500g of soap mix into two separate jugs (250g in each for each colour)

Step 4:

You’ll need to work quite quickly now! Turn your attention back to your left over 500g of soap mix. This is going to be your base colour which we are going to lighten with titanium dioxide.  Add the titanium dioxide and mix in well using a balloon whisk.  You may want to give it a very quick blast with the stick blender to break up any sneaky powder particles.

Step 5

Add the charcoal powder paste to one jug of 250g mix and stir well.

Step 6

Add 2/3 drops of water dispersible red to the last jug of mix and stir in. Again, you may want to use a stick blender to break up the colour particles. You’ll be surprised at how pigmented 2/3 drops of this colourant is.

Step 7

You should now be left with a pan of white soap mix, black and pink. Grab your mould and pour a pattern of pink lines in to the bottom of your mould

Step 8

Repeat over the top with black. You can be as random as you like!

Step 9

Pour half of the white mix on top

Step 10

Repeat steps 7 and 8 but this time, pouring in horizontal lines and aiming your pours so that the colours sit side by side. Now pour the rest of the white mix in and you should then be left with only the black and pink mix.


Step 11:

Again, repeat steps 7&8 but this time from a slightly higher position, pour both colours side by side in horizontal lines. By pouring your soap mix from a high, this will allow the soap to penetrate the white base colour and will therefore show all sorts of lovely swirls when you finally cut your soap in to bars.

As you reach the end of the jugs of black and pink mix, lower the position of your pour so that you have some colour sit on top. This is where you’ll create your linear swirl lines!

Step 12:

Using a spatula, pull the colours through the mould vertically from one side of the mould to the other. ET Voila!

Step 13:

As usual, insulate your mould to allow the soap to saponify for at least 24 hours. Once unmoulded cut into bars, then cure for 3-4 weeks before use.




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