Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge- Spinning Swirl

This month, the Great Cakes Soap Challenge Club was asked to make cold process soap using the spinning swirl technique! As always, the wonderful host, Amy Warden, guided us through the challenge!

This technique was first seen here:


For this particular technique, a slow-moving recipe and a fragrance that wouldn’t accelerate was key. Usually, I’d make a recipe over 50% olive oil (not pomace) to play it safe. However, I decided to try a new recipe that included :

40% olive oil with avocado oil, apricot oil, palm kernel flakes, a little coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter and castor oil.

I was a bit nervous about the percentage of hard oils but figured if I stopped blending at emulsification using full water everything would be fine! πŸ™‚ 

I also decided to test out some new colorants- WSP’s neons! And then, for black and white, I used the usual- activated charcoal and titanium dioxide. 

 Since summer is coming up, a nice light citrus essential oil blend seemed appropriate :). The blend included:

Orange 15x, grapefruit, lavender and peppermint!

Special tools

-Slab mold (rectangle or square shape). My slab mold is an acrylic mold from an online shop in Japan, Cafe de Savon


1. Weighed my oils, lye solution (I have a masterbatch solution that contains 50 water/ 50 lye), and extra water.

2. Melted hard oils and mixed with the soft oils.

3. Premixed my colorants using my mixed oils.

4. Mixed my oils, lye solution, and extra water at room temperature.

5. Stick-blended in short bursts until emulsified.

6. Stirred in fragrance.

7. Divided soap batter into the premixed colorants and stirred well.

8. At this point, I imitated the YouTube video above. I poured soap batter, alternating colors, in each corner of the mold. (I literally poured the batter, not just near, but into each corner).

9. After all the soap batter was poured, I spun the mold clockwise about 90 degrees at a time, just like the YouTube video. I made this spinning movement a bit strong like the force of a ticking of a clock to get the soap moving properly.

I usually take more pictures during the process but I was too focused and needed all the time I could get! I had no idea if the new blend of essential oils or recipe would cause acceleration.

Luckily, everything went smoothly! And here are the results:         AFTER THOUGHTS

When planning for this, I wasn’t quite sure how much and how hard to spin the mold. And at what thickness should the batter be? I knew it had to be at very light trace but not so light or else you run the risk of colors getting muddy. But, imitating Amy Warden and the YouTube video above worked! I’m really happy with the blend of thick and thin lines! 

Thanks to Amy Warden for another exciting challenge! And thanks, all, for reading!


About merrydaysoaps

musician & soapmaker

32 responses to “Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge- Spinning Swirl

  1. Love it!!! You took a lot of risks with the new recipe, new colorants, etc, but it definitely paid off! Isn’t this one so much fun??

  2. The last photo of the three bars lined up looks like art hanging on a wall. Well done!

  3. Really nice! Love your swirls!

  4. jjbaze

    Really like how your swirl turned out.

  5. Your colors are so awesome together! Love them!

  6. Your soap is beautiful. Great mix of colors. Congrats, well done πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

  7. This is awesome..bold and beautiful

  8. Janie

    Love your contrasting swirls. There’s a local artist here who does mixed media swirls. He has some coordinating canvases that are lined up like your image of the last three. They do look like “art hanging on a wall.” πŸ™‚

    • merrydaysoaps

      πŸ™‚ making soap is very similar to paint swirling/marbling. Sometimes I look at their techniques for inspiration! Thanks for commenting!

  9. Beautiful!! Love your colour scheme πŸ™‚

  10. Such a great choice of colours. These soaps are really striking.

  11. Eileen

    Beautiful soap! And I love your mold.

  12. Saponista

    I really like the definition between the layers and your choice of colour is lovely. Looks like abstract art.

  13. Very nice, it looks like an abstrsact painting, I like the colours, very interesting , striking combination.

  14. sonyasoaps

    Lovely bold colours!! Gorgeous soap!! Well done

  15. BeautifuL, they turned out great!

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