July 2016 Great Cakes Soap Challenge: Pipe Divider Swirl

Hey Love Buds!

I'm so excited, my first official entry into soap challenge.  This month's Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge Club challenge is called the pipe divider swirl.

In a nutshell, using a slab mold, you stick pvc pipes to the bottom with melted cocoa butter to create a kind soap within a soap effect.

The criteria was simple, use cold process soap and exactly 4 colors.

As you may know, I've only been back at cold process soapmaking for about 6 weeks, but I felt I was up to the challenge.

My first attempt at this challenge was with a very unique fragrance oil I purchased from Wholesale Suppliers Plus called "Rosewater Lemonade".  I thought the contrast of the fragrance would work will with this project.  

I decided to use Really Red mica from Mad Oils and a very faint pink created by mixing the Really Red with Snow White mica, also from Mad Oils.  For the contrast, I decided to use Yellow Raincoat mica from Mad Oils and 24k Gold from Nature's Garden.

I ordered some pvc couplings from Amazon, sight unseen and when they arrived they were MUCH smaller than I anticipated, so I ran to the local hardware store and purchased a couple of 1 inch ones and a 1 1/2 inch one to go with the 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch ones I received.

The beginning pour went smashingly.  However, when it came time to pour into the pvc pipes, I realized that they were way too small for this project.  I dripped yellow and gold soap batter several times on the red and pink.

I also wasn't really feeling there was enough contrast between the yellow and gold, especially after it dried and was covered in soda ash.  

My defeat becomes more evident with the fact that I have no skills at finishing bars.  Things like beveling, steaming, planing, etc have not been my strong suit, but could kind of be forgiven with a loaf mold.  This slab mocks me with my horribly crocked cut bars.  Even worse, it smells TO DIE FOR and the gold on this soap in some places looks like little puckered up lips and I love that effect.


First, back to the hardware store for some 2 inch and more 1 and 1 1/2 inch pvc pipe couplings.  Next, the fragrance, I still wanted something that would provide for contrasting colors.  As I looked through my stash, I found Energy fragrance by Bramble Berry and thought with a little mint added, I could do something that resembled leaves on an orange and yellow base.  So I added a dash of peppermint and spearmint EO and the blend was perfect!

The larger pvc pipes worked like a charm, the fragrance behaved beautifully and I could not have asked for a better result.  For the swirls I used a chopstick whereas with the first attempt I used a bamboo skewer.  With the thicker chopstick, I really think I was able to do a more controlled swirl.  With the first attempt, I believe there is too much swirl work and it got a bit too busy in spots.  I covered this pan with a thin cutting mat after pouring.  I hope that will cut down on the soda ash.  I've been spraying my soaps with 99% isopropyl alcohol, but that has not seemed to help much with ash.

After careful unmolding, some calculated cutting and trying my best to clean them up, this is the result:

 The colors faded a bit more than I would have liked, but all in all, I'm pretty proud of the result.  The bar on the right is what the bottom looks like.

This was fun and I look forward to next month's challenge!

What new recipes/concepts are you working on?  Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Peace, Love & lots of energized BUBBLES!



  1. Beautiful work, Ayieta!! Thank you for sharing what worked and what didn't with this technique. The final soaps definitely have the leafy effect you were looking for, and I imagine they smell pretty amazing too!

  2. They look great, seriously. Congrats on your first entry, hope you do well! :)

  3. In the mold in screamed Squash to me for some reason. Very very pretty soap and adding mint to the energy to is brilliant!!

  4. Thank you for sharing your whole process, Ayieta. I love reading about how people came to the final result. These turned out fantastic, too! I loved the colors in the mold but I really, really loved how delicate they turned out. Almost like a beautiful watercolor painting!

  5. Very nice and I like how the colors went pastel.