Ghost Swirls | October Soap Challenge Club

Behold, Pale Orange Whirl, mandarin bergamot scented soap, made for the October Soap Challenge Club. This month we learned how to conjure up ghost swirls in our soaps without adding any colorants, only adjusting the water content and heat. I made only one attempt, shown here, scented with an essential oil blend of mandarin bergamot that smells softly-sweet like juicy oranges with an airy floral note.

Though we were allowed to work with two or more lye concentrations, I only did two, as I had yet to create a successful ghost swirl in other attempts. After mixing in the essential oils, I split my base oils into two partitions, one for a low water lye solution (approx. 42% lye concentration) and one for high water (approx. 27% concentration).

At least if my maths are correct, that's what I think I did...I couldn't find my SoapCalc screenshots at the time of this writing. 😉 

I also soaped a bit warmer than I usually do. This time the lye water was closer to 88-90 degrees, and the oils were about 76 degrees or room temperature. Trying to keep the two containers of soap at a similar consistency was a trial of patience with mixing. This challenge was definitely more scientific and technical!


I poured an alternating pattern starting with the low-water batter and made a kind of drop swirl, followed by a hanger swirl. I've made attempts at ghost swirls since I first began making soap, and this one turned out to be the best I've managed! I intended to try another batch, but time got away from me with all the holiday soap-prep in the works. Plus, I was very pleased with how this batch turned out.

 

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