Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Citrus Swirl Soap

I've been wanting to make a batch of soap for my husband. He likes citrus-y smells so I thought it would be fun to use some dried and ground orange peels along with several citrus essential oils for his batch.
I also wanted it to look sort of orange and yellow with a bit of darker orange.  I decided to dry some orange peels and try using those. I cut them up and let them dry and then ground them in the blender.
I was thinking that the ground orange peels might give it a darker colour but then was reading in a soap making book that quite often you end up with a different colour than you think you might based on how the plant material reacts with the soap.

It suggested using spices to get different reliable colours. I wanted to try paprika but was out of it and so I googled to see what colour turmeric might give and decided to give that a try.  After pouring most of my soap into the mould I added a spoonful of turmeric to a small amount of soap and whizzed it to mix it in - it went quite red when I added it .  It ended up being a sort of saffron colour, and looked great when swirled into the main batch of soap.
It ended up looking just the way I had hoped and it smells delightful (I'm hoping the citrus smells don't fade too quickly).
Here it is almost dried after sitting overnight.

This was a basic coconut oil and olive oil soap. I had used this combination before for the first batch we made and really like the hardness of the soap and the lather.
Each batch I make has me wondering why I waited so long to try soap-making.  It really is a very simple thing to do and SO much fun to be able to make all kinds of different soap.  The toughest part is trying to wait patiently while it cures before you can try it...something, it turns out, I wasn't able to do with my batch of peppermint soap.  More on that later. ;-)

10 comments:

amo said...

citrus swirl- oh yumm. Don't take a bite, don't take a bite....

Alison said...

Every time I read one of your soap posts I think I should really try it again, this time I really am going to, your soap looks amazing! Fingers crossed my attempt works better than the last two times I tried it!
Alison
x

Elizabeth said...

I'm interested to see how this cures, Heather.
Soaps made with citrus essential oils often lose their scent almost completely (very sad, I know) I found this to be true with tangerine and lemon. I was warned but I tried it anyway!
I think very fruity smelling soaps must be made with synthetic fragrance oils (again very sad)

cargillwitch said...

it looks LOVELY!! I so love handmade soaps.Perhaps you could sell them alongside your veggies at the market?

Mary-Sue said...

Oh wow! Looks amazing. I'm finding that our first batch still smells great, are you? I LOVE it.

Katherine said...

Awesome! Citrus scents are very popular in our household so I'm looking forward to hearing whether the soap will retain its yummy scent. It looks gorgeous, in any case.

cathy@home said...

Love the twirls.

watching kereru said...

I love your excitement about trying new combinations. i tend to be incredibly boring - when I find something i like I stick to it. We have been making lavendar scented, olive oil soap for a couple of years now. We love it but that orange peel mix does sound appealing.

daisy said...

That is brilliant! I am so dying to try soap making. Thanks for all of the great info!

Heather said...

Alison, I hope you will give it a try again - so much fun!!

Elizabeth, I've been warned too...but I still had to try. ;-) Who can resist citrus! The first batch Mary-Sue and I made with some citrus but we also had cinnamon with it and the soap is still very nicely scented. I used to buy a really nice citrus soap from Mountain Sky soap that had a long lasting scent so there must be some way to make it last.