Mirror Glaze Soap Tutorial

September 1, 2018

 

 

 

Hi, friends! This is my first ever tutorial, I hope you find it useful. If I've been unclear on any part or you have additional questions, please let me know!

 

To start, let me explain how I came up with this idea. I'm a huge fan of pastry/baking shows. I'm also a little addicted to watching videos on Instagram, especially glazing videos. Seriously, is there anything more mesmerizing than watching a chef pour that glossy smooth glaze over a cake? If there is, I haven't found it yet. So, watching these videos made me wonder if this was a technique that could be replicated in soap. I mean, we mix, layer, pipe and decorate like bakers and pastry chefs, so why not glaze? Now, this is my first attempt, so there are a few things I plan to tweak for my next try, but I thought I'd share what I've learned so far.

 

And now, the tutorial:

 

**Disclaimer, please practice proper safety while soapmaking, including gloves. Unbeknownst to me, my husband used my last pair of gloves. I didn't realize it until I reached for them after pouring my lye into my oils. You can find Soap Queen's series on safety here.

 

Ingredients Phase 1:                                

4 oz Almond Oil                                       

4 oz Avocado Oil                                      

8 oz Coconut Oil

5 oz Olive Oil

8 oz Palm oil

2 oz Shea Butter

4 oz Sunflower Oil

2 tsp Sodium Lactate

2 oz Bamboo Fragrance Oil (Wholesale Supplies Plus)

Tussah Silk

1 Tblsp Martini Olive Green Mica (Wholesale Supplies Plus)

1 Tblsp Blue Moon Mica (Mad Micas)

 

Ingredients Phase 2:                                

4 oz Almond Oil                                       

4 oz Avocado Oil                                      

8 oz Coconut Oil

5 oz Olive Oil

8 oz Palm oil

2 oz Shea Butter

4 oz Sunflower Oil

2 tsp Sodium Lactate

2 oz Bamboo Lotus Fragrance Oil (Wholesale Supplies Plus)

Tussah Silk

1 Tblsp Celadon Green Mica (Nurture Soap Supplies)

1 Tblsp Emerald Green Mica (Wholesale Supplies Plus)

1 Tblsp Snake Island Mica (Mad Micas)

Shimmering Dark Gold Mica (Wholesale Supplies Plus)

 

Phase 1- The Cakes:

   My first step was to make the "cakes" that I planned to glaze. You can use any mold that you'd like, this recipe size works with Brambleberry's silicone 12 cavity round mold as well as my custom wooden loaf mold. 

   I combine and melt my hard oils before adding my soft oils. I use a microwave in short bursts, but a double boiler would work as well. I then measure and add my soft oils and stir to combine then set aside to cool. I prepare my lye mixture by gradually pouring the lye into the water, pausing to stir frequently. Once all the lye is dissolved, and while the solution was still hot, I added my Tussah Silk and stirred until it dissolved. I then set my lye solution to the side to cool. Once everything came to room temperature (between 70-75 degrees for me) I was ready to make soap.

   After arranging everything I needed nearby (spatulas, mold, fragrance, micas, etc.) I started by slowly pouring my lye solution into my oils. Using my stick blender I brought my batter to emulsion. Light trace should work as well. I then separated my batter into two portions and colored them with Blue Moon Mica and Martini Olive Green Mica. I pre-mix my mica with a little oil so that it blends in to my soap smoother and I can hand stir them in. After mixing my colorants in, I poured my fragrance into the batters and hand stirred. 

   Now, this is where I hit a snag. When I ordered the Bamboo fragrance I checked reviews and didn't see any mention of acceleration or ricing. However, apparently I didn't read far enough down. As soon as I added the fragrance, it riced. I stick blended it, which brought it to a medium trace. It continued to accelerate so I had to push the batter into the mold, which resulted in a few air pockets. I placed my mold onto a baking pan/tray so I could bang it on the table top to help settle the batter and reduce air pockets, and used my spatula to smooth and even out the tops. 

 

 

 

   On the plus side for using an accelerating fragrance, my soaps then quickly went into gel phase, as seen in the above photo. To prevent partial gel rings I turned the oven to "warm" for a few minutes before turning it off and placing the mold (with the tray under it) into the oven for an hour. After removing, I let the soaps rest for roughly 3 more hours. At that point they were cool and firm to the touch, and easily unmolded from the silicone mold. I then prepared for Phase 2.

 

Phase 2- The Glaze

   Since this was the first time trying this technique I decided to use a full batch size to account for trial and error. I could have halved the batch and had plenty to work with, so having a mold handy to pour excess into is a must. I also needed my batch to stay fairly fluid, so I changed my fragrance to Bamboo Lotus (and double checked reviews). 

   I prepared my "cakes" by lining a baking pan with plastic wrap and resting each cake on a plastic condiment cup.

 

   I then followed the same steps as Phase 1 up until it was time to split the batter. This time I used 3 colors, so separated into 3 portions. I then added my mica/oil to each portion and hand stirred, then added my fragrance to each color. I then took a clean plastic measuring cup to use as my pouring cup. I filled the cup halfway up by alternating each color and pouring a little bit at a time. You can change the height from which you pour so that the next color either breaks through the surface of the previous color, or lies on top of it. 

   Next, decide on your pouring method. I started by pouring mostly in one spot, but i felt that my colors were being muddied so i started pouring back and forth over each cake to create a striped effect. 

 

   I would suggest moving fairly quickly so you can glaze the entire batch in one go, then gently tap the pan on the table top so no excess batter pools on top, and also so your glaze remains smooth with no drip marks along the sides. 

   I then sprinkled a little bit of gold mica and spritzed the cakes with rubbing alcohol. The cakes sat for several days to firm up and then I trimmed the bottoms of the soaps to remove the drips. Next I steamed them to get rid of the slight bit of soda ash that formed and to make them shiny. 

    

   Below: soaps before and after steaming. Notice that the colors have deepened. 

 

   Since the excess batter that dripped off the "cakes" was still pliable and mold-able the next day, I gathered it up and placed it into a plastic baggie to be used as soap dough in a later project. 

 

 

Notes:

   ~If you use this recipe, and do not gel, I would suggest letting the cakes sit in the mold for at least 2 days before carefully removing them to prevent denting them.

    ~You could use as many colors as you desire. My original plan was to have the cakes be swirled with white and green, but a solid color interior would be pretty as well. 

   ~This could be a fun way to layer and blend scents!

   ~You could use planer to remove the drips but i found it easier to use a small carving tool. I used my fingers to smooth any edges that formed while trimming. 

   ~Steaming the soaps brings out the shine and helps remove soda ash. 

   ~This recipe was created to use up some oils I had that aren't in my usual recipe. It's fairly soft even with the use of sodium lactate, so letting it sit (if you use silicone molds) for several days would be a good idea. Take caution when unmolding to prevent denting. 

 

(When it uploads, I will add the direct link to my YouTube video here) 

 

 

   

    

 

   

 

 

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