Indigo Ombre Soap


062017_21328entry-wpThis month, the goal for the Great Cakes Soap Challenge was to create an ombre colored soap. I decided to attempt this by using a soap pouring technique I’ve never tried before – the column pour. I wasn’t really sure how this would turn out, but I’ve always wanted to try a column pour. I cut the soap two different ways (horizontal & vertical) which resulted in soaps from the same batch that look completely different. :)

Note: If you’re a beginner or want to learn more about soap making, check out these helpful videos:
Soap Queen TV – LYE SAFETY:
Amanda Aaron of Lovin’ Soap – BEGINNER SERIES:

Besides the column pour, I also created another (just in case) ombre soap where I used the wall pour method in a log mold. It turned out fine but the ombre transition just wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped. Even though my batter was thin, I think I still went too far with the blender. Of course I did! ;)

I debated (a lot) over which colorant to use.  As you can see, I ended up going with indigo root powder. I used Amy Warden’s method of dissolving the indigo powder in oil (which is just the best idea ever).  I was thrilled with how the colors turned out after the soap went through gel phase, especially the light turquoise color you see in the cutting part of the video. I was not expecting that. Although, after a week, the colors are not as vibrant as they were when cut, and the light turquoise, while still noticeable, has started turning more blue like the rest of the soap. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

After the cut soap sat a couple of days, the individual layers became harder and harder to see. In two of my vertically cut bars, the soap looks as if it slowly changes from white to dark blue with no visible lines (the smoothest color transition soap is my entry). The horizontal cut bars have done the same, but the layers are still more noticeable.

Olive Oil – 42%
Coconut Oil – 25%
Organic Sustainable Palm Oil – 15%
Sunflower Oil – 10%
Avocado Oil – 8%

For a palm free recipe, I substitute shea butter (10%) and cocoa butter (5%) in place of the palm oil.

Superfat – 6%

I used a 31% lye solution (water = 2.2 x lye)

1 teaspoon indigo root powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon sunflower oil – let it sit for a few hours (or overnight).

In the video, you’ll see where I spill the indigo oil and had to quickly make more. I was totally asking for it by placing the container so close to the soap bowl. The new indigo oil, not having had time to dissolve, left me with some blue specks and took a long time to stir out. I missed a few as you’ll see during the pour, but they didn’t really show up much in the final soap, thankfully.

Essential Oil Blend:
Rosemary – 2 parts
Peppermint – 1 part

The recipe above is what I normally use when I need a slow moving (slow to trace) recipe. I soaped at 80º F and used the stick blender sparingly until reaching a stable emulsion. The soap remained very fluid for the entire pour and went through gel phase.









Thank you for reading my post!


31 thoughts on “Indigo Ombre Soap

  1. Oh wow! This is great, Holly! I love how the colors have blurred! So interesting how the soap looks so different with the different cuts too. So glad the coloring method worked well for you, and the batter behaved also!


    • I was wondering what the method was for dissolving indigo in oil. I tried clicking on the link in the blog, and it no longer exists. Is it simply mixing the indigo powder in a small amount of oil and leaving it for a few hours/overnight? aI’ve had some success with boiling indigo in distilled water, but oil would be easier. Thanks!


  2. Just so lovely! I look forward to your blog and videos. This one made me wish there was a fabric like it. Incredible colors. Thanks for the treat!


  3. Beautiful, I loved seeing the turquoise in the cut and you make soap making look easy, loved your blog and how there are not lines through the transition of your color very pretty!


    • Thank you! Not a dumb question at all. It was actually heavy enough that it stayed put. But I was careful not to bump it. If I make this again, I’ll probably use a little melted cocoa butter to hold it in place. Thanks for asking! :)


    • Thank you! I used a higher water amount than I normally would (31% lye solution) and insulated the soap really well (all the way around…making sure the bottom is sitting on a blanket instead of a cold metal table). I also raised the temperature in my soap shop a couple of degrees. If I’m really concerned about reaching gel phase (when I soap low temp and low water), I will make an extra batch of restock soap or something and sit them next to each other under the blankets. That always works for me. You could probably use a heating pad, as well, although I’ve never had to do that. Thanks for asking!


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