Dirty Fluid Pour Soap Challenge

112017_23370wpIn this month’s Great Cakes Soap Challenge, we had to create a batch of cold process soap using a method called the dirty fluid pour. The dirty fluid pour technique is actually a really cool method of pouring acrylic paint. Our guest teacher was Joanne Watkins of Nature’s Potions Handmade Soaps.  Joanne came up with a way we could implement the dirty fluid pour with soap by using pipe connectors in a slab mold. I was determined to participate in these last two soap challenges, and I’m so glad I did. Joanne is an excellent teacher and this technique was a lot of fun. :)

Note: If you’re a beginner or want to learn more about soap making, check out these helpful videos:
Soap Queen TV – LYE SAFETY:  http://goo.gl/FqA0Yt
Amanda Aaron of Lovin’ Soap – BEGINNER SERIES: http://goo.gl/DjTzuE

IMG_6696wpFirst, I just have to say thanks to my husband, Steve, for cutting some pipe for me. I failed to actually tell him that I only needed a few. When I got home, I found all of these in my soap shop – perfectly cut to the correct height and sanded so they would sit flat against the bottom of the mold. I still haven’t told him I only used 8 of them. He cut 22 pieces for me. ;)



IMG_6718I used a 13″x13″ slab mold and 8pieces of pipe, varying in size from 4″ down to 2″ in diameter. I spread a little coconut oil on the bottom of each pipe to keep the fluid soap from leaking. That actually worked really well.


IMG-07       IMG-11

Black – activated charcoal in sunflower oil
Dark Blue – Indigo Root Powder dissolved in sunflower oil
Light Blue – Indigo Root Powder dissolved in sunflower oil (just a bit for a lighter shade of blue)
Orange – Paprika Powder in sunflower oil (let it sit overnight until the oil was a nice shade of orange)
Purple – Alkanet Root infused olive oil
Pale Yellow – Safflower Oil infused olive oil with a bit of paprika

I used squeeze bottles and varied the colors in each pipe: dark blue – light blue, orange – black, purple – yellow, purple – yellow – black, etc.  As both Joanne and Amy showed us in their instructional videos, I poured the soap against the side of the pipe and allowed it to run into the bottom (like a wall pour) so that it layered as you see in the photos. The soap remained fluid for the entire pour.

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

Superfat – 5%

Rosemary Essential Oil – 4 parts
Peppermint Essential Oil – 1 part

Water = 2.2 x lye (31% lye solution)

Oils and lye where about 80º F

This recipe always works so well for me when I need the soap to remain fluid. Well, it works well provided I don’t blend too long. ;)  For a palm free version, I use shea butter (10%) and cocoa butter (5%) in place of the palm oil.

Pouring the white base soap into the mold about 3/4″ thick. This will give the colored soap something to float in when tilting the mold.IMG_6719

IMG-10     IMG-01

After removing the pipe, I tilted the mold – left to right and front to back. I gently turned the mold 90 degrees and repeated the tilting until I was reasonably happy with the design.
IMG-06   IMG-05

IMG_6717         IMG-02


I covered the soap and insulated it with blankets. It did go through gel, thankfully, which made the colors look a lot better.  I was able to unmold and cut it after 24 hours. After 48 hours, I planed the tops and trimmed the edges with a vegetable peeler then took these photos.


112017_23417wp  112017_23419wp


Thank you for reading my post! I videoed the whole process and will hopefully have it edited and posted next week.


20 thoughts on “Dirty Fluid Pour Soap Challenge

  1. You’ve done it again, Holly! Beautiful soap with a great written tutorial and descriptive pictures! Thank you very much for posting this – I always learn so much from these!


  2. Hello Holly,
    Thank you for the post, looks amazing! I’m wanting to try this, but substitute the sunflower oil with sweet almond oil. Will that work for the recipe?


    • Thank you, Deanna! I would think substituting sweet almond oil for the sunflower oil should be fine. I’ve seen several slow tracing recipes recommended by other soap makers online that actually use sweet almond as one of the liquid oils. If you try it, let me know how it goes!


  3. Beautiful Holly!

    When using indigo powder I don’t get a good blue. It always comes out more of a purple.

    I’m looking forward to the video,


  4. Hello!
    I have a question about the temperature you soap at!
    It seems like a lot of your videos and recipes say the oils and lye solution are below 100 degrees. Do you find that your soap normally gels soaping at this temperature, below 100? Or, will it not gel unless you help it out by insulating it or using a heating pad?
    Thank you for your time!


    • Hi Lauren,
      When I soap at lower temperatures (between room temp and 100°), I make sure to use enough water (no less than 2 x lye which is a 33% lye solution) and to insulate the soap well. I did some experimenting awhile back when I made my ghost swirl soap and found that using a high water discount and soaping below 95° actually prevented gel. So using the full water recommended by your soap calculator should help. I also put a blanket underneath the soap (so the mold isn’t sitting on a cold table) and two blankets on top. I’ve never had to use a heating pad. Hope this helps! :)


  5. Thank you so much for your detailed explanation and tips. Love watching your videos. You have been a big inspiration since I also tend to use plant based colorants in my soap.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s