Charcoal Soap with Gold Textured Top, Narrated Cold Process Soap Making (Technique Video #13)

Charcoal Soap with Gold Textured Top, Narrated Cold Process Soap Making (Technique Video #13)

Hi, this is Teri from Tree Marie Soapworks.
Today I’m going to be showing you how to make this bar. It’s a charcoal bar with a
gold top. In my last video I gave you some tips on how to make a smoother bar
and I’m going to continue those tips today, at the end of this video. Let’s get
started. First, I measure my distilled water and I’ve been using a third of my
water weight in distilled water ice cubes, and this helps it cool down more quickly
and it also helps cut down on the fumes. Then, I finish off with the remaining
water weight in cold distilled water. Next, I measure my sodium hydroxide and then I
add that to my lye water and stir it till it’s dissolved. After that I measure
my sodium lactate and I measure it at a rate of one teaspoon per pound of oils.
If you’re using soap calc to put in your recipes, it’s super easy to figure out
how much sodium lactate to use just by looking at one number when you’re
looking at your soapcalc printout. Look under the oil section and find the pound
section, and that will tell you your total pounds for this recipe. I use one
point six seven five pounds of oils so I just round that and make it one point
seven and I use one point seven teaspoons, so it’s as simple as that.
I set these aside in a well-ventilated area that’s free from and kids or pets.
After that, I measure my coconut oil and get that melting and then I measure my
liquid oil starting with my avocado oil, castor oil, in then my olive oil. Once I
finished melting my coconut oil, I add my cocoa butter and these are cocoa butter
pastilles from Bramble Berry, and I stir these until they’re melted. If
they don’t melt completely, I just microwave them a little bit until
they’re just barely melted. Now that the lye water is cooled I just
add my sodium lactate and I set it aside for later. Next, I add my liquid oils to
my melted hard oils. After that, I’m adding one and a half teaspoons per
pound of soap of smooth coconut carbon or also called activated charcoal, and
I’m using my smooth coconut carbon from Elements Bath and Body today. The reason
why I’m adding this to my oils is because I want to make sure and get it
completely incorporated before I add my lye water because when I add my lye
water it’ll start to thicken up and I don’t want any pieces that aren’t
completely incorporated. Try and make sure you’re not incorporating any air
bubbles by inserting your stick blender at an angle and wiggling it a little bit
and getting any air bubbles out before you start pulsing your stick blender. Once you’re confident that you have all
the activated charcoal incorporated, go ahead and strain in your lye solution. I’m using Dark Crystal fragrance oil
from Bramble Berry. This fragrance turns brown and cold process soap and
it says that it accelerates slightly, but I really didn’t notice any acceleration.
I really like this scent and I tend to like scents that are kind of masculine
and earthy, and this one to me reminds me of one that I had from And to me, that fragrance didn’t smell
like sandalwood or patchouli but it really smelled good, so this reminds me a
lot of that, so thank you very much Bramble Berry for sharing this collection
with me. When I mix hope that doesn’t require any swirling I usually stick
blended a little bit longer to get a medium trace or so. I’m going to do a textured top on this
one, so it needs to get a little bit thicker before I can do that. I just
keep testing it and seeing if it’s gonna hold the texture or not, so when it’s
ready you just start texturing, and I was trying to move the soap to the one side
a little more so I started on a one end and I kind of tried to push it over, and
then just swirl a nice world like crazy on this one. There is such a thing as
swirling too much. You can overwork your soap and your swirls end up a little
grainy and I’ve had that happen to me in the past, but this seemed to let me
swirl in swirl. I was trying to get the swirls really to kind of fall back
over on themselves, so it works really well in this case, with this recipe. If
you don’t know I list my supplies and my recipes in the description below my
video, and if you don’t know how to put these recipes into soapcalc, I have two
videos on that and I will list those in the description as well. Just in case
you’re interested I started a Facebook group also called true Marie soap works
and it’s for asking questions and sharing, and it’s a closed group so, just
request to join and I will be leaving a link to that in the description below
too. When I finish swirling I add two little foam board spacers and then a
sheet of Plexiglas and then I cover with plastic wrap. I forced this through
gel in my oven I just used my lowest temperature and I preheat it to that and
then when I s et the soap in the oven I turn the oven off and leave the light on
and, I just leave it on overnight and then I turn it off in the morning, and I
let that come to room temperature naturally. We have a few things to do
before we unmold our soap. We are going to make our spray for the top of your
soap. And our spray is a ratio of two parts isopropyl alcohol to one part gold
mica. I’m using an eighth of a cup which is two tablespoons
of isopropyl alcohol to 1 tablespoon Gold Rush Mica and the Gold Rush Mica is
from Elements Bath and Body. And you put those ingredients in your spray bottle
and you shake them really well. Get any clumps out before you start to spray, and
then you spray it on a piece of scrap cardboard or a paper until it’s spraying
well, and then you spray it on your soap. And you just need to keep turning it
around to make sure you get every angle. I made a mask to put over my mold, just
to catch some of that spray so it doesn’t get all over my counter, but this
is a lot less messy than sifting your mica on your soap and it sticks a lot
better. It just takes a short time for the alcohol to evaporate and you’re left
with a really nice coating of mica. While you’re waiting for your soap top
to dry, it’s time to clean out the spray pump. You just need to get some warm
soapy water and run it through that sprayer until no more mica comes out. Then, pull the top off and rinse that out and then run some more water through
there. And then spray all the water out of that and you can replace the lid on
your mica bottle. Just don’t run anymore mica through it, or you have to clean it
out again, because it will clog if you don’t clean it out. But you can use this
again and again, until you’re out and just add more or make a different color
and it works so nicely I just love the look! Okay, I think you know how to do the rest,
so, I’m just gonna start in with some more tips about making smooth soap. Last
time I gave you three tips and one was to use sodium lactate and another one
was to soap between the temperatures of 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit which is 27
and 35 degrees Celsius and the other tip I told you was to use a water discount.
What I think some of you aren’t understanding about a water discount is,
you’re not really discounting water. You don’t need that much water. You only need
that water to introduce your lye to your oils. You can use any amount of water as
long as it’s not lower than the amount of lye that you use, so you can’t go
lower than a one to one ratio. So when I use this 25% “water as a
percentage of my oils” it still ends up being a 1.8:1 ratio, to one water
to lye, so think about this, if you’re using the default in soap calc of 38
percent and you lower it to 25 percent you don’t have to change the rest of
your recipe it doesn’t change your lye or your oils. It just changes how much
water has to evaporate out of your soap. If you’re scared to do it, I would just
decrease your water by a little. If you’re using 33 go down to 29 and then
go down to 25. And I think you’ll find that it just solves a lot of problems.
Okay, sorry, I kind of got off on a rant, but I really wish I would have known
that when I was newer to soap making. One thing I shouldn’t mention about
discounting your water in your soap is that it doesn’t let your gel phase
last as long as when you use full water, or even a little bit of a water discount.
What is necessary a lot of times is to force your soap through gel. So
that’s why I use the oven or a heating pad but sometimes insulation would just
be all you need, but if you don’t a lot of times it just causes partial gel
which makes your soap have the appearance of a ring around the inside
of it, so that makes an undesirable look to your soap. There’s nothing wrong with
it but just that inner part of your soap gelled and it didn’t get all the way to
the edge. Okay my next tip is just to use a strainer and strain your lye solution.
You might already be doing this, but if you’re not, I would suggest that you do
just because I think it would help your soap appearance. You don’t get all that
lint in your soap, and also if there’s smaller pieces of lye or even bigger
pieces, it’s just to be on the safe side. Okay, my next tip is just yo pour down the
side of the bowl or the shaft of your stick blender to introduce your lye
water and your fragrances to your oils. Just try to minimize the amount of air
that gets into your soap and along those same lines, when your stick blending,
always insert your stick blender at an angle and then kind of try to get that
air bubble out of there by wiggling your stick blender. Before you turn it on and
when you turn it on make sure it’s buried far enough to where it’s not
gonna take in a little air from the top. Another tip that I have is just make
sure your soap has traced before you pour it. It can be at an emulsion when you’re
mixing in your colors and when you’re mixing in your fragrance, but make sure
when you’re poor it’s at an actual trace, because if it’s too thin, sometimes weird
things will happen with your texture of your soap. Traces is when your batter is
thick enough to pour without separating, and if you take a little spoon of it and
just kind of drizzle it back in there you could see the trail that you just
left, and that’s when your soap has traced. There’s different stages of trace
but you need to at least make sure that it does that. My next tip is to cover
your soap after you’re done making it, and cover your soap so there’s not too
much headspace and this is mainly so you don’t get soda ash, but also so your
top doesn’t crack because sometimes when the air is cold on the outside and your
soap builds up heat on the inside it causes the soap to crack on the surface
just because of the difference in temperature.
I leave my soap covered for two days I think it really has to do with what kind
of climate you live in. I think if you live in a more humid climate, that this
is more necessary. I’m in Indiana and I find that it’s humid enough here that I
think that’s what causes the soda ash and I really find better results when I
keep it covered for 48 hours. Now if you’re thinking it’s too hard to keep it
covered for 48 hours, I use a plexiglass cover and then I cover it with plastic
wrap so I can still see my soap and I think that just helps me be able to wait
that 48 hours because I can still see the soap. This rule doesn’t necessarily
apply if you’re using a soap that has honey or beer or milk in it. This is just
for your regular water soaps. Another reason why I wait 48 hours to cut my
soap is sometimes when I cut my soap I get little smears and it’s the fragrance
and then those little smears turn to little pits in the soap. If I let it go
for the 48 hours, I think it has time to absorb and it doesn’t have that problem.
Also if you are cutting with a wire and you are getting a little pits when you
cut if you change to using a knife that actually smears those pits in it
completely flattens them out, (if they’re not big air bubbles) if they’re just
those little tiny air bubbles, cut it with a knife and you won’t have those
pits. And for my last tip, I would just recommend if you’re going for a smooth
look to bevel your soap. It gives it that finished look, but also it just feels
better in your hands when you’re using it. I find when I didn’t mobile my soap I
just didn’t like that sharp edge when I was using it. I hope you found these tips
helpful and if you do just give me a thumbs up and subscribe and hit the bell
for notifications. Those of you that placed orders this week thank you so
much, and have a great day! ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Question:
    I see that when you pour an oil then you have a little more of the same kind in a tiny bottle.
    Whats that? a different brand?

  2. You always have professional soaps bars that I always want to give as a gift. I like when soaps have a purpose I.e acne, blemishes etc. yours is both useful and pretty.

  3. Awesome soap and technique. Is the lather white? When I made charcoal soap the lather was black and made a real mess on the sink. This put me off using charcoal.

  4. Hi Teri,
    Once again, amazing video. I always learn so much from your tutorials. Thank you so so much! – Teri, what is the temperature you set your oven to in order to force gel?

  5. Genius!! the spray bottle tip. I ant wait to try it. That soap looks gorgeous and so elegant! Thank you for being an inspiration!!

  6. Beautiful! Loving the gold with black… so luxurious! Thanks so much for your generous tips. So many great lessons learned take time and experience. And yet youโ€™ve made it so easy for us.

  7. Iโ€™ve learned so much in just the past week thanks so much to you! Thank you for making these videos & the FB Group!

  8. Great looking soap. Does the gold mica get all over the place, I mean will it rub off on your hands before you get to rinse it off in the shower?

  9. please tell me how do you avoid white coating on top of the soap? (I donโ€™t know what it is called in English) and do you put the soap in the refrigerator or leave it at room temperature? Sorry for the mistakes, I'm from Moscow๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿ‘‹

  10. that lookes like a hollywood star ! soooo elegant ! thank you for sharing theese tips ! i'a a begginer so i apreciate it verry much :* Oh 1 where do you get that large glass bowl? brambleberry ?

  11. What causes the lye solution to have chunks in it? I've never had that happen, my solution mixes thoroughly. This is how I make mine: In an icewater bath I add my lye to my water 1 teaspoon at a time. I mix it thoroughly before adding the next teaspoon and repeat that process until it's all mixed in. I put a screw-top lid on the container while it cools. The room I soap in is typically 68F, the humidity is roughly 42% (we run a dehumidifier for the entire house), and I soap between 85F to 90F. I do a 40% lye concentration, and I buy flakes from BB.

  12. Love the soap and thanks for the tips. We just made 2 batches using your suggestions. Then I sat down to watch this video. As I was watching , you said you got to cover the soap or it could crack. I had to jump up and cover my soap. Point is, your helping in real time ๐Ÿ˜‚. Love the sprayer idea I think it gives better coverage.

  13. Thank you for the wonderful tips and the video of the beautiful soap! I have tried gelling my soap using your oven method and it has worked great! No cracking and no glycerin rivers, so thank you! I have also added powdered sugar to my lye in the last few batches and will know in a few weeks what that adds to my soap. Going to check out the FB group now. Do you have a brick and mortar store in Indiana?

  14. You are so generous with all the info your giving out in your videos – it is a huge help for beginners like me. You are a great teacher and your soaps are beatiful. Thank you so much for all your tips and videos!

  15. Thank you for sharing the ice cube tip! Iโ€™ve used it in the past few batches and I am in love with this way of mixing my lye!

  16. Thank you for all of your tips. I have a question, can I use the same spraying method to make a mica lines in between soap layers, if so how much should I spray to avoid my layers from separating and breaking off. Thank you

  17. I love your soaps, learned so much from you~ย i'm a soaper in korea. and I learned so much from your video! thank you lovely soap!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I love the results with the spray bottle, gorgeous! Teri, did you choose that stick blender because of the small bell to reduce air bubbles?

  19. What a beautiful soap. Question, does the mick wash off with the first use or does it stick around for a while?

  20. I'm So glad I took the time to see this!!!! I love the tips you gave, especially the Mica in the bottle tip!!! Thank you so much! I'm still having issues with my soap but, I will start covering them up! I'm sure it will help.

  21. Hi there. Your soaps are very creative and voice is very soothing and it's very nice to watch your videos. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

  22. Beautiful soap! Why do you soap at a low temp if you're going to force gel? Also, I was alway told not to add lye water to glass as it etches the glass and damages it.

  23. Thank you so much for your fabulous videos; not only are your soaps beautiful, your instructions are very clear and a great way to learn for a beginner like me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do have two questions for you, please:

    1. Does it make a difference if you spray the alcohol/mica solution on before you gel the soap? Another way to ask the same question ๐Ÿ™‚ – Is there a reason why you wait until after gel to spray the soap?

    2. Does such a large water discount significantly impact the curing time of your soap?

    Thanks in advance for your response!

    Kind regards,

  24. You have your silicone mold sitting inside of a wood mold but you donโ€™t list the wood mold. What are the dimensions on that and where did you get it?

  25. This is so beautiful! I just joined your FB page, and I'm really excited. I found you and I have been searching for ideas to make dragon blood scented soap as gifts for xmas. I think this idea is so beautiful, maybe a black and red swirl (never swirled ever) lol.. and then the gold on top. What do you think?

  26. hi – i tried this out – my nozzle kept blocking – there was more ipa in the end mixed with the mica and it still blocked – is this a special sized nozzle you used??? i dont want to give up on this – thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.