Glycerin Soap Recipes

Mica Swirl Technique for Glycerin Soap

I’m not really into making “cutesy” soaps, so when I purchased my first melt and pour soap base, that was definitely not my goal. I admire soap makers who’s soaps look like art, which is why I started making cold process in the first place; and once I realized it was possible to make glycerin soaps that look like art, I was on board.

I tend to over research things before I start on a new project, so I had been spending time admiring and wondering at how a few other glycerin soap makers on Etsy had achieved their artsy-looking glycerin soaps. A few examples of these are:

kokolele glycerin soap
Kokolele Soaps
firebird glycerin soap
Firebird Bath & Body
ginger grey glycerin soap
Ginger Grey

glycerin soap swirlsSince I am still at a beginner skill level with this stuff, I thought it would be most reasonable to try to tackle the technique that appears in the two righthand photos above. I tried two different methods to recreate this look – first, I sprinkled mica into the bottom of the cavity mold before pouring the soap into it. I didn’t care for this method, because, as you can see in the photo at right, wherever the pour lands, you end up with a sort of crater in the middle of your effect.

And second, I sprinkled the mica on top of the soap after pouring (before it began to solidify). In one trial, I blew on the mica after sprinkling, and in another, I used a chopstick to swirl it around a little.

My Glycerin Soap Swirl Results

glycerin soap swirlsglycerin soap mica swirl with chopstick

At left is the sprinkle on top and blow effect. As you can see, blowing on it didn’t do much, because the mica is already adhered to the soap. At right is the sprinkle and swirl with a chopstick effect. I like the look of it.

glycerin soap mica technique
via Ginger Grey Soaps

When I make this again, I intend to try two new methods:

1) Sprinkle the mica on top after the soap develops a skin on the top and then blow on it (I’m trying to achieve the look of the Ginger Grey soap at right).

2) Mix the mica with isopropyl alcohol and drizzle it on top of the wet soap (which is how I believe the middle photo above from Firebird may have been created). I could be very wrong, of course.

While my mica sprinkling technique is still being perfected, the soaps still smell amazing; and because I used the honey SFIC base, they feel nice on the skin, too.

2 thoughts on “Mica Swirl Technique for Glycerin Soap”

  1. Hey, I just saw your post here and thanks for including my shop. The yellow pineapple soap had mica sprinkled on the bottom of the mold like you did. I find if you pour in a corner and pour slowly, it doesn’t mess with the mica design too bad. Also, don’t go too heavy on the sprinkle. The maroon and pink soap was not done by blowing mica on. I never put mica on top of a cooled soap. Makes a huge mess. I did this by pouring my hot soap in a mold, then immediately sprinkling mica heavily on the soap with a mini shifter, and it would start to sink to the bottom. If it was done when the soap was too cool, you wouldn’t see a design on the top of the soap when unmolded. I would spray the soap with alcohol right away after the mica sprinkle, which would help the mica sink and swirl around, creating those unique designs. I found the large use of mica to sometimes reduce the lather and color washcloths as well as the designs being terribly unpredictable. Sometimes they looked awesome and sometimes the design couldn’t bee seen at all. My soaps are designed completely differently now. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

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