I’m so excited to share these beautiful bars of soap with you guys! I tried a new technique—a gradient (or ombre) pour—for the very first time, and I love how it turned out. These bars are inspired by all things lemongrass, with that herbal-citrus scent and a slow fade from yellow to green, just like a stalk of lemongrass. An ample dusting of gold mica on the top of the bars is mostly creative license (I’ve yet to find any gold-capped lemongrass in nature!), but I couldn’t resist 😝

How to Make Lemongrass Gradient Soap

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The general gist of the pour pattern is this: start with a thinly traced batter that’s the colour you want on the bottom of the bars (in this case, yellow). Gradually add pigment to shift the batter towards the end colour (green for these bars), pouring small portions of the batter between each addition. These small additions will blend a bit as you pour (make sure you pour over a spatula held close to the surface so they don’t blend too much), and between the slight shifts in batter colour and the small, slightly-self-mixing pours, you get a gradient effect!

 

How to Make Lemongrass Gradient Soap

How to Make Lemongrass Gradient Soap

As you can probably guess it’s important to maintain a pretty liquidy trace throughout this process so the batter can inter-mix, giving a fade instead of distinct layers. For this reason my batter features a lot of liquid oils and no water discount. This means the end bars are pretty soft at the time of slicing and will need longer to age, but it’s worth it!

How to Make Lemongrass Gradient Soap

Once the pour was complete I let the batter sit in the mold for about twenty minutes to gain a bit of viscosity before scooping and swooping it a bit with the back of a spoon and giving the whole thing a very generous dusting with some gold mica. Tapping the mica through a sieve ensures a fairly even layer, but I’ve also seen people use powder sprayers like this one to get the same effect.

How to Make Lemongrass Gradient Soap

How to Make Lemongrass Gradient Soap

I let these bars saponify for about 48 hours before slicing, but I’d recommend giving them longer if you can—mine were still nerve-wrackingly soft when I sliced them, and a few ended up with inadvertent finger dents from gentle handling. This is a pretty good soap to make before going away on a long weekend! Being out of the house will stop you from slicing them earlier because you can’t wait to see what the insides look like 😄

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Lemongrass Gradient Soap

25% coconut oil
25% tallow (wondering why?)
45% olive oil
5% castor oil

Calculate to 5% superfat with “water as % of oils” at 38%

Per 500g fats:

To colour:

Kick things off by calculating out your recipe for the amount of soap you’re making to get the finite amounts of the fats, lye, and water. Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it! Please ensure you’re familiar with standard soap making procedure before diving in (click that link if you aren’t!).

Prepare your mould—you’ll want a loaf mould for this soap. Melt your oils together in your soaping pot, and have one container with a pouring spout handy (I use these awesome funnel pitchers). Let your oils cool to slightly warmer than room temperature. Mix up your lye water and let that cool to about room temperature (you can use ice for part of your water to speed up the cooling process).

Lay out your work area so you can easily grab your essential oil and pre-dispersed mica. Prepare your mould by lining it, if required.

Now you’re ready to get started! Begin by blending the kaolin clay into the fats. Once that mixture is smooth, add the lye water and bring to a thin trace. Stir in the essential oil and pour a small amount of the batter (approximately 10%) into the bottom of your mold.

Now we begin the fade towards green! Add enough of your green mixture to slight the batter ever-so-slightly greenish, transfer about 10% of it to your pour-spout container, and gently pour that overtop of the batter already in the mold, breaking its fall with a spatula. Repeat until all the batter is gone—each pour will be progressively green. Take care to work relatively quickly so the last few pours aren’t too thick to blend with the previous ones.

Leave the soap to set up for at least 72 hours before slicing and leaving to age for at least four weeks before using. Enjoy!

How to Make Lemongrass Gradient Soap

How to Make Lemongrass Gradient Soap

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