Today we’re getting our mango on (again!) with a lovely loaf of bright orange, tropically scented cold processed soap. I had a lot of fun playing with some bright & summery micas, channelling all kinds of mango-y goodness into colourful slices of sudsy soap that kind of make me want to bake a mango pound cake (how good would that be?!). As much as I started this Mango Mango theme with summery daydreams in the middle of winter, I also thinks it works beautifully in spring with bright colours and general happiness 😄Let’s get soaping!
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The fat blend is fairly simple, balanced more towards softer fats to give us more working time before a really thick trace sets in. You can probably guess from some of my more recent soap recipes that I’ve got a lot of olive oil I need to use up—if you don’t, rice bran and soy bean oil are both great, well-priced alternatives.
Because soap requires a lot of everything I have changed up the two ingredients that have, up to this point, defined our Mango Mango series. Instead of using sea buckthorn fruit oil to get our vibrant orange hue I’ve used mica; you can definitely use sea buckthorn fruit oil to colour soap, and I have in the past, but I do find it fades very noticeably over time from a vibrant orange to a pale yellow. It’s also fairly expensive, and you may prefer to save it for non-wash-off applications, especially given the amount you’d need to colour a batch of soap. The micas I’ve used are both from YellowBee; the orange is “Firecracker“, and the yellow is “Lemon Sherbert Sparkle“. I love how they turned out in the soap, but any orange and yellow mica pairing will work.
The second ingredient I’ve changed out is the Natural Mango Fragrance Oil from Essential Wholesale. It’s more expensive than something I’d want to use in soap, and my bottle is only 30mL (1fl oz)—this batch of soap would’ve polished it off. I also wasn’t sure how it would fare through saponification and aging, and I would’ve been heartbroken if I’d used up the rest of my bottle in a batch of soap that didn’t even smell like mangoes when it was ready to use! I replaced the Natural Mango Fragrance Oil with a synthetic mango papaya fragrance oil from New Directions Aromatics—it worked a treat, with no noticeable acceleration.
I was aiming for a bit of a drop swirl when I poured these bars, but that didn’t end up happening—I got more of a dancing yellowy cloud cover over a sea of orange. If you want more swirl going on, break out your hanger-swirl tool and swirl away before leaving the soap to saponify. I did manage to get the swirls on the top to turn out, though—I swirled together leftover orange mica and the two colours of batter on the surface of the loaf with a toothpick, and I love how it turned out.
The finished bars are deliciously mango-y, beautifully bright, and generally a very happy something to have in your shower or sitting next to your sink. Enjoy!
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Mango Mango Soap
Calculate to 5% superfat with “water as % of oils” at 38%
Per 500g fats:
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 fragrance and pre-dispersed micas. 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 fragrance oil and pour approximately 1/3 of the batter into a secondary container—preferably one with a pour spout.
Add the pre-dispersed orange mica to the bigger batch of batter, and the pre-dispersed yellow mica to the smaller batch of batter. Pour the orange batter into the mold, and then pour the yellow batter overtop from a high enough height that it breaks through the surface of the orange batter. If you want a swirl I’d recommend doing a hanger swirl.
Scatter any remaining bits of orange mica and oil overtop of the soap and toothpick swirl to your heart’s content—you should have bits of both colours of batter plus the mica/oil drizzle to swirl.
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!
The micas were gifted by YellowBee.