How to Make Color Swirls in Your Soap

With the renaissance of homemade soap, the humble bar has become a canvas for crafters to create magnificent works of soapy art. While the colors swirled through the soap don't change its cleansing or moisturizing qualities, they certainly make it a lot more fun.

Here is a collection of tutorials to help you create swirls in your own bars of soap. With some practice, you'll be a master swirler in no time!

  • 01 of 07

    The Basic One-Color in the Pot Swirl

    Adding the Colorant to the Soap
    David Fisher

    The basic one-color "in the pot" swirl is a great place to start swirling. It's the technique used in our basic how to make soap tutorial. The linked video is technically a two-color process, but one of the colors is mixed throughout and one is swirled.

  • 02 of 07

    Two-Color in the Mold Swirl

    Two color in the mold swirl
    David Fisher

    If you're wondering how to swirl soap in a loaf mold, this technique layers two colors and then allows you to swirl them together as much or as little as you want. You can leave it just lightly swirled, or mix it together well for a marbled effect.

  • 03 of 07

    The Column Pour Swirl

    Column Pour Swirl
    David Fisher

    This swirl technique became an instant sensation when an Italian Facebook video was discovered back in 2011 showing an artist doing a column pour with paint. We soap makers said, "I have to try that with soap!" The principle is pretty much the same, pouring multiple colors of soap over a column.

  • 04 of 07

    Four-Color in the Mold Swirl

    Four color in the mold swirl
    David Fisher

    This tutorial uses a square slab mold and mixes four colors together. It's a variation on the basic technique of swirling, just with more colors mixed in.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Three Color Mantra Swirl

    This tutorial from Soap Queen Anne Marie at Bramble Berry shows how to do the "mantra" swirl, an advanced "in the mold" technique that gives a really cool effect. You'll need some cardboard cut to the length of your loaf mold––and an extra set of hands is a big help too!

  • 06 of 07

    The Funnel Pour Swirl

    Valentines Funnel
    David Fisher

    This swirl technique is similar to the column pour in that it incorporates multiple colors poured into the middle of a slab mold. However, instead of pouring them over a wood or plastic column, they are poured directly into the center of the mold through a funnel. The effect is very similar.

  • 07 of 07

    The Tiger Stripe Swirl

    This swirl is a close cousin to the funnel and column pour swirls, but it's a modified version by Kenna at Modern Soapmaking that's easy enough for beginners. It looks, just as the name implies, like a tiger's stripes.

When you're planning on making a swirl soap, color it with micas, oxides, ultramarines, or natural colorants that don't have a tendency to bleed for the best results. Get a sample of a few different colorants and play around with them until you create a masterpiece. The nice thing about working with soap is that even if it doesn't turn out quite right visually, it will still do the job of keeping you clean.