Soap Curl Techniques

Soap curls, they look so crafty and creative. There are many techniques for making soap curls to embed into your soaps. The two methods I’ve tried are shaving blocks of prepared soap with a vegetable peeler and pouring thin layers into a  flat long mold. You can use the finished curls to decorate in several ways. Such as embedding them in the bar or laying them vertically in the loaf. These methods can also work with cold process soap.

Pouring thin method

Curls made with pouring a thin layer method.

Unless you have a great long wide long mold or a lot of time on your hands, this may not be the best method for you. You will need to use 3% glycerin so the curls do not crack or break when you curl them.  However, this will allow you to make really tight curls, great if you want to make say a lollipop soap. Simply melt the soap and add the glycerin. Then pour in some of the soap just enough to cover the bottom. Wait for about 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how thick the pour was. Carefully remove the thin layer of soap and roll it up.

For lollipop soap:

  1. First, make soap curls that fit in a cylinder mold.
  2. Then chill the soap curls in the refrigerator, this will lessen the chance of the curls melting when you pour in the second soap.
  3. Once the soap curls are chilled, place them in the cylinder molds.
  4. then melt clear soap and add a color of your choice with fragrance.
  5. Finally gently pour the soap over the curls being careful not to disturb the curls or melt the soap curls.


Vegetable peeler method

I found this method quick, easy and makes really nice curls. What you need to do is find a good sharp vegetable peeler or single blade cheese grater. Adding Fragrance or Essential Oils and/or Color in your curls is up to you. Prepare the block about 3 hours ahead of time, you want it to be cooled when you peel it. A long rectangular mold is ideal for this method. I used a 23-ounce block of scented soap to make my curls. Once your block is cooled simply peel the soap in long smooth strokes. Holding the block with a paper towel while you peel helps with grip. Use caution when using the peeler! 

A tip for the vegetable peeler method is to use a soap that is not too soft or not too hard. If the soap is too soft it will be mushy, and if it is too hard, the soap won’t curl well.

You can also use a cheese grater to grate soap to look like shredded bits of coconut. Or you can use it to embed into loaves for an interesting twist on texture.

Cold process soap curls

For cold process soap the same techniques can be used, however, there are some things to consider. If you plan on using the pouring thin layers method, then you must have a moderately thin batter. And if you want to use the vegetable peeler method, then you must wait until the soap sets (at least 24 hours). And you must shave the soap when it is still moderately soft, that is usually around the same time it is set. But if your recipe makes a hard bar, consider trying a softer bar recipe ( just for the curls). Trying to make curls with hard cold process soap is almost impossible. More arm power is needed, the soap is flaky, and the soap cracks off into stiff flakes.

How to dry out soap curls

Store the soap shavings in a cool and dry place.

Crunching soap has been a very popular trend. For those who do not know what it is, it is the act of crunching up dried out soap for therapeutic purposes. So to make crunchy soap, simply make thin shavings and let the soap dry out in a dark dry area for a long time (few months). You can even scent the soap with essential oils for extra relaxing effects. To dry out the soap curls set them out somewhere dry in a thin layer. And here you can purchase 20-pound blocks for all the crunchy soap your heart desires.

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