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
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 can use up to 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.
Pouring Soap Curl Ingredients:
- Melt & Pour Glycerin Soap (white or clear)
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Long or wide silicone loaf soap mold
- Colorant *Optional*
- Heat source (microwave or double boiler)
Pouring Soap Curls Method: Steps
- Melt the soap using a microwave or double boiler.
- While the soap is warm, add 1% glycerin, and colorant if you so wish.
- Then pour in 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. If you are using a wide loaf mold, cut the soap into slivers before curling them
- Let them set out for a day before adding them to your soap design.
For lollipop soap:
- First, make soap curls that fit in a cylinder mold.
- You can chill the soap curls in the refrigerator, this will lessen the chance of the curls melting when you pour in the second soap.
- Once the soap curls are chilled, place them in the cylinder molds.
- then melt clear soap and add a color of your choice with fragrance.
- 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 to the soap curls is not needed, since it will be surrounded with scented soap. However, adding color in the curls depends on your design.
- Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap
- Long rectangular silicone mold
- vegetable peeler or single blade cheese grater
- Soap Colorant *Optional*
Soap Curl Steps:
- Prepare the block about 3 hours ahead of time, So melt enough soap to fill your entire soap mold.
- Let the soap cool for at least 3 hours before removing it from the mold.
- 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). However, we recommend using the vegetable peeler method.
- Freshly made loaf of cold process soap.
- Gloves (the soap will be too harsh to touch with bare hands)
- Vegetable peeler (make this a soap only peeler)
Cold Process Soap Curls: Directions
- Make your batch of cold process soap and pour it into the long loaf mold.
- Let the soap harden completely, usually this takes 24 hours. This may vary depending on your recipe.
- Using gloved hands, remove the loaf from the mold.
- While still wearing gloves, firmly hold the soap. Use the vegetable peeler to shave the soap.
- Once all of soap curls are made, set them in a dry place to cure. It will take about 5 weeks.
- After your curls are cured for the appropriate time, they are ready to use.
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
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.