In this tutorial, we discuss how to perform a basic soap hanger swirl. It involves layering different colors of soap on top of each other and then using a bent wire hanger to swirl the soap.
A wire clothes hanger can be used to swirl soap into fun designs. The end result is a vibrant design that displays well both in person and in online shop photos. No two bars look alike, making it a unique product line to add for your customers. Plus, the hanger swirl soap technique is a method that can't be recreated by large scale companies, so it's the perfect addition for small businesses focused on small batch, handcrafted soaps.
So how do you create the swirl effect? The hanger is inserted into the loaf and is moved down, over, up, over, down, up, etc. until the hanger reaches the opposite end of the mold. Before you give it a try, read on for detailed steps on how to make hanger swirl soap.
Hanger Swirl Soap Technique: Step-by-Step Guide for Cold Process Soap
- Prepare Recipe – A hanger swirl involves layering different colored soap on top of each other. For this reason, we prefer a soap recipe that reaches trace relatively quickly so that it is thick enough to layer colors.
- Prepare Colors – Two or more colors are needed for a hanger swirl. Mix powder colors in an appropriate liquid such as oil or water prior to blending your soap.
- Prepare Swirling Tool – You don't need a fancy hanger swirl tool for soap making. In fact, this design only requires the use of a wire hanger. However, it is important that the wire hanger does not contain any aluminum. Aluminum reacts with lye to create a toxic gas so it is very important that the hanger has no aluminum. Once you have the hanger, bend it to fit inside the mold. The hanger should fit longways into the mold and should be loose enough to move up and down.
- Prepare Soap – Once the soap batter is blended, split the batch into multiple containers and incorporate each color. Mix-and-pour funnel pitchers are useful to hold each colored soap batter. If yo'ure stick-blending the colored soap, move from the lightest color to the darkest color. In our design, we mixed the white batter first and then the pink batter. This will keep the colors looking as pristine as possible.
- Layer Soap –Pour the first layer into the mold. The next layers are then carefully poured on top of each other to make sure they do not break through the previous layer. The ideal hanger swirl trace is thin enough to pour, but thick enough to layer. Trace can also be thick and can be spooned into the mold. Tap the mold on the countertop between each pour. This allows air to escape from within the soap for a smoother bar later.
- Swirl – When the mold is filled, it's time to swirl. Insert the wire hanger into the soap at one edge of the mold. Slowly push the hanger to the bottom of the mold. Slide it one-half inch into the soap and slowly pull the hanger up to just below the surface of the soap. Then slide it another one-half inch and push it back down. Continue in this pattern until the hanger reaches the opposite end of the mold. Change directions and continue in the same pattern until you reach the starting point. Finally, remove the wire hanger from the loaf.
- Cut and Cure – Slice the loaf into bars once it is hard and allow the soap bars to cure for at least four weeks.