ENTRY THREAD May 2024 SMF Soap Challenge: Hanger Swirls!

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Nov 15, 2018
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The Entry thread for the May 2024 SMF Soap Challenge is now open!

As a reminder, this entry thread is for challenge entries only. All comments or non-entry photos should to the general challenge thread, here.

The first photo in your entry thread post will be used as the entry photo for voting, and must show the cut face of least two bars from the same loaf or slab. Your entry post may also include additional photos and information about your design, process, fragrance or inspiration. Please refer to the competition rules in the intro post if you have any questions about the challenge requirements. All entries are subject to these deadlines:

* The entry thread will close on May 28 at 11:59 PM GMT.
* The voting survey link and password will be emailed to all registered participants shortly thereafter.
* The voting survey will remain open until May 30 at 11:59 PM GMT, or until all registrants have voted, whichever is sooner.
* The winner will be announced by May 31 by 11:59 PM GMT.

Bonne chance to all, and let's see those beautiful hanger swirls!
Here's my entry of my hanger swirl that's also a failed Luna swirl...





It's a palm kernel oil and castor oil soap. I forgot the bonfire fragrance oil. I was hoping for a fire kinda thing going on in the soap.

I combined four 9 ounce batches of soap with natural colorants (I'm allergic to TD) to make this.

The red is madder root tea in the lye water.
The purple is alkanet root infused in the castor oil.
The yellow/orange/tan is either ancho chili or smoked paprika infused oil. They both look the same in the soap.

Edit: replaced the first picture with a new one I just took to comply with the rules🤦🏿‍♂️


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Here is my entry - Black Spruce and Anise

My soap is a goat milk soap with olive, coconut, avocado, and castor oils. I used cappuccino, snowflake sparkle, evergreen, and gold ultrasparkle micas from BB. It is scented with Black Spruce and Anise fragrance oil also from BB. I was trying to create a soap that would remind me of the sun breaking through evergreen forests through its design and colors along with the fragrance. I used the BB hangar tool multiple times both through the length of the soap mold and then through the shorter width of the mold.

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Soap was inspired by Florida's sunsets at the beach. I was feeling homesick when I made this.

I decided to do a luna swirl. I fragranced it with BB white tea and ginger. Colorants are from mad micas, the purple I used 3:1 Harold's purple crown and Wicked. For the peachy pink I used 3:1 Always a bridesmaid and Tangerine dream. And the yellow was 3:1 Bright yellow and Golden finger. The white was snow white that got mixed with each shade to create a gradient.
5 colours - pink, purple, yellow, green, white.
Fruity scent - pineapple, cranberry, coconut, grape to match the colours.
Used a cable twist tie.
Did a figure 8 from bottom to top, then 3 circles at the top and a large circle in the centre.
Hi everyone I made Oatmeal soap again! For my hanger swirl I used 5 colors and FO . I used Rainbow Sherbert FO from Suds n' Scents. For my colors I used My Red Obsession Mica, Pretty in Pink Mica, from Suds n' Scents and Dolphin Blue Mica from Candora Soap also TD and Charcoal for my white and black. I would have liked to see more blue in the swirl next time I will use more blue. I used Holly's figure 8 hanger swirl for my soap. So here it is.😃


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I let my grandkids pick out the colors for this. Wasn't sure it was going to work out. It was very fluid so I put it in the oven and here is the result. Made with Smell the Rainbow because it is a well behaving FO.


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My hanger swirl is made with my normal goat milk soap recipe. I poured white batter on each side of my loaf mold. The center had blue, teal and green parts, each mica mixed with a bit of neon for pop, layered a few times. I used NS 8th & Ocean which does accelerate a bit so I had to work fast. I used the BB hanger tool to swirl, and did figure 8s in the bottom, middle and top 1/3 of the mold, then a few in the full mold.

For this hanger swirl I used my vegan friendly, palm-free, 20% shea butter recipe and scented it with Original Spice (an original Old Spice dupe) from Nature’s Garden. The mica colors are from Nurture Soap: Making Waves, Siren’s Song and Fire Cider. I did not need to use any white colorant because the base is already pure white. I poured at extremely thin trace, barely past the emulsion stage.

I used my ancient hanger tool from Brambleberry, but I slip a Dunkin donut straw, the large size, to the center. Then I add one more inch cut from another large straw and tape it well in place. It seems to be just the right size for swirling the batter.

The pattern was a modified figure 8, first going up and down through 4 sections, then going side to side for 3 sections. At the end of the horizontal swirls, I brought the hanger up and out at a 45° angle. I don’t know if my illustration will help, but here it is.

I was pleased at how white the background turned out without any colorant, because the colors really popped. I put two bars side-by-side and was surprised that they looked a little like a modified butterfly swirl. When the soaps are stacked, they look like an ocean, fitting for an Old Spice theme. BTW - NG’s Original Spice is very strong and not fading. Next time I would use only 1/2 as much!
My thought for this challenge was to give the Luna Swirl a try. Even though I don't consider this a successful Luna Swirl, I liked it the best of the 3 attempts I made. The fragrance is a blend of Vetyver and Aloe & Green Clover, both from Bramble Berry. The colors are Apple Moss Green (Bramble Berry), and (all from Nurture Soap) Winter White, Midnight Blue, and Caribbean Blue. Many thanks to @AliOop for the fun challenge!

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My colors were inspired by the Northern lights we have been seeing all around the country this year. Neon orange, yellow, blue, hot pink by NUrture soap and charcoal. I made it with goats milk and silk added to the lye. Star Showers FO/EO Blend by NS. The soap reminds me of “Psychedelic Folk Art” I swirled figure 8’s in increments throughout the soap loaf. These colors are out of my normal comfort zone of using natural colorants. I loved playing with the neons. It was fun to work with.


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Okay, here goes, my hanger swirl entry!!!


I don’t want to sound shallow, but I was inspired by an entry in SoapChallengeClub’s January 2022 challenge by Eriko Jikuya from Japan. She didn’t win, but she got a prize for “Best Technique.” in the beginner category. she doesn't look like a beginner to me!!! Its whispy delicate swirl looks very calming. I didn’t find any place where she explained how she did it. So, I’m still trying to figure that out….. My mug shot of her soap doesn't actually do it justice


My recipe was: 35% Tallow, 23% Olive Oil, 20% Coconut Oil, 10% Sunflower Oil, 8%Castor Oil, and 4%Shea, 5% superfat and 34% of water as % of oil. I used 6% Aromatic Rainforest E.O. My goal was to make soap with a unisex fragrance. I used Oakwood & Amber F.O. on my first two tries. But, I wasn’t sure I like the fragrance so I switched to this F.O.

In picture #1. I started with 568 grams of batter. I added 5.5 teaspoons of Aromatic Rainforest by MakeYourOwn.Buzz. I set aside 64 grams for black (Ceya Silver Black), 78 grams of Rustic Escentuals Almost Ice (blue), 103 grams of white (titanium dioxide), and the remaining 393 grams for yellow (Ceya Lemon Yellow Pearlescent.) I figured out these proportions through trial and error with my first 2 efforts at this hanger swirl. I’ve had a hard time getting TD to disburse evenly. I always end up with little TD specks. I mixed the micas with the batter after emulsified but before trace. My TD has to be dissolved in water. I think that adds quite a bit of extra water to the batter and it was not reaching trace. I used that milk frother in the photo to try to get it mixed up enough. It was clearly getting a lot of bubbles- I guess that’s the point of a frother. So, I did try to tap it a fair amount to reduce the air bubbles.

In picture #2- I set my mold at an angle. It seemed to me like the top and bottom corners of Eriko’s soap had while areas that gave her swirl a more random look. I guessed she set her mold at an angle. Although I kept my mold at an angle when I did the bottom swirl on my first to loafs- on this one, I forgot!!! I put my mold flat against the counter before putting my hanger tool through it!! So, I lost the bottom yellow corner that I thought was an important part of the design ……

In Photos #3, #4, and #5- I layer 3 lines lengthwise. White, blue, white,black, blue, white, black.I separated each line with yellow and covered it all with yellow before swirling the first part of the soap. I pushed my tool all the way to the bottom, drug it along the bottom to the opposite side and then up to the top. (I actually didn’t mean to do that- It was my intent to move it in a more rounded motion- Eriko’s soap had a circular feel to her design…. Oh well….)
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I then filled the shallow color with yellow and the again repeated the three lengthwise lines layered in black, blue, white, blue with yellow lines in the middle. For this second layer, I pushed my hanger more shallowly, and then horizontally. Photos #6 , #7 and- #8

I used all remaining batter for a decorative top #9. In retrospect, I was being too careful. I should have let down my hair and had a little more fun with it, I should have swirled my tool around more. I would have wanted the soap to have a sense of abandon. Oh well, as Scarlet O’hara said “tomorrow is another day!”

NOTE: I'm not sure if I actually attached or inserted the photos I referred to. Something happened half way through and the insert photo icon disappeared. They may only be attachments or not there at all...


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I followed directions for Holly's figure 8 swirl, including her recipe, except I added some goat milk in the oils in place of the water. Also, I didn't have all the same clays and colorants she used, so I substituted with what I had. I made five colors with Morrocan red clay, French pink clay, indigo, activated charcoal, and uncolored batter. It was very helpful that Holly so kindly shared how to prepare the colorants.

This soap is scented with eucalyptus, peppermint and fir needle. Also pictured is my homemade hanger tool lined with the silicone straw that came with my freezer heat-shrink bags.


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Here’s my entry.

This is my usual lard based recipe with added colloidal oats and it is a test batch. As an aside, in my first two swirl attempts one contained goat milk and the other contained coconut milk. I am going to send bars off to testers to compare all three.
Batter was split in thirds at light trace, colored with titanium dioxide, BB Caribbean Blue and BB Yellow Lip Safe Mica and brought to medium trace.
Batter was poured at an angle using two 2x4’s to hold the mold in place. I used a spatula to help keep the layers separated. I swirled using a gear tie and a figure 8 pattern. This picture reminds me of a cartoon sea creature. 😂


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My entry is fragranced with Serenity from BB. I poured a solid purple layer and gave it an opportunity to set up a bit before pouring a very light purple layer (looks white) interspersed with blue and purple. Then I carefully swirled using a real, bent hanger. It's hard to judge how far down to plunge the hanger with this design. I thought I was extremely close to the bottom layer, but it turns out I was little more than halfway down the mold.

I wish for a more professional photo, but I haven't gotten one and won't have time tomorrow.

It's been fun seeing everyone's entries. I find hanger swirls to be a bit maddening because I rarely get the results I wish for. Seeing some of your entries inspires me to keep trying ✨
Ah, it feels so good to soap again! Here's my entry!

I used my current standard lard recipe though I think I'm about to experiment with it again. Anyway it's half lard, then the rest is coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and castor oil. Just for fun I added goat milk powder to it. It's scented with Candlescience Citrus Agave (or is it Agave Citrus?) and it smells SO good! I left 1/3 uncolored which actually wound up less cream colored than I expected, 1/3 with Aqua Pearl from Brambleberry, and the last 1/3 with a mix of Sunset Orange and one of the golds, also from Brambleberry.

For the swirl, I just... had at it with my hanger tool lol. Couldn't tell you what shape I did. All in all I think the swirl is fine, I just wish the uncolored section stood out a little better. I *was* worried it would be muddy so I'm glad it's not. I'm looking forward to seeing out the goat milk powder works out in this recipe.

Please don't carry on conversations in the Entry thread. Mods will be moving these over to the General challenge thread so please, no further replies here. Thank you!
The May 2024 SMF Challenge is now closed. Voting links will go out shortly to all who registered for the challenge.

If you registered but didn't submit an entry, you are still eligible to vote... so please do! And, good luck, everyone!
Polls are now closed! Voting was pretty tight, and the winners are:

First Place: @ScentimentallyYours
Second Place: Tied between @Bubz and @dibbles
Third Place: @Tammyfarms

Congratulations to the winners, and to all who participated! 🎉🎊

Each entry (and non-entry!) was uniquely beautiful. I love how everyone shared their successes and failures, and especially tips for the best outcomes. Your generosity to one another, especially while competing, is a fantastic thing to watch unfolding. 🥰
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