How to keep separate colors/layers

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kniquy

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I have done a number of CP soaps and a few M&P. The CP i have done swirls and the M&P were just one color.

For the 4th of July I want to make a layered red white and blue soap. I am thinking of just making a white star embed and layering the red and blue colors. Can anyone give me tips on how to prevent the red and blue from mixing together?

I have seen processes where you do one color and then put in the freezer. How does this affect the layers from adhering? or should i just let the first layer mostly harden then add the second color.

Any advice is appreciated!
 

lisamaliga

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Practice with different methods. The first pour is easy. The second is harder to gauge if you don't have a thermometer. Make sure it's hard and you can test this by gently pushing the mold a bit. Does it move? If not, it's ready for the second layer.
If using a thermometer, a temperature of about 115-120 F is good.
When getting a red mica or any type of colorant, make sure it's non-bleeding. Same with the blue.
Hope this helps and Happy Soaping! Look forward to seeing the results if you'd like to share them!
 

Ohenna

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Can you just wait for the first layer to be completely solid? Or will that not be ideal? If not, why so? Tar x
 

MGM

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Can you just wait for the first layer to be completely solid? Or will that not be ideal? If not, why so? Tar x
I think they warn that the soap may not adhere if you wait too long /it's too set. My very first soap ever was about 6 different layers. I didn't have a thermometer ; I just felt to see if the tops were relatively firm, then poured over the back of a spoon. If you plan on adding embeds, freeze them and spray liberally with IPA.
 

Mobjack Bay

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The 4th is past, but if you’re interested for the future, here’s what I can contribute:

To get perfectly level layered soaps I’m finding that many makers are splitting their oils and making each layer independently, for example:

She splits the emulsified oils evenly based on the number of layers she wants and then splits the lye water the same way. She then mixes each layer one at a time, adds her FO and whatever other additives she wants, pours the layer and lets each layer set up before she adds the next layer. It’s not fully set, just enough to support the next layer of soap. She even adds some cool relief to the surfaces of some of the layers.

I have read accounts of some soapers building a soap loaf up over multiple days. You might be able to go a day without worrying about the next layer not sticking, but it’s probably also recipe dependent. A soap with a lot of hard oils sets up fast, while a soap with a lot of soft oils stays on the softer side for a couple of days at least.

If you decide to try to make multiple perfectly level layers using a single batch of batter, you will need to use a recipe that moves slowly enough to wait nicely on the counter between layers, but then hurries up and sets enough to support the next layer. I’ve read about using accelerating FOs to speed up the set, or putting the mold in a warm oven after each layer is poured. I have avoided accelerating FOs to date and did not have much luck with the oven approach, so for my next attempt I will be splitting my oils and lye.

As I relative newbie, I’ve managed to more or less get the hang of pours, swirls, controlling trace, etc., but I am yet to produce perfectly level layers. That’s why I’m going to commit to the split oil/lye approach the next time I try it.

Hope you had a festive July 4th!

ETA: I just realized almost a month later that this is the M&P forum. My apologies for contaminating the thread with CP layering ideas :)
 
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bookreader451

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I have done a number of CP soaps and a few M&P. The CP i have done swirls and the M&P were just one color.

For the 4th of July I want to make a layered red white and blue soap. I am thinking of just making a white star embed and layering the red and blue colors. Can anyone give me tips on how to prevent the red and blue from mixing together?

I have seen processes where you do one color and then put in the freezer. How does this affect the layers from adhering? or should i just let the first layer mostly harden then add the second color.

Any advice is appreciated!
Hi I am new here but have been working with melt and pour for quite a while. If you want to do layers you need to wait until the first layer cools to about 90-95 degrees. Make sure you spray with 91% rubbing alcohol just before you pour the next layer. The second layer should be poured at about 120-125 degrees. If you are doing embeds you need to wait until the base layer is solid enough to support your embed (I also use a higher melting base for all my embeds. Use the stuff from Michaels for embeds and save the better bases for the soap) Red mica will bleed depending on the source. I have had decent luck with the red lake from TKB trading
 

GGMA0317

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1) Choose a slow moving formula so you will have time to divide it. Or make two separate batches. Depending on my formula, I may hand stir to thin trace. Once it reaches a thin trace. Divide and conquer!

2) Work with each layer individually. Add your fragrances and colors to your first layer. Know your fragrances and acceloration time. Hit it with the stick blender to blend your colors and f/o. Blend until it reaches a medium pourable trace.

3) Repeat the same with second layer. Pour second layer over first when soap is just slightly thinner than first layer.
Use toothpick or skewer to test the thickness of first layer. If you can draw a design in it that holds then it is ready for the second layer. I've never used alcohol or anything else and it adheres well.
In my years of experience I can honestly say the most important thing to know is your formula. Once you know your formula and how it reacts to temp, f/o e/o you will be layering successfully in no time. Happy Soap Layering!

Eta: Soaping at room temp will also give you more time to play. But its all about the formula
 

Relle

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1) Choose a slow moving formula so you will have time to divide it. Or make two separate batches. Depending on my formula, I may hand stir to thin trace. Once it reaches a thin trace. Divide and conquer!
Eta: Soaping at room temp will also give you more time to play. But its all about the formula
GG, I think the OP is talking about bought M&P, not made by themself.
 

tspin

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I have done a number of CP soaps and a few M&P. The CP i have done swirls and the M&P were just one color.

For the 4th of July I want to make a layered red white and blue soap. I am thinking of just making a white star embed and layering the red and blue colors. Can anyone give me tips on how to prevent the red and blue from mixing together?

I have seen processes where you do one color and then put in the freezer. How does this affect the layers from adhering? or should i just let the first layer mostly harden then add the second color.

Any advice is appreciated!
Hello, I wouldn't put it in the freezer. Maybe try just letting each layer harden just enough where the top layer doesn't move when you gently wiggle the mold. With a tooth pick gently scrape lines across top with out poking holes in it. Spray with 91% alcohol and ready to pour next layer. When pouring the next layer, let the soap form a layer on top (of the second color) and take the top harden soap off then pour. Then repeat. Also, I have learned that using mica in melt and pour does not work the same as in cp soap. Once it comes in contact with alcohol it bleeds so to speak.
I have used straight pigments for soaps that I don't want to bleed. If your using liquid color I think you get buy the non bleeding .
Hope that made sense

Hello, I am new to swirling in M&P but I have learned it's all about temps.
Here is my first swirl. I can't wait to try it in CP
 

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lisamaliga

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Hello, I am new to swirling in M&P but I have learned it's all about temps.
Here is my first swirl. I can't wait to try it in CP
That is gorgeous! :)
 

KDP

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Hello, I wouldn't put it in the freezer. Maybe try just letting each layer harden just enough where the top layer doesn't move when you gently wiggle the mold. With a tooth pick gently scrape lines across top with out poking holes in it. Spray with 91% alcohol and ready to pour next layer. When pouring the next layer, let the soap form a layer on top (of the second color) and take the top harden soap off then pour. Then repeat. Also, I have learned that using mica in melt and pour does not work the same as in cp soap. Once it comes in contact with alcohol it bleeds so to speak.
I have used straight pigments for soaps that I don't want to bleed. If your using liquid color I think you get buy the non bleeding .
Hope that made sense

Hello, I am new to swirling in M&P but I have learned it's all about temps.
Here is my first swirl. I can't wait to try it in CP
Gorgeous!
 
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