Whipped Soap – Our First Attempt!

I have always wanted to make whipped soap, also known as Floap.  It floats in the bathtub, looks like whipped cream, can be piped like frosting, and it’s not something we’ve ever done before!  I must say, there are quite a few things I’ll do differently next time, but I’m still thrilled with how this soap turned out.

Shamrockandgold

Because whipped soap has so much air in it, you need to use lots of hard oils so it will last in your shower.  The original recipe I found called for extra palm and some tallow, but I chose to add in cocoa butter in place of the tallow and part of the palm oil.  It turned out great!  However, I decided that I could whip the oils by hand without a mixer (which I didn’t have at the time, and I really wanted to make Floap right then). I thought to myself “I make whipped cream by hand all the time; I don’t need no electric mixer!” That was a big mistake.  I don’t think I got the soap whipped up enough to really be light and fluffy, but it’s still gorgeous!

Now, I was warned that whipped soap doesn’t take color very well, so you either have to be happy with pastels, or be willing to over-color your batter.  But, because I didn’t get the whipped volume I was expecting, I just over-colored regular soap and I’m expecting these bars to lather green.  While this is appropriate for St. Patrick’s day (my inspiration for this to begin with) it’s not what I wanted.

I also made a classic error I always warn my students about: I didn’t do a background check on my fragrance, so I didn’t know that it would rice on me! I was able to smooth it back out, but I think using the Fresh Bamboo really killed the fluff in the soap. Next time, I’ll be sure to double check that I’m working with something that plays well with CP soap.

Enough of my mistakes; on to the project!

The Recipe:

Cocoa Butter 12oz
Coconut Oil 12oz
Palm Oil 15oz
Olive Oil 7.2oz
Castor Oil 2.4oz

Lye (5% Superfat) 6.9 oz

Water 18.4 oz

Safety alert!  Be sure you’ve got gloves, goggles, long sleeves and pants, and closed toed shoes!  Be familiar with all lye safety techniques before you start by reviewing this free video on lye safety from the Soap Queen.

Cocoa Butter Chunks

Cocoa butter and liquid palm and coconut oils.

Step 1: Melt down hard oils, and whip to a creamy consistency.  Because cocoa butter can crystallize if you melt it down all the way, I added it to my warm hard oils and used my stickblender to puree it in.  This took quite a long time, and I think next time I’ll just temper the cocoa butter and add it in liquid.  Whip until the oils are a fluffy, almost meringue consistency.

Creaming the cocoa butter into hot palm and coconut oil.

Creaming the cocoa butter into hot palm and coconut oil.

Step 2: Add in your softer oils (olive and castor) while continuing to whip the hard oils.  Your fluffy consistency will fall at first, but keep whipping and you should get back to that whipped meringue stage.

Thick, creamy, whipped oils!

Thick, creamy, whipped oils!

Step 3: Make your lye water, and let it cool down.  A lot.  We have a dedicated freezer for lye water and soap, so I kept my lye in there until it was 92 degrees.  Add the lye slowly (about 1oz at a time)  to your whipped oils, and continue to whip.  Do so carefully, to make sure you don’t splash any lye or caustic soap.  I ultimately had to transfer my whipped oils to a large stainless steel pot to have enough space to whip safely.

Whipping in the lye solution.

Whipping in the lye solution.

Step 4: Add fragrance!  Here’s where my mix fell apart, but if you use a fragrance that doesn’t rice like Fresh Bamboo does, you shouldn’t have any issues.  Some fragrances may cause the whip to fall a little, but just whip it back up.  (At this point, my arm was getting pretty tired.  Do yourself a favor: use an electric mixer.)

Step 5: Separate and color!  I pre-mixed my colors in olive oil so they didn’t clump or speckle.  I used 1tsp each of hydrated chrome green, chrome green and yellow mica.

Step 6: Glop into layers.  Your soap should be the consistency of whipped cream or a fluffy meringue.  I pulled the soap side to side first with a spatula, spaced about an inch apart.  Then I dragged a thick spatula the length of the mold for a little bit of a swirl; this shows as a neat vertical line in the middle of the bars.  You can pipe extra soap onto the top for texture, or just glop it with your spatula like I did.

My swirling path (done before topping with fluffy white soap)

My swirling path (done before topping with fluffy white soap)

Step 7: Your soap will harden up very quickly because of all the solid oils.  So, depending on the kind of mold you used and how fast yours sets up, be prepared to cut your soap withing 4 hours or it may crumble.  I cut mine the next morning (about 8 hours), and some of my frosting on top crumbled off.

In The Mold

Here’s a close-up of it in the mold. This was 4 hours after pouring, and you can see how hard it already is!

The verdict: I really want to take another shot at this technique, this time with some mechanical help.  This soap doesn’t float at all, which is a big indicator that I didn’t get enough air whipped into my batter.  And while it does lather a bit green, it leaves my skin feeling great, so I’m still going to call this experiment a win.

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13 thoughts on “Whipped Soap – Our First Attempt!

    • Hi Sarah!

      Next time, I’ll be using an electric mixer to make sure I’m getting the batter whipped up enough, and I’ll be using a fragrance that doesn’t have any surprises in store. I’m thinking something fun and springy for Easter :)

      -Elizabeth

  1. Great job! The soap is beautiful! I hope you’ll show us a picture of the lather if it ends up being green. How cool would that be for St. Patrick’s Day? Thanks for sharing the recipe and method with us! I love fresh bamboo. Thanks for the heads-up on the possibility it might present a challenge in CP soap. I love a challenge . . .

  2. wow what a great idea. three questions, if i wanted to pipe this soap onto an already made loaf mold of soap, would it stick? second, i see you had the lye at 92 when mixed, but what was your oil temp? lastly, if we dont have a standmixer, would i use an electric handle held one, egg beater style? would that be okay and fluffy enough you think? thnx and what lovely soap!

    • Hi Kristen!

      I’m not sure if the new whipped soap would stick on already cured cold process, but it would stick to fresh soap that hasn’t fully set up yet.

      To be honest, I didn’t take my oil temperatures. They were room temperature though and cool to the touch, so about 72 – 75 degrees.

      An ordinary electric handmixer would be fine! Just make sure that you’re using a big enough container to not get any splashes :)

      -Elizabeth

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