Pink Grapefruit Ombré CP Soap – DIY

Posted by Bonnie

It is February and it is freezing here in Manitoba. Today’s high was somewhere around -15 C and the low was -25 C. Add a bit of wind and temperatures felt as low as -30 C (-22 F). Winter came early this year, and after almost 4 months of snow, freezing temperatures, jewel tones and comfort food… I need a pick me up.

These deliciously scented bars with notes of grapefruit, lemons and limes flow into notes of gardenia, lilac, powder and vanilla. They are just the thing to carry me through to our short summer and the gorgeous hot temperatures that I am so looking forward to.

If you’ve made soap before and want to try to modify this recipe to oils you have on hand, or if you’d just like to know when we’ve got a new post up, enter your email on the side to receive a free copy of a printable Oil Properties 101 reference chart. Use it to determine the quantity of hard and soft oils to make your perfect bar. Don’t forget to run your oils through a lye calculator to determine your lye / liquids amount.unnamed

To make this design you need to achieve a medium trace. The soap batter needs to be thick enough to support another layer with only a bit of mixing and thin enough to pour easily. Using a whisk to add the mica and fragrance will prevent your batter from thickening too quickly and the high volume of soft oils in this recipe gives you more time to work.

The special ingredients in this soap are shea butter, cocoa butter and sweet almond oil which give a silky and decadent feel to your finished product. The recipe is formulated for a 2 lb mold and has a batch yield of 49.86 oz  with a 6% superfat – So if you don’t have a 2 lb soap mold, make sure your container is a minimum of 50 oz in size.

This recipe calls for a grapefruit scented fragrance oil. If you prefer to use essential oils in your soap, you can substitute it for the fragrance oil. I suggest using a minimum of 2 oz essential oil, increasing to 3 oz if you want a particularly noticeable fragrance in your soap – Essential oil scents are known to degrade relatively quickly in soap, and may not stand up as well to the saponification process.


  • Cocoa Butter – 3.4 oz
  • Canola Oil – 5.1 oz
  • Coconut Oil – 8.5 oz
  • Olive Oil – 11.9 oz
  • Shea Butter – 1.7 oz
  • Sweet Almond Oil – 3.4 oz
  • Water – 11.22 oz
  • Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) – 4.64 oz
  • Mica
  • Sodium lactate



  • Mold – Minimum 50 oz in size
    • I use a 2 lb silicone mold but you can use any container as long as it is
      • NOT aluminum which can cause a dangerous reaction with the soap
      • Lined with freezer paper, so that the soap will release cleanly from the mold
  • Safety gear
    • gloves
    • apron
    • long sleeves
    • eye protection
    • mask
  • Infrared thermometer
  • Stick (immersion) blender
  • Mini mixer (milk frother)
  • 4 disposable cups
  • Kitchen scale
  • Spatula(s)
  • 2 large heat resistant mixing containers (glass preferred)
    • These will be used for your melted oils and lye/water solution
  • 4 plastic containers
    • These will be used to divide up your soap batter into four equal parts before incorporating your fragrance and mica
  • Small glass container (for fragrance / essential oil)
  • Pot or microwave safe container (for heating oils on the stove or in the microwave)
  • Isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle
  • Cardboard / towel / heat mat to insulate your soap

Note: Cold and hot process soap making are adult tasks. For safety reasons, children should NEVER be involved or in the immediate work area. Sodium hydroxide should be kept in an area inaccessible to children and pets in order to ensure that they do not come in to contact with it. Pets should also be removed from the area while soap making is in progress.

If you are looking for a fun project to get kids involved with, check out this bath bomb tutorial. If this is the first time you’re making soap, try this project first – And make sure to read the safety information in that post! 


  1. Prepare your colorants.
    1. Add one tablespoon of your reserved olive oil to each of your four cups
    2. Add the following quantities of mica to your cups: 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp and 1 tsp
    3. Mix well with either a mini-mixer or a plastic spoon and set aside – Don’t forget which quantity of mica is in each cup!_edited4
  2. Prepare your fragrance.
    • Add 2 oz fragrance (1 oz per lb of oils) to a small glass container and set aside
  3. Get your safety gear on: gloves, googles, and I recommend using a respirator (lye fumes cause me to have a coughing fit so I wear one of these, but at the minimum ensure you’re working in a well ventilated area)
  4. Slowly add your lye to your cold water, gently stirring with a silicone spatula or stainless steel spoon until fully dissolved and clear. Set aside in a safe place to cool. When cooled, add your 2 tsp sodium lactate (1 tsp per lb of oils) and gently stir again.
  5. Prepare your oils. Measure out the above quantities and combine. Heat them until melted (microwave or stove, stirring frequently)._edited3
  6.  Allow lye water and oils to cool until they are about 120 – 130 degrees F, and within about 10 degrees of each other. Slowly add your lye water to your oil mixture and blend to a medium trace._edited6
  7. Divide your soap batter into 4 approximately equal parts and using a whisk, add your colorant and 1/4 (eyeball it) of your fragrance oil into each container. Stir until fully combined.
  8. Pour your soap batter into the mold, starting with the deepest color and working your way to the lightest color. Gently tap the mold on the work surface between layers.
    • Pour each layer into the mold by pouring onto a spatula to deflect the soap batter from directly hitting the layers below. If you pour directly onto the lower layer you may result with more swirling than you’d likefresh cold process soap in a mold on a stone countertop
  9. Texture the top of your soap. I used a plastic spoon to pull the sides together, and then drizzled leftover oil / mica mixture on top and swirled it with a bamboo skewer. Be creative and make your own design, try mine, or smooth the soap flat.

    wet cold process soap had been styled and sits curing in it''s mold
    Get creative with your soap top design
  10. Spray the top of your soap with isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash and insulate your soap to encourage the gel phase (Using a piece of cardboard cover the top and wrap it in a towel, or place it on a heating mat)
    1. Check the soap after about 10 minutes and look for signs of overheating, such as cracking or soapy explosions! Take the opportunity to spray the top again with your isopropyl alcohol.
    2. Check your soap every 15-20 minuites or so after that, looking for the same signs of overheating. Avoid removing the cover from your soap for more than a quick glance to retain as much heat as possible. Keep it insulated for 12 – 24 hours.
    3. If your soap is showing signs of overheating, like a crack forming down the center, remove your insulation and place your mold on a bakers cooling rack to encourage air flow – Or place directly in the fridge or freezer, depending on the severity of the crack.

      Yup, that’s a sponge bob fleece blanket and a fancy feast box. It works!
  11. Allow your soap to rest in the mold between 48 and 36 hours before unmolding and cutting.
  12. Cut your soap using a sharp kitchen knife if you don’t have a soap cutting tool. Your soap will need about 4-6 weeks for excess moisture to evaporate, and to fully cure to be safe for use. Allowing it to cure longer generally results in a longer lasting, harder bar of soap


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