Types of Soap Swirls

Have you ever wondered about the delicate soap swirls you see online and in specialty shops?  Here are some of the most common soap swirls and how you can achieve the looks.

In the Pot Soap Swirls

A few swirls can be done ‘in the pot’, meaning you mix the colors of the soap batter in your pitcher before pouring it into your mold.

in the pot soap swirls

Learn how to get this look on Nature’s Garden Website.


The elemental swirl is a combination of two ‘in the pot’ swirls layered in your mold with a pencil line of mica or some other fine powder dividing the colors. See how Rock Creek Soaps got this look.  Alternately, the soap can be poured at the same time into the mold, creating a vertical line in the soap.  See how this is done at Soap&Restless.

In the Mold Soap Swirls

In the mold soap swirls are created when soap is poured in separate colors, then swirled in many different ways.

column soap swirl

Column Swirls are created when the soap batter is poured in alternating colors over a column stood in your soap mold.  By pouring like this you get ‘rings’ of soap colors around your column.  You can further modify this swirl by dragging a chop stick or skewer through the rings, spin the soap in the mold and stop it abruptly to get a spinning swirl, or adding more columns before you begin your pour.  Learn the basics at Soap Making Essentials.

Drop swirls are some of the easiest swirls to create.  Simply pour your soap batter into your mold in different colored layers, allowing your batter to drop through the surface of the batter.  This swirl can be further modified by swirling the entire thickness of the batter in the mold with a chopstick or skewer.  Different looks can be obtained by changing the way you drag the tool through the soap. Learn the drop swirl from The Soap Queen.

In addition to these two techniques, you can get similar effects using a funnel swirl.  In this case, you use the funnel as a faux column, or use it to direct your soap batter when creating your drop swirl.

Hanger Soap Swirls

There are several type hanger swirls.  In a nutshell, it sounds just like it is – you use a hanger to make the swirls!  An old metal hanger bent to match the size of your soap mold is all you need to make these beautiful swirls.

Hanger Swirl Soap

The basic hanger swirl pattern starts with layered colors that have high contrast.  Using vertical motion swirl the layers into one another. Detailed instructions can be found on The Soap Queen Blog.

The modified mantra swirl uses a hanger to swirl soap that has been poured into a mold with vertical dividers.  Learn how to get this list on The Modern Soapmaking Blog.

Butterfly Soap Swirl

Finally, my personal favorite is the Butterfly Hanger Swirl.  Using a a repeating oval/circular motion swirl the soap in your mold.  When cut pieces from the loaf will be mirror images giving a butterfly effect.  Here is a tutorial from Soap Making Essentials to show the process.

These soap swirls create beautiful, unique soaps.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to the different soaps you can make.  I’d love to see some of the beautiful soaps you create.




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