Color Soap Naturally – Advanced Multi Colored Design with Infusions

Okay, so making a solid colored soap with an infusion is easy. But what if you wanted to color a soap four different colors using different infused olive oils? You wouldn’t want to make your standard recipe, divide the traced soap in individual containers and add a tablespoon of infused olive oil to each container. Why not? You would be over superfatting your soap if you did that. You could always make different batches of soap at once but who wants to clean extra containers if you don’t have to? I sure don’t. So let’s go over how to make a multi colored soap colored with different infused oils.

natural soap swirl with infusions

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First we have to modify our recipe a bit. Take your favorite recipe, plug it into a lye calculator such as and change the lye discount/superfat to zero.


  • Palm oil – 300 grams
  • Olive oil – 300 grams
  • Coconut oil – 300 grams
  • Lye – 138 grams
  • Water – 280 grams

Decide what you want your superfat to be. I like to use an 8% superfat.

Add up all of your oils and multiply by 8%.

900 grams (oils) x .08 = 72 grams

72 grams is the amount of infused olive oil you have to work with to bring this batch of soap up to an 8% superfated soap. Since we want to do a four colored soap divide 72 by 4.

72 / 4 = 18 grams of each infused olive oil color

Let’s make some soap! I want to do a four colored swirl.  Here is what the different colors will be.

  • Annatto infusion colored
  • Alkanet infusion colored
  • Plain – no color
  • Textured using black walnut seed powder

I will make my recipe at 0% superfat. Divide it exactly into four containers which will contain 18 grams of olive oil (two infused/two not).

The first thing I do is make the lye solution.  Then measure out the oils for the 0% superfat recipe above.  Do not include any infused oils.

In individual containers measure out the following:

  • 18 g infused alkanet olive oil
  • 18 g infused annatto seed olive oil
  • 18 g plain olive oil
  • 18 g plain olive oil with 1 tsp black walnut seed powder

This can be a bit confusing at first so let’s go over where we’re at.

We have our base oils and lye solution all ready to go.  Our base recipe is made with a 0% superfat.  Our superfat oils are measured equally out into individual cups based on the amount of colors we want.  We are doing a four color swirl.  We had 72 g to work with to bring our soap up to an 8% superfat so we divided that by 4.  That gives us 18 g in each cup.

Bring your base to a very light trace.  Using the scale divide your soap between the four containers.  I like to weigh my mixing container empty, then weigh it with the traced soap.  Minus the mixing container weight from how much the container + traced soap weighs and this will give you the exact weight of your batter.  Divide this by four and weigh this number into each container.  We want to divide it equally because we want each color to have the same superfat.

So above we have equal parts of plain soap, annatto colored, alkanet colored and black walnut powder colored.  Now it’s time to swirl!

I simply rotate pouring each color in the same direction into my mold.

Then take a skewer and swirl.

And now you have a naturally colored swirled soap with an accurate superfat!

After 24 hours you can unmold and cut your soap. Let it cure for 4 weeks.

Happy Soaping!

-Amanda Gail

P.S. Are you looking for added help when it comes to coloring your soap using natural herbs and spices? Check out Natural Soap Color by Jo Haslauer.


About the Author:

I am a soapmaker, author and blogger! I started blogging in 2008, sharing soap recipes, design tutorials and publishing articles on various topics of soapmaking.


  1. Patti K September 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    How would you go about adding EO to a mix such as this? Thanks for the great reference and tutorials. I LOVE your stuff!

    • Amanda September 12, 2011 at 8:11 am

      Hi Patty! You would just add your EO like you would an FO. I like to start with .5 oz EO PPO. Most suppliers can recommend a usage rate for their EO’s in CP soap.

  2. Keri Jurgens August 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    This is super helpful. I’ve been trying to figure out how to swirl in some annato infused olive oil without coloring the whole batch. Thanks!

  3. Mesha July 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Excellent tip! This will be very useful 🙂

  4. Pat Potter July 13, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Amanda, You make this sound so easy. I must try this method soon!!!!

  5. Ewenique July 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks for explaining how to adjust the soap recipe to add the infused oils later.

  6. nina July 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    This is fabulous! I have 3 different coloured olive oils sitting there while I figure out how to use them together. Now I can follow your method. Thanks so much for this tutorial and the others you posted today – they are all wonderful.

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