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How to Make Handmade Soaps with an Exfoliating Strip

How to Make Handmade Soaps with an Exfoliating Strip - DIY Soap Tutorial, Tips and TricksThere are lots of simple ways to “dress up” your homemade cold process soaps. Creating an exfoliating strip in your soap is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also gives your handmade soap an added benefit. To create this look you’ll need to choose an additive to use as as your scrubby center strip. Consider not only the coarseness in a scrub that you’re looking for, but also the color of the additive. An additive that contrasts with your soap color will add to its decorative aspect. You can use apricot kernel meal, walnut shell powder, loofah powder – even cinnamon! Have your additive close by when you are ready to pour your soaps.

Once your handmade cold process soap reaches trace (learn how to make cold process soaps here!) pour the soap into your mold or molds about halfway using only half of the soap. (Your soap needs to be at a full trace so it’s good and thick, otherwise your additive will fall into the soap when you pour the second half causing the additive to spill up around the edges ruining the effect.) Layer a medium thick layer of your additive across the top of the soap you just poured. Then pour the rest of the soap gently on top of the additive layered soap. Next, take a butter knife and gently run it lengthwise back and forth through the soap several times. Then cover your soap and insulate for the next 24 hours before unmolding and cutting into bars. (Learn how to make a loaf soap cutter here.)

Need soap molds? Then be sure to check out my tutorial on how to make a wooden soap mold. And check out my diy on how to make decorative cold process soaps with circles for even more decorative handmade soap ideas. For more soapmaking tips, tricks, tutorials and recipes follow my DIY Bath and Body board on Pinterest!


  • Noelle

    February 24, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I tried this and it looked gorgeous. Then when I unmolded the layers seperated. Any hints? ( I used a dusting of cloves as my exfoliant). Thanks!

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      February 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Try using less of the herb or run a knife through it. I’ve found they stick if you run a knife through all of the layers unless you use too much. I’ve only had mine not stick once and I didn’t run the knife through it like I usually did.

  • Rosa

    December 16, 2014 at 4:07 am

    How do you run a knife through it?? I don’t understand what you mean, it dosn’t look disturbed. I would think that would make it swirl or no?? I love your blog, your soaps are soooo beautiful!

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      December 16, 2014 at 8:29 am

      You put the butter knife in the soap to the bottom or close to it and run it across the entire width then through the length in straight lines. It doesn’t swirl. If the soap has a thicker trace it may leave pretty rounded ridges along the top.

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