Citrus Surprise Invigorating Shampoo Bars with citrus embeds on top & impression mat bottom

I have seen a soaper that decorates both the top & bottoms of her soaps, so I thought I would give that a try with some Citrus Shampoo bars.

Citrus Essential Oils are tricky to use, as many will loose their scent completely. (Citrus FO’s work much better.) I have found good staying power with 10X Orange and 5X Lemon EO – these have been folded 5-10 times and are very potent. It’s difficult to find 5X Lemon – I have had this EO for a while and won’t be able to buy it again, as the price in the last couple years has quadrupled. (It’s now $130 for 16 oz, when it used to cost about $30. Yikes!)


Top and bottom of shampoo bars

Description of Bramble Berry & Bulk Apothecary Fragrances:
BB Pink Grapefruit FO: This is an exhilarating, wake-me-up citrus, with a juicy grapefruit aroma. Grapefruit is believed by aromatherapists to be a spiritual up-lifter, and to ease muscle fatigue and stiffness. It is also said to be a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skin. Grapefruit is reputed to ease nervous exhaustion and relieve depression. CP: Water White. Seems very light to me.
BB 10x Orange and Orange Valencia Essential Oils: The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting and “fodder for the heart.” It encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion. It is stimulating & uplifting and good for colds & other ailments. CP: Discolors Orange.
BA 5x Lemon Essential Oil: Is reputed as being antiseptic, and as having refreshing and cooling properties. On skin and hair it can be used for its cleansing effect, as well as for treating cuts and boils. Research has also shown Lemon Essential Oil to enhance the ability to concentrate. CP: Discolors pale yellow.
BB Lime FO: Zesty, fresh, bursting with energy & juiciness; tart but has a touch of sweetness. Lime has been used by aromatherapists for its uplifting and revitalizing properties. CP: Discolors yellow; gets thick (slight acceleration).


The Plan:
Use 9-bar mold (48 oz + 6.3 oz citrus embeds; .7 oz each bar).
Use 6-bar mold (32 oz + 4.2 oz citrus embeds, .7 oz each bar).
Both with negative impression mats on bottom, and random pour.
Add Citrus slices on top.
For leftovers, use 1 small round tube mold with wall pour.
Soap at low temperatures and do not stick blend.

Shampoo Master Batch Oils #1: 65 oz oils, 93 oz soap/ 5.8 lbs:
Oils: 65 oz/ 1842 grams
NaOH/Lye 6% SF: 9.01 oz/ 255 grams
Distilled Water: ( 2.45 oz, 11% disc): 19 oz/ 539 grams
Sodium Lactate: 18 grams (add to lye water)
DL-Panthenol (3%): 55 grams (add to lye water)

Scent Blend 6 oz total:
1.25 oz total: BB .5 oz 10x Orange & .75 oz Orange Valencia (discolor orange)
1.75 oz BB Pink Grapefruit (water white)
1.75 oz BA 5x Lemon EO (slight pale yellow discolor)
1.25 oz  BB Lime FO (yellow discolor)

Total of Batter/Color/FO:
24 oz Orange LabColor (Orange EO)
24 oz Fuchsia Pink LabColor (Grapefruit FO)
24 oz Lemon Yellow LabColor (Lemon EO)
24 oz Apple Green LabColor (Lime FO)


The Reality:
Shampoo bars are always tricky, with 20% Castor Oil the batter will set up really fast when using a stick blender. (I have found that above 7%, Castor Oil usually causes acceleration).

I poured my 99 degree Lye water into 98 degree oils and hand stirred to emulsification, which only took about 1 minute; then I separated out all the batter, adding each scent & LabColor.

LabColors tend to keep the soap very translucent, which was not the look I was going for, so I added a little TD white to each batch (and some leftover TKB Cosmic Carolyn with TKB #27 Red to the Fuchsia to boost the color.)

My batter was very thin, but from experience, I know the shampoo recipe can get very thick at any moment, and I had a lot to do, so I poured the 9-bar mold, added dividers and then poured the 6-bar mold. Both were too thin to hold the embeds, and while they were thickening up, I added my leftovers into a small tube mold. Doing a wall pour took much longer than the random pours in the other molds and I had to stop and go back to my 6 and 9-bar molds to add the citrus embeds.

You can see on the 9-bar mold, that the top was already too thick, as some of the citrus wedges cut into the top of the bar:


9-bar mold with dividers

With the 6-bar mold, I tried to add some embeds too soon, and they sank in (see upper left and bottom right):


6-bar mold (with marks on edges for embed placement)


The Cut/Un-molding:


Tops of shampoo bars from 6-bar mold

I think I like the bottom of these better than the top:


Bottom of shampoo bars from 6-bar mold


From 9-bar mold


Leftovers from tube mold with wall pour


I used a combo of 10X Orange & Valencia Orange essential oils, as I was getting very low on 10X. However, the Valencia is so light as to not come through the CP process at all, so I would be better off not even using it next time and just stick to the 10X Orange, as I don’t smell any orange in these bars.

I think the citrus embeds are too bulky & clunky (specifically the round ones), especially for shampoo bars. What do you think?

As always, patients is so important in soaping  – as in life (something I have always struggled with). The batter used in the 9-bar mold was too thin and these soaps are less distinct and muddy, compared to the 6-bar mold, which was poured second and the batter wasn’t so thin. But I should have swirled the top of the 6-bar a bit before adding the embeds, to make it more interesting and avoid the straight lines.

The green didn’t show up in any of the rectangular bars, except for a bit on the sides, but you can see it better in the round soaps. Which is okay, as I think the pink, yellow, & orange makes these look very happy & bright.

I much prefer the back side of all the bars and the look of the soaps from the 6-bar mold. The 3 bars from the tube mold turned out well too, and I like the hint of a heart inside two of them.

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