My CP soap is turning out beautifully! I've found a recipe I can trust.
In my research, it seems colorant "penetrates" the loaf better if the soap is at thin trace. I have been using oxides, and I like them, but it does seem that the color, when swirled in the mold, does not penetrate. I use a stick blender to achieve trace, and I usually pour at medium to thick trace. Kind of like vanilla pudding.
I am nervous to pour at light trace, but does this make a difference in how the soap ends up? I sure hate to mess it up! Answer:
I assume you are meaning that when pouring the alternate colour into the soap mold on top of the base colour, it is not going very deep into the soap base. Rather it is sitting more on top of the soap.
To help with this you will need to pour at a lighter trace and hold the alternate colour higher above the soap mold when pouring. This gives the soap swirl colour more force when it hits the base colour and drives it further into the soap base. I like to start high when I pour and end low. This spreads the colour around more evenly from top to bottom in the soap mold.
Soap is fine to pour as soon as you start to see trails in the soap. Be sure to hand stir for a bit after you use a stick blender since the stick blender can give a false trace. Thirty seconds of hand stirring with a whisk will be enough to show if you have a true trace or not.
Do not let the base colour sit too long in the soap mold either before pouring the swirl colour. The soap will start to set in the mold. It is best to leave the base colour in the soap pan while you quickly mix the swirl colour. Give the base colour a quick hand stir and then pour. Next give the swirl a quick hand stir and then pour it. Then use your spatula, whisk or whatever to marble the soap in the mold. Not too much or you end up loosing the marble effect.