Sunday, February 16, 2014
Saponification Sunday. The Color Of Mute
I like both ways as they each have their highs and their lows. Pulled out my magic trick box of colorants which I've been collecting for several years. I love all the muted colors and I enjoy how the shades of color they produce vary widely based on the type of oils in your soap, the amount of colorant used, the temperature you soap at (hot lye water or cold) as well as the essential oils you use.
In the first year I saponified I wrote down everything but quickly learned that I love the SURPRISE of soaping and generally don't repeat too many recipes. As long as my basic recipe maintains its proportions everything else is up for grabs.
But last night I lost all touch with reality. I had many different types of oils so I combined the following: olive, coconut, lard, sweet almond, avocado, babassu, Castor, Shea and mango butters. Is that not nuts?!? Actually it was a good mix of moisturizing, lathering and hardening oils.
SO while I wait for them to cure I'll tell you more about the colorants I use.
From left going clockwise;
Titanium dioxide for whiter bars. I dissolve 1 tsp in 1/4 cup of HOT water and mix well. About 1 tsp per 2 pounds of oils.
Spirulina, a green algae, makes beautiful green soap but fades quickly. I will usually combine with wheat grass powder or French Green clay for staying power. Mixes well with oil. About 2 tsps. per pound of oil.
French yellow clay mixes with water or oil. Has nice drawing powers nice to use for soap bars intended for acne use. A very light yellow. Will thicken your soap and speed trace. 1/2 tsp per pound of oils.
Morracan Red Clay. Same properties as other clays. Same usage amount. Will produce a muted pink color.
Indigo. Oh how I love indigo. I mix mine with oil before adding to my soap mix but you can throw it straight in if you want. It dissolves well. Small amounts and you'll get light grey, larger amounts a deep blue. Add with a bit of Titanium Dioxide and you'll get a brighter blue.
French green clay (just below the Indigo, sorry about the hard to read label, I'm still learning to play with that picmonkey) Same properties as other clay. Boosts the green in the Spirulina. Can make a nice gray-green color too.
Maddor root. Again a real favorite of mine. You can mix with oil or add directly to your soap. Or infuse it in oil so no particles at all in your final bars. 1-2 tsps. per pound of oil with pink to red range.
Tumeric ! A real powerful colorant. 1/2 tsp to a pound of oil and you will get a BRIGHT bar of soap. Less and you'll have a sunnier less abrasive color. Dissolves well in oil
Alkanet. Will give you grey to deep purple. If you add without infusing first you will definitely get an abrasive, exfoliating bar which is fine if that is what you want. But my favorite way to use in to put about 3 Tablespoons in a 1/2 cup of olive oil and let sit for a week. Then drain the oil and use it to color. So pretty!
Remember: whatever amount of oil you use to dissolve or infuse your colorant must be included in your lye to oil calculations. If you are using several different colorants and not tracking the oil you are adding back into your soap your lye amount may be too little and you may have trouble with getting a true trace.