Soap Making Colorants—which one to choose?
There are several different soap colorants today that are available for soap makers.
Natural soap making colorants are more favored by expert soap makers as it is much safer to use.
For example, saffron can give your soap a yellowish glow.
Indigo root can be used to give your soap a deep blue color and Moroccan red clay can be used to give your soap a brick red color.
If you prefer using synthetic colorants, there are a variety of choices that can be used.
By way of comparison, they are easier to use than many soap making colorants and provide a much wider range of colors.
FD&C colorants are colors made in the laboratories, usually mass produced and as a result, more inexpensive than the natural colorants for soap making.
It is more popularly used in the food industry but this can also be used in coloring your soap.
FD&C colorants are used in many processed food.
These colorants are available in a wide range of colors and can come in both liquid and powder form.
They are mainly used in Melt and Pour soap making and don’t usually remain stable in Cold Process soap due to its high alkalinity.
In addition to the natural and FD&C colorants, you can also use micas.
Micas are a combination of synthetic and natural materials. Shimmery micas are usually used for cosmetics, but it also can be used for soaps especially if you want your soap to have a little glittery effect on them.
This soap making colorant is best used in translucent soaps.
It is important however to test this first before using large amounts.
Many factors are to be considered when choosing a soap pigment. First and foremost, it is very important to make some tests before you decide on a color.
Some colorants, even if they’re natural, are irritating to the skin. It is also a good idea to mix and match colorants first to see if it is just the right amount of concentration you want on your soap.
Some shades of colorants may change drastically. The end results depend on the oils and fats used or how the soap colorant reacts to lye, and sometimes the type of essential oils or soap fragrances you’ve used in making your homemade soap.
So how do you test a colorant?
There are three tests for natural colorants.
The lye test, oil test and finally, testing on a small batch of soap. Also, different types of colorants should be added at different stages of the soap making process.
It all depends on the type of soap making colorants you are using.
Remember to always use safety precautions when handling any kinds of colorants.
Make sure to review first each material if you decide to experiment with different soap making colorants.
You need to be patient and accepting of the results, after all, practice makes perfect.
More information about soap making colorants can be found in our comprehensive Soap Making Made Easy eBook.