Making melt-and-pour soaps is enjoyable, particularly if you want to make them around with color colors. Oils and molds are only a small part of making soap; occasionally, colors and designs are even more important.
You must develop alternative yet environmentally friendly methods to make lovely color soap. Can I use food coloring in soap? Food colouring is one of the colorants that individuals occasionally use improperly for soap production. This occurs possibly as a result of the safety of food colorants. But regrettably, they cannot be used to make melt and pour soap.
Food coloring will not work; the food colors dyes tend to bleed and leech into the nearby homemade soaps base. Due to this, it will be tough to make between the colors. Some colors might not withstand the saponification process since food coloring is soluble in water and oil.
In our guide, you can learn more about soap dye vs. food coloring, in your own soap, and more. By the end, you’ll learn the various colorants you can add when cold process soap making, and ultimately, how to color melt and pour soap. (Read Which Country Is Home To The Greatest Number Of Tractors Per Capita)
Can I Use Food Coloring In My Melt and Pour Soap?
Food coloring can be used in various other crafts, but sadly melt & pour soap is not one of them. NOTE: Melted crayons should be avoided, much like food coloring. Melted crayons, candle dyes, and paint do not effectively color soap and are harmful to your skin.
Some powdered food colorants can be used for cold-process soap making and are suitable for food. Remember that dyes can bleed, so there won’t be a clear distinction between the two colors if you try to marble soap.
The effectiveness of food colouring that we can get at the grocery shop can be hard to predict. Some food colors, like blue, might not withstand the saponification process since they might not be sturdy enough.
Using Minerals For Natural Soap Colorants
A creative and enjoyable way to color melted soap base with natural pigments. The mineral pigments are present in the soap naturally and provide a stunning appearance. When iron and water come into contact, rust is produced, a ruddy orange pigment. You should be aware that most mineral colorants are manufactured artificially in laboratories.
Mineral colors make excellent substitutes for homemade or natural colors. After purchasing mineral pigments, you must adhere to the instructions provided on the packaging. Try using too many mineral pigments because doing so could stain your sink, mold, or bathtub.
A silicate mineral called mica used to make colorants can be found in granite and other rocks as shiny crystals or particles.
Mica colorants give cold process soap color but not much shine. Depending on their FDA-approved FD&C (Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics) dye concentration, some micas are natural, and some are not.
2. Cosmetic-Grade Pigments
Since they don’t contain synthetic dyes and share the same chemical structure as the earth’s platelet minerals, the soap business regards these pigments as being nature-identical. (Learn How To Fill Gap Between Baseboard And Tile Floor)
3. Bleeding Colorants
These are FD&C colors or dyes that slowly seep into soap layers. For designs that incorporate bleeding, they are helpful. Use non-bleeding colorants if you don’t like these effects.
4. Food Coloring and Crayons
Some soap manufacturers color their soaps without using dyes by adding food colors. The color fades and doesn’t retain well, although it is safe, so experts don’t recommend it. Additionally, different food colors often bleed into each other.
Melted crayons are another ingredient used by soap makers. Still, experts also advise against using them because they may recommend unidentified pigments, wax, or extra paraffin from the petroleum process.
Natural Ingredients Cold Process Soap Making & More
Many natural colorants produce subtle natural tones rather than the vivid hues of commercial soaps that are artificially colored. (Read Can You Paint Enamel Over Acrylic)
Plant and earth-based Mineral Pigment and Dye
For natural soap making, you can use the following ingredients for a specific color:
- Beige to yellow: dried chamomile (powdered), sandalwood powder
- Beige to brown to orange: milk
- Yellow: saffron, turmeric, safflower powder, cornmeal, calendula, Can use petals or whole dried flowers)
- Muted yellow: ginger/ turmeric
- Squash yellow: powdered beetroot
- Yellow/orange: ground raw carrot (adds beta carotene)
- Orange or salmon: oil-infused paprika, cayenne pepper, fresh tomato puree
- Brick red or orange-red: Moroccan red clay
- Pink: rose clay
- Coral pink: oil-infused Lady’s Bedstraw root
- Pink, green, brown: tree lichen (based on variety)
- Green: powdered chlorophyll, kelp, dried ground alfalfa, French green clay, dried wheatgrass juice, powdered dandelion leaf, oil-infused burdock leaf, oil-infused comfrey leaf
- Light green: German chamomile essential oil, dried ground spinach
- Mid-green: dried ground alfalfa
- Olive green to greenish-brown: henna
- Green to blue: spirulina
- Green to brown: dried ground sage or spearmint
- Brownish green: powdered green tea
- Brownish red: powdered sandalwood
- Brown: powdered cocoa, nutmeg, and allspice
- Dark brown: ground cloves
- Light brown: powdered cinnamon, lye with elderberry
- Maroon to brown: ground rose hips
- Brownish pink: rose-pink clay
- Gray to brown: beetroot powder
Dark Brown/ Black
- Dark Brown/ black: coffee (coffee can be instant or finely ground)
- Black: poppy seeds
- Solid black: activated charcoal
- Gray: pumice
- Shades of blue: woad powder
- Intense blue: powdered indigo
- Purple: hibiscus powder
- Deep purple to bluish-purple: oil-infused alkanet root powder
- Purple to black: dried ground black walnut hull
- Red to purple: madder root
Things To Consider:
Not everything is suitable for coloring your handmade soaps. Here’s a few things to bear in mind. (Learn How To Cut Copper Pipe Close To Wall)
- Mints can tint soap bright green, but after a few weeks, they will turn it brown.
- Within days, rose petals begin to oxidize.
- The color of lavender lasts for a few days before changing to green and, ultimately, brown.
- This natural hue change is something you truly can’t avoid. Because of this, most soap producers substitute essential oils for plant material.
- Dried herbs are sometimes soaked in Vitamin E oil, a natural preservative, by inexperienced soap producers, but the results are transient.
- The red cochineal or carmine dye is frequently thought to be natural. However, it’s a complicated process to get it from the oak kermes insect, so organic soap producers don’t use it.
What you need:
- White melt-and-pour soap base
- Clear base
- Mica or pigments
- Rubbing alcohol (90-99%)
- Plastic container
- Measuring jug
- Silicone mold
- Brushes, X-Acto knife
- In the glass jug, melt the soap base.
- Pour each mold cell with the liquid until it is three-fourths full.
- Once the soap has dried, you can paint or chisel your design.
- Pour a small amount of clear foundation onto the top of your design from a plastic container.
- Spray rubbing alcohol into each cell.
- Pop the soap out of the molds once it has dried.
2. Liquid Dye
Use dye for soap making as it’s safe on the skin.
What you need:
- Soap making dye
- Rubber spatula
- Heat-resistant spoon
- Follow the dye’s directions on the box to prepare it. Certain dyes require a preliminary mixing with distilled water.
- As directed on the container, make batches of soap. Keep it in the mixing bowl.
- Cut your melt-and-Pour soap into a glass container, break it into chunks, and heat it for one minute until it becomes liquid.
- Use a double boiler or a microwave. Wait for “trace” status if you’re utilizing a cold process.
- Use essential oils or fragrance oils explicitly made for soap to add fragrance.
- Using a dropper, add a few drops of dye to the soap.
- If the color isn’t dark enough, continue adding more dye as you combine it with the soap. For a swirly pattern, stop mixing midway.
- Include extras like exfoliants, moss fragments, or dried flowers.
- Pour the molds into the resulting mixture.
- Let it cure and dry out.
- The type of soap determines length. Melt-and-pour soap is ready to use within two hours, but cold-process soap needs approximately a week to harden and four to six weeks more to saponify and dry thoroughly. Saponify alkali to make soap, and wait for the soap to cure before using or selling.
3. Powder-Oil Solution
What you need:
- Soap base
- Mica or natural powder (can use synthetic or clays, spices, oxides)
- Light oil – Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol 99%) as an oil alternative
- Spatula or spoon
- One tablespoon of oil and one teaspoon of pigment should be combined in a bowl to make cold-processed soap.
- Stir the mixture until all lumps are gone, and the color is uniform. This will color three pounds of soap adequately. Instead of a solid oil like coconut oil, use sweet almond or avocado oil. If you’re using clay, use distilled water.
- If you’re using melt-and-pour soap, you can skip step one. Alternatively, combine one teaspoon of pigment with one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol until the texture and color are harmonious.
- Until the soap is the desired shade, slowly whisk in the dye. Use 1/4 teaspoon of dye or a teaspoon of dye for every pound of melt-and-pour soap for every pound of cold process soap.
- Add fragrance, essential oils, or extras to the melted soap mixture.
- Wait for the soap to cure and firm after pouring it into molds.
- Without needing to cure, melt-and-pour soap hardens in a few hours. In a few days, the cold process soap hardens.
- Cold-process homemade soap that has hardened should be cut and cured for two weeks on a wire rack.
- Straight mica may cause bubbles when making soaps. Soap makers remove them with rubbing alcohol.
- Water clumps pigments. Liquid vegetarian glycerin is smoother. Mica blends wonderfully too.
- To mask the fishy smell of spirulina when you color soaps, combine lime or peppermint essential oil. Spirulina capsules are opened by soap makers and sprinkled into soap.
- Colored soap has too much dye. Lighten soap with light oils or titanium dioxide pigment.
- Natural ingredient color fades with time, so add additional color when mixing it with the soap base.
- Color fades within hours, depending on the hue and dye.
- Avoid direct sunlight to preserve soap color.
- Oil color influences dye color. Olive oil turns soap greenish-yellow.
- Candle-making dyes and aroma oils aren’t skin-safe.
- Empty containers, especially squeeze bottles and soak them in hot water after a few days. Soap residues make cleaning utensils easier.