It’s that time of year again, where the summers get crazy with soap making, trimming, packaging, labeling, and the enormous amount of preparation for the Farmers Markets as they start at the close of summer, and into the Fall.
I love this time of year, as my creative Mad Scientist comes out, but after Christmas as things settle down, I’m going to love that time of year for the exact opposite reason!
I’ve spent a lot of time this year harvesting my plants, roots, and even local clay, preparing them for colorants in soap, so I thought I’d give you a list of my favorites for soap coloring and how to use them! I’ll show you some of my projects, and I would love to see some of yours!
Red: Madder Root creates anything from light pastel pink to a deep brick red. The roots are the used parts, which are then dried and powdered and then infused in oil.
Paprika: Infused in oil creates a warm coral red, Depending on the age of your spice, and the amount of times you choose to infuse the same oil (once, twice, or three times), you can get a variety of shades.
Clays: Moroccan Clay is one of my favorites for not only coloring soap with a deep Terracotta red, but also adds slip to the soap creating a luxurious feel of silkiness to my skin. This can be added directly to the oil mixture before adding the lye water mixture.
Local Clay: I have right here where I live, some beautiful red oxide clay, that I prepare and use. It always makes me happy to use what is a local resource, and although it takes time to prepare, I find a great deal of satisfaction in knowing a products origins. Why not learn what you have locally and post your ideas and success here!
Brown: Cocoa: this can make the most earthy, warm colored soaps! Depending on how much you use, you can again, achieve a light brown to a deep chocolate. Here’s how I used several shades of cocoa in mine. I mix the cocoa with a little of the soap batter until I like the shade.
Yellow: Calendula: I like to double infuse my oils with Calendula, so that I gain a nice deep yellow. I gather my flowers in the morning (and while it’s true that I dry them, you can also use them fresh.) Then I use the oil as part of my recipe.
Turmeric: This is the perfect orange-yellow color you might use for a tiger stripe or a Halloween pumpkin soap. I add this directly to my soap batter.
Blue: Alkanet Root: The color of the flower, gives a very good indication of the beauty of the blues this root makes. It can create an almost purplish-blue to a gorgeous sky blue color.
Black: Activated Charcoal: This is one of my favorite ingredients for a myriad of reasons. Added directly to the soap batter, it tends to create speckles and flecks, so I usually dissolve it in a little bit of oil from my soap recipe first and then add it at trace. It’s a great ingredient since it binds to toxins on the skin, while at the same time, it opens your pores and allows them to absorb the nutritional oils of your superfatted soaps.
Green: Dwarf Mallow: Getting a deep dark green is more difficult, so I usually infuse my oils three times, or I go with a lighter green, by harvesting my mallow plant, placing it (after washing of course…and please make sure of your source, you don’t want mallow that has any kind of pesticide on it…) in my bullet blender, adding water, and then blending a green juice with it, before pouring the mixture into ice cube trays that I will later use as part of the liquid in my soap.
So there you have some of my favorites! Enjoy your adventures!
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