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Adding powdered colorants

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bombus

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I am new to using oxides & micas, and have been experiencing little spots of undissolved color in my soap.

Dissolving it in oil beforehand works O.K. but sometimes the oxides (esp. Titanium Dioxide) settles to the bottom, and I still get lumps of color in the finished soap. I get better blending if I SB the dissolved-in-oils colors for swirling, but then they get over-traced, and don't swirl well.

If I pre-mix the colors & put them in the bottom of the bowl that I will use to color the soap, it is difficult to incorporate all of the color from the bottom of the bowl.

With much trial and error (yea- a lot of this :D ), I have hit on a technique that I like- thought I'd share it.

I use a plastic sandwich bag for each color. I put the powder in a corner of the bag, and add a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Then, keeping that corner down to avoid coating the inside of the whole bag with color) I squish it between my fingers, mixing the powder and oil together well,
making sure to dissolve all of the little lumps. Then, I set them aside in a glass or bowl to keep the color in the bottom corner.

When I am ready to color my soap, I snip off the lower corner of the bag (don't let it fall in the soap!) and the color drizzles out on top of the batter, ready to be stirred in with a silicone spatula.

I have had good success with this method, and consistent colors with no "hot spots" of color in the finished product. Yea!
 

PracticalDreamer

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Perfect timing, as I'm about to try some pop micas in my soap tonight - thank you for the tip! :D
 

reallyrita

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What a good tip! Thank you so much for this one. I am going to try it out tomorrow.
 

jadiebugs1

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Yes, thank you very much for the tip. I have been using a semi-reliable method but it requires and additional tool. A mini-mixer. I think it's for blending cocoas, or maybe even eggs. It's similiar to a stick blender, just smaller. I still end up with some flecks sometimes, but not near as many as before I had it! I will give this new idea a try though, it sounds like it could help a lot, especially when it comes to trying to give the soap a swirl or two. One of the draw-backs with the mini blender is that sometimes the little bit of reserved soap that I'm trying to color starts to thicken too fast to pour it.

Thanks again for the tip!
 

gekko62

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PracticalDreamer said:
Perfect timing, as I'm about to try some pop micas in my soap tonight - thank you for the tip! :D
The pop mica's mix up fine with a teeny bit of water. :) And when you add yr batter they really DO benifit from a quick blat with the stickie.Huge difference in colour!

I have had the same problem as you Bombus,with the colour sticking to the sides of the jug but I found that if you use plastic ones it comes away clean.Even floats about the bottom in a little amoeba like blob before soap is added. Have tried this with UM's & Pop Mica's mixed with water.Oxides mixed in oil do adhere a little more but still mix in when soap batter is added,no streaky bits around the sides.
 

bombus

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gekko62 said:
PracticalDreamer said:
Perfect timing, as I'm about to try some pop micas in my soap tonight - thank you for the tip! :D
The pop mica's mix up fine with a teeny bit of water. :) And when you add yr batter they really DO benifit from a quick blat with the stickie.Huge difference in colour!
So- you must separate your swirling soap soon after you add lye? I've had trouble with the SB overtracing it. I like to swirl with pretty thin batter. I'll have to try that with the pop micas.
 

gekko62

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bombus said:
gekko62 said:
PracticalDreamer said:
Perfect timing, as I'm about to try some pop micas in my soap tonight - thank you for the tip! :D
The pop mica's mix up fine with a teeny bit of water. :) And when you add yr batter they really DO benifit from a quick blat with the stickie.Huge difference in colour!
So- you must separate your swirling soap soon after you add lye? I've had trouble with the SB overtracing it. I like to swirl with pretty thin batter. I'll have to try that with the pop micas.
It took me ages to figure out when it was OK to separate for swirls.Just emulsified seems to do it.I watch the surface of the batter-when it's first mixing you can see 2 different colours but when it's emulsified it's all the same.That's the way that works for me at any rate.And then by the time I add colour & a quick SB,it's thicker but still a nice workable consistency. :)
 

bombus

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Thanks, Gekko!
I'll give it a try- sure tired of "pudding blops" instead of swirls!
 

xraygrl

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I have also seen people use a frother to mix their colorants. I have one, but for some reason I haven't gotten it out to try yet.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph6-AMQLkEg[/ame]
 

snappyllama

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I love my little frother. It works great for premixing in a bit of my batch oil. Just remember to stir it a bit before turning it on. Those suckers can spew colorant all over the place if it isn't wet down first. Don't ask me how I know this.:oops:
 
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