Am I using too little Titanium Dioxide? 1tsp:1lb Oils never seems to be bright enough.

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

SpaceCorgi94

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
66
Reaction score
183
Location
Melbourne
I've tried a few different brands/sources of Titanium Dioxide.

My soap recipe batter isn't particularly yellow, and the past few batches I've made have been made with fragrance oils that're vanilla free, and yet when I try to stick to the limits of 1tsp of TD per 1lb (~450g) of oil, it never seems that bright of a white.

In the past I've had to resign myself to using up to 4-6 tsp : 1lb of Oils in my recipes, (mostly for when the white is an accent colour as opposed to the entire bar) with minimal consequences. It can make that part of the soap feel a bit brittle, but that's about it.

So should I just continue using more TD until I'm happy with the colour? Or should I be looking at some specific brand of micas/TD to get the colours I want?

Thank you.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
5,237
Reaction score
12,992
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
I hear ya. Mine are never particularly white either. I think if you don't gel and use TD it comes out whiter than if you do gel. I always gel mine and they come out a creamy colour at best (and always with glycerin rivers). Let me find a pic:
IMG_7628.JPG
 

SpaceCorgi94

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
66
Reaction score
183
Location
Melbourne
I can't even remember how much TD I put into the white part of this soap but it turned out SO bright and white, but I was/am REALLY happy with this.

111537171_293021865447346_2292162803194337658_n.jpg


116132690_742858953214675_9158453798453087227_n.jpg


I think the only issue I had related to it was that by the time the surface was a thick enough trace to hold the weight of the frosting, it made it just a biiiiiit too difficult for the frosting to merge with the loaf. It didn't break off, but I guess you could just barely see a line that showed where the two met.

Still though, it is frustrating and I'd really like to discover the reason why I can't get the soft-serve stark white colouring again.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,778
Reaction score
11,993
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Some soapers say they get better brighter whites with micas. White as the pure driven snow has never really been my goal, so I haven't really tried to see if I can get that kind of white with one or the other. I just figured if the oils alone produce a really white bar, it would not need a lot of assist, but if they don't then I may as well live with the white I get with whatever I use.
 

ResolvableOwl

Notorious Lyear
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
6,939
Location
Germany
Not what you specifically asked for, but I guess you already have maxed out all the other factors that might get in the way of white soap? Avoid gel, swap EVOO with light refined OO or (better) HO sunflower, use lard, refined CO, sodium lactate, sorbitol instead of sugar/milk/aloe, avoid discolouring FOs (not only vanillin)…

ETA: I don't know how much a tsp of your current quality of TD weighs. In a quantitative white pigment test I got a not exactly blinding, but decent, and quite opaque white from about 0.1 oz ppo (0.6% TOM). When formulating that recipe, I already found it staggeringly difficult to find people disclose their TD dosage in a reliable, anywhere near reproducible way. Who found that “it's the right amount when it's white enough” ever useful?
 
Last edited:

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
6,695
Location
Oregon
Why on earth would you want to add more TD when you know that the current amount makes your soap brittle?!? I'd be pretty pissed of if I spent dollars on a bar only to have it shatter when I drop it in the shower.

Here is my suggestion(s):

1) Do not 'gel' your soap. Gelling is great for bright and bold colors, but doesn't nothing for 'white'.

2) Look for completely clear oils/butters. Any tinge of yellow is going to dull the 'white' to 'cream'

3) Look for complete clear FOs/EOs. Just because a FOs doesn't contain vanilla, doesn't mean that it won't discolor your soap.

4) In addition to using TD, you can try a 'white' Mica or even Zinc Oxide. To get a true black, I mix AC with Black Oxide (once I run out of AC, I won't hassle with it).

5) Trying adding your TD to your Lye Solution be better disperse it. I know a gal who gets a nice 'white' by using oil dispersible TD.

6) Avoid adding any additives that can discolor.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,824
Reaction score
9,286
Location
Idaho, USA
What kind of oils are you using and are you stick blending your TD into the batter?

If you are using evoo or unrefined butters, the natural colors might be too much for TD to cover.
Also, as mentioned above, it needs to be stick blended in, hand mixing TD will not give good color.

How are you measuring your TD? Dry or premixed? If its premixed, what is your mixing ratio? You really shouldn't need more then 2 tsp ppo. I use 1 tsp max, usually less but my recipe is quite white to begin with.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
5,442
Location
Florida
I dont measure. I add the td until i get the white i want. SB after each add to check.

If you use evoo then you are treading water. The evoo always wins lol. Use a lighter oo.

Edit: i bought some white micas to test, and they required A LOT of mica to get the color i wanted if i needed a stark white
 

SpaceCorgi94

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
66
Reaction score
183
Location
Melbourne
Yes, yours is certainly white there. It looks like you didn't gel?

Yes! Tbh I've never really even tried to gel my soap, it just seemed like an additional process that I never thought to look into, being that it seems harder to control a consistent standard, and I was happy enough with what I was producing.

Why on earth would you want to add more TD when you know that the current amount makes your soap brittle?!? I'd be pretty pissed of if I spent dollars on a bar only to have it shatter when I drop it in the shower.

Here is my suggestion(s):

1) Do not 'gel' your soap. Gelling is great for bright and bold colors, but doesn't nothing for 'white'.

2) Look for completely clear oils/butters. Any tinge of yellow is going to dull the 'white' to 'cream'

3) Look for complete clear FOs/EOs. Just because a FOs doesn't contain vanilla, doesn't mean that it won't discolor your soap.

4) In addition to using TD, you can try a 'white' Mica or even Zinc Oxide. To get a true black, I mix AC with Black Oxide (once I run out of AC, I won't hassle with it).

5) Trying adding your TD to your Lye Solution be better disperse it. I know a gal who gets a nice 'white' by using oil dispersible TD.

6) Avoid adding any additives that can discolor.

Maybe "brittle" isn't the best of words to use here (especially if it's already become its own loaded term in the soap forums), but it does become noticeably harder, and especially during the cutting part, the more delicate parts (ie: the very edges of the soap) flake off more than the rest of the soap sort of bends? It's hard to explain but over time the two share the same texture as each other, it's only noticeable before the bars are cured.

Thank you for your wonderful suggestions however!! I feel like I might have the most success with adding the TD component to the lye, as I tend to leave any white parts of my soap free of many additives (such as exfoliants or FOs) but I'll be sure to include an update in any future posts I make where I utilise this! It sounds like valuable information.
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
6,695
Location
Oregon
Maybe "brittle" isn't the best of words to use here (especially if it's already become its own loaded term in the soap forums), but it does become noticeably harder, and especially during the cutting part, the more delicate parts (ie: the very edges of the soap) flake off more than the rest of the soap sort of bends? It's hard to explain but over time the two share the same texture as each other, it's only noticeable before the bars are cured.

Don't know about the 'loaded' aspect of "brittle". I know that using TD can accelerate trace and be difficult to blend in...two reasons why you want to disperse it. I know from personal experience...I used three tablespoons of dry TD in 33oz of oils...that it can cause your soap to shatter when you go to cut it.
 

Shy1

Member
Joined
May 23, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
37
Location
Nevada
I like the white I get with TD, Bramble Berry brand, and use 1 tsp ppo or less because I'm skirred of glycerin rivers. I always gel too.
I'm curious if you all think the TD causes the glycerine rivers or if it's gelling or if it's not taking a water discount?

Sometimes I get glycerine in the white part of my bar and I think it could be the TD. Tried water discounting. Less glycerine but still there. Wondering if it's putting the soap through gel that does it. I'm really not clear and was curious what others thought.

I can't even remember how much TD I put into the white part of this soap but it turned out SO bright and white, but I was/am REALLY happy with this.

View attachment 58452

View attachment 58451

I think the only issue I had related to it was that by the time the surface was a thick enough trace to hold the weight of the frosting, it made it just a biiiiiit too difficult for the frosting to merge with the loaf. It didn't break off, but I guess you could just barely see a line that showed where the two met.

Still though, it is frustrating and I'd really like to discover the reason why I can't get the soft-serve stark white colouring again.

I can't even remember how much TD I put into the white part of this soap but it turned out SO bright and white, but

wow. That is amazing and really beautiful white.
 

Tara_H

Mad scientist
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
1,237
Reaction score
3,758
Location
Ireland
I'm curious if you all think the TD causes the glycerine rivers or if it's gelling or if it's not taking a water discount?
I've never had glycerine rivers myself, so take this with a pinch of salt, but from what I've read the TD doesn't cause them so much as make them more obvious.
The theory I've read which makes most sense to me is that as the batter saponifies, it does so in a particular pattern which causes some parts to become solid faster than others. This pushes colouring elements, most noticeably TD, to follow the same pattern, hence the 'rivers'.
My understanding is that moving it through that particular phase as quickly as possible limits the effect, and for example a higher lye concentration and fast gel/cool down from gel will tend to reduce the chance you'll see them.
 
A

amd

from what I've read the TD doesn't cause them so much as make them more obvious.
I agree. I've had glycerin rivers in solid colored soap, as well as between the layers of a layered colored soap.

This article from DeeAnna maybe interesting reading if the hesitancy towards using TD is because of the glycerin affect.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
5,417
Reaction score
3,130
Location
Florida
I've never had glycerine rivers myself, so take this with a pinch of salt, but from what I've read the TD doesn't cause them so much as make them more obvious.
The theory I've read which makes most sense to me is that as the batter saponifies, it does so in a particular pattern which causes some parts to become solid faster than others. This pushes colouring elements, most noticeably TD, to follow the same pattern, hence the 'rivers'.
My understanding is that moving it through that particular phase as quickly as possible limits the effect, and for example a higher lye concentration and fast gel/cool down from gel will tend to reduce the chance you'll see them.
Exactly! Well said.
 
Top