Any tips for green natural colorants to use?

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emaesoap

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Hi all, I’ve been making lye based cold and hot processed soaps for about two years now and I’m starting to explore more options to add colors to my soaps. I’ve used charcoal powder to make black/gray soaps and turmeric for orange ones. Now I’m trying to make a green soap, preferably a lighter green and I’d like to stick to natural ingredients. I’ve found some blog posts that mentioned using spinach powder and this seems promising but I was wondering if anyone here has tried using fresh spinach juice instead of water? I almost always have fresh spinach in the house and so this seems like it might be an easier/cheaper option for me compared to spinach powder but I’m worried about the final color/smell of the soap. I might just try a small batch soon and see how it goes but I thought I’d ask first.

When I tried googling I found a couple of old threads on here that mentioned spinach juice but not many responses, so I thought I’d ask if anyone has tried this? I’m thinking of just blending up some spinach and a little water in my vitamix and using that as the water in a cold process recipe. If anyone has tried the spinach powder I’d love to get your thoughts on that too. Does the spinach powder smell? I’m worried I’m going to buy a big tub and not like how the soap comes out so if anyone has any tips for working it with it that would be great!
 

TheGecko

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I've seen folks use natural ingredients to color their soap...sometimes they use 'powders', often dispersed in oils over a long period of time (my mind is completely blank right now on the term). Sometimes they will use a fresh ingredient...like carrots or spinach that they have tossed in a blender with water and then strained through cheesecloth.

The lye 'monster' is most powerful. Even with 100% Goat Milk, my GMS doesn't smell like milk or dairy gone bad. When using espresso, it did color my soap a bit, but it didn't smell like coffee. Hershey's Cocoa simply made the batter brown, but it didn't smell like chocolate. Pumpkin puree (at 50%) barely tinted and didn't smell like pumpkin. And it appears to be the same with many other additives.

I haven't as of yet used any natural colorants because what I have seen is that many of them either lighten or morph once the Lye Solution is add...which happens even when you use Micas. And there is fading over time.
 

emaesoap

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I've seen folks use natural ingredients to color their soap...sometimes they use 'powders', often dispersed in oils over a long period of time (my mind is completely blank right now on the term). Sometimes they will use a fresh ingredient...like carrots or spinach that they have tossed in a blender with water and then strained through cheesecloth.

The lye 'monster' is most powerful. Even with 100% Goat Milk, my GMS doesn't smell like milk or dairy gone bad. When using espresso, it did color my soap a bit, but it didn't smell like coffee. Hershey's Cocoa simply made the batter brown, but it didn't smell like chocolate. Pumpkin puree (at 50%) barely tinted and didn't smell like pumpkin. And it appears to be the same with many other additives.

I haven't as of yet used any natural colorants because what I have seen is that many of them either lighten or morph once the Lye Solution is add...which happens even when you use Micas. And there is fading over time.

That’s good to hear about the smells. I tried cocoa powder once and got a nice light brown color from it, but same experience as you regarding the smell, there was no chocolate smell in the final product at all. I guess the same would probably be true for spinach or spinach powder, any smell would probably disappear once added to the lye.

I’m not expecting a very bright green with natural colorants, from what I’ve read and the little experimenting I’ve done so far natural colors tend to be more muted. I made an orange turmeric soap a few months ago though and really like the color, so I thought green might be fun to try next.
 
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I've seen people combine spirulina and matcha tea for a nice green, or use matcha tea on it's own. But it does tend to go tan after a bit.

If you have pure and "unreduced" (unprocessed) indigo powder, which typically is used with henna for coloring hair, it produces a lovely grass green, similar to the color of the powder itself.

A great resource for natural colorants is Jo Haslauer's e-book, which you can find on her website. You can also check out this post from Ann Watson's blog. She recommends sage.
 
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TheGecko

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Infusion...that's the word I was looking for. SNIF Natural Soapmaking has a YouTube channel and a FaceBook group (private). They only use natural ingredients (No Synthetics, Mica, Oxides, Fragrance Oils, or Melt and Pour bases) and Essential Oils.
 
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I think if you use fresh spinach, it may turn brown. I've had success with spirulina as well as green sea clay mixed with spirulina. I've also heard that chlorella gives a nice green, but may increase chances of DOS. I know people also mix indigo with annatto. The SNIF Facebook page is full of lots of helpful info about natural colorants.
 
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All chlorophyll greens (basically everything out of green plants, like spinach, parsley, matcha, spirulina …) have the tendency to fade or tan over time. Be sure to store the soaps dark (because it is the original purpose of chlorophyll to react with light!).

Personally, my preferred way to avoid synthetic organic green dyes (green mica etc.), is the two chromium oxide greens. Very distinct hues, and a little goes a long way. Naturally green clay is a great way to obtain mild greenish hues.
 

sarasvati

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I haven't tried it myself but somebody once told me that she used avocados in her soap and the soap came out light green.

I haven't tried it myself but somebody once told me that she used avocados in her soap and the soap came out light green.

I am sorry, it looks like I had been misinformed. I just googled avocado soap and it looks like avocado alone wouldn't give the soap the light green color that the lady I spoke to was talking about at a local soap meeting. If anybody has tried making avocado soap, though, I would love to know how you liked it as I have been meaning to try it.
 
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"If you have pure and "unreduced" (unprocessed) indigo powder, which typically is used with henna for coloring hair, it produces a lovely grass green, similar to the color of the powder itself."

@our European Soap Makers.

Is it true that Natural Indigo has been banned for use in soap?
I understand that it can only be used up to 25 % in Hair Coloring- Rinse Off
Has anyone heard of this?
I use it in one of my soaps and I"m thinking of re-formulating:(


Sorry @AliOop
It looks like I edited your comment!

My question to:
@our European Soap Makers.

Is it true that Natural Indigo has been banned for use in soap?
I understand that it can only be used up to 25 % in Hair Coloring- Rinse Off
Has anyone heard of this?
I use it in one of my soaps and I"m thinking of re-formulating:(
 
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Hi all, I’ve been making lye based cold and hot processed soaps for about two years now and I’m starting to explore more options to add colors to my soaps. I’ve used charcoal powder to make black/gray soaps and turmeric for orange ones. Now I’m trying to make a green soap, preferably a lighter green and I’d like to stick to natural ingredients. I’ve found some blog posts that mentioned using spinach powder and this seems promising but I was wondering if anyone here has tried using fresh spinach juice instead of water? I almost always have fresh spinach in the house and so this seems like it might be an easier/cheaper option for me compared to spinach powder but I’m worried about the final color/smell of the soap. I might just try a small batch soon and see how it goes but I thought I’d ask first.

When I tried googling I found a couple of old threads on here that mentioned spinach juice but not many responses, so I thought I’d ask if anyone has tried this? I’m thinking of just blending up some spinach and a little water in my vitamix and using that as the water in a cold process recipe. If anyone has tried the spinach powder I’d love to get your thoughts on that too. Does the spinach powder smell? I’m worried I’m going to buy a big tub and not like how the soap comes out so if anyone has any tips for working it with it that would be great!
I have had excellent results using powdered spirulina!
 

Marcia Thorne

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I once used spirulina and neem in a soap and it turned out green. Let me see if I can get a pic. Also bayleaf soaked in oil over a period gives a kinda Moss green look. I don't know what shade green you looking for but this is hiw mines came out
 

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Spirulina will eventually turn tan although it does give a pretty blue-green for a while. UVB rays such as selling in outdoor markets will quickly affect the pretty color of Spirulina turning them to a yellowish tan.
 

LiliKuenca

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Sorry @AliOop
It looks like I edited your comment!

My question to:
@our European Soap Makers.

Is it true that Natural Indigo has been banned for use in soap?
I understand that it can only be used up to 25 % in Hair Coloring- Rinse Off
Has anyone heard of this?
I use it in one of my soaps and I"m thinking of re-formulating:(
Yes that's correct. We can only use synthetic indigo.

I use chlorella for green. It does fade with time but if left in a place where direct light doesn't hit it, it can last for a few weeks. I only use plant colourants and i don't mind fading. That's what natural colourants do!
 

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Picklekin

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I made some M&P sydnet shampoo bars yesterday with some homemade nettle powder, and that went a nice green colour.
 
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I made some M&P sydnet shampoo bars yesterday with some homemade nettle powder, and that went a nice green colour.
Yes but natural colourants behave differently in cold or hot processed soap when they are exposed to the lye. So your nettle powder might hold well over time in your bars, whereas not so much in a regular soap bar.
 

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