Best way to add pigment to cold process soap?


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Active Member
Oct 1, 2014
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Here's the recipe I'm using:

I have some green pigment from Brambleberry I'll be adding. My impression was that I add this to the soap once everything is combined and it's achieved that "pudding" stage before pouring it into the mold, and mix it around. Now I'm reading some stuff that's making me question this.

What's the best way/time to add pigment based coloring to cold process soap, and how much should I use?


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Apr 11, 2015
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New York City
Regardless if it's pigment or dye, I color the soap when it's pretty well emulsified and homogeneous but not traced. That's also the point at which I divide the batter if there are going to be different colored portions.

That's not the only possibility, but I think it's the best general answer.

To ensure they disperse well, pigments should generally be combined with some liquid rather than being added dry. Suppliers may suggest certain liquids, but that is never the final word on the matter. I recommend testing each pigment to see what it will disperse in. That will be clear from whether it clumps or smoothly breaks up and colors the liquid. You can get a little mini mixer on Amazon for less than $10 to help with the mixing.

I start with water, and if that works I personally don't go further because that's my favorite dispersal agent. If it doesn't work in water, it probably works in oil so I fall back on that. I think glycerin is the hardest to incorporate into the soap batter, but that is an option some prefer over oil. You can try any or all of the three (for M&P, alcohol is also an option).

There is no answer about how much to use. Black oxide versus pink ultramarine, for instance, would be a matter of what fraction of a teaspoon ppo versus how many teaspoons ppo. A few suppliers offer guidelines based on testing. You might pick something up from Bramble Berry, but their recommendations can be sketchy, inconsistent and confusing. TKB Trading is much better, so take a look there.


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Aug 22, 2013
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Los Angeles, Ca
I like to mix my powder pigments in a plastic ziplock Baggie with some oil. It's easy to massage the color around in the bag and get it really combined with the oil. Then I snip off a tiny corner and squeeze the color out. You can mix a lot and save it in another container (like a squeeze bottle) or just a tiny amount.

After that, it really doesn't matter when you add the color. If you are making a single color soap, you can add it right to the oils before the lye. If you want multiple colors you can add it at thin trace, or thicker trace.. It's really up to what works best for you.

The key with pigments (for me anyway) is to get the color mixed really, really well with either oil, glycerin, or water before you add it in.

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