Clay powder as a natural colorant

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Nikolye

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I have been playing with clay powders alot lately, I learn as i go and do test batches. So much fun. However someone has asked me to make them soap for them to purchase for gifts by Dec. 1st. I don't generally sell my soap so i should maybe not be so willy nilly and find out the proper way to do these things correctly. I'll be on here alot this next week!!!!

I generally add 1tsp ppo (roughly since i soap in grams and kgs) I have always added them to small pots of soap separated at trace then either added that to the big batch or used it to swirl.

What is the proper way i should be doing this? I will be doing swirls.
I read to add water first to the clay so it won't dry out the soap, is this water i have separated from my original weighed liquid amounts? or just a tsp or so of extra water? i can't find much information on this.

Whats the maximum amount of clay i can use? and does this change if its being split into multiple bowls, so if you soap with 1tsp clay ppo, does this change if you are only blending it into a small amount for swirl?

If i add titanium dioxide to a batch of soap that is being swirled with clay, do i add that to the whole batch first? is it ok to then add clay as well?


Hey thanks in advance you guys are brilliant.
 

dixiedragon

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I have been playing with clay powders alot lately, I learn as i go and do test batches. So much fun. However someone has asked me to make them soap for them to purchase for gifts by Dec. 1st. I don't generally sell my soap so i should maybe not be so willy nilly and find out the proper way to do these things correctly. I'll be on here alot this next week!!!!

You're probably going to get some pushback from members for selling your soap so soon. But it's not like you're out at a craft show or something, so I personally don't have a problem with it. Just make sure your soap is safe before you deliver it.

I generally add 1tsp ppo (roughly since i soap in grams and kgs) I have always added them to small pots of soap separated at trace then either added that to the big batch or used it to swirl.

What is the proper way i should be doing this? I will be doing swirls.
I read to add water first to the clay so it won't dry out the soap, is this water i have separated from my original weighed liquid amounts? or just a tsp or so of extra water? i can't find much information on this.

The way you are doing it now is fine. An extra teaspoon of water won't hurt anything, but for my own piece of mine, I drop the water content a bit if I'm planning on doing this. The starting point on Soapcalc is 38% water as percentage of oils, so I usually drop it to 35%, which gives me room to add a bit more water else where.

Whats the maximum amount of clay i can use? and does this change if its being split into multiple bowls, so if you soap with 1tsp clay ppo, does this change if you are only blending it into a small amount for swirl?

I think a good rule of thumb is 1 tsp PPO. This has to do with texture, etc. As far as splitting it into multiple bowls, just eyeball it. I don't think that using say 1.5 tsp is going to ruin your soap, but IMO above 2 tsp might be pushing it. I would not do 2 tsp or more without doing a small test batch first.

If i add titanium dioxide to a batch of soap that is being swirled with clay, do i add that to the whole batch first? is it ok to then add clay as well?

What is your goal here? Using TD will make the color much paler. I'm not sure why you'd be doing that with clay, since clay creates very soft colors? Or do you want to do a WHITE swirl (TD) and a clay-colored swirl? If that's your goal, pour your soap into 2 bowls and add the TD separately. Dissolve the TD in some water, oil or glycerin first.


Hey thanks in advance you guys are brilliant.

You are welcome! I have become a HUGE fan recently of using glycerin to dissolve my colors. I have a bunch of 1 oz bottles I picked up on clearance and I am gradually using them up this way. I add glycerin, color and a stirring ball (I'm thinking I can use a steel BB for this in the future). It is a bit of a hassle up front but saves so much time and clean up! And I don't get that crackle effect like I do when I use water. So my recommendation would be to mix your clay with a bit of glycerin - I think my ratio is close to 50/50 glycerin/oxide. I haven't done it with clay yet, though.
 

earlene

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Nikolye, sounds like fun. I have no experience using clay as a colorant, so no answers there. But I thought I'd chime in on an idea suggested by dixiedragon.

... a stirring ball (I'm thinking I can use a steel BB for this in the future)
Dixiedragon, I picked up some stainless steel fishing weights at WalMart to use for this purpose. They come in various sizes. I wanted ball bearings, but they didn't carry them, so I found something that works just as well and probably cost me less money, too.
 

Nikolye

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You're probably going to get some pushback from members for selling your soap so soon. But it's not like you're out at a craft show or something, so I personally don't have a problem with it. Just make sure your soap is safe before you deliver it.

I have been making soap for 3 years. My friends and family have been using it all of this time. The people whom are buying this big lot trade me things(vegetables, hay, animal feed) for soap already but they now want to request a bulk lot of fancier soap. I'm sure this site has lots of new people jumping into selling, but I am not one of those people. I'm doing the work, slowly and figuring it out. The process is not new to me but I would like to make sure I'm adding things the proper way before bulk soaping on someone else's dime. :)



The way you are doing it now is fine. An extra teaspoon of water won't hurt anything, but for my own piece of mine, I drop the water content a bit if I'm planning on doing this. The starting point on Soapcalc is 38% water as percentage of oils, so I usually drop it to 35%, which gives me room to add a bit more water else where.

Great, I also soap at 35% so i should have no water problems there, thank you.


What is your goal here? Using TD will make the color much paler. I'm not sure why you'd be doing that with clay, since clay creates very soft colors? Or do you want to do a WHITE swirl (TD) and a clay-colored swirl? If that's your goal, pour your soap into 2 bowls and add the TD separately. Dissolve the TD in some water, oil or glycerin first.

I am just ordering some TD to play with. I stick to basics, color and scent as natural as possible. up until last year it was mainly teas, milks, herbs and so on. Now i've got into clays and essential oils which is a big step up and so much fun. Titanium Dioxide was meant to make white swirls or entire bars white. I generally choose certain oils for a white bar, but TD gives a more options! I haven't used it yet, so i'll do small batches of course and keep it fairly basic. The mixing with clays thing was based on a article i read somewhere (wish i knew where) comparing her swirl bars with TD to the ones without, and they were not white bars, but just so much more opaque and vivid. I guess thats what i was hoping for? but now that you mention it, she was probably using some colorant and not a clay that is soft already. Mostly just another thing to experiment with i guess. but this is exactly why i ask, sounds like adding TD and clay is wasting money eh! will keep that in mind in my experimenting.

You are welcome! I have become a HUGE fan recently of using glycerin to dissolve my colors. I have a bunch of 1 oz bottles I picked up on clearance and I am gradually using them up this way. I add glycerin, color and a stirring ball (I'm thinking I can use a steel BB for this in the future). It is a bit of a hassle up front but saves so much time and clean up! And I don't get that crackle effect like I do when I use water. So my recommendation would be to mix your clay with a bit of glycerin - I think my ratio is close to 50/50 glycerin/oxide. I haven't done it with clay yet, though.[/QUOTE]

Glycerin is sold here in 50ml bottles at the chemist along side other things that are easily bought in America(but not here) like hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol. They are incredibly expensive. however vegetable glycerin as a sweeter is sold at grocery stores, seems like that version might heat the soap up to much? I wouldn't think they were interchangeable if even related:-?.
But i like the idea very much.
Oxides i have't seen here in many colors, i'd like to play around with them at some stage. Micas are the only things i've seen in my soaping supply shop and I still need to do my research on them.


Thank you very much for your reply, it was very helpful and got the gears going.
 

dixiedragon

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Vegetable glycerin is pretty cheap here. Sorry to hear it is expensive for you! Some people add sugar to their soap to boost the bubbles, so the sweetener glycerin may actually work well for you.
 

Arimara

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I have bought and made soap with clays in them. They were kaolin type clays too so the soaps were nice to use. I'd contiue to play around with clays as colorants and narrow it down to which ones you like. Just be careful of clays like bentonite, that one is a strong one but it's nice for those of us with oily skin.
 

BrewerGeorge

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Glycerin is used by some winemakers here to backsweeten wine or mead. If the label says it contains nothing but glycerin, I'd personally feel comfortable using it in soap. The stuff in the pharmacy is probably just expensive medical-grade levels of purity rather than the food-grade.
 

fuzz-juzz

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I add TD and clay premixed in bit of oil, straight into my oils and stick bend until lumps are gone.

I use clay both for colour and bit of a slick and TD just to lighten the base. Other colours come up nicer than with just the beige base.
I generally use about 1 teaspoon per kg of oils.

Just beware, both TD and clay will speed up the trace.
 

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