Colorant mica) question...

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wearytraveler

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​I'm just starting to play with colors and I'm wondering if there's a general rule of thumb for mixing the micas so one doesn't over use. I'm asking specifically because I made a batch this weekend that used green and purple and even though I thought I went light with the mica, I'm getting some purple suds​. Now, I'm not savvy on all things color (yet) so should I presume that I used too much mica or does the addition of color also mean that the color needs time to "stick" or "settle" as the soap cures?
Also, does anyone one use glycerin to mix their micas? I used a little oil from the batch prior to adding the lye water.
Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

shunt2011

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I would first check with your supplier recommendations. I'm guilty of not measuring. I just put it in until I'm happy with the color. I'm pretty sure Nurture recommends 1 tsp ppo. I'm guilty of overcoloring some of mine. I just tell my customers not to use a 15.00 wash cloth.
 

IrishLass

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Like Shari said^^^ you'll need to check with your mica supplier for usage rates. Who is your supplier?

Unlike Shari, though, I myself am a stickler when it comes to measuring my colorants, because I hate it when my soap bleeds colorful lather. My hubby hates it, too. It's not harmful and has never permanently stained our washcloths or tub/shower or anything like that, but we just don't like it, although slightly off-white is okay since it's barely discernible. I purposely use white wash-cloths with my soap so that I can see when I've added too much colorant. lol

I use one of those smidge/dash/pinch spoon sets when measuring out my colorants, and I take meticulous notes as to how much colorant I used in proportion to how much batter so that if I ever do have bleeding lather, I can more easily make adjustments for next time.

should I presume that I used too much mica or does the addition of color also mean that the color needs time to "stick" or "settle" as the soap cures?
Yes- you should presume that you used too much colorant. I've never had a case where I added too much colorant that it ever stuck or settled....the lather still bled color no matter how long my soap was cured.


IrishLass :)
 

kchaystack

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I am in the camp of people who do not mind a little colored lather. and I use a scrubby so I never stain my 10 for $5 wash cloths lol.

But I rarely have colored lather. Red and black seem to be the worst offenders.

I use Nurture Soap Supplies micas exclusively - and use about a teaspoon per pound of oil, but that is a very rough guess because I rarely measure
 

IrishLass

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​Also, does anyone one use glycerin to mix their micas? I used a little oil from the batch prior to adding the lye water.
Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

I forgot to address this question. I often use a little glycerin to mix my micas before adding to my batter because it's one of those mediums that mixes well with either oil-dispersible or water dispersible colorants.


IrishLass :)
 

wearytraveler

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Thanks for the replies. I'll have to check to see what manufacturer's mica I used (I've purchased sample packs from a couple of different places). I'm not one that minds the colorful bubbles at all but I did want to know what the cause was/is.

Thanks!
 

amd

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I forgot to address this question. I often use a little glycerin to mix my micas before adding to my batter because it's one of those mediums that mixes well with either oil-dispersible or water dispersible colorants.


IrishLass :)

IrishLass, (or really anyone who uses glycerin to disperse color)

Right now I use water (subtracted from my lye water *most of the time*) to disperse oxides, micas, and water-soluble TD. I use olive oil (subtracted from my soap oils) only if I'm using an oil-locking mica. I like water because it seems to break up any clumps better... but in the interest of trying all things soapy... I want to try glycerin. So here's my questions:

1. Is there a starting point for measuring glycerin? For water and OO I always use 1TBSP. I make small batches (2lb oil).
2. is there such thing as using too much glycerin? (and what would that look like?)
3. How well do micas mix? I do some swirling on the top of my soaps using gold/silver mica and glycerin, so for that I use a 2oz fliptop bottle with a marble in it to help mix, and it's sometimes hard to get a good mix. For my batter colors I use the "baggie mash and smash" method.
4. Can glycerin be used to mix oxides? What about my w-s TD?

Sorry if my questions are weird (I'm a strange duck to start with - add an engineering brain and a little shiny object distraction to the mix... good times) or impossible to answer. I appreciate any attempt to calm my first time glycerin jitters.

*most of the time I remove the water used for color from the lye water (before adding NaOH, obviously) UNLESS I am using coconut milk. I do a 50/50 method for making milk soap, and I get a little nervous about reducing an already reduced water amount. So I end up adding extra water with my color, which sometimes results in glycerin rivers, sometimes not. Just thought I'd clarify that bit of info... *
 

IrishLass

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1. Is there a starting point for measuring glycerin? For water and OO I always use 1TBSP. I make small batches (2lb oil).
Speaking only for myself, I normally don't measure my glycerin. The amount of it that I end up using all depends on how much powdered colorant I decide to use for my batch.

If it helps, this is basically my method of madness: I put the amount of powdered colorant that I'll be using into a small glass prep bowl (the kind of small bowl that lots of folks use for food-prep when cooking- probably holds about 1-oz of water, if even that), and then I squirt into it only enough glycerin that will disperse the colorant and give it a nice amount of workable fluidity so that it is able to pour halfway decently into my batter later. To mix the glycerin into the colorant well, I use one of those mini mixers/frothers (mine is made by Badger and it's awesome for mixing tiny amounts of things). This is what it looks like.

If I had to make an eye-ball guess of how much glycerin I squirt into my powdered colorant, I'm thinking it's probably not much more than a teaspoon or a 1.5 teaspoons...... or maybe as much as a tbsp. or so if I'm using a tsp. or more of powdered colorant. I should mention right here that my batches aren't terribly huge. They normally range in size from 1 lb. to 2.8 lbs., so I'm not mixing up a huge amount of powdered colorants. Most of my batches contain 1 tsp. or less powdered colorant ppo (depending on the color).

2. is there such thing as using too much glycerin? (and what would that look like?)
I suppose there's always a point of diminishing returns with just about everything, but so far, I have not ever gone too far with the glycerin in my colorants to be able to tell you what it would look like.

If you're careful to mix in only enough glycerin as will disperse your colorants and give them a nice enough fluidity to pour halfway decently into your batter without much fuss, then I really wouldn't worry about it.

To give you an idea of the consistency of my mix of glycerin/colorant- it's much like the consistency of heavy cream poured from the carton, maybe just a tiny bit thicker, but not by much. Basically, I like it to be thick, but fluid. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if it's anything like the consistency of pudding, I know I definitely need to add more glycerin. lol

3. How well do micas mix? I do some swirling on the top of my soaps using gold/silver mica and glycerin, so for that I use a 2oz fliptop bottle with a marble in it to help mix, and it's sometimes hard to get a good mix. For my batter colors I use the "baggie mash and smash" method.
Like I mentioned above, I use a mini-mixer/frother made by Badger to mix all my colorants. I can't recommend it highly enough. It really does a fantastic job at mixing small amounts of things well, which is wonderful because I use small amounts of colorants and I like mixing them fresh for each batch.


4. Can glycerin be used to mix oxides? What about my w-s TD?
I've found that all of my colorants mix well with glycerin, whether they be water or oil dispersible- micas, oxides, ultramarines, TD, activated charcoal, etc.... they all do great, which is why I prefer to water or oil for mixing my colorants. Using glycerin means never having to wonder whether one's colorant needs to be mixed with water or oil. :)

Sorry if my questions are weird (I'm a strange duck to start with - add an engineering brain and a little shiny object distraction to the mix... good times) or impossible to answer. I appreciate any attempt to calm my first time glycerin jitters.
From one 'weirdo' to another- no apology needed. ;)


IrishLass :)
 
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amd

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O my gosh, Irish Lass, thank you so much for this. You have no idea how much your answers boosted my confidence to try this! I put these guys to bed just a few minutes ago. First try with glycerin! They're salt bars so I will be cutting them shortly.

1469857276436.jpg
 

cmzaha

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O my gosh, Irish Lass, thank you so much for this. You have no idea how much your answers boosted my confidence to try this! I put these guys to bed just a few minutes ago. First try with glycerin! They're salt bars so I will be cutting them shortly.
Very nice colors. I mix all my colorants with glycerin, including pigments, micas and oxides. I use deli cups so I can add what I want to my soap, put a lid on the deli cup and have colorant for the next time I want to use it.
 

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