Colorants you can grow (or that grow in your country)

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earlene

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My soap made with red tomato sauce was green, a total surprise, but they were lovely to look at.
This was about 2 tbsp tomato paste for 2 loaves, could’ve added a bit more with paprika for more red. Is slowly getting oranger. Made it on the 20th this month.
I mis-remembered. It was Tomato Paste I used, with Buttermilk as a water replacement. Perhaps it was the buttermilk reacting with the tomato paste that de-activated whatever red the tomato paste contained. The uncolored portion is white, as you can see. The green is from green mica, so I obviously remembered incorrectly about the cause of it turning green. It actually turned white, as you can see from the uncolored part. This is how it looked then (in 2016) and still does:



ETA: From my notes with the photo: Green mica helped color this soap made with tomato paste (red) - made June 30, 2016.
 

Nanna

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I mis-remembered. It was Tomato Paste I used, with Buttermilk as a water replacement. Perhaps it was the buttermilk reacting with the tomato paste that de-activated whatever red the tomato paste contained. The uncolored portion is white, as you can see. The green is from green mica, so I obviously remembered incorrectly about the cause of it turning green. It actually turned white, as you can see from the uncolored part. This is how it looked then (in 2016) and still does:



ETA: From my notes with the photo: Green mica helped color this soap made with tomato paste (red) - made June 30, 2016.
Perfect name😀 they’re very nice
 

Zany_in_CO

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I would like to know if you have experimented colorants that can grow in your countries.
I just posted some soaps in the Photo Gallery that you can color with botanicals that you can grow in your garden.

One of my favorites is lovely green Comfrey Soap made by infusing the green leaves in olive oil after they have been allowed to dry in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight. I grew comfrey in a half-whiskey barrel on the north side of my house. If you don't contain it, it takes over! Found in forests, it likes a dank shady environment. The roots are used to make medicinal products like balms & salves.

Easy to grow Calendula (Pot Marigold) Soap for yellow to orange CP is another favorite. It is often featured in a mild soap suitable for babies and sensitive skin.

Grow carrots to make Carrot Tissue Oil -- good for lotions and faces. You can also use real carrots to make Carrot Soap.

Is it too late to collect petals to make Daffodil Soap? If so, there's always next year!

Easy to grow Parsley makes a lovely green Parsley Soap. Unfortunately, it fades in CP. So the recipe is a Crockpot Rebatch where the parsley is added to soap shreads before the cook.

Natural Raspberry Pink Soap is made from a weed that is found all over the world. Once added to the lye solution it turns lime green so don't panic. You will see a gorgeous pink raspberry soap on the curing rack!

This one is for @ImpKit - I make a Black Transparent Soap using blueberry juice poured out from a bag of frozen blueberries.

I don't have a recipe for Cucumber Soap but it makes a nice soap. Search the forum for that one. You can use the whole cuke (sans seeds -- too scratchy). Use the juice and pulp to make the lye solution. Add finely ground up peels to the oils. Use 2-3 times the amount of peel to the whole cuke for the best green color.

HAPPY GROWING & SOAPING! :computerbath:
 

Deadgroovy

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I use turmeric, paprika, parsley and organic cocoa. I mix paprika or turmeric in oil and heat in the microwave for about 90 secs and leave a couple of days to infuse. For the parsley, I dry in the oven and then whizz in a spice grinder. Before adding to the batter I add to a small amount of oil and zap in the microwave for 60 secs. Same with the cocoa. They don't produce bright colours, but I like the nice subtle hues. :)
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Vicki C

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I’ve been on a research mission about pigments as soap colorants - I have more to learn, but so far I’ve learned:
Anthocyanin - the blue pigment in blueberries, purple cabbage, and other foods, is a water soluble pigment that changes color with pH. Very cool but won’t work in CP because the colors don’t stand up to the high pH.
Phycocyanin - a blue pigment derived from blue green algae, is a beautiful brilliant blue - you can buy the blue powder (I did...) Also water soluble, and also doesn’t hold up in CP soap.
Beta carotene, in lots of orange foods and available as a supplement, is fat soluble and holds up well in cp.
Lycopene is the pigment in tomatoes, and is related to beta carotene (is a carotenoid). I haven’t experimented but based on what others say I don’t think it holds up in CP.
Lutein, another carotenoid, is the yellow pigment in annatto and calendula, is also available as a supplement and holds up beautifully in CP. It’s my new go to for yellow.
Astaxanthin is another carotenoid that causes the pink in shrimp and salmon. It is available as a supplement but is often mixed with beta carotene. It seems to hold up moderately well in soap but doesn’t maintain its bright red color.
Chlorophyll we are all familiar with, will withstand CP but fades with time. Others can give more feedback about chlorophyll than I can.
I am still learning but it seems that the carotenoids which are fat soluble work best in CP.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I’ve been on a research mission about pigments as soap colorants
Rather than using pricey supplements, you may want to consider using Crayola Crayons to get wonderful blues. The box of 24 has a Cerulean Blue to die for! Ingredients: Paraffin wax, stearic acid and powder color pigment.

CRAYOLAS TO COLOR CP & HP SOAP
 

Vicki C

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Rather than using pricey supplements, you may want to consider using Crayola Crayons to get wonderful blues. The box of 24 has a Cerulean Blue to die for! Ingredients: Paraffin wax, stearic acid and powder color pigment.

CRAYOLAS TO COLOR CP & HP SOAP
Yes! I saw your earlier post and have followed through. I know some don’t approve of using crayons but you’re right it creates a really nice blue.
 

AliOop

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Yes! I saw your earlier post and have followed through. I know some don’t approve of using crayons but you’re right it creates a really nice blue.
But you have to buy a whole box of crayons for one color, and end up with other ingredients in your soap . At that point, why not buy a nice mica, since that's probably what "powder blue pigment" really is?
 

Vicki C

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But you have to buy a whole box of crayons for one color, and end up with other ingredients in your soap . At that point, why not buy a nice mica, since that's probably what "powder blue pigment" really is?
Yes that’s true. I do have some micas and have worked with them too. My plant pigment research is really just out of curiosity. I don’t know why I don’t give in and get on the mica train - eventually I probably will. Still having fun with color testing and mixing.
 

Zany_in_CO

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But you have to buy a whole box of crayons for one color,
Not true. A box of 24 Crayolas offers a variety of blues, greens, red-violet, etc. Oranges & yellows not so much but those colors are available on your spice shelf. Plus, white, black and brown can be grated up with other colors to make navy blue, or a pretty pink, or a camo bar, for example, just like an artist's palette. My point is, for Noobs who want to color their soaps, this is a VERY inexpensive and readily available way to do so. ;)
and end up with other ingredients in your soap .
Stearic acid and paraffin wax are nice additions to soap in small amounts. They help stick the scent, even as little as 1" PPO. :thumbs: It may be just my imagination, but the addition of a Crayola boosts lather as well. Not sure. :smallshrug:

ETA: 2004 Navy blue & hot pink transparent soaps. Crayolas for colorant.

Pink & Blue.jpg

Red Crayola melted in olive oil to color rose transparent soap.
Rose Soap.JPEG
 
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Marsi

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Ha indeed. I wandered off topic with my little plant pigment lecture. 😊
i loved reading your research and ideas on plant pigments for soap 😍

last week i dug over my rhubarb patch to share some taproots with neighbours
one chunk of rhubarb taproot is drying to make an oil infusion for pink soap

an example of a 2015 rhubarb soap by nframe (who said 2 months later the soap was still the same colour)
and an old colour test thread with pictures: Palette of natural soap colorants - pic heavy
 

ResolvableOwl

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woad will grow in similar conditions to cabbage, and provides the same colour-giving compounds as indigo
I'm ever so shortly to fall into that indigo rabbit hole, lol. I found a shop that sells indigo in form of various indigo plant qualities, woad, and Persicaria tinctoria. And a recipe for vat dyeing with simple fructose (fruit sugar) as a reducing agent. It's fun to have that pale yellow solution that turns into a deep blue when you stir and blow over it, and turns back yellowish within a few seconds.

ETA 2:
I'll soon share my results with butterfly pea (fir green),
The colour of the soap with butterfly pea blossom powder is still somewhat moving. It's more like pine green right now. It's exciting in any case how this develops over time, I'll supply that thread with occasional updates for sure.
 

Tara_H

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It's fun to have that pale yellow solution that turns into a deep blue when you stir and blow over it, and turns back yellowish within a few seconds.
My favourite part is dyeing fabric with it, pulling it out and it's that pale yellow green, and right in front of your eyes it blooms into that gorgeous blue 😍

As soon as I have my alkanet, calendula, and coreopsis seeds planted I think I'll try to cast a wider net for woad seeds since my usual seed supplier has been out of stock for a while; probably too late to start it this year but I don't want to miss out next year again!
 

ResolvableOwl

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I wonder if the vat effect would work with soap too, like a blue “rind” that you wash off and that forms again.

I've once made a camembert cheese with a bit of soluble indigo (E132) added to the curds, the cheese loaf folded into a used camembert wrapping paper (inoculation).
A week or so later, it was covered in a nice fine white carpet of mould, and inside – colourless! The cut surface just to turn into a dirty greyish after a few seconds, and one minute later a bright blue! Obviously, the cheese microflora (LABs, mould) took their anaerobic job really seriously and reduced the indigo to its leuko form, that only reacts to the blue dye with excess air (oxygen).

ETA: No photos, I'm afraid. But 🤔, don't I have rennet, E132, and a litre of raw milk to be used up ASAP?
 
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