couple of soapy questions

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sunflowerb

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I have a couple of questions for the more seasoned soapers here
first I love using herbal tea in place of water in my soap, and while i'm still working out the most efficient way to buy my essential oils I had the thought to add the crushed tea leaves at trace before the pour in hopes it would make it more fragrant. kinda worked once, worked better the second time, but I didn't know if this was...okay? haha like will the herbs and leaves keep okay in the soap? or when it's used will it slowly reveal some nasty old tea leaf? hahaha is this a weird question? i'll just go on to question 2.

I want to play with color and design but don't want to compromise the all natural aspect of my soap. can anyone recommend 100% natural colorants? stuff like a certain berry crushed up will be this color or crush up this and get that color? I am trying to stay as close to nature as possible. I google and google but I want to know what's tried and true so I can use my oils as efficiently as possible! thanks a lot all you soapy soaps!
 

penelopejane

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I have a couple of questions for the more seasoned soapers here
Try reading this thread:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=56821

I will never use tea or any bits in my soap again. Even as decoration on top.
It just means more cleaning of the shower and scratches your skin. They all turn brown.

Even very finely ground cinnamon scratches my son's delicate skin!

Coffee grounds (fine) is an exfoliant in soap.
 

sunflowerb

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yes the mess in the sink is another concern! so what do you think about just using tea in place of water and no leaves?
 

toxikon

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For natural colorants, clays are great! There are certainly some threads floating around with good information on that.
 

earlene

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I have never had the fragrance of tea survive CP soap making. I envy you that.

I have used tea water in place of regular water for my lye solution many times. I used it to color the soap.

I have also used wet chamomile tea flowers in soap and can tell you it turned brown and rather too harsh (scratchy) for any part of my body except my rough feet. So that soap is used only as foot soap now. Also of interest is that, even though the tea flowers were well dispersed in the soap batter at the time of pouring into the mold, they sunk to the bottom before the soap fully set up. The soaps are pretty, though with a layer of tea flowers thicker on the bottom and the top part is a light honey color from the tea water.

As a colorant, liquid tea is fine. Strong Coffee is another colorant you can use, with or without very fine coffee grounds for exfoliation.

Other natural colorants I have used that worked nicely:
indigo powder for shades of blue (think Levis or blue jeans) but can range from light to very dark blue, depending on how much you use
turmeric powder (the spice in my kitchen cupboard) for an orange-ish yellow
beta carotene for yellow or orange, depending on how much you use (from the vitamin supplement capsule) suggested by member, SunWolf here at SMF. Others here have also used it, but SunWolf was the first one I learned about it from.
alkanet root for purples or greys (although it was a disappointment at first because it started out grey & I wanted purple. The purple color came out later, but not a deep or vibrant shade)
manjistha powder creates various shades of brown, depending on how much you use; although it's supposed to give you a pink if used in the lye solution (I didn't get pink)
cocoa powder obviously produces brown
Black walnut hulls powder for brown (it's a very fine powder, not scratchy in soap)
Activated Charcoal for black (messy to work with, but cleans up easily with alcohol)



Things I have used, but faded to no color after a long cure:

dried spinach (soap is now white, unless you boil it and it turns spinach green again, but who is going to boil soap?) - I tried it 3 different ways (infused in oil; water infusion in the lye water; and with the actual powder added to the soap) the final end result for color was the same - faded to no color

puréed carrots &/or carrot juice (even though it fades, I still like the feel of the soap) HOWEVER, if this soap sees no light, it does retain it's color longer. My soaps are exposed to sunlight as I refuse to live in the dark and my soaps don't live in the dark, either.

tomato sauce starts out a pale orange but fades (I still like it in soap, though and just add a mica colorant. I have some tomato soap I colored a pale green and called it green tomato soap. I'd call it fried green tomato soap, but that sounds too strange.)


Have a look at this site for some additional ideas on natural colorants and how to use them in your lye solution.
 

Seawolfe

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I've gotten nice olive green color using avocado pulp to replace the water and french green clay.
Alkanet root infused oil has given me some nice purples.
I have had NO long term luck with seaweed, comfrey, spirulina or nettle - they all start green and fade to tan.
I love indigo, but my results aren't consistent - I've gotten vibrant deep blue a few times, and greyish denim other times using the same recipe / process.
Activated charcoal rocks - just dont use so much your lather is dark grey.
Madder root infused oil makes a nice purply red, I like to add moroccan red clay to it to make a more bricky red.
Turmeric is fun, but the orange faded to a biscuity tan for me - still nice,
Oil infused with anatto seeds makes a fabulous yellow. I hear calendula infusion makes a more pastel yellow.
I made nice orange with carrot puree and infusion once, don't know how long the orange lasted cause that batch went fast.
 

Susie

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Don't forget coffee (liquid) gives a nice cafe au lait color when subbed for water.

Paprika infused into oil. (I use olive, but you could use Sweet Almond Oil or any other light colored oil.) I use about 1 oz paprika to 8 oz oil. Put the oil and paprika into a jar with a lid almost, but not quite, tightened. Put that jar into a pot with a rack or a dishcloth in the bottom and add enough water to come at least halfway up the jar. Bring to light boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 1/2 hour and allow to cool completely. You can pour that oil off the paprika as long as you do not shake or stir it. Substitute some colored oil for regular oil in varying amounts to get anywhere from light yellow to deep brick red.
 

sunflowerb

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I used coffee instead of water and cinnamon bark EO and the smell was so overwhelming at first but after the cure it's a nice pleasant smell. the anticipation of waiting for the final result is still a killer for me! must mediate for patience!
 

dixiedragon

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If you want natural colorants, you are going to have a more muted pallet. Nothing wrong with that, but you aren't going to be able to get hot pink, royal purple, vivid blue, etc. For pics and ideas, google "natural colorants in cold process soap". Or "natural colorants in hot process soap."

Calendula petals will stay yellow in soap. In my experience, that's about the only herb that will. Everything else turns brown. You can also try blue corn meal if you don't mind exfoliation. Pink Himalayan salt is lovely. Look around the forum for threads on salt bars if you want to use salt.
 

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