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How important is the blend with colors?

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rparrny

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Nothing give a mica the most intense color than SBing...that being said most times I shy away from using my SB for fear of thickening my trace too much. I've noticed that even if I hand blend my TD white and it still looks yellowish, by the time it cures I get a nice white color.
So my question is...does that happen with all the other colors too? No matter how much I hand blend I am never happy with the color unless I put in a ton of colorant and I usually end up SBing for a moment to get it combined. Is this overkill? Is this diluted color I see when hand blending just the watered down batter and will the color come out true when the bar cures and the water is mostly gone?
 

maya

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The color outcome often depends on what kind of colorant one is using. I am sure you know that lab colors, mica, botanical colorants, ultra marines, oxides, clays, etc. How much one uses depends on what you are using and what kind of soap it is. The same way we measure F.O. or E.O.'s and use a minimum and maximum.

So, basically, what kind of colorant and what kind of soap?
 

newbie

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Colorants are easy to incorporate into batter if they are pre-blended into oil (my preference), water (some things won't go well into water though. You have to know if your colorant will) or glycerin (not my personal preference). TD and AC, and I would say TD even more that charcoal, seems to need to be SB'ed in to get the best result. You don't have to SB the pants off the batter for either; just a few quick bursts will usually do it. Trying to mix dry colorants into batter requires more stirring and that can lead to a longer time frame and obviously more agitation of the batter, both of which can hasten trace.

When I am blending in mica to my batter, I used mica in oil first, and second, I pour off the batter for my colorants after emulsion and before trace, so I can have the time i need. I can blend it in easily using a straw. Thicker batter requires more time to get the color fully incorporated and more effort.

GEtting a small hand blender may be what you need. Not as much power as a SB'er but enough to do the trick. This thing is the best:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BROV02/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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IrishLass

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I second that Badger blender that Newbie linked to. I recently bought 2 and I love them!

I also pretty much do what Newbie does. I pre-mix the colorants I'll be using for my batch in either water or glycerin (depending on which they disperse better in) before adding with my just-barely emulsified batter. When pre-mixed, just a few brief bursts of the SB will do ya, and then you can just hand-stir from there on out. :thumbup:


IrishLass :)
 

commoncenz

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Ironically, I just went on Ebay and ordered a badger earlier today. My Norpro mini hand blender seems to be losing power even with fresh batteries. Carolyn had previously said this would be the case and that I should order a badger ... I promptly put it on my "watch list" and forgot about it until today; when the Norpro would barely move through my colorant/glycerin mix.
 

Spice

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Colorants are easy to incorporate into batter if they are pre-blended into oil (my preference), water (some things won't go well into water though. You have to know if your colorant will) or glycerin (not my personal preference). TD and AC, and I would say TD even more that charcoal, seems to need to be SB'ed in to get the best result. You don't have to SB the pants off the batter for either; just a few quick bursts will usually do it. Trying to mix dry colorants into batter requires more stirring and that can lead to a longer time frame and obviously more agitation of the batter, both of which can hasten trace.

When I am blending in mica to my batter, I used mica in oil first, and second, I pour off the batter for my colorants after emulsion and before trace, so I can have the time i need. I can blend it in easily using a straw. Thicker batter requires more time to get the color fully incorporated and more effort.

GEtting a small hand blender may be what you need. Not as much power as a SB'er but enough to do the trick. This thing is the best:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BROV02/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
Newbie, is this badger just as good as a SB? How steady is it? I like what I see.:smile:
 
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cmzaha

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Newbie, is this badger just as good as a SB? How steady is it? I like what I see.:smile:
No the badger is a mini paint mixer. Similar to a frother, but made to mix badger paint for airbrushing and has one mixing blade. It is the most powerful of the mini mixers I have found. I had one years ago that was quite powerful but it was when these types first came out and I purchased it at the LA County Fair. Unfortunately they are a thing of the past
 

LittleCrazyWolf

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I have to "third" the badger. I have one and love it. It's the perfect size to mix color and it's powerful for such a little thing. I remember when the original battery wore out and I had to switch to my mini whisk...what a difference!

TD is the only colorant that I feel like I HAVE to use a stick blender for otherwise it just doesn't seem to disperse evenly. For the micas I just add a little oil from the batch and hit it with the badger for a couple of seconds before adding to the soap batter, then I have no problem using a whisk to mix it in.
 

LittleCrazyWolf

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Question for Newbie and cmzaha...when you talk about using premixed colorants do you mean premixed as in those ketchup type squeeze bottles or premixed as in you mix a small amount of oil and mica in a container right before adding to the soap (this is what I do).

I would love to be able to just reach up on a shelf and grab a squeeze bottle, squirt what I need into the batter, and put the bottle back for next time. I'm asking because I find that when I mix my little bits of oil and mica together it seems like the mica absorbs the oil and almost solidifies if I don't use it quickly enough. I figured it could be because I was using such a small amount of oil but didn't want to risk wasting my precious, pretty micas if I was wrong.
 

commoncenz

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Question for Newbie and cmzaha...when you talk about using premixed colorants do you mean premixed as in those ketchup type squeeze bottles or premixed as in you mix a small amount of oil and mica in a container right before adding to the soap (this is what I do).

I would love to be able to just reach up on a shelf and grab a squeeze bottle, squirt what I need into the batter, and put the bottle back for next time. I'm asking because I find that when I mix my little bits of oil and mica together it seems like the mica absorbs the oil and almost solidifies if I don't use it quickly enough. I figured it could be because I was using such a small amount of oil but didn't want to risk wasting my precious, pretty micas if I was wrong.
If you are using oils directly from your mixed base oils, the hardening could be caused by that. Some of the folks on here who use oils to mix their colorants have recommended either using a little bit of your OO that has been withheld from your batch oils or just using a small amount of additional OO to keep this from happening.

As far as "masterbatching" your colorants, there are those on here who do that also. Either in glycerin, water (if it's a water based colorant) or oil (if it's an oil based colorant). I believe they recommend keeping these pre-mixed colorants in the fridge.
 

gigisiguenza

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Question for Newbie and cmzaha...when you talk about using premixed colorants do you mean premixed as in those ketchup type squeeze bottles or premixed as in you mix a small amount of oil and mica in a container right before adding to the soap (this is what I do).

I would love to be able to just reach up on a shelf and grab a squeeze bottle, squirt what I need into the batter, and put the bottle back for next time. I'm asking because I find that when I mix my little bits of oil and mica together it seems like the mica absorbs the oil and almost solidifies if I don't use it quickly enough. I figured it could be because I was using such a small amount of oil but didn't want to risk wasting my precious, pretty micas if I was wrong.
Ya know, I wonder if I could do something similar with my natural colorants..... hmmmmm
 

newbie

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I mix mine in oil just before I'm ready to soap but some people do keep it premixed in some container. I don't want to comment about shelf like for colorants pre-mixed well beforehand since I don't do this, but I imagine how you keep them and how long you can keep them depends on the shelf life of the oil used.
 

rparrny

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Okay...maybe I worded the question wrong...I have no problems mixing my micas...most I mix in glycerin, my ultramarines in OO, my TD in water...I have a mini mixer and it works great...the colors are well blended with no lumps. My problem is when I add batter to those colors and mix with a spatula the colors never seem to be really mixed...yet I just touch it with my SB and bam! the color comes out. Now if I just blended it with my spatula and didn't use my SB...would the colors come out like they do with my TD white that I don't need to SB...it just looks yellow and never white until it cures then the white comes out.
 

Obsidian

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There have been s couple times I hand stirred in colorants and the end color wasn't near as vivid as when they are SB in. In my opinion, you do need to mix the colorants in properly with a SB.
 

songwind

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It's probably not stick blending per se so much as it is getting all the colors mixed together.

I noticed you said:
rparrny said:
when I add batter to those colors
Makes me wonder if colors are being left stuck on the base of the vessel when you stir with a spatula. The stick blender sucks things up from below very strongly.

Have you tried using a whisk instead of a spatula? I find that hits a happy medium for me between blending and stirring. Mixes the colors faster and more thoroughly than a spoon or spatula, but induces less trace than the stick blender.
 

shunt2011

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Okay...maybe I worded the question wrong...I have no problems mixing my micas...most I mix in glycerin, my ultramarines in OO, my TD in water...I have a mini mixer and it works great...the colors are well blended with no lumps. My problem is when I add batter to those colors and mix with a spatula the colors never seem to be really mixed...yet I just touch it with my SB and bam! the color comes out. Now if I just blended it with my spatula and didn't use my SB...would the colors come out like they do with my TD white that I don't need to SB...it just looks yellow and never white until it cures then the white comes out.
I don't usually have a problem just using my spatula to mix my colors. It's just faster with the SB. If I'm using a testy FO I will usually do just that. I pre mix my colorants in glycerin most times but sometimes just a bit of the OO from my recipe. Add my emulsified batter and either SB it or use my spatula to mix the color in.
 

cmzaha

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The problem with masterbatching colors in oil is the chance of the oil going rancid before you use it all. If masterbatching with water you need to add an appropriate preservative. I make up a small amount in 4 oz deli cups mixed with glycerin, it will have to be stirred each time since the colorant will settle on the bottom, especially micas. If using a squirt bottle I find it better to put a couple of stainless steel ball bearings to help mix it when you shake it up before use
 

Spice

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Okay...maybe I worded the question wrong...I have no problems mixing my micas...most I mix in glycerin, my ultramarines in OO, my TD in water...I have a mini mixer and it works great...the colors are well blended with no lumps. My problem is when I add batter to those colors and mix with a spatula the colors never seem to be really mixed...yet I just touch it with my SB and bam! the color comes out. Now if I just blended it with my spatula and didn't use my SB...would the colors come out like they do with my TD white that I don't need to SB...it just looks yellow and never white until it cures then the white comes out.
Maybe just using the SB to mix and then you could finish with the spatula would work too. I usually use the SB, I will have to try the spatula and see what kind of results I will get.
 

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