How much colorant?

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JPicasso

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So I needed to fill an amazon order so I snatched up a set of 5 powdered colorants for soap. So I've seen a couple of videos from soapmaking 101 where she mixes "some amount" of pigment/mica into the batter and magically the soap changes color.

What would anyone recommend as a first try for colorant for say, 2 lbs of soap? 1/8 tsp? tsp? 4 cups? Just looking for a ballpark place to start, knowing of course that i'll have to experiment based on that.

Also, how many recipes does 3 grams of powdered colorant like that last? Since 3 grams does not readily convert to grams of product.

I know these are wild questions, just looking for a place to start from for my second batch.
 

shunt2011

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I mix mine in either glycerin or some of the oil from my batch. It's hard to say how much to use when it will vary from color to color depending on what you are trying to achieve.
 

cmzaha

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I mix all my colorants in deli cups with glycerin. If I do not use all the colorant I can put a lid on the deli and use it another time. Mixing oils with colors can lead to rancid colors if you do not use them in a long time. Some colors are soluble in oil and some in water, I find all work in glycerin. I like my mixed ahead of time so I can add in what I want for color. If I take oil from my batch and mix to much color I am stuck with using it or I will be short some oil. Since I low superfat I do not like removing oil from my batch.
 

JPicasso

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Can't find the link; I'm at work and can't remember my super-great amazon password. It was a pack of powders in 3 or 5 gram vials. 5 or 6 various colors. (helpful, right?) CP Soap is what I see me doing in the forseeable future. I knew it was a poor question when I was writing it. Just trying to think it through. Yes, I'll mix a bit, then try some more.

1 tsp per 2lb batch is a great place to think about starting from.
 

amd

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I'm new to coloring soap also, but this has been my experience to date.
Micas will use more color than oxides.
Most oxides and micas are water soluble, unless they specifically say "oil-locking".
I have tried using oil, glycerine, and water (actually I use Aloe Vera Juice because that's usually my liquid base) to mix before coloring. I find water to work the best unless it is (as mentioned) "oil-locking". I use water because I had problems with oil seepage from my soaps even after an 8 week cure. The only time I haven't had problems is when using an "oil-locking" mica. I tried glycerine but I just liked the water better for mixing. I do, however, use glycerine when I am swirling mica for a decorative top. It sets much quicker than oil.
I mix my colors in small (snack size) ziplock bags. Just zip closed and then gently knead everything together. When I need to add the color, I just cut into one corner (but don't snip the corner or you may end up with a piece of plastic in your soap!) with a scissors.
My usage starts at 1 tsp color PPO (per pound of oil). Micas I use a bit more depending on the color. The last batch I made: I split the batch in half, colored one half with 1 tsp mica. The other half I split into 3 and colored each with 1/2 tsp mica. So for a 2lb oil batch I used 2-1/2 tsp total color. Each color was mixed with 1 TBSP aloe vera juice. The extra water may add an extra week or two to my cure time.

As for how much usage you'll get from a gram, I can't really help ... I buy my colors in ounces. I'm not sure if that's weight or volume, and then I use by volume (teaspoons).
 

Steve85569

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I usually mix colors in water and keep them in small bottles. When prepping for a batch I get the colors out of the cupboard and set them up in the work area.
I add color to a batch or portion a few drops at a time until I THINK I have the right hue. With the colors in water and bottles I am able to add a drop or three at a time and sneak up on it.
 

amd

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I usually mix colors in water and keep them in small bottles. When prepping for a batch I get the colors out of the cupboard and set them up in the work area.
I add color to a batch or portion a few drops at a time until I THINK I have the right hue. With the colors in water and bottles I am able to add a drop or three at a time and sneak up on it.
I tried that, but found that my technical brain needs a more definitive method to color. It also helps with following GMP (for those who may do a soap business). Although... I do keep TD in a bottle for those times I may have miscalculated how much white I need and need just a bit more. I haven't figured out how to work that into the GMP yet.
 

amd

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Oh! Steve! I didn't mean to sound condescending (I went back and read what I wrote... It did come off that way). I just learned about gmp a month ago myself - and it is a whole 'nother kind of English, was all I meant by the language comment. But having a consistent guideline for coloring is important for gmp. The "eyeball it till it looks good" doesn't communicate well in that case. Not knowing what the OP's intentions are in the long run, I thought gmp should be mentioned. (Or maybe I just have it on the brain and think everything should relate to it.) I didn't think it was off topic.
 

JPicasso

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So they were 5 gram jars... or jarlettes - so tiny. Like smaller than what wifey's makeup comes in. Ain't more than a teaspoon or two in there, huh?
Considering online sources charge $3-$5 an ounce, coloring soaps ends up being not cheap....

Ah. I see my problem. grams to ounces. This was not a thrifty purchase. :)

OH well, cheap lesson learned, plus I have some colors to play with. Guess I'll do some swirl, cause there's not enough here to color a whole batch! :mrgreen:
 

penelopejane

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With some colours a lot goes a long way. 1/8 tsp or 1/4 tsp maybe all you want to use. It is annoyingly difficult to predict. Mix a little in a cup then mix into part of your batter. If it is too pale mix a bit more in a cup and add. But make sure you write down the amount you use in the amount of batter you have so you can repeat it.
 

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