How to color soap without micas or ordering online?

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tmar22

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I am looking for stuff that I can buy either from the dollar store or walmart for fairly cheap that give soap color and doesn't change the recipe very much. Anything from solid colors to specks that just add to the appearance of soap.
 

green soap

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Agree with all the above.

I would add annatto and calendula petals. Calendulas grow very easily in a lot of areas.

Coffee as the liquid adds a tan color.

You can also use charcoal (activated charcoal from bamboo) which sells often around the pharmacy and supplements section.
 

Susie

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You can use the paprika as either an oil infusion: Dump about 1 oz into the bottom of an 8 oz jar, fill the jar 2/3 full of light colored oil that you intend to use in the recipe (I use olive oil that is light yellow that I buy from Sam's) cover the jar with its lid, closing loosely, but firmly enough for it to stay on. Place the jar on top of a dish rag in a pot tall enough to hold enough water to get it to the same level as the oil inside the jar, fill the pot with that much water. Simmer for 20-30 min. Allow to cool in the pot to where you can handle the jar bare handed. Gently, and without disturbing the paprika, pour off your colored oil into another jar. It can be use for colors varying from light gold to dark red brick color depending on how much you use. Just substitute that amount of colored oil for an equal amount of the same (although uncolored) oil in your recipe.

Or you can use paprika as a speckeled colored additive. Just use about 1/2 tsp PPO.

Coffee can be used as an exfoliant if you add finely ground grounds to the batter, or you can use the coffee leftover from your pot as substitution for water.

And everything else mentioned above.
 

shunt2011

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Just thought of another: you can get TD in the cake decorating section of Michaels/Hobby Lobby etc. I think it's called White White. It's TD mixed in glycerin. Not overly expensive.
 

dixiedragon

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Check out the baking section at Michael's. They will have icing colors which are very concentrated. Not all of them work in soap, but some do. They are dissolved in glycerin, which is soap safe.

Some options:
White (titanium dioxide)
Red that contains Red #40
Blue will give you purple

There is going to be a lot of trial and error b/c I don't know of a definitive list of which food colors work well in soap.

If you really get into this and want dependable results, you will probably have to order online. Lye is a fickle beast and dyes for food, clothing, etc just aren't built to stand up to it.

Tmarr, what is your long-term goal? Do you just want a few color options to tinker with right now? Or do you want to build your soaping techniques around stuff you can buy locally? Nothing wrong with either, but it might help is shape our advice to you.

Some other options -
Ground spices add nice, interesting speckles. Some people are sensitive to them but some are not. I personally like to add ground clove, nutmeg and cinnamon to my soap. BTW I use cheap spices from Big Lots - my good Fancy Viennese Cinnamon from Penzeys does not go in soap!
 

HowieRoll

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I have seen - but haven't tried myself yet - soap colored beautiful orange with Beta Carotene, which I believe is available by the vitamin/supplements in gel caps. For green, I've had success with wheatgrass powder (and/or green clay). I get it from the the bulk food canisters of natural foods stores (so you can purchase as much/little as you like, and it's not very expensive if just buying a few ounces for testing out - the wheatgrass was $1.36/oz), and have also gotten red, white, and green clays that way, too, among other things (clays were right around $1/oz). I love browsing natural foods stores now for soaping ingredients (which I realize you didn't ask about, but thought I'd throw it out there, anyway!). :)
 

snappyllama

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I didn't see these mentioned already... apologies if they are...

Pumpkin puree as a partial water substitute gives a nice pale orange.
Ground poppy seeds make pretty speckles (use a light hand since they also give a lot of scrubbiness).
 

joy.

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I found annatto seeds at the natural grocery store. You can infuse them in oil and get shades of yellow and orange (depending on how much you use) that stick really well. You can also find alfalfa and kelp powders in capsules there. I just pop them open and use the powder. I get varying shades of tan-green with those, but they do tend to fade over time. Tomato paste gave me a bright orange-red that faded to dark orange after a few months, then faded to dark tan after another couple months. Adding any type of sugar/honey/molasses will darken the soap and give you tan - brown.
 

Obsidian

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I've used loose eye shadow before, just read the ingredients to make sure its mostly mica and/or oxides. The colors turned out really nice and stayed vibrant.
 

Arimara

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Check out the baking section at Michael's. They will have icing colors which are very concentrated. Not all of them work in soap, but some do. They are dissolved in glycerin, which is soap safe.

Some options:
White (titanium dioxide)
Red that contains Red #40
Blue will give you purple

There is going to be a lot of trial and error b/c I don't know of a definitive list of which food colors work well in soap.

If you really get into this and want dependable results, you will probably have to order online. Lye is a fickle beast and dyes for food, clothing, etc just aren't built to stand up to it.

Tmarr, what is your long-term goal? Do you just want a few color options to tinker with right now? Or do you want to build your soaping techniques around stuff you can buy locally? Nothing wrong with either, but it might help is shape our advice to you.

Some other options -
Ground spices add nice, interesting speckles. Some people are sensitive to them but some are not. I personally like to add ground clove, nutmeg and cinnamon to my soap. BTW I use cheap spices from Big Lots - my good Fancy Viennese Cinnamon from Penzeys does not go in soap!
I'm so going to go the Michael's thanks to you. Should I get and test just the primary colors?

I've used loose eye shadow before, just read the ingredients to make sure its mostly mica and/or oxides. The colors turned out really nice and stayed vibrant.
I now have a good reason to look for my eyeshadow samples I never used... I wonder if I could immortalize some colors I've seen around... *day scheming*
 

tmar22

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I've used loose eye shadow before, just read the ingredients to make sure its mostly mica and/or oxides. The colors turned out really nice and stayed vibrant.
I just want to say thank you, this was the type information I was looking for and it makes perfect sense as to why you can use them. Seems like you just helped another person out as well!
 

Obsidian

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Glad to help:) You can also use liquid food color but it can change color due to the high PH. You could take a small batch and pour off small samples in something like a yogurt cup to test the color.
 

dixiedragon

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I'd google around to find what colors work. Here's a copy and paste from another forum:

Hello everyone!

I'm new here in the forums, and I've noticed that some of you like using Wilton icing colors for bath bombs and fizzes, but because they don't really list the ingredients or FD&C's they use for each individual color some of you have stopped using them. Well, I decided to go and contact the company to see if they would be willing to provide this information for us. They were more than willing to provide the FD&C's for each color. In fact I'll post the colors from the set I have and inquired about. I hope this helps.

Lemon Yellow- FD&C Yellow #5
Pink- FD&C Red #3, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Red #40
Orange- FD&C Yellow #6
Red/Red- FD&C Red #3, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Yellow #5
Royal Blue- FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3
Violet- FD&C Red #3, FD&C Blue #1
Leaf Green- FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #1
Black-FD&C Red #40, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #2
Pick which colors you want, and trying googling to see if those colors work in soap?
 

Susie

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Thank you all! I have many more things to go try!
 

Arimara

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I'd google around to find what colors work. Here's a copy and paste from another forum:



Pick which colors you want, and trying googling to see if those colors work in soap?
That takes the fun out of trying them. My daughter also likes to help me bake so they would definitely be used.
 
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