Infusing Oil For Color

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Gryphonisle, Feb 12, 2020.

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  1. Feb 12, 2020 #1

    Gryphonisle

    Gryphonisle

    Gryphonisle

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    One website insists one ALWAYS infuses oil with a colorant at a ratio of 9:1. Soap Queen by contrast seems to argue (in what seems more like diffusing than infusing) 3:1, or 1t to 1T of oil (3tsp=1T of course). I’ve generally used the 9:1 but as quantities grow, the amount of paprika or annatto gets ridiculous. I poured out 31 oz of olive oil yesterday, and the math called for something on the order of 3.4oz of spice to color—-a spice jar is all of 2 oz! I used 2/3 of that and in previous adventures, have even poured out a recipe’s quantity of infused, colored oil (off the top, leaving the spice at the bottom) and refilled it with an equal amount of plain olive oil, shook it up, shook it frequently over the next week, and the next batch came out with the same shade of color. Clearly 9:1 is too much colorant, but what is the right amount, or does it vary?

    And, as long as I’m here, is there a rule of thumb? What best goes into the lye solution, what goes best into the batter, and what is best diffused or infused into an oil? I know which ones I’ve used work better than others, but it seems like there ought to be a rule of thumb, somewhere...
     
  2. Feb 12, 2020 #2

    amd

    amd

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    I've only done three color infusions, and this is how the soapmaker taught me to do it:
    measure 1 tsp to 1 tbsp herbal (depending on herbal), add 1-2 tbsp liquid oil. Microwave in 30 second bursts until desired color is achieved.
    So far I have only done annatto seed (1tsp) and alkanet (2-3 tsp).

    I would advise doing infusions in small qty (what you'll use in a single batch of soap) until you figure out the ratios that work for you. Natural colorants do tend to fade over time, so you'll want to take that into consideration as well. I'm not sure if stronger infusions give more color longevity, but may be something to play with in different ratios.
     
  3. Feb 12, 2020 #3

    Millie

    Millie

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    Scroll down http://www.annelwatson.com/soapmaking/creative/november/naturalcolorantssoap.html

    The only oil infusion I've done was paprika, probably about a tablespoonful twisted up in a coffee filter. Put it in a crock pot with maybe a cup of coconut oil. I was not precise at all, and just waited til it was dark enough to color about 2lbs oils. Maybe 15 mins. I got a gorgeous peachy color. I felt like I could have gotten a lot more color out of that little packet if I'd needed.
     
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  4. Feb 12, 2020 #4

    dibbles

    dibbles

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    Holly at Kapia Mera is one of my favorite soap makers. She uses natural colorants and made a video on infusing them into oils. She often provides usage rates in her videos, so you might find some useful information from them.
     
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  5. Feb 12, 2020 #5

    szaza

    szaza

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    This helped me tremendously when I started to make soap. She recommends a usage rate of 15:1 and it has worked quite well for me up until now.
     
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  6. Feb 14, 2020 #6

    Gryphonisle

    Gryphonisle

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    Thanks for replying. Isn’t that a diffusion? You’re diffusing the colorant in oil, a small quantity with a slightly larger yet still small quantity. Isn’t infusion putting an amount of colorant (in this case) into a significantly larger quantity of oil, and adding an element of time and/or heat to allow the colorant to affect the oil?

    And then... (This is where you shout Google Before You Run Your Mouth, to me). Ok so I googled. Diffuse is to spread something about as in air, or knowledge widely spread, something you are describing and its results.
    Infuse is to steep in liquid (among other things). And now we’re back where I’d started, but I should have Googled first and then responded. Sorry.

    15:1! Wow. That does seem a bit more reasonable. I presume it’s still working and not that it suddenly stopped working as you wrote this... Have you ever added more of the same oil, to replace the oil you used (if you didn’t use all of it) and shook it up for a second go after more aging?

    Thank you. I’ll watch the video now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2020
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  7. Feb 14, 2020 #8

    szaza

    szaza

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    Nope, never tried that.. and it still works! (I think, haven't made soap for a few days;))
     

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