M&P and Non-bleed Colorants

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Active Member
Oct 20, 2015
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St. Louis, MO, USA
I did a search and did not find a thread that answered my question, so forgive me if this has been asked and I missed it.

I've been working with M&P in a loaf mold. I love the mold and have been trying a lot of new things - and discovering some limits of M&P. I recently made a striped loaf (I can add photos when I'm home) that alternates clear, brightly colored stripes with white, opaque stripes. I was thrilled with the initial result. Now, a week later, my bright colors are bleeding like crazy. I actually kind of like the effect. However, I am now reading up on non-bleeding colorants for M&P.

From what I've been reading, if I still want those bright colors and very see-through layers, I may have to just stick with bleeding colors. Is this correct? Everything I'm reading about non-bleeding colorants (powders and liquids) is that I will get muted colors and/or my clear will become opaque.

I would love to hear other people's opinions, experiences and advice.

Thank you!
What you're reading is correct, unfortunately. The colors that remain clear will migrate to other layers. You can use non-bleeding colorants in small quantities and still retain some transluscency. However, it won't be crystal clear. Micas are a great option though because they add shimmer to the MP soap, don't migrate and still allow light to come through. They look very beautiful. I would not say the soap remains "clear" with them though.

FD&C dyes are usually used in MP soap to retain the clarity but they migrate as you've observed. Iron oxides and ultramarines will color your soap but it will turn opaque if you use enough to make the soap dark. Micas will provide shimmer but are not completely clear. They use oxides and ultramarines to color them.
Great information, thank you so much. Sometimes I do so much reading from so many sources, I can't get it all straight in my head, lol. Here are photos (sorry for the low quality) of the freshly cut bars and the same one week later. As I said, I kind of like the effect. This is a Beltane soap, so I'm trying to create something that looks like Maypole ribbons. I think this still works. And it's good to know about the bleeding for times when I could put it to good use.


Thank you for the link! Over the weekend I found this tutorial and it's very similar to the effect I want, but with non-bleed colors. There may be hope yet!