Madder Root Soap Making (Pics Included)...

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by SoapMakingResource, Mar 4, 2011.

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  1. Mar 4, 2011 #1

    SoapMakingResource

    SoapMakingResource

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    Hey everyone! Finally, the second colorant tutorial is finished for the Natural Soap Colorant Database that I am building. I just thought I’d share some of the pictures from the tutorial with you all!

    This one was on how to color your soap with madder root! It was a blast to make and I just loved the color outcome in my soaps.

    As usual, I am looking at how the percentage of infused oil in my batch will affect the color, how adding the botanical to the lye solution will affect the color, how adding the powdered botanical to the soap will affect the color, how my superfat percentage will affect the color, and how the gel phase will affect the color.

    I made 9 different soaps in all using different infusion strengths, inclusion methods, super-fats etc. Here’s a picture of all the batches! You can clearly see how many different shades of pink to burgundy I got:

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    My infusion rate was 2 tablespoons madder root powder per 8 ounces of oil. In all, I made 24 ounces of infused oil for my experiment, to which I added 6 tablespoon madder root powder. I infused the powder in my crock pot on low for exactly 2 hours.

    Here’s a picture of my oil pre-infused:

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    Here’s a picture of my oil after it was infused with madder root for the two hours:

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    As you can see, the oil is a very deep dark crimson shade. Very beautiful!

    Here’s a picture of the madder root infused olive oil and non infused olive oil side by side:

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    Below is a picture of the infused oil being poured into the rest of the batch. I just thought this was a cool shot that demonstrates the contrast of the madder root against the white soap. Madder root would make a very nice swirling color!

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    Following are the pictures of each soap colored with madder root using a different method or different madder root strength. This is a great starting point for those of you who want to use madder root for coloring your soap. You can see exactly what color is achieved by a specific amount of madder root and easily adjust your amount or infusion strength if you personally want a lighter or darker color.

    Below is a soap where 5% of the oils were madder root infused oil. Just a reminder… This means that if your soap recipe was made up of 100 ounces of oils total, then 5 ounces would be madder root infused. The color was a very light pink. Almost a skin-tone.

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    Next is a batch that had 15% of the oils made up of madder root infused oil. This one was a darker pink color. Not quite red yet!

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    Next is a batch that had 35% of the oils made up of madder root infused oil. Usually I wouldn’t use this high of a percentage, but this test was to see if madder root was prone to bleeding and colored suds if too much is used.

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    Here’s a picture of lathering up the 35% madder root infused oil soap. No bleeding occurred and no colored suds! Makes me wonder just how high (and dark) I can go with madder root before bleeding occurs. Some natural colorants will “bleed” when used at 35%.

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    Now I am going to go through my test results from adding madder root powder to the soap at trace.

    Here is a picture of a 2 pound batch colored with 1 teaspoon madder root powder. As you know, this is a rate of ½ teaspoon madder root per pound of soap:

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    Here is a picture of a 2 pound batch colored with 2 teaspoons madder root powder. This is a rate of 1 teaspoon madder root per pound of soap:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of a 2 pound batch colored with 4 teaspoons madder root powder. This is a rate of 2 teaspoons madder root per pound of soap:

    [​IMG]

    I also tried coloring my soap with madder root by soaking the madder root powder in my lye solution for 3.5 hours. I added the powder immediately after the solution was created so that the heat would help the color from the madder root extract into the solution. I also filtered out the powder as I poured the solution into my soap making pot.

    Here is the soap produced from soaking 1 tablespoon madder root powder in my lye solution for 3.5 hours. This would be a rate of ½ tablespoon per pound of soap as I was making a 2lb batch.

    [​IMG]

    I also looked at how the super-fat percentage in my soap would affect the color produced by madder root powder. I made one of my madder root colored batches with a 12% super-fat and one with a 5% super-fat. Everything else in the two batches were completely equal. I used the same recipe and both batches had 15% of the oils made up of the same strength madder root infused oil.

    Here is a picture of the 5% super-fat soap:

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    Here is a picture of the 12% super-fat soap:

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    The soap with the higher 12% super-fat percentage did have a lighter color.

    Last, but not least, I looked at how the gel phase would affect the color produced by madder root in soap. The gel phase really altered the color drastically!

    Below is a picture of the soap that went through gel. It was a much deeper and darker red then the non-gelled soaps. Almost a burgundy color! This one was probably my favorite of all the colors produced using madder root!

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the non-gelled madder root colored soap batch:

    [​IMG]

    Just like the super-fat test, the above two batches were 100% identical aside from the fact that one went through gel while the other did not. I used the same recipe and both had 15% of the oil made up of madder root infused oil of the same infusion strength.

    One thing that was interesting to note is that all the madder root soaps (except for the gelled soap) was purple for about 2 days. Eventually, they all turned red! I’m assuming this has something to do with the PH levels in the soap. The only soap that was red right away was the gelled soap. It did have a bit of a lavender tinge to it at first though, but it was certainly the most red out of all of them!

    I hope this helps you all… or at least I hope you find this post interesting. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here!

    Geez… 2 natural colorants down and probably around 20 more to go! This is going to be a long, but fun process building the Natural Colorant Database!

    If you haven't seen it already, I also posted pics from my annatto seeds soap making database tutorial. Here is the link to that forum post in case you are interested: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=22696

    Until next time!

    Sincerely,
    Steve P. Czapla
     
  2. Mar 4, 2011 #2

    carolyntn

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    Wow, Steve, thank you!!! Thank you for sharing of your experiments and all that time involved!
     
  3. Mar 4, 2011 #3

    soapbuddy

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    Thank you for all your hard work Steve!
     
  4. Mar 4, 2011 #4

    Microdot

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    Thanks Steve, I'm lovin it!
     
  5. Mar 4, 2011 #5

    Bubbles Galore

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    Fascinating Steve. Thank you. What are you doing with all of this soap from your experiments? Are you using it? A friend of mine gave me her Madder Root powder because she said the soap made her itchy. I didn't have any trouble with it at low %.
     
  6. Mar 4, 2011 #6

    JackiK

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    This is so wonderful, and you're wonderful for sharing the results of a lot of work. Thank you.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2011 #7

    Elly

    Elly

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    Thanks for sharing your experiments with natural colorants, very interesting
     
  8. Mar 4, 2011 #8

    SideDoorSoaps

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    I love all the shades of reds you can get with Madder Root. We make a rose scented soap with madder root in it to get a beautiful deep pink. And we got ours from Soap Making Resource. Thanks, Steve!
     
  9. Mar 4, 2011 #9

    kelleyaynn

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    Sounds like madder root is a pH indicator. It is purple at high pH, which our soaps would be when new, then becomes red/pink when the pH lowers (I would say more acidic, but soap isn't actually acidic without additives). It makes sense then that the gelled soap turned red faster, as the heat generated by gelling makes saponification happen faster.

    Chemistry is cool! Thanks for sharing the results of your experiments.
     
  10. Mar 4, 2011 #10

    ikindred

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    I am planning to try a few more colors and now that I have seen your pictures and comments, I know I will try this one!

    Thanks for your hard work...it does help!
     
  11. Mar 4, 2011 #11

    SoapMakingResource

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    Wow! Thank you all for your replies and kind comments. Much appreciated. This makes me motivated to get the next one out quickly!

    Bubble Galore... I'm trying to keep these soaps in a dark area and I plan on reporting back in a few months on whether or not the colors faded and if they did, how much. I'm making so much soap though and it's really starting to take up space in the warehouse, so I am giving some away to staff members etc. I do not sell my soap, so there aren't too many options :) And with over 20 of these colorant tutorials coming out (and each tutorial has SO MANY BATCHES), I'm gonna have a lot of soap! By the way, was your friend adding the powder at trace or infusing? When adding the powder at trace, it will make the bars a bit itchy especially at high percentages, but when infusing, it shouldn't be itchy as the botanical is actually drained out! Hope this helps!

    SideDoorSoaps... That's so cool that you use our madder root powder! Rose scent is perfect for this color. You know, I was looking at the soaps and really wondering what scent would go good with such a color. Rose/geranium would go perfect! Thanks!

    Kelleyaynn... You are absolutely right! Madder is sort of a pH indicator. I remember reading that somewhere that a higher pH level will give more of a purple color while lower pH levels offer more of a red color. It was amazing to watch the soap turn colors as the pH lowered. I'm telling you, some of the soaps were as purple as purple gets! Almost like a purple crayon shade!

    Thanks again for all your comments! I look forward to more discussion if any of you have any questions etc. Also please feel free to share your own experiences that you have had with madder root.

    Sincerely,
    Steve P. Czapla
     
  12. Mar 4, 2011 #12

    Bubbles Galore

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    I think she added at trace but will have to ask her again. I added at trace too but I infused for a while first. :wink:
     
  13. Mar 5, 2011 #13

    dcornett

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    VERY interesting!!
     
  14. Mar 5, 2011 #14

    Lynnz

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    Wow thanks for this very interesting!!!
     
  15. Mar 6, 2011 #15

    SoapMakingResource

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    Bubbles Galore... Yeah, I usually add the infused oil portion at trace too. But, after I infuse the madder into the oil, I try to strain out as much of the plant matter as I can so that all I am adding is the oil and extracted color from the madder root and not the actual madder root powder. This will help to avoid any scratchiness in your bar.

    Here's maybe a helpful tip for straining out powdered botanicals. Try using a "paint strainer bag". You can pick one up at home depot or pretty much any hardware store in the paint department. It is kind of like a cheese cloth, but in a bag form which makes it really convenient for straining out fine particles from the oil. Unless you have an extremely fine strainer, those small madder root particles will just slip right through. The paint strainer bag will work great. Hope this helps!
     

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