Making green soap

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cris01us

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So I am totally lost on how to go about making soap that is green. I wanted to go the natural route and not use dyes or micas so I was thinking of using either alfalfa, kale, chlorophyll, or kelp powder. But how in the world do I go about this, how do I know how much to use and when?

For instance (Alfalfa): use it in powder form and add at trace? How much for 3lb batch?

Kale: Use the juice or the ground up bits (from after juicing)? If I use kale juice wouldn't that affect my water:lye ratio? How the heck do I calculate that? If I use the ground up bits and add them at trace will that work?

Chlorophyll: in liquid form I have no idea? Will it affect water:lye ratio? In powder form just add it at trace?

I think with kelp powder I have read to just sprinkle that in at trace but how in the world do I figure out how much to use?

HELP!!!! I really want to make a green soap and I think figuring this out will open up the door to other natural colors (carrot juice, turmeric, etc.)
 

lenarenee

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I've used kelp from kelp capsules and it was a decent green. In about a month+ it started turning army green, then faded. At 3 months it was downright sickly and ugly.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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The amount of your soap that would be the "unnatural" colour would be tiny. You are more experienced than some joe on the street, so you know that there isn't really an all natural soap, and that the term natural is so useless that it is almost funny, so why not just use some green mica?
 

DeeAnna

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cris01us

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What are your thoughts on using the Kale juice in lieu of some of the water? Will it negatively impact the reaction later on?
 

doriettefarm

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What are your thoughts on using the Kale juice in lieu of some of the water? Will it negatively impact the reaction later on?
I don't think the kale juice would cause any issues in the finished soap. But it still might fade or morph into something you weren't expecting.
 

earlene

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So I am totally lost on how to go about making soap that is green. I wanted to go the natural route and not use dyes or micas so I was thinking of using either alfalfa, kale, chlorophyll, or kelp powder. But how in the world do I go about this, how do I know how much to use and when?

For instance (Alfalfa): use it in powder form and add at trace? How much for 3lb batch?

Kale: Use the juice or the ground up bits (from after juicing)? If I use kale juice wouldn't that affect my water:lye ratio? How the heck do I calculate that? If I use the ground up bits and add them at trace will that work?

Chlorophyll: in liquid form I have no idea? Will it affect water:lye ratio? In powder form just add it at trace?

I think with kelp powder I have read to just sprinkle that in at trace but how in the world do I figure out how much to use?

HELP!!!! I really want to make a green soap and I think figuring this out will open up the door to other natural colors (carrot juice, turmeric, etc.)

My attempts to obtain green colors from natural colorants so far has not been very successful.

Soap with alfalfa powder was never green to start with. Spinach soap started out green, but faded to light beige within within a couple of months. Spirulina soap did not stay green. Parsley did not stay green. I tried grin clay, but either didn't use enough or it was to pale to see the difference.

Kale did not produce green soap, but I really liked using kale-infused oil in my soap. The soap itself is actually white.

I bought liquid chlorophyll to try it out, but not done so as yet.

Turmeric does color the soap and the color sticks pretty well. Beta carotene capsules (the vitamin supplement) produced deep lasting color, depending on how much you use. These are in the orange hue.

Carrot juice, however does not really produce carrot-colored soap, but I like carrot juice in soap, If you add beta carotene to carrot juice soap you can end up with an orange soap.

As to when and how to add, if you add powders or ground botanicals, you really need to fully incorporate them in the batter and that can take a while if they are very dry and resistant to mixing. Some mix betters than others. I find that ground botanicals tend to produce specks in the finished soap, which can be esthetically pleasing.

Some things (I don't recall which ones) work better for producing color when mixed witht the lye solution rather than adding later. Mixing at trace can be risky if the additive accelerates and you planned swirls and whatnot.

You can even try food coloring, which I found to produce pastel shades that lasted. I have used a couple of Wilton's (cake) Icing Colorants without much luck.

Alkanet root is supposed to produce purple, but I got grey.

Indigo powder did produce blue, though, so I was happy about that.
 

Susie

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Here are the "natural" colorants I have tried thus far, I am about to order my first soap colorants thanks to the folks on this forum for the list.

Red food coloring will give you a pinkish red color in CP that, so far, sticks well. You have to use quite a bit of it, though. Blue food coloring will give you a mauve color that is actually quite attractive.
Green food coloring I have not tried as yet.
Coffee yields a cafe au lait color, but no scent.
Paprika infused into olive oil gives a sunshine yellow to a brick/rust color depending on how much you use.
Beta carotene was mentioned above. It does give a nice yellow if you use less.
None of the food juice/powders I have tried give a good green that lasts.
 

cris01us

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So I got impatient and went with Spirulina (45g powder) and mixed it at trace, and I mean AT trace. It quickly globbed up on me and I was afraid to mix further since everything was starting to really get thick. I went ahead and poured into the mold and we'll just have to wait and see. On another note I am trying out a cylindrical mold for the first time and I am very scared I'm not going to be able to get the soap out. I used a PVC pipe and lined it with parchment paper. I wanted cut flexible cutting boards and use as liner but I couldn't find any on island that would work. I am crossing my fingers that I can simply pull the parchment paper from the tube today.
 

Susie

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You may find that putting a can or something on the table to push the bottom of the soap against may help it come out.
 

topofmurrayhill

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What are your thoughts on using the Kale juice in lieu of some of the water? Will it negatively impact the reaction later on?
Every idea here except the clay (which is nice but not terribly green) is really the same idea -- chlorophyll. That doesn't work. It fades, turns brown, and reportedly could shorten the life of the soap via photo-oxidation.

I've gone the route of experimenting with all-natural soaps. They would appeal to a certain market segment, certainly, though you may find that they appeal less to the market as a whole. It's also a huge project to deal with the vagaries of EOs for fragrance and the drab and short-lived nature of many natural colorants if you want to create a whole line.

There is one somewhat well known brand of handmade natural soap that made me curious about this. However, all of their soaps are uncolored. And while it is claimed they are fragranced with EOs, I'm familiar enough with those to realize they are probably cheating by using EOs and FOs together. No ingredient list is provided.

I go with TEG's POV.
 

LanaBanana

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I've been thinking on this for a while. How about mixing blue and yellow to make green? I was thinking indigo for blue. There are some gorgeous blues that come from indigo. I think there are different methods of adding it to your soap. I've never used it so I have no suggestions about usage. And for the yellow, maybe use anatto or carrot juice. I like using carrot juice. It makes a nice yellow-orange to the soap.
 

penelopejane

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I've been thinking on this for a while. How about mixing blue and yellow to make green? I was thinking indigo for blue. There are some gorgeous blues that come from indigo. I think there are different methods of adding it to your soap. I've never used it so I have no suggestions about usage. And for the yellow, maybe use anatto or carrot juice. I like using carrot juice. It makes a nice yellow-orange to the soap.
Is indigo dangerous? You have to wear gloves when you use it to dye things. I was wondering if it was more than the fact it will dye your hands blue.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Is indigo dangerous? You have to wear gloves when you use it to dye things. I was wondering if it was more than the fact it will dye your hands blue.
In reality, indigo doesn't work for soap the way it's intended to. When it's used to dye clothing such as jeans, other chemicals are used to change it to a different form (it actually becomes yellow), then oxygen as it dries turns it blue to color the clothes.

I imagine it could dye your hands very effectively, but I don't know if that's the only reason for gloves or not.

When used in the normal way for clothing, indigo is actually a dye. Used for soap, it's simply an oddly-colored bluish pigment. I'm sure it's harmless but it's also overrated as a natural soap colorant because you can't perform the necessary chemistry to get the proper color.
 

cris01us

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Great insight! Thank you so much, all of you really, for your feedback!!! It is so great to get on here and get some hands on knowledge via experience. So I was able to easily turn the tube over and tap the cylinder of soap down. I got it a quarter of the way out and stopped, it seems to soft to cut. Boy-o-boy does this batch stink but man do I have some GREEN soap! Hahaha, live and learn, I guess I won't be going the "natural" coloring route any more. Just like the rest of the soaps I've made (all 5, woo-hoo) I'm sure the smell and color will fade over time. Good thing too, in this case.
 
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