Mixing micas question

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stephswan

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Hello!

I have yet to make my first batch yet (some ingredients were delayed) and you all have already been so helpful with my first recipe, but I have a question about micas before I start.
I have seen two ways people are using micas, 1. mix with a little bit of oil then pour it into the batter, 2. directly adding the micas in the batter.
Is there a reason for this? I am assuming option1 requires less SB so you can control your batter more (and have it not accelerate as quickly).
Also, if you are using option 1, are you supposed to subtract the oil from the original recipe so you're not adding more oil? Ie, I'm supposed to use 17 oz of olive oil, but I use 2 tbsp (= 1 oz) of olive oil to mix with my micas, does my recipe go down to 16 oz now? What happens if I don't use all 2 tbsps of mica blend?
Same with using TD - if I use distilled water to mix with it, do I subtract it from the total water amount?

Thanks for all your help!
 

ImpKit

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For option 1 I prepare all of my liquid oils and then literally just take a tbsp from that to disperse my micas before I've added my lye solution, this way I'm not having to do complicated math. I also just always add all of the mica mixture.

If you don't want to do that and just use extra oil you end up with a little bit more superfat. If you have a small recipe this could end up being too much for your tastes so YMMV.
 

Whillow

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Hello!

I have yet to make my first batch yet (some ingredients were delayed) and you all have already been so helpful with my first recipe, but I have a question about micas before I start.
I have seen two ways people are using micas, 1. mix with a little bit of oil then pour it into the batter, 2. directly adding the micas in the batter.
Is there a reason for this? I am assuming option1 requires less SB so you can control your batter more (and have it not accelerate as quickly).
Also, if you are using option 1, are you supposed to subtract the oil from the original recipe so you're not adding more oil? Ie, I'm supposed to use 17 oz of olive oil, but I use 2 tbsp (= 1 oz) of olive oil to mix with my micas, does my recipe go down to 16 oz now? What happens if I don't use all 2 tbsps of mica blend?
Same with using TD - if I use distilled water to mix with it, do I subtract it from the total water amount?

Thanks for all your help!
I have done it both ways and personally find not really notice a difference. Also I only make small batches so my mica amount is less. I use 1/2 teaspoon of mica with one tsp of oil. I don’t subtract the TD mixed with distilled water. I could be completely wrong but this is what works for me.
 

Zing

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If it's truly a mica, I just dump it into the batter and stir. I'm lazy and that's why I prefer micas. Read the ingredients of your micas, though, because some "micas" also include oxides and other colorants -- for those I will disperse in oil first and squish any clumps; I start with 1 tsp mica to 1 tbsp oil. If I'm using oxides and other colorants I will always disperse in oil first because they are way more 'clumpy' than micas.

If I have just 1 or 2 colorants, I will pour an additional 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil and think of it as superfatting. If I have 3 or more colors, I take tablespoons out of my melted oil mixture; sometimes I take a tablespoon from my lightest and already measured oil.
 

TheGecko

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If I’m making a single color soap, I just mix my mica in the oils before adding my Lye Solution. If I’m using clays, oxides and pigments, I like to mix with a bit of water. If I’m doing two or more colors, I mix with a bit of oil.

You can pull your oil and water from you recipe or like me, I have two squeeze bottles of distilled water and olive oil that I use to disperse with. As long as you aren’t using a lot of oil and water...teaspoons as opposed to tablespoons...you’ll be fine. And if you have a lot of colors to mix with oil, you can just lose your SuperFat.
 

earlene

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Hello!

I have yet to make my first batch yet (some ingredients were delayed) and you all have already been so helpful with my first recipe, but I have a question about micas before I start.
I have seen two ways people are using micas, 1. mix with a little bit of oil then pour it into the batter, 2. directly adding the micas in the batter.
Is there a reason for this? I am assuming option1 requires less SB so you can control your batter more (and have it not accelerate as quickly).
Also, if you are using option 1, are you supposed to subtract the oil from the original recipe so you're not adding more oil? Ie, I'm supposed to use 17 oz of olive oil, but I use 2 tbsp (= 1 oz) of olive oil to mix with my micas, does my recipe go down to 16 oz now? What happens if I don't use all 2 tbsps of mica blend?
Same with using TD - if I use distilled water to mix with it, do I subtract it from the total water amount?

Thanks for all your help!
There are multiple ways to choose from, depending on your preference, your design, your micas themselves, and also sometimes on batch size. For a very small batch size, I would recommend using some of the batch oil for mixing the mica. (Deducting as you put it.) For a single color soap, it's fine to add the mica directly to the batch oils.

But some folks mix in water, rather than oil. And some mix in glycerin rather than oil or water. The method is up to you.

Some masterbatch often used colors into small squeeze bottles and add as desired to multiple batches of soap, in which case taking from batch oils or batch water isn't particularly feasible.

Some have utilized all these methods, depending on circumstances or where they are/were in their journey. It's okay to try them all at one point or another and find what you prefer.

Back to the question of water use, for a very small batch, I would recommend deducting the amount of water used for mica mixing from the amount for the lye solution. This does require planning ahead so your lye can cool before adding to oils. But for a very small batch a little water can make a difference. For large batches, it matters less, but as long as you don't use excessive amounts of water for your color mixing, AND you are not using a high water:lye ratio, it won't impact the process noticeably.

When I said it sometimes matters based on the micas themselves, here's what I mean: micas tend to be a mix of ingredients to obtain a particular shade & sometimes a particular mix will be more soluble or less soluble than others. For example, when a mica color has more titanium dioxide content, it seems to be quite thicker than one without when mixed with liquid, so a person might use more liquid to create a slurry than for another mica color.
 

stephswan

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Thank you all for all the help!!! Since I am only making very small batches right now, I will just take from the soft oils (I didn't even think of this!) and or water from the lye solution.
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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I usually pre mix my micas in oil, if I'm doing a few colors, if I'm using one color I'll add the dry mica to entire batch of oil' mix real well & SB then add my lye.
 

Whillow

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This is what I end up with when I mix my micas with a bit of oil first....I like using an artists' knife to get all the clumps out like Terri from Tree Marie Soapworks on Youtube. Kind of makes me feel like I'm an artist (which I am far from being).
colour mixing.jpg
 

Tara_H

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This is what I end up with when I mix my micas with a bit of oil first....I like using an artists' knife to get all the clumps out like Terri from Tree Marie Soapworks on Youtube. Kind of makes me feel like I'm an artist (which I am far from being). View attachment 56132
(OT but I love your tablecloth! It makes me want to make a soap with that design 🤭 )
 
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