natural colorants

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JenQ

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Hello! This is my first post in the forum, and I need some guidance. I have been making soap for only about 2 months, and I have made both CPOP and HP soaps. I purchased some natural colorants that I would like to use in my soaps, but I don't know how/when to use them. I am planning on making CPOP soap this week and I have the following powdered colorants to choose from:
Annato Seed
Black Walnut
Lemon
Maddar Root
Rose Hip
Spirulina
Tomato
I think I want to start with Lemon or Annato seed powders. Does anyone know when/how I add these to my soap? I am assuming it is at trace, but I don't know. Also, do I sprinkle it in or do something with it first? How does the procedure vary for HP? Thank you for your help with this!
 

soapswirl

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Nice link spiderpup! I've used annatto before - I dispersed the powder in a little oil then added it at trace. If you don't disperse but add the powder at trace you will still get the colour but it may be speckly and a bit scratchy in the soap. I'm not sure what you mean by using lemon for colouring? Dried peel?
 

JenQ

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Thank you both! That is a great link. What exactly is an oil infusion and how do I do it? The Lemon is a "powder" I got from WSP in the natural colorant section.
 

soapswirl

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Anything powder you should just be able to put into a little oil and mix! Very roughly speaking around a teaspoon of powder into 10ml of oil works for me - then add to your soap at trace. Obviously you need to judge how much to use depending on how much soap you're making and how strong you want the colour. If you were infusing with bigger particles e.g. dried herbs, it would be worth using warm oils, covering, and letting it sit for a couple of hours to give the oil time to absorb the plant matter. Hope that's helpful :)
 

Seawolfe

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There are some good infusion instructions on the Soap Making Resource site.
I infuse Alkanet, madder root and annatto in olive oil with good results in soap. I usually just let the infusions sit for a week or two, but you can always speed that up with a warm infusion in the crockpot for a few hours.
I have played with disbursing spirulina in glycerin before adding to M&P soap, that worked quite well, Ill try it next in CP.
I've never heard of lemon powder or rose hip for color, so I cant help there. I would think they would be scratchy, so I infuse and filter everything.
 

Saponista

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Madder root won't infuse into oil. I found this out the hard way. You need to make a 'tea' with it and hot water. You do get a lovely pink colour though.
 

JenQ

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Thank you all! Is there a good resource so I know which will mix in well with oil and which won't? What about the glycerin that was mentioned. If powders don't dissolve in oils well, can I use glycerin for any of the powders? Does the glycerin affect the soap recipe or final properties of the soap at all? Finally, with the "tea" option, does this get filtered?
 

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