Natural green colorants experiment

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szaza

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So first up, an update on the soaps made june 1st (colorants added at trace, 100% CO 20% sf recipe)
These are how they looked right after unmolding
IMG_20190602_114927.jpg IMG_20190602_114903.jpg
And this is how they look now:
IMG_20191009_153733.jpg IMG_20191009_153722.jpg
Furthest left is moringa, furthest right is wheatgrass.
In front left to right is spirulina, pandan, matcha.

Next are the soaps I made on the 7th of June. (Pandan as split lye, moringa with lye water, matcha hot infusion in oils)
This was right after unmolding
IMG_20190608_074339.jpg

This was today
IMG_20191009_153841.jpg
Left to right: pandan, moringa, matcha (back=ungelled, front=gelled)

(Edited to correct which soaps were gelled/ungelled)

This is soap made with a cold infusion of matcha (without the matcha powder) ungelled. Made early september. Picture taken today (1 month later)
IMG_20191009_154105.jpg IMG_20191009_154051.jpg

This is the result of frozen pandan added at trace, made last thursday (october 3rd) it seems to slowly get darker.. (it was lighter right after unmolding)
IMG_20191009_154950.jpg

I also did a failed experiment. I had infused some colorants in alcohol and surprisingly indigo infusion turned red and with spirulina none of the blueish component seemed to get into the infusion. So I hoped if I used the indigo and spirulina after infusion, the indigo would give a slightly different shade of blue and the spirulina would give a blueer green, but alas, they were just lighter versions of the same color (a girl can dream)
IMG_20191009_155359.jpg IMG_20191009_155325.jpg
 
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szaza

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It's about time for another update!

First the latest soaps.
IMG_20200205_143935.jpg
Left: Matcha infusion at +-20%, no proper notes taken, I think this was made early September (so +-5 months ago). No gel
Right: Frozen pureed pandan leafs added at trace (made early October, so 4 months ago). I don't remember if I gelled or not.. (again no proper notes.. sigh!)
Reference pictures in the thread above this one.

Lately I've been thinking about the influence of plant matter added to the soap in browning. I decided to compare all the soaps I made with moringa, which started green, but turned brown after a couple of months.
Here's a picture of 4 moringa soaps:
IMG_20200205_144303.jpg
Left: moringa infused in ethanol, added after HP cook, no powder in the soap. Made mid august (5 1/2 months).
Second from the left: moringa powder added at trace CPOP. Made early June (7 months) There's a hint of green left in the brown.
Second from the right: moringa in lye water CP no gel. Made early June (7 months). It's light brown/beige.
Furthest right: moringa in lye water CPOP. Made early June (7 months). Slightly darker brown.
It looks like adding moringa to lye water makes it go brown faster/more completely than adding it to trace. The alcohol infusion is greener than the others were at 4 months, I'm curious if it will turn brown with time or if it will fade. I'm doing cold infusions of matcha, moringa, spirulina and alfalfa at the moment to hopefully do a comparison of plant powders added to lye/trace/infusion.

Earlier in this thread I mentioned an idea for a test to add sugar and/or salt to spirulina based on an article that found phytocyanin breaking down slower in the presence of sugar/salt. I attempted this yesterday, but halfway through my batter overheated and volcanoed in the jug, so I can't really compare the soaps properly. The one with sugar added looks slightly more intense in color, but by then I was already pretty much doing HP and it's not a good comparison (the salt one completely failed and got crumbly). I'll have to redo it..

(Edited because I accidentally already posted halfway through typing..)
 
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szaza

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I finally redid the spirulina with sugar/salt experiment and here's the result:
IMG_20200312_135334.jpg
Back row ungelled, front row oven gelled (quite aggressively and overheated)
Left to right: no additives, sugar, salt, both.
Gelling makes the color darker.
Sugar seems to make the color a bit more intense, while salt makes it lighter and speckled (I guess the spirulina had a hard time dissolving in water with salt added) both are a bit darker than salt alone, but still lighter than no additives.
The ungelled soap with sugar and salt had a blueish hue to it during the first few days but that has already disappeared. I'm curious to see if any of the additives will help prevent fading at all.

For the technical details:
I made soap with 50% lye contration and added the remaining water with the spirulina/additives.
My individual cavities are 40ml, which is 27.67g oils/cavity.
I used both sugar and salt at 1Tbs ppo (or 0.75g/27.67g oils for sugar and 1.125g/27.67g oils for salt).
Spirulina was added at 0.33g/27.67g oils (which is the usage rate of 1.2g/100g I normally use, or I think about 1-2tsp ppo, not sure how heavy spirulina is.
 

szaza

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More color experiments! Comparing infusions from matcha, alfalfa, moringa and spirulina and some other colorants to adding the same colors at trace and tomorrow another batch of the same colors added to the lye water. These are going to bed (as well as I) and I'll write up an update during the weekend.
IMG_20200313_232354.jpg
 

moodymama

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More color experiments! Comparing infusions from matcha, alfalfa, moringa and spirulina and some other colorants to adding the same colors at trace and tomorrow another batch of the same colors added to the lye water. These are going to bed (as well as I) and I'll write up an update during the weekend.
View attachment 44483

I love the spirulina. What is the dark blue upper right corner?
 

szaza

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Hold on tight, there's a lot of pictures coming.. I'll probably do multiple posts to avoid not being to upload all in one post.

Let's start with an overview. It's been a busy weekend! (Back is gelled, front are the same soaps ungelled)
IMG_20200315_160718.jpg
And an overview of only the greens:
IMG_20200315_163751.jpg
Back row are colorants added to the lye water (left to right alfalfa, spirulina, moringa, always one ungelled and one gelled next to each other)
Row in front of the back row are the same colorants added at trace (also always one ungelled, one gelled)
Row in front of that are the same colorants infused in oils and added at trace.
Front row is all matcha infused oil. On the left are soaps made with an old infusion from an old bag that had been open for a few years (gelled and ungelled). Middle is a soap made with the same infusion in September (ungelled). Right is made with a 6 week old infusion from a recently opened bag of matcha (gelled and ungelled)
 

szaza

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In general greens don't seem to do well in infusions unless you gel them (except matcha), though they do make nice pastel colors.
Adding green colorants to lye water makes the color less intense compared to adding it at trace.
Gelling makes colors darker, but sometimes also browner.

Now let's take a closer look at Alfalfa:
IMG_20200315_161401.jpg
Left to right: infusion, added at trace, added to lye water.
Back row gelled, front row ungelled.

Adding Alfalfa to the lye water seems to lessen the color intensity compared to adding at trace.
Gelling makes the color darker, but also a lot browner.
The infusion didn't bring a lot of color to the soap, especially when left ungelled. I kind of like the freshness of the green in the gelled soap, but it won't really stand out among other colors.

Here's Moringa:
IMG_20200315_161545.jpg
Again, left to right: infusion, added at trace, added to lye water.
Back row gelled, front row ungelled.

Moringa seems to be a bit darker than alfalfa, but within the same color scheme.
Adding it to the lye water seems to make the color less green and gelling makes it darker.
The infusion is still a very soft color, but just bright enough to stand out when gelled and I do really like this shade of green (but that's very personal)

Spirulina:
IMG_20200315_161822.jpg
Again, left to right: infusion, added at trace, added to lye water.
Back row gelled, front row ungelled.
The middle ones (added at trace) were made last monday in another experiment.

Here again adding the colorant to the lye will make the color lighter than adding at trace and gelling darkens the color.
Infusion gives a very light color, a nice pastel when gelled. Interestingly the infusion looked completely uncolored with a few specks of powder that hadn't sunk to the bottom, so I'm curious if the soap would look the same with just a very small amount of spirulina dispersed in oil added at trace.

Matcha:
IMG_20200315_161236.jpg
This one is a bit different because I only used infusions.
The left is a soap made in September and not gelled (same one as shown earlier in the thread) from an cold infusion of an old long open bag of matcha.
Middle is the same infusion but soap made this weekend.
Right is a 6 week old infusion from a newly opened bag of matcha.
Back row is gelled, front row ungelled.

Funny enough the old, ungelled soap is darker than the newer soap, while it had more time to infuse.
The infusion from recently opened Matcha is lighter still, which is consistent with @Mobjack Bay 's finding in this thread.
Finally gelling makes the color of the soap more intense.

ETA: all my infusions are 1:15 and used at 20%. Powders added at 1.2g/100g (1-2tsp ppo)
 
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szaza

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I'll spend less time on the other colorants:

Indigo
IMG_20200315_162005.jpg
Left is infusion at 20% (supposed to turn pink, turned blue on me at 22% and now just white..)
Next to that is slush from the bottom of the infusion added at trace.
Next to that is slush from the bottom of the infusion jar added to the lye water
And far right is regular indigo powder added to lye water (I was afraid the oil slush wouldn't incorporate well in the lye water, so wanted to have a backup)
Back row is gelled
Usage rate was 0.4g/100g for all of them.
ETA: infusion was a weak infusion as per Kapia Mera.

Alkanet infusion at 20%
IMG_20200315_162125.jpg
Left one is gelled. Takes a week to get purple, so not much to see yet.

Paprika:
IMG_20200315_162241.jpg
Again, left to right: infusion, added at trace, added to lye water.
Back row gelled, front row ungelled.

Brownish tones when powder is used and bright enough in infusion, so won't use powder anymore.
It does seem like adding to the lye water makes the color lighter.
Gelling makes the color more intense.
(Usage rate: 1:15 infusion at 20% and 1.2g/100g for powder)
 

szaza

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There, I'm done with experimenting for a while.. off to make some pretty soap! (I hope)
 

atiz

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These are really awesome, thank you so much!!! I will need to try some of them. But no soap for a while now :(
 

Jersey Girl

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I'll spend less time on the other colorants:

Indigo
View attachment 44519
Left is infusion at 20% (supposed to turn pink, turned blue on me at 22% and now just white..)
Next to that is slush from the bottom of the infusion added at trace.
Next to that is slush from the bottom of the infusion jar added to the lye water
And far right is regular indigo powder added to lye water (I was afraid the oil slush wouldn't incorporate well in the lye water, so wanted to have a backup)
Back row is gelled
Usage rate was 0.4g/100g for all of them.
ETA: infusion was a weak infusion as per Kapia Mera.

Alkanet infusion at 20%
View attachment 44520
Left one is gelled. Takes a week to get purple, so not much to see yet.

Paprika:
View attachment 44521
Again, left to right: infusion, added at trace, added to lye water.
Back row gelled, front row ungelled.

Brownish tones when powder is used and bright enough in infusion, so won't use powder anymore.
It does seem like adding to the lye water makes the color lighter.
Gelling makes the color more intense.
(Usage rate: 1:15 infusion at 20% and 1.2g/100g for powder)
Thank you for sharing!
 

Mobjack Bay

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@szaza Fantastic set of tests! Thank you for documenting your methods and sharing them. Can you remind us what kind of plant indigo you're using? All of the colors look great.
 

szaza

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@szaza Fantastic set of tests! Thank you for documenting your methods and sharing them. Can you remind us what kind of plant indigo you're using? All of the colors look great.
Indigoferia tinctora. I keep forgetting there are different kinds.. ;)
 

Mobjack Bay

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Indigoferia tinctora. I keep forgetting there are different kinds.. ;)
I need to track down some of that kind. It definitely seems strong and bluer than the kind I have, which is Baphicacanthus.
 

szaza

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I need to track down some of that kind. It definitely seems strong and bluer than the kind I have, which is Baphicacanthus.
It's very denim..;) are all your indigo soaps baphicacantus? Because I loved the shade of blue you got when you added the indigo to the lye water and I'm a bit sad mine turned out so differently.
 

Ladka

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I do not have Indigofera tinctoria but I do grow Japanese indigo Persicaria tinctoria in my garden. Right now I only have an amount of dry leaves, bluish in colour. I am ruminating on using them to dye soap. I'm certainly not going to perform any extensive trials, perhaps just add a pinch of crushed leaves at trace or in lye liquid.
I admire your sense for and systematic performance of all these trials, #szaza !
 

szaza

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I do not have Indigofera tinctoria but I do grow Japanese indigo Persicaria tinctoria in my garden. Right now I only have an amount of dry leaves, bluish in colour. I am ruminating on using them to dye soap. I'm certainly not going to perform any extensive trials, perhaps just add a pinch of crushed leaves at trace or in lye liquid.
I admire your sense for and systematic performance of all these trials, #szaza !
Well I'm looking forward to seeing the results! If you ever have too much of your home grown indigo I'd love to do a bunch of extensive tests and trials on them:p I should really get better at keeping plants alive..
 

Mobjack Bay

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It's very denim..;) are all your indigo soaps baphicacantus? Because I loved the shade of blue you got when you added the indigo to the lye water and I'm a bit sad mine turned out so differently.
It doesn’t look like I answered this question. Without checking, I’m fairly certain that I used the Baphicacanthus indigo powder for the soap where I put the indigo in the lye. I seem to recall that it didn’t take much. Possibly 1/4 tsp ppo. I will try to remember to check tomorrow. I was just looking at a bar of that soap earlier today. The color is still a nice medium blue, but it’s probably faded some. Maybe I should take a photo.

ETA: I needed to get up, so I checked my notes. I used 1/8 tsp for 11 oz of oil. I poured 1 oz. of boiling water over the indigo powder in the morning and made the indigo/lye and the soap that evening. According to my notes, I strained the lye water through a piece of cotton cloth. Unfortunately, I didn’t explain why :rolleyes:
 
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