Newbie with TONS of questions

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1. What do y’all use for coloring? I have gotten a beautiful bright orange out of turmeric in one batch. Then I asked a friend what she used to color her lavender bars the pretty purple she said she used purple sweet potato powder, I got some and tried it but my soap turned brown when I added it, as it was hardening in the mold it looked like it was getting a slightly greenish hue but not purple. Will it change much more in the mold? Or did I botch the coloring somehow?
What other colors are easily accessible and work well?

I use a combination of micas, clays, and oxides. I happen to order a lot from Nurture Soap and Mad Micas. You can see what's available in both man made pigments, micas, and natural colorants. Because cold process soap has lye it can react with most colorants and you can see samples of CP soap made with the colorants those two sites offer for sale. For all natural soaps I tend to stick to clays. White Kaolin, Rose clay, Moroccan Clay, Rahsoul Clay, and Bentonite Clay I got the majority of my clays from Camden Gray. I bought them in bulk and still have a large amount left after 10 years. I use charcoal and black oxide for blacks. The activated charcoal I got from Amazon, the oxide from brambleberry.

2. Those of you that produce to sell, do you buy your oils in bulk? Since this is so new to use we only have three oils right now, olive oil (which is used as the majority for now), coconut oil, and grapeseed Oil. Basically the three cheapest I feel like, but for now while we figure out the craft I want to keep costs as low as I can. Is there any oil that does well for soap and isn’t going to break the bank for now? And if I keep using this much olive oil, can I just buy bulk from a restaurant supply company?

I buy some of my oils in bulk, others I buy from Costco and Amazon.

3. So far I’m noticing one common concern with every batch I make, that’s my trace getting thick super fast. It’s not seizing, and I can still pour it in the mold, but it’s too fluffy for a flat pour, which would be a problem if I wanted to layer and I’m worried about air bubbles. It seems like it starts off fine but once I get to the trace I think I want, it starts to get thicker and thicker while I’m trying to work with it before pouring it in the mold. By the time I’m ready it’s almost like mayonnaise. Is it because I’m using too much coconut oil? My last batch was 30% coconut oil I think.

Thick trace can be from soaping at too high of a temperature, blending with a stick blender too much or the reaction of your fragrance oil with the lye. It can also be the recipe you are using.

4. Do you buy your oils in bulk? I have a ton of essential oils but they are all the little jars with the droppers one them, it’s fine for now but when I get to a level where I need to be measuring oil out and not just playing with it, I’m not sure how that will work with these.

My fragrance and essential oils I get from Wholesale Supply Plus, Nurture Soap, Camden Gray, Brambleberry, Nature's Garden, and Bulk Apothecary. The largest quantity I've ordered is 16 oz and 8 oz. I order a lot of sample sizes so I can see what I like and how it reacts in my recipes so 1-2 oz of fragrance. The ones I've tested or one that sell well I buy in larger quantities. Lavender is one of my most requested scents so I buy larger amounts of that. I also use a lot of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil in customizing fragrances so I order a lot of that as well.

It took me 10 years to really develop the recipes that I like the best. This is a combination of how well do they perform, what do they make your skin feel like, how well does it stand up to time and conditions. I still have the first bars I created 10 years ago with my current recipe that I test every year. I made soap for friends and family for 3 years before I started selling it to them. I wanted to get feed back from people without damaging my reputation as a soap maker. Just looking at your recipe I can tell you are going to have issues with your soap down the line because grapeseed oil is very prone to rancidity. You will get orange spots that smell rotten and will make your skin smell after using it. It actually smells like vomit at least to my nose. My preferred recipe has 10 different oils in various combinations and none of them are grapeseed just because of the bad results I've had with it. I use goat milk or cow milk for the liquid in my soap making. I only have a few recipes in which I use water.

Because of the farmer's markets that I go to I have a vegan recipe, I have a palm free recipe, I have my normal goat milk recipe, I have a bastille unscented recipe, and I have just added an egg soap recipe to my line up. I just started making the egg soap but I'm just adding eggs to one of my tested and tried soap recipes. Within those recipes the additives can vary from adding coffee, oatmeal, honey, salt, clays, sugar, pumice, poppy seeds, loofah (I grow my own),and other natural additives. There's really such a wide range of soap that you can make that you really need to determine where you want to focus and develop your business around that. I love the look of fancy soaps with fancy tops and sculpted embeds and decorations but that's way out of my comfort zone as I'm not artistic and I have no patience for fine details. I envy those that do. So go watch a ton of soap making videos, and go watch a ton of tutorials, book mark a link to Soapcalc or some other soap calculator and then start making small batches of soap using different recipes to see what you like and then have friends and family test them and see what they like. And then when you have a recipe wait a year to see how long it stands up and test it again. You don't want to invest a lot of money up front, you want to get your plan and recipe in place first and then you can start adding to it with colorants, molds, additives, fragrances, etc. And when you are ready to sell, don't forget to buy insurance.
My bad, i see someone let them know that grapeseed isnt the best for longevity
I have done a little bit of research and I found that micas are naturally occurring minerals and oxides. Except if the mica is colored with FD&C colorants, the mica is not considered natural.

So being new to soaping I don't understand why people who do natural soap stay away from them.
micas are sourced from India and they use children for work in dangerous conditions. The micas also are not 100% pure. Synthetic micas however are safer to use and better for the world.