premixing colorants

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CTAnton

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I was wandering the aisles of my local Michael's (danger!) and came across small capped plastic containers that are spot on to the containers I get my liquid colorants in . One of the last times I used a dry colorant it ended up being very spotty in the finished soapOn a previous thread, Top Of Murray Hill recommended to me using water as opposed to glycerine as a dispersal agent.
The question of the day is this: how does one determine ,barring trial and error, the best dispersal agent for various colorants? So many suppliers break down the myriad of ingredients in their products that by understanding some of these properties i thought I could reduce my trial and error.....just trying to reduce the waste and the trip outside because I try to spare my septic system any possible insults...
Many thanks as always!
 

LisaAnne

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Great question, I mix as I go and it seems wasteful.
 

dibbles

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I stumbled on this video by Amy Warden when I was starting to use colorants. I found it to be helpful.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph6-AMQLkEg[/ame]

I still haven't found a fool proof method for how much colorant to add, but that probably has as much to do with rarely making the same soap fragrance and design twice. I don't sell, and I like to play. I should add, I tend to mix micas with oil anyway, since that gives me the option for a mica swirl on top if I decide to do that after I pour.
 
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topofmurrayhill

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I was wandering the aisles of my local Michael's (danger!) and came across small capped plastic containers that are spot on to the containers I get my liquid colorants in . One of the last times I used a dry colorant it ended up being very spotty in the finished soapOn a previous thread, Top Of Murray Hill recommended to me using water as opposed to glycerine as a dispersal agent.
What I said is you can try different dispersal agents and use whichever works best for a particular colorant. You can try water, oil or glycerin. For M&P and probably HP you can also consider alcohol. If you really don't want to make the upfront investment in testing the colorant, I suppose oil with a mini mixer is a pretty reliable approach.
 

TeresaT

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I stumbled on this video by Amy Warden when I was starting to use colorants. I found it to be helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph6-AMQLkEg

I still haven't found a fool proof method for how much colorant to add, but that probably has as much to do with rarely making the same soap fragrance and design twice. I don't sell, and I like to play. I should add, I tend to mix micas with oil anyway, since that gives me the option for a mica swirl on top if I decide to do that after I pour.
Dibbles, thank you for posting this video. I think it has answered the majority of my questions regarding how to color soap. Amy says in the video she uses a maximum rate of 1 tsp per cup of soap when she is using colorants because it is easier to figure out than the ppo method. For a mathematically challenged individual such as myself, that makes so much more sense than ppo. She also shows how to test your colorants to see if they're water soluble. That's a cool little trick.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Dibbles, thank you for posting this video. I think it has answered the majority of my questions regarding how to color soap. Amy says in the video she uses a maximum rate of 1 tsp per cup of soap when she is using colorants because it is easier to figure out than the ppo method. For a mathematically challenged individual such as myself, that makes so much more sense than ppo. She also shows how to test your colorants to see if they're water soluble. That's a cool little trick.
Unfortunately the hard part is learning how much to use of a particular color for a particular effect. You'll be learning that forever. For instance, with a pink ultramarine you have to be kind of generous or you may be disappointed. With red oxide, if you use a tsp in a cup of soap you'll get red stains just from looking at it.

Bramble Berry tries to provide some guidance, but it's often incomplete, unclear or contradictory. The best guideline I have seen so far is at TKB trading. They have a photo of samples at 4 different usage rates for almost every mica and pigment. Have a look and see if it's helpful. http://www.tkbtrading.com/category.php?category_id=93

A few random tips while I'm at it:

Try to most colors, especially the oxides, in disposable plastic cups. Trying to wash out a container of pigment+oil can be bad news.

Finally, be careful to never buy a bronze or gold mica that actually contains bronze. Most of them don't, but it exists and will poison and kill your soap.
 

cmzaha

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I use deli cups with lids for mixing colorants. If I do not use all of my premixed I can just put the lid on and keep it until next batch
 

Navaria

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I bought some of the little 4 oz plastic jars from BB for my sugar scrub, and noticed they were the same as their micas come in. I had a brainstorm moment and decided I could premix my colorants in those containers. And if I run out, I can make more in the same container so I never, ever have to wash a oil/pigment container again. That makes me very happy :lol:
 

kchaystack

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I bought some of the little 4 oz plastic jars from BB for my sugar scrub, and noticed they were the same as their micas come in. I had a brainstorm moment and decided I could premix my colorants in those containers. And if I run out, I can make more in the same container so I never, ever have to wash a oil/pigment container again. That makes me very happy :lol:
You need to be careful with not washing them out. That means there is always some old oil left, and sooner or later it will go rancid.
 

TeresaT

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Unfortunately the hard part is learning how much to use of a particular color for a particular effect. You'll be learning that forever. For instance, with a pink ultramarine you have to be kind of generous or you may be disappointed. With red oxide, if you use a tsp in a cup of soap you'll get red stains just from looking at it.

Bramble Berry tries to provide some guidance, but it's often incomplete, unclear or contradictory. The best guideline I have seen so far is at TKB trading. They have a photo of samples at 4 different usage rates for almost every mica and pigment. Have a look and see if it's helpful. http://www.tkbtrading.com/category.php?category_id=93

A few random tips while I'm at it:

Try to most colors, especially the oxides, in disposable plastic cups. Trying to wash out a container of pigment+oil can be bad news.

Finally, be careful to never buy a bronze or gold mica that actually contains bronze. Most of them don't, but it exists and will poison and kill your soap.
Hmmm. You don't say? I had red oxide all over the place, and my yellow clean-up cloth is permanently discolored. Thanks for the tip on tkb trading. I've never heard of them, but I'll take a look at their guideline.


Oh, yeah. I forgot. She did say that oxides & ultramarines need very little to get a good saturation level, about 1/4 tsp per cup of soap. And neons are half the regular amount for micas so you only need 1/2 tsp per cup of soap. But at least she's given me a good starting point. And discussing the water solubility vs oil solubility of the colorants was interesting. I knew there was water soluble TD (I have the water/oil soluble kind), but I thought everything else was dispersed in oil until PenelopeJane posted about her colorant issue. (The colored portion of her soap is soft compared to the uncolored part.) She also said everything can be disbursed in glycerin; however, you have to SB the glycerin to ensure it is completely incorporated into the batter. Sometimes you just don't want to SB your colored batter.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Hmmm. You don't say? I had red oxide all over the place, and my yellow clean-up cloth is permanently discolored. Thanks for the tip on tkb trading. I've never heard of them, but I'll take a look at their guideline.


Oh, yeah. I forgot. She did say that oxides & ultramarines need very little to get a good saturation level, about 1/4 tsp per cup of soap. And neons are half the regular amount for micas so you only need 1/2 tsp per cup of soap. But at least she's given me a good starting point. And discussing the water solubility vs oil solubility of the colorants was interesting. I knew there was water soluble TD (I have the water/oil soluble kind), but I thought everything else was dispersed in oil until PenelopeJane posted about her colorant issue. (The colored portion of her soap is soft compared to the uncolored part.) She also said everything can be disbursed in glycerin; however, you have to SB the glycerin to ensure it is completely incorporated into the batter. Sometimes you just don't want to SB your colored batter.
Yep I was familiar with that video and it's helpful.

I should have added "ask me how I know." I have a plastic slab sink in the workshop that is still stained with red oxide from the first time I tried to wash out a container I had mixed it in. It's apparently permanent.
 

Navaria

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You need to be careful with not washing them out. That means there is always some old oil left, and sooner or later it will go rancid.
Ah thank you for the wise words. That's a point I wouldn't have thought about until I open my dilute and fell over from the smell. So I guess I'll do the m&p trick to clean the remnants from the container when I run out, wash it, and then make more. But I still won't have to wash another container of oily/pigmented glop lol.
 

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