# Question about alkanet root powder..

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What I'd used with that unknown powder stuff was 3 or 4 grams in the 9 oz of olive oil, if I remember correctly.

Grams + ounces??? Joking....kinda LOL 9 x roughly 28g = 252g
I don't have a preference for either, but calculating the 2 as they are....not gonna work

So, approximately 252g base oil.

If me, I would use at least a 5% usage rate for the plant colorant - dependent on the colorant of course. Some may need a little more, while with others - like indigo - you may find that half that amount is sufficient.

5% of 252 is 12.6 grams. I'd round it up to 13g for the 252 grams of base oil.

I haven't really decided yet though what to actually use. I've mostly been researching other people's experience with alkanet when soaping, and basing my plans off of that info. Only thing there though is that most information I've found is about using alkanet in cold process, or in cpop, but I've been making my soaps as hot process.. Does alkanet behave the same with both cold process and hot?

I have not yet delved into hot process, although I will at some point, so I can't say with 100% certainty.

Buuuutttt.....based on my logical deduction, which itself is based on my experience with alkanet gelling in cold process soap, I would have to assume that this colorant would behave similarly in both as both cp & hp can heat up significantly, whether through the 'cook' or through gelling over several hours.

Then again, I could be completely & totally wrong And that's one of the reasons I love playing!

Good luck on your alkanet journey

Grams + ounces??? Joking....kinda LOL 9 x roughly 28g = 252g
I don't have a preference for either, but calculating the 2 as they are....not gonna work
Yeah no, when I measured out the oil it was in grams, I just couldn't remember off the top of my head what the gram amount had been haha
252 does sound correct though

Also, side note, the cruets I have that I was planning to use for any infusions, whether alkanet or otherwise, I'm thinking now that I should've bought bigger ones, or at least more of them haha

I use quart canning jars for mine, and make multiple jars (2 each) of colorants at once dependent on my needs. Several reasons for this:

• When you need to wait multiple months before a natural colorant is ready for use, the more you make in one shot, the better prepared you are for quite some time. You can cycle through those jars without having to panic regarding running out, then needing to wait another 6 months before you can use your colorant again.

• Infusing 2 quart jars at a time - or 1 quart & 1 pint jar - allows you to begin using one sooner, while allowing the other to become more intensely pigmented.

• You can leave a decent amount of headspace in the quart jars which allows for easier agitation of the jar's contents, which helps get your colorants more intensely pigmented in a shorter amount of time. In addition, the space inside those cruets is minimal, preventing proper agitation.

• Quart & pint jars can be vacuum sealed with a manual vacuum sealer, which sucks even more of the pigment out of the plant material. Open the jars up once a month at least after giving a good shake, allow to sit for an hour, then re-seal with the vacuum sealer. The vacuum / no vacuum state of affairs inside those jars works great to better extract those pigments. Kinda like the plant material is being seriously massaged every once in a while.

• You can't vacuum seal those cruets.

There are three different types of plants that give purple - all three so far for me have been best in long term oil infusions. Sadly people call them all Alkanet but they are not and all have different INCI

Alkanet
Ratanjot
Gromwell

If you read this blog post I did for Modernsoapmaking there is a photo that shows the difference between all three.
Join Jo: How to Use Plant Infusions in Soapmaking

Regardless, cut the roots as small as you can or grind them to allow more surface area to hit the oil and infuse color. Long cold infusions are the best. Then just add it into the oils before the lye and watch the color morph grom red to grey and back to purple. It will take a full 7 days for the purple to really appear after you have poured it into the mould.

I know this is kind of an old thread, but didn’t want to muddy the forum with another alkanet question thread.

I made soap today using alkanet powder infused in organic HO sunflower oil for 6 weeks. I used the same formula I’ve been using for 17 years, so besides the alkanet, no changes there. Scent was French Lavender essential oil from Sun Pure. I did soap at 115 degrees, which is about 15-20 degrees hotter than normal. My problem: after pouring the soap into the same wooden molds I’ve used since the dawn of time, it started cracking! It slowly cracked all the way down the middle of one log, and the other log also started to volcano a bit. Did the alkanet cause this? Or was it because I soaped hotter? I’m so perplexed . I’ve had soap crack a little before both nothing like these bad boys.

The first two pics show the cracks, the last pic is a couple minutes after I poured.

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I'm mostly here to ogle your patterned tops - they both look great!

Back to your question, it does sound like soaping hotter caused the overheating. When the cracks began, did you elevate the soap molds and put a fan on them? If you haven't already, try taking the loaves out of the wood boxes, and pushing the silicone sides together to repair the cracks. If the soap is still soft, this usually works well for me. You can also use a wet finger to smooth out any remaining small cracks or jagged pieces.

I know this is kind of an old thread, but didn’t want to muddy the forum with another alkanet question thread.

I made soap today using alkanet powder infused in organic HO sunflower oil for 6 weeks. I used the same formula I’ve been using for 17 years, so besides the alkanet, no changes there. Scent was French Lavender essential oil from Sun Pure. I did soap at 115 degrees, which is about 15-20 degrees hotter than normal. My problem: after pouring the soap into the same wooden molds I’ve used since the dawn of time, it started cracking! It slowly cracked all the way down the middle of one log, and the other log also started to volcano a bit. Did the alkanet cause this? Or was it because I soaped hotter? I’m so perplexed . I’ve had soap crack a little before both nothing like these bad boys.

The first two pics show the cracks, the last pic is a couple minutes after I poured.
Alkanet will not have caused this. I would suspect your extra temp and your recipe combined to make this happen. Do you have anything with sugar in it in the recipe? Fragrance oils? I dont know who Sun Pure is but I also would like to know the INCI of that French Lavender. Wood molds also hold heat as you would know so maybe a combination of all it has led to the crack and small volcano behaviour but I can definitely say it would not be the alkanet

I'm mostly here to ogle your patterned tops - they both look great!

Back to your question, it does sound like soaping hotter caused the overheating. When the cracks began, did you elevate the soap molds and put a fan on them? If you haven't already, try taking the loaves out of the wood boxes, and pushing the silicone sides together to repair the cracks. If the soap is still soft, this usually works well for me. You can also use a wet finger to smooth out any remaining small cracks or jagged pieces.
Thank you! I did put the mold in the freezer for a bit and the soap with the chamomile on top did calm down and most of the cracking resolves. The other mold with the cross-cross pattern also settled down, just not as much. I think I’ll probably cut that loaf lengthwise and use them as half bars in sample packs.
Alkanet will not have caused this. I would suspect your extra temp and your recipe combined to make this happen. Do you have anything with sugar in it in the recipe? Fragrance oils? I dont know who Sun Pure is but I also would like to know the INCI of that French Lavender. Wood molds also hold heat as you would know so maybe a combination of all it has led to the crack and small volcano behaviour but I can definitely say it would not be the alkanet
Thank you so much for the info on the alkanet. There’s no sugar or FO in the recipe, just the lavender EO. I didn’t even think to take the silicone liners out of the wood molds, duh . Next time I’ll be better prepared and soap cool as usual.

Sun Pure Botanicals is based in NM and I’ve used several of their EOs with no problems. Here’s the link to their lavender:
https://www.spbotanicals.com/shop/p/lavenderfrench?rq=Lavender essential oil

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Thank you! I did put the mold in the freezer for a bit and the soap with the chamomile on top did calm down and most of the cracking resolves. The other mold with the cross-cross pattern also settled down, just not as much. I think I’ll probably cut that loaf lengthwise and use them as half bars in sample packs.
Have you tried pushing the loaves back together? That usually works. If it's already super firm, you can carefully reheat each loaf on a heating pad or a warm oven to soften it, and also dampen the edges so they stick to one another.

For future, elevating the mold on wood blocks or soup cans, and then putting a fan on it, will work better than the freezer for cooling it. As as @curlycoat2 mentioned, removing it from the wood liner helps a lot, if you can do that safely without the contents spilling out.

Thank you! I did put the mold in the freezer for a bit and the soap with the chamomile on top did calm down and most of the cracking resolves. The other mold with the cross-cross pattern also settled down, just not as much. I think I’ll probably cut that loaf lengthwise and use them as half bars in sample packs.

Thank you so much for the info on the alkanet. There’s no sugar or FO in the recipe, just the lavender EO. I didn’t even think to take the silicone liners out of the wood molds, duh . Next time I’ll be better prepared and soap cool as usual.

Sun Pure Botanicals is based in NM and I’ve used several of their EOs with no problems. Here’s the link to their lavender:
https://www.spbotanicals.com/shop/p/lavenderfrench?rq=Lavender essential oil
Thank you for linking Sun Pure - I am in Australia but like to know where decent essential oils are. I see its Lavandula angustifolia so I would be surprised if that has caused any issues re heating. Usually that is fine so my best guess would be the extra heat and the wood.

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