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Question About Colorants

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sylvia Franks

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This is a question. Can't see where else to put it. Supersavers don't do everything! I want to make a light blue soap to go in my (new) silicone moulds. The moulds look great. Have got the coconut, shea butter, and found a very light organic sunflower oil at Tesco's. All set to go. But I haven't used colours before. Should I get these Mica's I have read about and do I just mix them with a bit of the soap mixture at early trace stage?? Don't want to make an expensive mistake with a whole batch.
Many thanks
 

amd

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Make sure that you are buying the mica's from a reputable supplier - the supplier should tell you that they are soap safe. I would not buy anything that only says "cosmetic safe" as that may not mean that the color will stay true in the higher pH of soap.

For beginners, it is recommended to premix mica with a bit of liquid oil from your recipe (e.g. remove 1 tbsp. olive oil before adding lye, then mix that olive oil with the mica) and then add it to your soap at a light trace. Once you have a bit of experience making soap, then you may want to add the mica directly to your soap without premixing in oil.

The reason we suggest premixing in oil, is that new soapers while they are learning often overmix their batter which will make mixing straight mica more difficult.
 

Obsidian

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Yep, make sure the mica says its for CP and is stable. You don't want your blue changing to grey.
If you are making a single color soap, you can mix your mica into the oils before the lye.
 

dixiedragon

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You can use a small paper cup to mix the micas with a bit of water, oil or glycerin before adding to the soap. Micas don't always blend well with the soap batter. My personal preference is a bit of oil or glycerin.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Hi Sylvia, and welcome! I'm wondering if you are new to soapmaking? To avoid expensive mistakes...

1) If this is your first batch, you may want to post your recipe in the Recipe Feedback Forum for input before making it.

2) When starting out, small batches are recommended. What size are your molds?

3) The least expensive and most forgiving colorant to use as a beginner is Crayola Crayons. That's what I used in my first batches and loved the colors I got and how easy it was to incorporate into the batch. Cerulean Blue is awesome! Here's a link to a thread about it:
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/crayolas-to-color-cp-hp-soap.74017/
 

amd

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I don't think coloring with crayons is good practice for someone fairly new to soapmaking - it could all be a bit fiddly in regards to temperature. I would rank this as a more advanced coloring technique if someone chose to do it. I'd also point out that while soap is a wash off product I would head this advice from Crayola:
upload_2019-8-16_11-0-4.png
I get that they are probably cya so that someone doesn't sue them... but I also wonder what else could be behind that advice.

I think as a new soapmaker, it is best to use products created for soapmaking until you have a good feel for the process, understand emulsion and trace, as well as knowing how FO/EO performs in soap, before one begins straying into experimental territory.
 

cmzaha

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I also highly recommend not using crayolas for coloring. As for using mica I never liked mixing them with oils removed from my batch because it is hard to estimate just how much colorant you will want to use. If you want to pre-mix the colorants use glycerin or a longer last oil such as any High Oleic oil, such as light colored OO, or Sunflower HO this way any leftover will store well. I admit I have never tried diluting micas with distilled water. If I want to premix I use 1 oz deli cups with lids, although I usually just mix my micas directly in my soap batter. Just make sure to mix them in at emulsion or no thicker than thin trace.
 

amd

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I admit I have never tried diluting micas with distilled water.
That's what I did when I first started, it works but I never subtracted from the recipe.

As for using mica I never liked mixing them with oils removed from my batch because it is hard to estimate just how much colorant you will want to use.
I assume that new soapmakers will not be making large batches like we do - so adding more oil to a small batch could add up to their SF if they're doing a lot of colors (or even 3 colors could add up to 1.5 oz more of oil if one assumes that 1 tbsp. oil = .5 oz and they use all of the premixed color). As a newbie playing with colors, I always used up all the color I mixed because... well, what was I going to do with it? I didn't have a designated soaping area. I probably shouldn't assume that all newbies are like I was :D or that they are as concerned about adding more SF to their recipe.

There's a lot of ways to go about adding micas to soap fo' sho' and I don't think any of them are wrong :)
 

Zany_in_CO

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I don't think coloring with crayons is good practice for someone fairly new to soapmaking - it could all be a bit fiddly in regards to temperature.
Actually, since I've done both Craylolas and micas I'm probably the most qualified to make the call ... nothing is easier than throwing a 1" piece into your 1 lb batch, waiting about a minute or so for it to melt, then stirring it in for one full minute until fully incorporated. Easy peasy and the colors are like jewels. God bless Cathy Miller for the helpful info found on her site. I owe her a debt of gratitude for giving me some of the most fun I've ever had in my early days of soap making.

PS: Crayolas make stunning transparents too! Think "true red" roses, black hearts, navy blue and hot pink guest soaps in any number of pretty/fancy molds. Ahhh those were the days. I don't do that any more. Too expensive to make. :(
 

Hollybrooke

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Hi Sylvia, and welcome! I'm wondering if you are new to soapmaking? To avoid expensive mistakes...

1) If this is your first batch, you may want to post your recipe in the Recipe Feedback Forum for input before making it.

2) When starting out, small batches are recommended. What size are your molds?

3) The least expensive and most forgiving colorant to use as a beginner is Crayola Crayons. That's what I used in my first batches and loved the colors I got and how easy it was to incorporate into the batch. Cerulean Blue is awesome! Here's a link to a thread about it:
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/crayolas-to-color-cp-hp-soap.74017/
 

Hollybrooke

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Will Crayolas work in melt and Oour? I’m having trouble with my colorant pooling at the bottom of the bar, then eventually fading. Not sure why.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Will Crayolas work in melt and Oour?
I don't do MP so I have no idea. There's a special Forum for MP. I suggest you post your question about why your colors are pooling at the bottom of the bar over there where other MP-ers will see it. ;)
 
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