Question about using oil infused natural colorants

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gigisiguenza

Well-Known Member
I've been infusing oils with colorants for about a week. Things like annatto seed powder, dried safflower, n parsley. I'm going to see which of my other powders are water or oil soluble too, so I have some idea of which type of distribution I want to use.

My question is - I can only assume that I need to adjust my oil amounts in the lye calculator to accommodate the introduction of these infused oils. If I'm wrong, please correct me. What I'm unsure of is whether or not I should split the oils and the lye solution into portions, add these infused oils to each individual segment of oils then add the appropriate amount of lye solution to each segment. OR do I create the soap emulsion, THEN separate into portions, THEN add infused oils to those portions.

I'm researching on the net (found this post that is helping a little, but I'm still confused... http://www.soap-making-resource.com/annatto-seeds-soap-making.html ) but any help would be greatly appreciated. Ty

amd
Just make your recipe in soap calc as if you werent coloring anything. But your recipe should require a decent amount of whatever you infused your colorants in - usually olive oil.

If my recipe called for 10 ounces of olive oil, and I wanted to do , say, 3 infused colors, I would hold back 9 ounces of olive oil from the original soap batter (so this batter WILL be lye heavy). I would bring it just to emulsion, and split the batter into 3 equal parts by weight. Then to each third I would add up to 3 ounces of olive oil - either infused or not. So I would add 1 ounce of annatto infused olive oil, check the color, add another ounce of either colored or plain olive oil, stir and check the color. This gives you 3 chances to make sure the color doesn't end up too light or dark. Just make sure that each third of the batter gets its full allotment of olive oil - whether infused or not. Take careful notes and next time it will be easier.

Just remember to write down all your steps and amounts ahead of time, and balance all your fractions with their full allotment of oil.

This works for me, I wouldn't feel comfortable splitting up the lye solution.

That is a great explanation of a confusing topic.

I'm only using one infused oil on this batch, and it was infused in safflower oil so I adjusted my recipe to allow for 5% safflower oil so I can do exactly what you suggested

If I got this right I would add the infused oil to the portion I want colored, in small increments by weight, until I achieve my desired depth of color, then I would add the balance of the remaining safflower oil (if there is any) to the other portion(s) to evenly distribute it among the batch.

I assume I do not SB the colors in, just whisk, to avoid speeding up trace.

If I've understood this wrong, please lemme know

Tyvm for all the help

not_ally - she makes it sound way easy but I'm sure I'm gonna screw this up somehow LOL

I'm working out all the math now to be sure each portion gets its required amount of safflower oil - this will also tell me the max amount of infused oil I have available to color that portion with - I think I'm starting to get this

not_ally - she makes it sound way easy but I'm sure I'm gonna screw this up somehow LOL

I thought it was pretty complicated actually (glad I don't use infusions like that), and I had to read it a couple of times to understand it. But it really did make sense after that, and I have never seen it explained so explicitly and clearly before.

You probably*are* going to screw it up the first time, but heck, Sea probably did too, right Sea?

Lmao Ally I already screwed up one color attempt, it's the world's ugliest soap, lemme tell ya LOL - let's hope this batch is successful and not cringe worthy like the last one (the on I posted on the mistake thread)

We usually tell new soapers to get a few batches under their belt before trying swirls. But you jumped right into swirling with infused oils, LOL. You are three steps ahead of where you should be...but go for it! Everything you try teaches you something. I use Seawolfe's method of coloring with infused oils. And I briefly stick blend them in to be sure they emulsify. I rarely swirl, but high lard soaps are slow trace and tolerate a lot of SB.

Susie - LOL I know, I'm impatient, I should wait but I don't wanna. I figure worse that happens is I.make mistakes, like I already did, but I learn from them. I'm trying hard to be patient and just do simple stuff but oh boy it's hard !

I'm only using one infused oil on this batch, and it was infused in safflower oil so I adjusted my recipe to allow for 5% safflower oil so I can do exactly what you suggested

If I got this right I would add the infused oil to the portion I want colored, in small increments by weight, until I achieve my desired depth of color, then I would add the balance of the remaining safflower oil (if there is any) to the other portion(s) to evenly distribute it among the batch.

Not quite (if I read your response correctly) , if you are using 2 parts, you would add half of the safflower oil that you kept out to the uncolored portion, and up to half of the weight needed of infused safflower oil to the colored part. At the end of the day you need to all ALL of what you held back in the correct proportion to your split batter. So for example if you held 6 ounces out, you need to end up with 3 ounces of safflower oil in each half of your batter, whether or not its infused.

I assume I do not SB the colors in, just whisk, to avoid speeding up trace.
It all depends on how thick your trace is - if its thin you can stickblend, if you overshot it and its thick, you might want to just whisk - but either way mix the additional oils in well so they don't seperate out.

If I've understood this wrong, please lemme know

Tyvm for all the help

not_ally - she makes it sound way easy but I'm sure I'm gonna screw this up somehow LOL

I think you'll do fine, just plan very well and keep track of what you're doing

Last edited:
Seawolf - I had to read it a couple of times but I got what you meant LOL. I feel like a friggin chemist with all the calculations I made to adjust but I did it I'm about to put the lye solution into the oils. I'm nervous and excited ... keep your fingers crossed!

Omg I did it!!! New thread coming in the photo gallery

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