Red Clay, Green Clay, Bentonite Clay and Kaolin Clay??

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RalphTheMastiff

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Today i ordered a Lb of each Red Clay (Morocco), Green Clay (France), Bentonite Clay, and Kaolin Clay. How do you use these in Cold Process soap? What do you like or dislike about each? How do they preform in Soap?

Like most things I read a lot of conflicting information online as to what each does for the soap and the user, how much to use per lb of fat, and what they do to sudsing.

If they were as nice as some people came why doesn't everyone put them in all the soaps they make? its clay, its cheep, so whats the deal? What are the pros and cons?


Can anyone offer some clarification?
 

kchaystack

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Well, first of all the colors become muted, and even the finest clay can make a soap feel gritty, especially when you use enough to color it. I've used kaolin as a white colorant. I like the effect, but some people might not.
 

BattleGnome

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When I use clay I soak it it some water for at least 1/2 hr before adding it to my batter (I probably should let it soak longer). Because of the clay's absorption I think it can speed trace if not prepared.

I honestly forget about my clays (I don't have many) or don't want to take the extra time to prep it with water. I'd like to use more but that forgetting thing works against me.
 

RalphTheMastiff

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Well, first of all the colors become muted, and even the finest clay can make a soap feel gritty, especially when you use enough to color it. I've used kaolin as a white colorant. I like the effect, but some people might not.
From what i'v gathered i should not use more than a teaspoon per Lb of soap oils, What are your thoughts?
 

RalphTheMastiff

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When I use clay I soak it it some water for at least 1/2 hr before adding it to my batter (I probably should let it soak longer). Because of the clay's absorption I think it can speed trace if not prepared.

I honestly forget about my clays (I don't have many) or don't want to take the extra time to prep it with water. I'd like to use more but that forgetting thing works against me.
A lot of what i have read has said to ad the clay right to the lye and water and let it soak as you prep everything, others say to shake and add at trace.
 

kchaystack

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From what i'v gathered i should not use more than a teaspoon per Lb of soap oils, What are your thoughts?
Well I use about a tablespoon per pound, and it really does not make my soap white - but it does lighten it to a nice cream. I am not sure a teaspoon will give much color.

But it all depends on your recipe, and what you like as far as color. I am a sucker for bright colors and strong scents.

You will just have to see what you like
 

Steve85569

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Bentonite is VERY thirsty and will absorb several times it's weight in water. Then come the kaolin, then the green and finally the red. Red clay (linctonite if memory serves) is the most stable of the clays mentioned and is used to make "modern" pottery.
All should be allowed to stabilize in water for at least two hours to not change the amount of water available to the lye.
 

Obsidian

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If they were as nice as some people came why doesn't everyone put them in all the soaps they make? its clay, its cheep, so whats the deal? What are the pros and cons?

Can anyone offer some clarification?
Personally, I dislike clays very much. They dry my skin out quite badly and I don't like the gritty bits that some make. I'm not a fan of the muted colors either, they look dirty too me.

The only clay I've used regularly is white kaolin in salt bars for a family member with oily skin.
 

toxikon

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I used bentonite in my ebru soaps and now I know why they traced so quickly! I will say that they also hardened quickly and feel very firm and smooth. Looking forward to testing them out in a couple weeks.
 

donnebonn

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I do hot process soap, and I add Kaolin clay after the cook. While my soap is cooking, I measure glycerine, snot water and yogurt together and let it soak, then measure my fragrances. I add the clay mixture, then the fragrance. The kaolin gives the soap a lot of slip.
 

Seawolfe

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I like Moroccan red clay for its color, especially when mixed with madder root. French green clay gives a lovely green color, especially to avocado or hemp soaps, and my husband likes bentonite in his soaps for the glide and "bounce". I have never noticed that it makes my soaps gritty, but I suppose it would make a soap a bit more drying - I haven't done side by side comparisons, but that would make sense.

I use a teaspoon up to a tablespoon per pound of oils, depending on why I'm using it. I sometimes soak my essential oils in the clay before adding in the hopes that they will stick better, but some thirsty clays like bentonite are better soaked in water - they can be very thirsty.

I don't add them to every soap because of the reasons listed above - they can be drying, you might not want the color change, or perhaps you want a simpler soap, or are making patterns or colors that don't work for clays or you want a longer trace. Not every soap can be everything :)

Edit to add some pics. The red layer is Moroccan red clay and madder root infused OO, the green is from French green clay and the hemp oil in the soap.

 
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Soapprentice

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So, when we add clays, we got to add them to water before a couple of hours. Should we deduct that water from the overal water to be added to lye or separate?
 

RalphTheMastiff

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Well I use about a tablespoon per pound, and it really does not make my soap white - but it does lighten it to a nice cream. I am not sure a teaspoon will give much color.

But it all depends on your recipe, and what you like as far as color. I am a sucker for bright colors and strong scents.

You will just have to see what you like
I like subtle smells and colors, Nothing that lingers. My base recipe comes out a nice yellowish cream as it is and I'm looking to just tint that a bit to distinguish between the EO. I wonder if starting with a cream color if it will turn bright white... that would be cool, add in some black walnut hulls and hope for purple specks.

I'm thinking i should measure like 6 teaspoons and hydrate it then add it in 1/6th at a time until i have the right color? I think i remember reading the color is right on when it comes to clays from the get go

Well, first of all the colors become muted, and even the finest clay can make a soap feel gritty, especially when you use enough to color it. I've used kaolin as a white colorant. I like the effect, but some people might not.
Interesting, i definitely don't want gritty but Muted colors i'm down with, would you classified clays as an exfoliant or would you say its a completely diff feel altogether. everywhere i look that has hand made soap does not have any with clay in them, typically i like to buy a bar and try it before trying to make it myself to get a feel if i'll like it but i can't find any in this case.

Bentonite is VERY thirsty and will absorb several times it's weight in water. Then come the kaolin, then the green and finally the red. Red clay (linctonite if memory serves) is the most stable of the clays mentioned and is used to make "modern" pottery.
All should be allowed to stabilize in water for at least two hours to not change the amount of water available to the lye.
DO you think this is something i could mix up in a jar and have on a shelf? Mix up 1/2 cup at a time so i always have it ready to go? That would be ideal, i can see myself getting all set up and old melted and then having to wait 2 h because i forgot to soak the clay haha

I used bentonite in my ebru soaps and now I know why they traced so quickly! I will say that they also hardened quickly and feel very firm and smooth. Looking forward to testing them out in a couple weeks.
Let me know how it comes out! Take some pictures! I Love seeing pictures of peoples works!

I do hot process soap, and I add Kaolin clay after the cook. While my soap is cooking, I measure glycerine, snot water and yogurt together and let it soak, then measure my fragrances. I add the clay mixture, then the fragrance. The kaolin gives the soap a lot of slip.
I used to work with clay a lot doing wheel work and sculpting and the clay never really made my skin dry for the amount of time i was working with it. I'd spend hours throwing and i'd get a little dry and throw some bag balm on (you know because i live in vermont) and id be fine for a few days. I also know some potters that there fingers split right open after just a day of working and have to use major hydrators on there hands. Goes to show how different our skins are. lol my rant all started because i definitely know what you mean by slip from working with all the clay hahahaha
 
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Obsidian

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Interesting, i definitely don't want gritty but Muted colors i'm down with, would you classified clays as an exfoliant or would you say its a completely diff feel altogether.
It's a completely different feel and not a common occurrence in my experience. I've only used bentonite and kaolin, neither which are gritty.
I was gifted a bar with French green clay, that was the gritty one but it wasn't scratchy and I could use it directly on my skin.

I never soak my kaolin, I just toss it in dry. Bentonite is a whole different beast, that stuff is a pain to work with.
 

RalphTheMastiff

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I like Moroccan red clay for its color, especially when mixed with madder root. French green clay gives a lovely green color, especially to avocado or hemp soaps, and my husband likes bentonite in his soaps for the glide and "bounce". I have never noticed that it makes my soaps gritty, but I suppose it would make a soap a bit more drying - I haven't done side by side comparisons, but that would make sense.

I use a teaspoon up to a tablespoon per pound of oils, depending on why I'm using it. I sometimes soak my essential oils in the clay before adding in the hopes that they will stick better, but some thirsty clays like bentonite are better soaked in water - they can be very thirsty.

I don't add them to every soap because of the reasons listed above - they can be drying, you might not want the color change, or perhaps you want a simpler soap, or are making patterns or colors that don't work for clays or you want a longer trace. Not every soap can be everything :)

Edit to add some pics. The red layer is Moroccan red clay and madder root infused OO, the green is from French green clay and the hemp oil in the soap.

Thank you so much for the info! My soap now tends to be just a hair on the drying side so i may want to adjust my coconut oil down i'm thinking when i use the clay. What are your thoughts?

I love the pictures! I like softer more natural looking colors, I'm not a fan of the bright neon synthetic looks.

It's a completely different feel and not a common occurrence in my experience. I've only used bentonite and kaolin, neither which are gritty.
I was gifted a bar with French green clay, that was the gritty one but it wasn't scratchy and I could use it directly on my skin.

I never soak my kaolin, I just toss it in dry. Bentonite is a whole different beast, that stuff is a pain to work with.
What is different with the Bentonite? What makes it a pain?
 
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