TD, Mica, AC, and Clays

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Kae

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Location
Philippines
hi! I am new to soap making and is doing this learning through the web (confusing though due to lots of different opinions). Here comes the questions:

1) is it really necessary to use TD when you're using mica powder? How much should i use per lb of oil?
2) how much mica, activated charcoal and clay should I use per lb of oil?

TIA!
 

Marilyn Norgart

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
2,005
Reaction score
1,701
Location
Minnesota
no I don't find TD necessary at all--in fact I really dislike it--no matter how much I mix it it always has little white spots.
there are tons of opinions and all I can say about that is try what you want. there is a lot of good advice on here, but the bottom line---its all about what works for you. I have had soapers swear by doing something one way but it doesn't work for me. so sometimes its trial and error and that is why it pays to do small batches
the mica is usually 1-2 t per # and I don't use a whole lot of other powders--when I used activated charcoal I just used enough to get a black. I believe the amounts are on the micas and the clays--at least the ones I have used
Good Luck and have fun!!!
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,093
Reaction score
9,861
Location
Southern California
:thumbs::thumbs: I quit using TD several years ago. It is messy, hard to mix, even water based td, and accelerates trace. My recipes trace so quickly I do not want accelerators. I add my micas and AC until I get my color I want by adding them straight to the separated batter and mixing them in with a little whisk. As a side note, if you have an aversion to TD, most of the mica colors contain TD. Some people today think TD is a bad ingredient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kae

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,524
Reaction score
3,959
Location
Virginia
As of this weekend, I have used micas, TD, AC, clays and natural colorants. I pre-mixed micas for a second test batch this morning and based on my first trial yesterday, I went up to 1.5 tsp ppo for some of my colors. The micas are super easy to mix in a little oil. I also used TD (oil soluble) yesterday and today. It took me about 10 minutes to get it perfectly smooth, but then it looked like it was clumping up a bit towards the end of my soap making today. I didn’t realize TD was so unpopular, but I can see why. For AC you can adjust based on the color of the batter. If you just want to darken a color, don’t use much more than a tiny pinch ppo, but if you want black soap I’m guessing that you could need 1/2 to 1 tsp ppo depending on what kind of AC you have. For clays, I’m typically using in the range of 1/4 to 1 tsp ppo.

For more info, try searching “clay ppo” or “AC ppo” and you should be able to find a wealth of opinions from experienced soap makers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kae

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
6,825
Reaction score
6,268
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Here is a an excellent video on how to mix colorants for CP soap:


Amy gives guidelines for how much of each type of colorant to use as well as how to do the actual mixing.

As for is TD necessary? Of course not. People use it to get whiter soap, but it is not necessary at all. However, if you use micas, you are bound to have some TD in there anyway because some micas are already mixed with some TD when they are made in order to get the shade they wanted for that particular color.

When I purchased my TD, I bought the kind that can be mixed in both water and in oil, because I like that versatility. It can also be mixed in glycerin, so I have done it that way as well. I prefer to premix some TD in a squirt bottle and use it as desired, but when I run out of that, I do the as needed mixing method also.

With any colorant, I find that how much I use depends on the desired intensity of color. If I want super white soap (never much of a goal for me, though), it's better to start with a soap recipe that will produce a white bar already and to NOT use any discoloring Fragrance. If that is done, no TD is necessary. But if the soap recipe does not produce a white bar, then TD can make that happen, unless I use a discoloring fragrance. No amount of TD will prevent discoloration when using a fragrance that discolors a lot (Dragon's Blood for example). Some people report good results with a vanilla stabilizer, but that is another topic and not within my personal experience.
 

MickeyRat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
71
Reaction score
33
Location
Hickory, NC
I'm a hobbyist so take this for what it's worth. I do use TD but. not the way most people do. I put about 1/2 teaspoon of the powder in a 32 oz batch of oil and stick blend it in before I put in the lye. That's enough to make it white enough for me. I don't notice any problems with trace but. that could just be my inexperience.

I've only used micas, turmeric, activated charcoal and cocoa for other colors and only for swirls, stripes, etc. not for the whole bar. With all of them, I'll take about 10 gms of OO from my recipe and mix in he colorant. About 1/8 tsp for most micas works for me but, I'm not usually going for a fully saturated color. I'll use about twice that for the other colorants. When I'm at trace, I'll mix in about 1/2 cup of the batch with the pre-mixed colors. Stir it up and swirl or whatever.
 

Kae

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Location
Philippines
I'm a hobbyist so take this for what it's worth. I do use TD but. not the way most people do. I put about 1/2 teaspoon of the powder in a 32 oz batch of oil and stick blend it in before I put in the lye. That's enough to make it white enough for me. I don't notice any problems with trace but. that could just be my inexperience.

I've only used micas, turmeric, activated charcoal and cocoa for other colors and only for swirls, stripes, etc. not for the whole bar. With all of them, I'll take about 10 gms of OO from my recipe and mix in he colorant. About 1/8 tsp for most micas works for me but, I'm not usually going for a fully saturated color. I'll use about twice that for the other colorants. When I'm at trace, I'll mix in about 1/2 cup of the batch with the pre-mixed colors. Stir it up and swirl or whatever.
This got me inter sted. How much cocoa powder do you use ppo? :) I actually am thinking of making a cocoa soap as well as coffee and tea to be given to dear feinds and family who's addicted to eaither/or any of the three :). Looking forward to your reply. :)
 

MickeyRat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
71
Reaction score
33
Location
Hickory, NC
This got me inter sted. How much cocoa powder do you use ppo? :) I actually am thinking of making a cocoa soap as well as coffee and tea to be given to dear feinds and family who's addicted to eaither/or any of the three :). Looking forward to your reply. :)
I must admit I haven't tried coloring a whole batch with cocoa. I just do swirls. I've read that it can stain things if you use too much.
 

Alfa_Lazcares

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
409
Reaction score
470
Location
México
I also mix my the with the oils and ahí don't find it traces faster or shows more glycerin rivers or anything. I love my TD.
Have also used cocoa powder, and I don't measure any of my colorants, I just use as much as I need to get the desired color. Cocoa powder can give you a milk chocolate kind of color or a dark chocolate color, depending on your brand and amount used. Also haven't found it stains.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
4,730
Reaction score
3,516
Location
SE Denver CO
Instead of TD, I add 1 tsp - 1 Tbls white kaolin (China) clay to whiten the whole batch.

Here's my method for testing colorants AND fragrance at the same time:

Testing FOs/EOs and/or colorants in CP

Make lye solution. set in sink to cool
6 oz. water (33%) ~ (6.75 oz. 38%)
2.7 oz. (76 grams) NaOH (1% SF)

Make soap using 18 oz oils
(NOTE: 18 oz. oils X 1.37 = 24 oz. soap. Makes 6 bars, 4 oz each.)

8 oz. lard 44.4%
5 oz. coconut oil 27.7%
3.5 oz. olive oil 19.4%
1.5 oz. castor oil 8.3%
18 oz. TOTAL (INS 162)

Set out 6 small Pyrex bowls. Melt oils.
Put 1 Tbls. warm oils in each bowl.
Add 1/4 tsp. colorant. Mix well.
Add 3 ml FO. Mix well.

Add lye solution to rest of oils and bring to light trace. Add 1 tablespoon China Clay. Pour 4 oz. soap into each bowl, one at a time. Mix well. Pour into individual molds.

NOTE: I get lovely colors. The China clay seems to help keep colors true and stick the fragrance as well.

HTH ;)
 
Top