Struggling with Colors

Except for a few bumps here and there, I felt that I was producing better results with every soap under my belt.  However, with my last few batches, I feel that I have been going downhill.

I only had natural colorants to play with in the past, but since my orders arrived, I now have labcolors and oxides to add to my colour palette. Working with the new colours has been quite a challenge, to say the least.

1.  Green Tea Soap (palm, coconut, olive, grape seed oils)

I added a tiny amount of titanium dioxide to the green, resulting in sea/mint green.  I wanted an earthier green.

I added a tiny amount of titanium dioxide to the green.

2.  Coconut Cream Soap (olive, coconut, rice bran, castor, stearic acid)

color challenged 3

Whoa!!! What a shocking pink! I kept on adding more red labcolor because it looked so faint. Didn’t expect it to turn this pink after gelling. I think it would not have been that bad if the contrast was not nude (uncolored) soap.

3.  Coconut Cream Soap, take 2 (olive, coconut, castor oils)

color challenged 2

Used half the amount of red as the first one, but still not that pleased with this pink. The swirls are not really working out either, but the white part, colored with titanium dioxide, looks nice and creamy.

4.  Coconut Cream Soap with Annatto: (coconut, olive, palm, grape seed oils)

color challenged 4

Used annatto powder to make a yellow soap with white swirls, but I should have colored the supposed white part with titanium dioxide for better contrast. I should have also waited for a thicker trace before doing an in-the-pot swirl.

16 thoughts on “Struggling with Colors

  1. Cynthia Hughes

    These are beautiful. I understand how you feel when you think you have a great soap but it doesn’t look like what was in your head. I have recently been through that with a couple of batches and I think it goes with the territory. These may not look like you hoped but they do look good!

    1. soapjam Post author

      You’re absolutely right, it goes with the territory. 🙂 I love looking at and admiring other people’s soaps and I am just in awe with the kind of creativity out there. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  2. Marge

    I love the two toned pink soap. My baby girl, Rachel loves pink, anything pink, even shocking pink. I can imagine her bathing with her special pink soap. Very pretty!

    1. soapjam Post author

      Thank you, Marge! I guess colors are very subjective. Will work on a much better pink soap with matching scent that children will love. It has to be something very special for your darling angel, Rachel.

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  4. Jennifer

    Looks beautiful!! Just a note about grapeseed oil…. I only tried it once in a soap, because it has a short shelf-life and my soaps started smelling funny much quicker than my other soaps. This has happened in another soap of mine as well, when I used very little olive oil… xo Jen

    1. soapjam Post author

      Thank you, Jen! I was a bit torn about adding the grapeseed oil but I was just excited to have another kind of oil to use. Thank you for sharing your experience. With our heat here, I should stop using it. Will try making massage oil with it.

  5. theBarefootedCrafter

    With the annatto seed powder, did you add it at trace or use an infused oil? I just made a batch using infused oil (30% of total oils) and only got a subtle color change, in both gelled and ungelled bars. I do only make goats milk soap, so that probably has to do with some of the coloring problems.

    1. soapjam Post author

      Thank you for sharing your experience with annatto and welcome to my blog! I added the powder at trace. It gave me a sunny yellow color but the powder makes the soap a bit scrubby. Have yet to try infused oil. 🙂

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  8. Madame Propre

    Since you posted this article on colours, you may have found the answers you were looking for. Just to let you know, I love anatto, but I infuse it with oil. Grape seed, canola, peanut for example. I simply prepare 100 ml of + about 1/3 of anatto, I sit it on top of a a warm radiator for a few hours, and then I simply keep it in a bottle and pour it when I need it. I do the same with madder root, paprika, curcuma. I love those natural colours. When you pour them, just be careful not to pour the powder, just the oil. They do scratch indeed, and I do not like it either!!

    1. soapjam Post author

      Bonjour Valerie! Thank you for your comment and suggestions on using natural colorants. Have you observed if these colors stay or fade away? In one of my earliest soaps, I used annatto powder (just straight powder, no infusion) and less than a year later, it became off-white. I would love to explore more on using different natural colorants. 🙂

      1. Madame Propre

        I do not keep my soaps that long! And I only began soaping a year ago 😉 I have some anatto soaps dating back to Sept/Oct, and I do not think they faded too much. I think the colour evolves in the first few days, and tends to remain stable.


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