One of the ways you can personalize your homemade bar of soap is to add color. The type of soap you are making will determine which kind of colorant will provide the best color. There are a variety of soap colorants including pigments, micas, and dyes. There are also all natural options available should you want to create a fully organic bar of soap.
Soap Colorants: Different Types
Dyes are both cost effective and easy to obtain. They come in almost any color you can imagine which can let you have fun coloring your soap. The dyes, however, are almost always man-made. Since they can have a large quantity of chemicals in them, they often do not react well in traditional lye soap. If you are making lye soap, especially with cold process soap making, it may be best to stick with all natural colorants to prevent ruining the entire batch of soap. Glycerin soap, however, has no problem with the lab created dyes.
Mica is a stone that has a natural shimmer to it that is not dampened when it is dyed. This dyed mica can then be used as a soap colorant. It is usually recommended to use mica in a clear, glycerin-based soap as the clarity of the soap allows the mica to showcase its shimmer. You can still use mica in hot or cold process soaps but the soap may react poorly with the chemical that was used to dye the mica.
Soap pigments can be either synthetic or all-natural. If you are looking for a cheap way to color your soap, synthetic pigments may be the best option for you. Natrual soap colorants are derived from naturally occurring objects and may or may not be organic. Natural pigments tend to be more expensive due to the labor and production practices involved and the fact that a large amount of product may produce only a small amount of colorant.
Where Can I Get Soap Colorants?
Soap colorants are available at many different soap making suppliers. You can find suppliers online who can sell you colorants by the ounce or in bulk. You might be able to find colorants at a candle supply store as well. A lot of the colorants that are used in candles can be used in soaps. If you don’t want to shop online or you are interested in creating an organic bar of soap, try your local health food store. They will often have the ingredients to create natural pigments. They might even have natural pigments already prepared.
Soap colorants are a way to really put your personality into your creations once you learn how to make soap. Make sure you purchase colorants that will not negatively affect the soap. While glycerin is extremely forgivable, lye soap can be picky as to which colorants it will react favorably with. If you are unsure about how the colorant will react, ask your supplier if the colorant is safe for soap making.