For any new soap makers out there like myself, do you have specific questions? For example, do you know which kind of soap colorant to use when you are coloring cold process soap? Or have you ever wondered about color morphing in soap? Here at Nature’s Garden, we offer two different kinds of colorants for soap: one being a our FD&C Da Bomb Soap Dyes, and one being our FUN Soap Colorants which are pigments dispersed in vegetable glycerin. The use of each kind of colorant is based on pH levels and the actual saponification process. The saponification process is considered the creation of soap by combining oils/butters and water with lye (which has a high ph). Throughout this process as the soap cures, the pH level (alkalinity) become lower. It is important to understand that pigments tend to withstand higher ph levels better than dyes (especially when dealing with the color blue). In our experiment, we show how blue dye and blue pigment perform in both melt and pour soap (soap that has already been saponified) and cold process soap (soap that is made from scratch and will undergo the saponification process).
In melt and pour soap, because it is technically already soap, it has already gone through the saponification process; so the alkalinity is lower. The dyes, our Da Bomb colorants, do not cause any color morphing problems when used in melt and pour soap. They will color beautifully, as well as our pigments, or FUN Soap Colorants. In the picture below, this light blue colored bundt soap is made with melt and pour soap, as well as our Blue Da Bomb colorant. You can see how nice and pretty this blue coloring is. When melt and pour soap is colored with blue FD&C dye, it will produce a beautiful blue colored soap since the dye never has to encounter a high ph.
However, when different colorants are used in cold process soap, as seen below, the outcome is very different. Because cold process is made completely from scratch, it must undergo the entire saponification process. This means that the pH levels are much higher in cold process soap. In the pictures below, the darker blue soap was made using our pigmented, Ultramarine Blue FUN Soap Colorant. The purple soap, (started as gray and turned to reddish-pink-purple as it sat) was created using our Da Bomb blue dye. (We have used our Shea Butter Cold Process Soap recipe for this part of our experiment). It is evident that blue FD&C dye (our Da Bomb blue dye) will morph in color when exposed to a high ph.
In conclusion: When desiring a nice blue color for your cold process soap, it is wise to use blue pigments instead of blue FD&C dyes. While the blue FD&C dyes work wonderfully in melt and pour soap, they will indeed morph in color when making cold process soap.
Please contact us here at Nature’s Garden if you have any questions, comments, or concerns at all! We are here to help you and to make sure you succeed at all of your creations! Make sure to check out all of our amazing free recipes and classes as well, especially all of our soaping classes! And keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!