Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Natural Soap Colorants

There are several different kinds of Herbs you can buy to color your soaps. 
You can add the Herbs to your soap batter or you can infuse them into an oil. 
Here are some of the Herbs you can buy in powder form.

Orange Peel powder, Rose Hip powder, Alkanet Root powder, Kelp powder, and  Turmeric Root powder.

You can infuse these herbs into oils such as; Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, or Sunflower Oil.
I choose to infuse these Herb powders into Sunflower Oil.

For a strong infusion you want to use about 1oz of herb powder to 16oz of the oil of your choice.
You can set each jar in the sun for about 3 weeks to get a good infusion, or you can put the jars in a hot water bath. 

If you choose a hot water bath:

You want to heat your water bath on low and keep it at a steady 140 - 150 degrees. You  do not  cover  your jars with water! Just add enough water, about one inch below covers, and don't screw the covers on tightly.You don't want the jars to seal, you only want the bath to be hot enough to infuse the color from the herbs into the oils. Let your jars sit in this hot water bath (with heat on low) for about 2-3 hours, then shut off the heat and let the bath cool down.

 The colors would be ready to use right away.

KK at Badanbody uses .33 ounces of colored oil to a 1lb of oil formula in her soaps. 

Here are four herbs that I infused into Sunflower Oil in a hot water bath:

This is the color of Sunflower Oil. I put the jar next to each color infused oil so you could see the different shades after the infusion. 

This is Alkanet Root Powder.
Alkanet Root will color your soap to a nice mauve, shades of lavender, and blue.

This one is Orange Peel Powder.
This herb will produce a pale orange yellow.

Rose Hip Powder.
This powder will produce a rosey tan. Rose Hip powder has skin healing properties.

Kelp Powder.
Kelp powder will produce shades of green.
If you leave some Kelp powder in your soap it can be a very mild exfoliant.

You can strain the oils so won't have any herb powder specks in your soap. But the herb powder will settle to the bottom of the jar, so if you are careful you can pour out the colored oil without the  herb powder coming with it.

*If you do not want to infuse herb powders into oil you can also, at trace,  put 1/2 tsp of herb powder into 1lb of soap, and mix well. Doing it this way you will get a speckled look.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Rainy Day Melon Soap

I used an old antique sewing machine drawer for a soap mold over the weekend. 
The soap recipe I used was for a 3lb batch.

It can easily hold a 4lb batch in this homemade mold with no problem. 

Out of the mold just before I cut it.
I added natural coloring from Parsley, that I hot processed into some oil I used, in this batch of soap.
I divided the recipe into two containers and colored one container with titanium dioxide to make it white, and I left the other container the natural color of what I had hoped to be a light green. 
I was not sure how the natural coloring of the parsley would hold up in cold process soap, but....
I was very pleased with the results! 
The bottom layer of the soap is a light green!
I call this soap 'Rainy Day Melon'. 
I used rain water that I collected from my own back yard. 


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Homemade Soap Mold

My husband and I like to hit second hand and antique stores when we travel out of town. As the old adage goes: what is one man's junk is another man's treasure. That is the way it is with us.

We always find something that we didn't want to pay top dollar for (and then some!). On one of our little mini get-a-ways we found an antique store tucked away in one of the back streets near Pinetop, Az, and there I found one of those 'and then somes'!
This is an old drawer from an antique sewing machine cabinet! My vision was to put it on our dining room harvester table with napkins, salt & pepper, and maybe flowers in a vase in it. I did end up doing that, but recently I had a new vision for it. 

A soap mold! Yup, a soap mold! 
I had to cut a thick piece of plastic to cover the screws inside, kind of like a 'false wall', because they protruded into the box too much. Then I lined it with freezer paper.
I made my first batch of soap in it today!
Because it has to sit over night I won't be cutting it till late tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. 

The fragrance I put in this soap is Cucumber-Melon. 

I like my soaps to be (for the most part) earthy colors. So I steeped some dried parsley in one of the oils I used in this recipe to get a nice color of green.

At a medium trace I separated the batter into two separate containers. 

In one container I added titanium dioxide, because I wanted one layer of the soap to be lighter than the other. 

I left the other container with no other added coloring but the green that I steeped into the oil.

  I will not know how the color green will hold up in this cold process method, but I will find out when cut it. I am hoping for a two toned finished soap. I will post the results!

Have a good weekend!  


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Goats Milk Soap

When using goats milk in your soaps you have to be very careful when you add the lye. If you just add the lye to the milk, like you do water, the mixture will heat up to levels that will scorch your goats milk.  The color of your milk will become a deep orange.  This is not good.

There is a few of ways you can avoid scorching your milk.

1. You can use half milk and half water in your recipe. By desolving the lye in the water first (in a very well ventilated area, or under a stove fan), in a glass, stainless steel, or plastic bowl, you can wait for it to cool down to below 80 degrees or less, then add the goats milk.

2.You can put your chilled milk in a glass, stainless steel, or plastic bowl into an ice bath. Then slowly, ever so slowly (like over a half hour period), add your lye while stirring continuely. This way the temperature of the lye hitting the goats milk is kept down so your milk will not scorch. 

3. You can freeze your goats milk (in ice cube trays) and just put the amount of milk you need in a glass, stainless steel, or plastic bowl, then add your lye over the cubes, a small amount at a time (or whole amount, doesn't matter, just make sure there are NO clumps of lye not desolved) and stir continually until the lye, along with the milk is desolved. There are no fumes (or very little anyway) with this method, so there is no need for ventilation.

* It is best to strain your lye, in a stainless steel strainer, 
or plastic mess strainer, into your oils because of fat molecules that will congeal in the lye and will make unwanted spots in your finished soap.

There are also three ways to let your soap cure when goats milk is used.

1. You can insulate your soap (by covering it with a blanket) and let it heat up to the  'gel stage'.  The 'gel stage'  is an early phase to *saponification process, when the soap becomes a warm transparent gel and slowly returns to being opaque, slightly more solid, and cooler. The color of your soap often deepens during this method.

2. You can let your mould sit, uncovered, at room temperature, until the next day when it will be time to take it out of the mould. Your soap may or may not go thought a gel stage during this time. Or some of the soap may gel, and parts would not have, which would leave parts of your soap looking a bit darker from the entire batch. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it is just a matter of opinion on how you want your soap to look.

This is a milk soap that I left uncovered, at room temperature, until the next day. The dark part of this Goat Milk soap is natural. The lighter parts have titanium dioxide in it to lighten the color.

3. You can also stop your soap from gelling by putting it in you refrigerator for a few hours (or freezer). The cold will keep the temperatures down so it will not heat up to the point of gelling. The color of your soap will not darken as much this way. 

This is a milk soap I put in the refrigerator so it would not gel. The very bottom part of the soap is natural, while the other parts have titanium dioxide or a brown mica for color. Can you see the difference in the natural shade color part of the soap I left out and this one I had in the refrigerator? Definitely lighter.

4 . Another thing you can do is put your soap, mould and all (providing it is oven safe) into a 160 degree oven for 1-3 hours, then Shut your oven off, and without opening the door, let it stay there for 24 hours. It will come to gel pretty fast. The color of you soap can come out a deeper color during this phase also. 

This goat soap I put in the over at 160 degrees for 1 hour, and left the door closed over night. The color, although it was the same shade when poured as the first two soaps in the beginning, darkened up quite a bit during the forced gel in the oven.


* * "Saponification" refers to the chemical reaction between fat and lye that results in the formation of glycerin and soap.
It will NOT BE fat and lye anymore, but.....soap!