Coloring soaps with plant based materials is one of the most common and inexpensive ways to color your soap. Many times you may have these ingredients in your pantry, avoiding the expense on new supplies. More importantly, each ingredient adds skin benefits and makes an aesthetically pleasing soap.
There are several ways to add the ingredients to the soap.
- Adding it to the lye and water solution.
- Adding it directly to the soap batch at trace.
- Making an oil infusion with the plant material.
- Or all of the above.
When adding the material to the lye and water solution, it can be added to water prior to adding the lye.
When adding the material directly to the soap, it is best to mix it in oil beforehand.
In order to make an oil infusion, it's best to use dried herbs, but powders will work as well. There are two options for infusing - a cold infusion or a hot infusion.
To make a cold infusion, simply weigh the plant material in a jar, add oil (at least covering the top of the material) and wait 3-4 weeks or longer for the plant to be infused in the oil.
To make a hot oil infusion, instead of waiting for the oil to be infused over time, the glass jar can be placed in a pot of water from 2-4 hours or even longer if desired. The temperature of the water does not need to exceed 120 degrees F.
Here is a list of natural colorants that can be used for coloring soap:
Black/Grey: Activated Charcoal, Sea Clay
Brown: Cocoa Powder, Chamomile, Coffee
Green: Spirulina, French Green Clay, Nettle Leaf, Matcha, Chlorella, Kelp Powder, Cucumber, Avocado.
Orange/Yellow: Annatto, Calendula Petals, Turmeric, Paprika, Carrot Puree, Pumpkin Puree
Pink/Red: Rose Clay, Yellow Dock Root, Madder Root
Purple: Brazilian Purple Clay, Alkanet Root.