Saturday, June 14, 2014

Natural Colorants in Soap Making

So for those of you who have been following my venture to make soap, you know that I'm really focused on trying to use all natural ingredients.
I was contacted earlier this week by my best friend who had a soap request. She's getting married in March and I had already been thinking who can I contact about her wedding colors because I had wanted to make little soaps and surprise her. Well I guess it won't be a surprise now because it was her idea for me to make soaps for her wedding. It turns out that her wedding theme is Pi (no not pie as in edible pie, but Pi as in the mathematical symbol) and wine colors, purple and green. I found a Pi mold and ordered it this week. Can't wait for it to get here.
With that in mind I set out to make today's soap making session an experiment in color. I wanted to try and find something that would give me purple and green, but also a few things that I had read about and wanted to try.
I set up me kitchen for making soap. For color I pulled out cinnamon, Oregano leaves, carrots, ground cloves and stevia mixture, raspberry jam and grape jelly. I put the carrot in the food processor to prepare it ahead of time and I had mad a 50/50 mixture of ground cloves and stevia powder. Then I laid out scents that I thought would go with the colors I thought I was going to get.
So I mixed up my batch of soap and separated a small amount for the first test, the raspberry jelly. I'm thinking this would probably make a pretty purplish red color.......wrong. When I first put the jelly in the soap it turn GREEN! What, how can that be? But as I mixed it turn to an orange color. It's the one in the bottom left of the mold. So that wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, but it's still pretty, with raspberry seeds peppered in it adds interest as well.
Next I tried Grape. Now this has to turn purple, right? Wrong. I added the jelly to another batch of soap and it turned green, okay no big deal. So did the last one, so I waited and waited as I mixed. But it stayed an almost sage green. It was pretty, but not what I was expecting.
Next I tried the ground cloves and stevia. According to what I had read it should have been a green, once again.......NOT! Currently it's a speckled brown, but as I've seen before it can change, so I'll wait and see.
Next I made this beauty in my spring form cake pan. I went into this with no preconceived notions, so maybe that's why I haven't yet been disappointed. I wanted this to be layered with decorations on the top. So I mixed up a bowl with cinnamon and oh so yummy smelling Almond Cybilla for fragrance and another bowl with just the pure soap and oregano flakes mixed in. I layered those two. Then mixed another bowl of cinnamon again when that wasn't enough for the third layer.
The top I really didn't do until the end with what was left. A little bit of pure soap (no color) and some of the green left from the grape jelly surprise. First I laid down the cream color. Then in the center I put a mound of the green. Then with a spreading knife I dipped into the cinnamon layer and swirled the three layers in the pattern you see. I can't wait to open this one tomorrow and see how it turns out.
Then with what was left I added the carrot and poured into my goat mold. The problem came with how much was left, not enough. I'll have to leave it in the mold and create another small batch to layer over it in another color, but I like the color that carrot makes.

Check back tomorrow when I pull the soaps out and unmold them. We may be surprised as to the final color.

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