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Natural Colorants for Cold Process Soap

The following table originally appeared Miss Mary Mac's web site
(http://www.missmarymac.com/mmmcolor2.html)
This website is no longer functioning but I felt the information she gathered should not be lost.

Some information in the notes are from Miss Mary Mac, other information is from my own experience using the materials listed. I am not sure whether some of the materials were used dried, fresh, ground, oil infused or added straight to the soap pot! If you experiment with these materials, I'd like to hear from you!!

Miss Mary Mac, if you're still with us in the soaping world, please let me know!

I'm including a link to Susanne's Crafty Corner where she has photos of various soaps colored with natural ingredients

Greens and Aquas    
Ingredient Shade: Notes:
Alfalfa Powder Pea Soup 2 teaspoons in 4-5 lb batch for light green. Double/triple for darker shades. Go sparingly, it can stink.
Blue-Green Algae Green n/a
Chlorella Green n/a
Chlorophyl (liquid) Light Green n/a
Comfrey Root Deep Sage Green 2 Tablespoons per 5 lb. Add just before trace after EO/FO's. Contains high amounts of allatoin, a cell regenerator.
Cucumber Pale Green Blended
Dill Green n/a
Heather Green Use fresh branches.
Kelp Green n/a
Mugwort Greenish-Gold n/a
Parsley Green Flakes seem to hold color better than powdered.
Parsley (powdered) Green Works great for marbling effects.
Peppermint Green Powdered
Sage Green Powdered or ground
Spinach Green n/a
Spirulina/Seaweed Powder Moss Green 1/2 to 1 teaspoon in 5 LB batch. Stir in at trace.
Stevia Powder & Ground Cloves Dark Green Use 50/50
Ulva Lactica (seaweed) SAge Green  
     
     

Yellows and Golds    
Ingredient Shade: Notes:
Acacia Flowers Maize Yellow to Golden Brown n/a
Agrimony Buttery Yellow Flowering tops
Annatto Seed Golden Yellow nice when infused in oil
Black-Eyed Susan Petals Yellow Mix in lye solution, add a few petals at trace.
Brass Buttons Deep Brassy Gold n/a
Calendula Flower Powder Buttery Yellow 1 teaspoon to 14-16 oz of soap at trace. OR infuse about 4 oz Calendulat powder with 64 oz Olive Oil in crock pot on low heat.
Calendula Blossoms Yellow/Orange n/a
Canary Wood Maize Yellow to Gold n/a
Carrot Juice Yellow/Orange Approximately 1 teaspoon per lb of fat/oils.
Chamomile Yellow/Gold n/a
Chrysanthemum Leaves Yellow Gold to Green n/a
Curry Powder Yellow-Peach n/a
Daffodils Bright Yellow to Deep Gold n/a
Dahlia-Coreopsis Intense Yellow to Orange n/a
Elderberry Leaves Yellow n/a
Fennel Mustard Yellow n/a
Ginger Root Yellow n/a
Goldenrod Flowers Subtle Yellow n/a
Grape Leaves Intense Yellow n/a
Ground Mustard Seed Yellow n/a
Ground Saffron Petals Warm Yellow n/a
Gum Weed/Gum Plant Yellow/Gold n/a
Horsetail Creamy Yellow Use fresh sterile stems
Knotweed Bright Yellow to Creamy Yellow n/a
Mulberry Leaves Yellow-Green n/a
Queen Anne's Lace Yellow n/a
Red Palm Oil * See photo Creamy Yellow Often found in international type grocery stores. Use at 1% for creamy yellow.
Red Palm Oil Gold (like Dial Soap) Often found in international type grocery stores. Use at 15% for gold.
St. Johns's Wort leaves Yellow n/a
Tumeric * See photo Bright/Golden Yellow 1 teaspoon per 3 lb of soap added at trace.
     
     

Oranges and Peaches    
Ingredient Shade: Notes:
Butterfly Bush Flowers Orange Gold to Golden Brown n/a
Cayenne Pepper Salmon n/a
Orange Peel Orange Grated fine
Pansy Herb Tea Orange n/a
Paprika Peach/Salmon Some feel it can be grainy if too much is used. Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per pound of soap.
Sweet Orange Oil Orange n/a
Fresh Tomato Puree Orangey Red Store bought, 11% concentration, with salt as only added ingredient.
Tumeric * See photo Orange/Gold Mix with gold mica for a brighter gold color. Has a tendency to clump so mix with oils in a small bowl before adding to your soap. May turn bright orange but color will mellow.
     
     

Browns and Tans    
Ingredient Shade: Notes:
Cinnamon Brown Red Tends to lean towards brown. Use small amounts for swirling or about 1/2-1 teaspoon per pound of soap. Don't add much more than that or it may make the soap scratchy.
Cocoa Powder Coffee-Dark Too much can add a weird smell and overpower your scent. Great to make swirls. Add 2 teaspoons to 2 cups of soap and then use this to marble the rest of your batch. Remember many people are allergic to chocolate when labeling your soap.
Coffee Deep Creamy Brown Use with lye in place of water. Does not leave coffee scent in soap.
Coffee Grounds Brown Grind very fine, add at trace and mix thoroughly.
Cooking Chocolate Brown Dark Chunks
     
     

Purples and Blues    
Ingredient Shade: Notes:
Alkanet root Lavender to soft Pink/Brown Lavender: Use 1 teaspoon per cup of oil. Infuse for a day or two. Use infused oil at about 10% of soap recipe.
Blackberries Purple/Black n/a
Black Mulberries Dark Purple to Red Violet More blue-ish
Myrtle Berries Maroon Purple n/a
Oregon Grape Berries Purple n/a
Purple Florists Cineraria Purple/Lavender n/a
Purple Indian Corn Dark Purple to Maroon n/a
Red Geranium Leaves Dark Purple to Grey n/a
Red Hibiscus Purple n/a
Red Sandalwood * See photo Purple Use about 3 Tablespoons to color about 6 lb of soap
Woad Leaves Blue n/a
     
     

Reds and Pinks    
Ingredient Shade: Notes:
Hibiscus Red n/a
Lady's Bedstraw Coral Pink Roots
Madder Root Tomato Red Nice rich color
Red Palm Oil Pink to Orange Often found in international type grocery stores. Defractionated.
Rose Hip powder Burgandy Red Scratchy!
Sorrel Soft Pink Roots
St. John's Wort Flowers Red Infuse FRESH flowers in oil.
Fresh Tomato Puree Orangey Red Store bought, 11% concentration, with salt as only added ingredient.
     
     

Soaps using natural colorants

Sandalwood for purple, 1% Red Palm Oil for creamy yellow center
Red Sandalwood Powder for purple, 1% Red Palm Oil for creamy yellow center.
Neal added 1 teaspoon of red sandalwood powder per pound of oils at trace. Neal reports it has a slightly scratchy feeling.
Photo compliments of Neal

Tumeric used for swirl
Tumeric used for the swirl.
1 tsp tumeric in 1 cup of soap.
Photo compliments of Melanie (aka Tree Frog) Mb, Canada

 

 

 
 

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