Monday, May 10, 2010

summer sunrise and practice with natural colorants

soapy sunday! it took a bit of discussion to decide what we wanted to make. we have friends with babies coming up, so we've been wanting to make a super gentle baby soap with goats milk. the men have been asking for man soap, but we keep forgetting to buy guinness to use as the liquid. plus, we'd have to boil it and let it cool the day before. we decided to go for something a little more fun and play with color. we loved the recipe we used for the margarita bar that turned out to smell great, but was way over mixed color-wise. it was nice and hard and had great lather, so we figured we would use it again and try for better color technique this time.

we really want to go all natural with our soaps. only essential oils, no fragrance oils. only natural colorants, no lab colors. so j. made a beautiful EO blend of jasmine, orange bitter, and lemongrass for a nice summer scent that wasn't too citrusy. just bright and clean. for the colors, we were thinking yellows, reds, oranges, and peaches. so we went with (clockwise from the top) paprika, dried orange peel, ground calendula petals, and tomato powder.

we took 3 cups of soap out and colored each cup with 1 1/2 tsp tomato powder, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp orange peel.  we colored the rest of the base with the calendula petals (about 2 Tbsp) in hopes for a nice yellow base. j. had the awesome idea to pour samples of each into our mini muffin pan so we will know which colorants turned out what colors.

then came the hard part.

we had two molds/old pieces of tuperware :) we lined them with parchment paper, which is so hard btw, then dumped the base color (with calendula) about an inch think in the cake pan mold and about 2 inches in the log mold. (should have poured in the cake pan first only about 1/2 inch think so we'd have taller log soap). j. colored the log by pouring in the colors from up high to get them deep into the soap, then swirled a chopstick around a bit all the way to the bottom. then she used a spoon to get some sweet waves on the tops, but we forgot to get pictures. i poured lines on top of the cake mold, then swirled them lightly with a chopstick.

four weeks later:

the calendula and orange peel barely turned any color at all. paprika is a nice pinky color, and the tomato turned from a dirty red to a kind of ugly yellow brown color. no more tomato powder added at trace at least. maybe it'll be different added to the lye solution or the oil first.

so, barely any color at all in the soap itself. pretty disappointing. still smells great though.

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