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Coloring Cold Process Soap with Clay

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

I absolutely love adding color to my soaps and recently I've been getting into using natural colorants such as purees, powders, and clays. I decided that I wanted to test a few different clay colorants but of course that got expanded to almost every clay I could find.

For this experiment I tested rose clay, kaolin clay, red Moroccan clay, French green clay, bentonite, purple Brazilian clay, dead sea clay powder and rhassoul clay. The soap recipe included 67% olive oil, 25% coconut oil, and 8% castor oil with 5% superfat. Although olive oil and other oils/butters naturally change the color of my soap, I was more focused on not having fragrance oil play any part in the color so there was no fragrance added.

After mixing my soap, I first poured my "control" soap so that I would know what the soap would look like with no additives. For these bars, I settled on 1 tsp of colorant per pound of soap and to make them disperse easier, I mixed together 1 tablespoon of distilled water with each teaspoon of clay. The only clay that came out clumpy with the distilled water was bentonite so I mixed it with 1 tbsp. of isopropyl alcohol instead.

Once all of the soaps were poured, I let them sit uncovered in the mold for 48 hours then waited the full 6 weeks of curing time to see what the final colors would be and here are my results:

coloring cold process soap naturally with clay

In conclusion, I am super happy with how these soaps came out but I really love the dead sea clay, rose clay and purple Brazilian clay.

Note: You can also achieve different hues of the colors shown by simply adding more or adding less clay.

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