Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Soap this, Soap that: Pigment clumping

Now I like colour pigments (oxides, ultramarines etc.) as much as the next soaper. They give good strong colours, they don't bleed and they don't fade either. But they do tend to clump. A LOT! Just look what it did to this soap below.

A classic example of oxide clumping can be seen in this first batch of this "Avocado, Cucumber & Lime" soap.

 So here are a few tips on how to avoid pigment clumping in CP soap making.
  1.  ALWAYS premix your colours in a little oil before adding to soap batter. 1 teaspoon oxide in 2 tablespoons *oil for every 500 grams soap is a good starting point. You can use less for a lighter shade, but a teaspoon should give you a strong, solid colour.
  2. Mix vigorously or use a mini mixer. (I use a mini  frother and it works very well!).
  3. Premix colour right before you have use them, otherwise mix again to incorporate particles that may have settled.
  4. When adding purees or juices (as was in my case), DO NOT add both colour and additive at the same time. Mix in puree/juice first, blend, then add your premixed colours, otherwise what happens when you add both together is that the water-based additive will affect your oxide and cause it to clump irrespective of whether you premixed it or not.

*Titanium Dioxide comes in two forms: Water dispersible and Oil dispersible. Premix in appropriate base.
**Also, while premixing oxides in oil is best, ultramarines prefer water.

And that's that! If you don't mind the clumping then you needn't worry about all this. Otherwise a little extra effort goes a long way. :)

Happy Soaping!


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