Lye Eats My Color!

by Jane


I have two questions. Hope you can help?
1. What can I use to color my CP soap that the lye won't affect the color? In a recent recipe, I used Lard, Coconut, Castor, Avocado, and Apricot Kernel Oils. For color, I used Orchid Sparkle Powder from Wholesale Supplies Plus by blending it directly into my warm oils. It looked beautiful, but when I poured my lye water into the mix, the color was immediately consumed.

2. Can you layer M & P with CP soap? Since M & P takes color so well, I was thinking of alternating both soaps into my mold to get layers of color. What do you think?

Jane, JASA
(just another soap addict) :-)

P.S. I enjoy and appreciate reading the many emailed questions and answers that you pass along. Please keep them coming.


Some colorants are not made for both cold process soaps and melt and pour soaps. Be sure to purchase ones that are made to work with cold process soap making.

You may find that you need to use more of some colourants than you do of others as well.

I also find adding the colour to the soap when it is at a thin trace to be best. This is because the colour looks much darker in the liquid oils but as soon as the soap becomes opaque it will look much lighter.

Colouring soap takes lots of practice. Take a lot of notes each time so you know how much of each colour you added. That way, once you achieve a colour you like, you will be able to repeat it without any problems.

As for combining melt and pour soap with cold process....yes it can be done. Many people do it all the time.

One project that is fun to do is to make up a bunch of melt and pour soaps in various jewel tones. Cut them into chunks once they have hardened. Then make up a batch of plain white cold process soap (add white mica to it if you like to make it whiter) and put the colourful melt and pour chunks into it once the soap base reaches a thick trace. Insulate the soap as normal. When you go to cut the soap it will have wonderful jewel like bits throughout the white base. It is very striking.

You can try to layer the two forms of soap as well but you will probably find it difficult to achieve straight layers. Perhaps try marbling with a well coloured melt and pour into the cold process soap base.

ie....pour the traced cold process soap into your mold and marble with the melt and pour that has been coloured with a glittery mica.

This effect might be a bit tricky to achieve since the cold process is thick and the melt and pour is very thin....try alternating your pouring heights as you add the melt and pour...this should send the liquid soap to varying depths and then use your spatula to blend.

Hope this helps you,

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