scenting and coloring soap : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have problems when i try to color or scent my soap while mixing the melted lard and lye water. Can I wait until the soap has set for the 3 to 4 week period and then scent and color it and also form into differnt molds after melting it down again?

-- Debbie Jones (, May 07, 2002


You want to color and scent the soap just before you pour it in the molds--no earlier, or the saponification process will destroy the properties of the scent and color.

-- GT (, May 07, 2002.

I have made soap but only simple melt & pour but my mom has made some for real. I think that you do melt it back down after it has cured and that's when you scent & color it. I don't have time to check for you but when I was looking into it I found LOTS of good sites. Do a search and you will find great info. I'm no help, just a suggestion.

-- Rebecca (, May 07, 2002.

This is a good site that will answer a lot of questions, and has lots of recipes.

You can color and scent afterward when you grate, melt, and remold (often called rebatching), but it is extra work. Some prefer to do it this way because supposedly you can use less essential oil and coloring (as some is always lost in the initial soapmaking process as the soap remains hot for a while), but the rebatched soap often does not come out as nice and smooth as it looks in the original process.

-- GT (, May 07, 2002.

You can rebatch your soap after curing and add scent and color, but it doubles the amount of work in it, and it doesn't always work. Some soaps just refuse to rebatch.

What soapers usually do is to add fragrance and color at trace, after the fats and lye water is mixed and the soap has begun to saponify. Some fragrances accelerate trace, though, and you have to be prepared to move the soap into the molds quickly before it sets up completely. But if you do your research carefully, you usually don't have those problems.

-- Julia (, May 07, 2002.

I add my scent to the water before I mix it with lye. I've had no problems doing it this way. When you wait til you are mixing the lye water with the lard, it takes a LOT of mixing to get the scent and color distributed evenly, if you don't it will cause problems. Use the scent and color as part of your liquid measure. Good luck and don't give up!

-- cowgirlone in ok (, May 08, 2002.

Depending how your color. I used turmeric yesterday in a soap for a very light orange/yellow color, I mixed the turmeric to 100 degree lye/water solution. If I use oxides I mix the lye into the fats and mix some with a stick blender then take out some of the soap mix with the oxide and back into the soap batch. I never add essential oils until a very light trace. You see your essential oils could cause the batch to trace too fast or slow it down so you need time with the essential oils. I hear the frangrance oils are worse. I sell soap so if I can be of any help give me a line. Debbie in Ok.

-- debbie (, May 10, 2002.

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