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Handy Tips for using LabColor Dyes & FAQ

  • Stick blend the color to break up the Labcolors and get a more thorough mix.  If you are coloring a swirl, add the color to your swirl portion when it is at a light trace. Add one or two drops at a time and zap it with the stick blender.
  • If you are coloring the whole batch a solid color, add the LabColors as you are mixing your oils and lye water. This will give you plenty of time to mix.
  • Try stick blending other types of colorants (micas, pigments, liquid pigments). You might be amazed by the results!
  • The LabColors will get brighter as the soap sets up, especially if your soap gels! For example, the Royal Purple is a disappointing grayish color when it is first mixed into the soap, even at a high percentage. After 24 hours, it is purple. Because of this, many people have a tendency to over color their soap and end up with colors that are more vivid than they originally intended. If you have added the proper percentage of LabColors (and maybe even a little more!) and the color is still not popping, STOP while you are ahead. Insulate your soap to ensure a nice, cozy gel phase and note the color after 24 hours.

How can Labcolors be used in such small amounts and still get strong colors?

Our formulation is superior to all other colors on the market. The dyes are very concentrated. These formulas were designed in 1999 by cosmetic chemist Jen Snider. Hundreds of hours went into testing the formulas and ensuring that these colors would be cost effective and easy to use.

Are LabColors pretty much a guaranteed colorant system?

Nothing in soap making is ever guaranteed but this is the easiest, most reliable colorant system you will ever use. Once you understand the concepts in the blending chart and usage rates, you won't want to go back to working with powders!

Will these colors in the product fade over time?

Any colorant will fade with exposure to direct sunlight. Even your clothing will fade in the direct sunlight given enough time! We recommend trying to store your soaps in the shade at outdoor craft shows. Normally exposure to lights in stores should not affect the color of your soap.

Will the colors bleed in Melt and Pour soap?

Yes. The colorants are water soluble and will bleed in melt and pour soap.

How much of the High pH basic color do I use in my soap per pound of raw soap?

We prefer to dilute the LabColors with the lesser amount of water when using in CP soap (for example: small size into 4 oz of water). So if you are using this dilution ratio we have found that 8 mL of color per pound of soap is the max you can use without getting tinted lather. The two exceptions are Lime and Royal Purple. For these two colors (and blends using them) we recommend no more than 4 mL of diluted color per pound of soap.

Help! Some of my colors look like they've separated!? What should I do?

Colors with Ext. Violet No. 2 may get thick and need to be heated up prior to working with. Pop the color in the microwave for 10 seconds (no more!) increments and shake until the colorant is fully dispersed. Additionally, these colorants may also get a bit thick on you when working with them: Emerald, Royal Purple, Aqua, Blue Mix, Fuchsia, just remember heat will thin them out and make them easier to work with.

Do you sell just the FD&C and D&C powdered colors? I don't want to pay to ship water.

No, we do not sell the straight powders. What we do offer are very concentrated small, large or jumbo sizes. You can either use these incredibly concentrated liquids directly into your cold process soap or dilute them in distilled water. Our colorants formulary is based on the mixed color batches (you mix the small size in 8 ounces of water). The reason your colors are pre-mixed in a small amount of distilled water is simple:less mess for you. Working with FD&C colors is an incredible mess. This system is easy to use and clean up after.

How do I know what exact shade I will get when making a batch of soap?

Use Small Batch Test to test your soap color. Pull out three ounces of soap when you're making another batch of soap. Make sure this soap is not colored with anything. Now add drops of the dye to this solution. Make sure you COUNT your drops! Each drop acts as approximately 1/8 tsp. Example: 4 drops = approximately 1/2 tsp. So if you add 4 drops, you would have the color for 1/2 tsp per Lb of soap. This will give you a pretty accurate idea of the color for your soap. Pour into a small mold, insulate and color fully. After 24 hours, this will give you a pretty good indication of the color that you will get. Make adjustments from this smaller batch. Remember, it's always good to test with smaller (less expensive) batches than your larger batches. Keep good notes!

I added color to my Cold Process soap and the color is a strange shade of "X". What's going on?

Nothing bad is going on. Not to worry, your color should come around within 24 hours after making your soap. Many times, the gel phase will change the color. There are great examples of this on the Soap Queen blog here.

I understand there will be slight differences, but how do I know exactly what to do from batch to batch to get the same color?

There is nothing to do except take very detailed batch notes. Remember, soapmaking is a science. It's always prudent to take notes so you can replicate from batch to batch or troubleshoot should something go wrong. Always keep records of each batch, number the batch, and it is a very good idea to put this information on your soap label also. This way you can keep track of each batch if something should go wrong.

I blended up a yellow color for my soap, and the liquid is not yellow but crazy neon orange!

Don't worry, this color is simply incredibly concentrated and looks odd in its concentrated state. Add it to your soap and it will go the correct color in 24 hours.

How do you know what color you will get with a Milk Soap?

Milk Based soaps tend to go an orange or tan because of the scalding of the milk. We recommend freezing your goatsmilk prior to mixing it with lye and using a 50% water/milk solution to cut down on the orange tan color of Milk Soap. Use the high olive oil colorants to get a more accurate color but understand that the colorant will have to overcome whatever milk-scalding color the base is. DO a small test batch before making a huge sized batch of soap.

Do I have to blend these with water and add preservative to use?

We have already preserved the colorants but if you heat the colorants up in the microwave or double boiler, we always recommend adding 1% Germaben II Optiphen ND just to be on the ultra safe side. Alternately, you can freeze your color in the freezer and not use a preservative. You do need to add water depending on how much colorant you ordered. Your colors are shipped ultra concentrated to save you money on shipping.

Can I get these with no preservative?

Sorry, anything with water in it has the potential to mold so we must include a preservative of 1% in your colorants.

What is the shelf life of LabColors?

If stored properly LabColors have a shelf life of 2 years or more. We suggest replacing after two years.

On some colors the INCI information is a lot! Do I have to list ALL of this on my label?

Yes you do. You do not need to list Distilled Water if your recipe already includes water.

Can I use LabColors in my lip balms or Lotion Bars?

No. These colors are not made for wax or wax based cosmetics as they are water based. They will not mix into your product and instead, will puddle at the top in a color-y mess.

I make a lot of soap, and the jumbo size won't last me very long. Can I get larger sizes?

Of course, please e-mail us for quotes on larger amounts.