Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Melt & Pour Soap Making: Can you Overcolor?

I have been working with a customer on a coloring issue. It's one of our faithful non-bleeding liquid gel colors (Neon Purple), but for some reason there are apparent problems. The big question is was the soap base over colored or is there a problem with the color formula. That's the investigative part we are currently working to resolve.

As you can see in the above customer photo, the purple isn't fairing well. The color has migrated into the dove and the square chunks in the loaf slice. In my test run of the purple colorant, I tried to achieve the same shade of purple as shown above in white soap base. I was fairly certain this hue might possibly be a color overkill. Below is what I would expect the Neon Bright Purple color to look like when added to white MP soap base.

Although it may look similar in color, the purple dove background is actually much darker in color. It is close to the over-color we did with our oval Popsicle mold shown below. It was over-colored to the point we actually could use the soap bar as a crayon.

The purple already started bleeding (migrating) onto the white cone after 12 hours. For a soap maker, there is nothing more frustrating than wasting time and materials on soaps that don't return a profit.

This is why GPE takes it seriously when a customer reports a problem with one of our products. Usually it's an easy fix. However, in a case like this, it requires testing on our end and a one on one with our color lab.

What we did discover while working through this color issue, is over-coloring is perfect when making our soap crayons. They actually do yield color that can be used in the tub. My 9-year old grandson tried out the over-colored soaps and was delighted at how well they worked. We will be testing them in the shower over the weekend. Here is what he colored on paper.

A sure way to know you have added too much color to MP soap base it the above scenario; you can use it like a crayon. I'm still not convinced the color migration isn't due to over-coloring. GPE has stocked the Neon Bright Purple for years with no reports of color bleeding. I'll do a few more test batches and report my findings.

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