After Debbie’s Guest Post on using Oxides in Melt and Pour soap, I received some emails requesting more information about bleeding colorants. Thank you for the feedback – please, keep it coming.
Melt and Pour soap is an extremely versatile art form. The options for making exceedingly clean, precise and gorgeous designs are literally endless … that is, if you have the right colors.
What is bleeding? Bleeding is when a color from an embedded object or layer leaches out into the surrounding soap base (see example photo above and below). It is often a sad surprise when a beautiful design turns into a mushy, unrecognizable color blob. It’s still soap but it’s not quite the look originally intended.
Why do colors bleed? Melt and Pour base is a water soluble product. FD&C (Food, Drug & Cosmetic) colorants (like food coloring or Labcolors) are usually also water soluble as well. When there is no barrier or medium to form a protective line, the water soluble color will start to migrate (or swim) through the water soluble melt and pour.
What is the right color? If you would like to make a soap that looks like the glamorous Silhouette Soap on the right, with clean, crisp lines, it is important that you use a “Non-Bleeding” color. The right color is a generally colorant that is oil based or one that colors through dispersion. This means that the color doesn’t mix into the soap so much as it suspends little micro-particles throughout the soap, giving the illusion of constant color.
If you’ve been hesitatant to try using Oxides or Pigments in Melt & Pour soap, now is the time to do it. Debbie did an amazing tutorial about using Oxides and Pigments in Melt and Pour. Following her instructions will significantly cut down your learning curve and allow you to acheive clean, crisp designs without stress about your colorants.
I’ll be headed to the Pacific Northwest Soapers Gathering bright and early on Sunday morning. I won’t be doing a blog post tomorrow but I will be Twittering about the gathering and TwitPic’ing photographs all day. You can follow my Twitter feed here, look at the TwitPics on the right hand side of this blog or by going directly to my TwitPic feed here. I’ll (hopefully!) have a round up post about the gathering posted late tomorrow night or Monday morning.