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It’s easy and fun to add color to your melt-and-pour soap with these natural soap colorants. Plus, learn what you should never use to color homemade soap.
We love making homemade soap without using lye, with the melt-and-pour method. It’s easy to do, and the kids have a blast mixing in all the different colors and scents.
There are lots of different types of melt-and-pour soap bases (goat’s milk, aloe, glycerin, shea butter, etc), and we’ve tried nearly all of them. You can learn about the different melt-and-pour soap bases here.
We add scents using essential oils, and add color with many different natural ingredients.
Why should you use natural colorants for soap?
You probably make your own soap because you want to avoid the chemicals and mystery ingredients in conventional soaps, right? So you definitely wouldn’t want to add the synthetic dyes that the big companies use.
Natural soap colors are safer and easier to use than chemical colorants. And there are lots of soap colorants to choose from!
These colors will look their best when you use a white (not translucent) soap base.
Are there colorants you shouldn’t use?
You may see these colorants recommended online, but they are not safe to use in your homemade soap. At best, they’ll ruin the soap or not mix in properly. At worst, you could have a bad skin reaction.
- Food coloring
- Rit dye or tie-dye colorant
- Candle dye
- Fresh fruit or vegetable puree (This is advanced soapmaking and you can learn about it in The Nerdy Farm Wife’s excellent Soapmaking Success Course.)
Using Natural Soap Colorants
All of the natural colorants I recommend are in powdered form. If you try to mix the powder directly into the soap base, you’ll end up with lumps and speckles in your soap (ask me how I know.)
Before your melt your soap base, choose the color(s) you’ll be using. In a small bowl, mix ¼ teaspoon of colorant with ¼ teaspoon of water until there are no lumps of powder left.
Add your liquid colorant to your melted soap base, and stir thoroughly to combine. Stir in essential oils for scent and then pour the soap into molds to cool and harden.
The easiest way to get all these colors (except for the pantry items) is with this Natural Soap Colorants Sampler.
Read more about Homemade Soap