Red Palm Oil

posted in: Natural Colorants | 14

I’ve been playing lately with natural soap colorants and wanted to experiment with red palm oil.  I make a ton of pumpkin soap in the fall and thought that this would be great for coloring.

Red palm oil, which is bright orange, gets it color from carotenes (like carrots and tomatoes).  It is bleached, refined and deodorized to give us the creamy palm oil that most of us are familiar with.

In doing some research I decided to use red palm oil as 33% of my oils.  Most of the websites I came across said to use it for no more than 50% of oils.  I did a 33% palm, 33% lard and 33% olive oil type of recipe.  Nothing fancy.  I ordered my red palm oil from Camden-Grey.

I used 33% red palm oil in my batch and that ended up being to much.  It was staining and colored the bubbles as you can see a bit in this picture.

Oh.  And it stained my mold.  Sigh.

I’ll give it another go…but use 5-10% and see what I get.  Anybody else use red palm oil?  How much do you use?


14 Responses

  1. Hillary

    I have used 25% and the lather wasn’t noticeably orange. Although the soap did still stain my mold. Also, FWIW, I have a bar that is about 1.5 years old, and the color has faded substantially.

    • Amanda

      Good to know about the fading! Thanks, Hillary!

  2. Kathy White

    I found this guideline for using red palm oil: 2%=pale yellow; 5%= golden yellow; 10%= orange; 10% is just about the max range, after that you’ll get staining on washcloths (maybe soap molds, too!) Interestingly, I made a batch of lemongrass soap a couple of months ago, and I thought I had used too much red palm because it was almost a neon yellow! I’ve kept an unwrapped bar (my soaps are mostly wrapped in opaque mulberry paper) in a basket stored inside a closet, and yesterday I got these soaps out and the color had faded quite a bit! It’s now a soft/pale yellow, which is very nice, but I didn’t know that red palm would fade. :~(

    • Amanda

      Thanks, Kathy! That is alot of great info!

  3. Leah

    Great timing for this blog post as my Husband just made his first batch with red palm oil. He used 25% and the soaps are very orange! Our mold also stained and he wants to know if future soaps made in the mold will leach out the coloring? Thanks!

    • Amanda

      I’m thinking it will stain the next batch so I’m going to do a dark vanilla soap so you can’t tell. I’m not sure for certain if it will though…just guessing.

  4. claudia mold

    If I want a sunny yellow for Calendula-Soap, I use 5%. 33% is heavy, but the oil smells….grmpf…

  5. Sherene

    I used 25% and got a beautiful bright orange bar with a pale yellow lather and very little staining of mold and washcloth (stains wash out with a good soak and scrub).

  6. Linda Mays

    Hi Amanda:

    I actually wanted to ask a question about your solid bubble bars, but I can’t find an email address here on your site to contact you privately, nor could I post a comment on your solid bubble bar post. Maybe you close down your older posts for comments after a certain period of time (?)

    I tried a Lush Bubble Bar when I was on vacation recently (there are no Lush stores near me) and I absolutely loved it – the look, the smell, the bubbles. Bubble Bars are such cute, unique things! And I love the fact that there is no plastic bottle involved. It’s one more thing we can do to be greener and kinder to our environment.

    I started searching online for a recipe so that I could make my own Bubble Bars, and that’s when I came across a couple of your posts. My question is this: Which recipe would you suggest for my first attempt at Bubble Bars?

    I would like to end up with a consistency that allows me to make the really cutesy shapes like this one and this one

    Are bubble bars something you’ve considered coving in your eZine?

    Thanks so much!

    The Enchanted Bath

    • Amanda

      Hi Linda,

      When I changed my template it locked alot of the older posts. I need to go back through one day and unlock. My contact is on the about page – I should change it to about/contact…so it’s easier to find.

      Great question about bubble bars! I do have a bubble bar eBook that will be coming out soon that goes more in-depth than I have on my blog. I will say that how you mold (or roll) your bubble bars will be impacted by the liquid surf and the amount of liquid surf that you use. More liquid = easier to roll. Also liquid surfs are different in viscosity. You might need 1/2 cup of one liquid surf and a whole cup if you use another. So in this recipe here…

      I find that using the Super Mild Surfactant Blend will give you bubble bars that are more bath bomb-ish in texture and pack well into molds. But if using the same recipe with Cocamide DEA…you get more of a rollable/doughy type of mixture. So you might want to try out cocamide DEA. But it’s really a matter of trying out different liquid surfs to get the consistency you are looking for.

      I hope that helps…more to come soon in my eBook.

  7. lolita

    Hi Amanda,

    I just found your site and I have a question about your molds, where can I get them?
    Like the one you used with this recipe and I’ve seen a green one that it says crafter’s choice
    I’ve been looking for it at every other website and I’m unable to find them.

    Thank you
    your blog is truly a blessing for soapmaking

  8. lolita

    Thank you very much Amanda for the websites
    I will make sure to check them 😀

  9. Sara

    i’m from portugal, in europe. in here i find in grocery stores only red palm. i use red palm oil instead of regular in any recipe.
    during the cure, de color will fade.
    for example i like to make ” All-Vegetable Soaps and Recipes” from miller soap in particular ” Kathy’s Favorite Sudsy All-Vegetable ” recipe. i still have some since march 2011 and the color faded, they are yellowish/white.