Natural Soap Colorants Gallery – Spice and herbal powders at trace

annatto trace

Spice and herbal powders can be added to soap at trace. Here are my results with notes.  I’ll be posting more galleries over the next couple of weeks.   

Alkanet Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon alkanet root powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Alkanet root is hard to get mixed in well if added to trace. I ended up with a highly speckled look and soap that was slightly scratchy. I would recommend infusing in oil for best results.

Color: dusty speckled purple, gray with purple tint

Turmeric Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Turmeric powder is easily mixed in at trace. If you don’t want a speckled look use an oil infusion. I’ve heard that turmeric can be scratchy but at the tested usage none was noted.

Color: sandy yellow, light orange, speckled

Sage Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon sage powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Sage powder is easily mixed in at trace.

Color: warm gray, tan, speckled

Rose Hip Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon rose hip powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Rose Hip powder is easily mixed in at trace. If you don’t want a speckled look use an oil infusion.

Color: speckled dusty purple, light mauve

Annatto Seed Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon annatto seed powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Annatto is easily mixed in at trace. I ended up with a highly speckled look and soap that was slightly scratchy. I would recommend infusing in oil for best results. At tested usage rate I did get slightly tinted lather.

Color: tangerine orange

Black Walnut Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon black walnut powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Black walnut powder is easily mixed in at trace.

Color: cool gray, purple tint, heavily speckled

Indigo Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon indigo powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Indigo powder does best when added to the lye water. I don’t recommend adding indigo powder at trace.

Color: dusty light blue, cold gray

Mustard Seed Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Mustard seed powder is easily mixed in at trace.

Color: cream, no color seemed to come through at tested usage of 1/2 tsp ppo

Orange Peel Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon orange peel powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Orange peel powder is easily mixed in at trace.

Color: orange tinted cream, speckled

Paprika Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Paprika is easily mixed in at trace. I ended up with a highly speckled look and soap that was slightly scratchy. I would recommend infusing in oil for best results.

Color: salmon, pink grapefruit, speckled

Parsley Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon parsley powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Parsley powder is easily mixed in at trace.

Color: jadite green, green tinted cream, slightly speckled

Rosemary Powder

Usage: Added at trace – add 1/2 teaspoon rosemary powder per pound of oils to traced soap. Mix well.

Results: Rosemary powder is easily mixed in at trace. If you don’t want a speckled look use an oil infusion.

Color: sandy cream with a slight green tint, speckled

24 Responses

  1. This is awesome reference information for coloring soap naturally. Woohoo! So hard to find these types of side by side comparisons and you did all the hard work for us! You also saved me from coloring a batch the *wrong* color. LOL. I was planning on using paprika to color some orange (EO) scented soap … eep! Woulda been too bright. Low and behold it seems orange peel powder or even tumeric would be a much better choice. But ALL the colors are just gorgeous. Can’t wait to try these. Thanks Amanda!
    Karri

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  2. Nicole Aretz

    Dear Amanda,

    Thank you very much for publishing this “Color your Soap Naturally Series” for us. Your posts are very informative, with beautiful pictures which explain “more than words”. For some weeks my favourite topic has been coloring soaps naturally. I like the idea to make soaps “100 per cent natural”.
    As always, your posts contain innovative ideas and techiques!
    Thank you,
    Nicole (Germany)

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    • Author

      Thanks for your nice comment Nicole! I’m glad you find it useful! :)

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  3. Thank you so much for undertaking this series! Having photos of so many different colorants in use is going to be a fantastic resource!

    (And to think, if I’d been looking for this information a week ago, it wouldn’t have been here yet! XD)

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  4. …so I went to buy some orange peel powder today. Hmm… it looks more like grated orange peel that’s not very orange. LOL. Is this how it’s supposed too look? Just wondering if I got the right stuff. I’d imagine it would be best if I ran it through my coffee grinder first. But it’s more beige than orange. Weird!

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    • Author

      Hmmm…my orange peel is definately a powder. It isn’t as orange as an orange peel but is more orange than cream. I would run it through a coffee grinder first or it might be scratchy. I got mine from http://www.herbco.com/c-279-orange-peel.aspx. You can see they have the powder and the cut which is in the picture. Maybe yours is the cut?

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  5. Linda Bond

    I LOVE this series so much!! You are absolutely the best!! I have learned so much from you and I cannot wait to read your posts. I struggled with books for so long and for some reason your methods click with me. I am having so much fun now. I cannot thank you enough. I wish I lived close enough to actually come to one of your classes. Hopefully someday.

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  6. Ms. Jai

    Amanda thanks for this series really appreciate you. I’m new to soap making and have been doing a lot of research. I was really interest on natural colorant and you helped a lot. I went to the web page that you suggested about the “Orange Peel” do you get all your herbs and spices from Monterey?

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  7. Love the speckled look. That’s part of the appeal! I’m definitely giving these and oil infusions a try. Thanks for introducing me to something wonderful yet again:)

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  8. I’ve been hunting for this information forever! You’ve got it very well put together here and it’s nice to see samples. You rock! :D I’ll definitely be reading through the whole coloring soap naturally series.

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  9. Karen

    Very good reference, Amanda. I appreciate you doing this. One herb that I have used successfully, which you do not show on here, is rattanjot root powder. I use it in an infusion with olive oil. The infusion is a beautiful, rich burgundy, and the soap is a deep, dusky purple. It is scary looking in raw soap, because it is the color of a mud puddle. After exposure to air, it changes to purple. I use it in a vanilla/lavender soap.

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  10. This was great. I have had non-speckled and excellent results with parsley powder to lightly color my mint eucalyptus soap. I use super fine parsley powder and then put the immersion blender back in to mix again until it’s uniform. (I also used liquid chlorophyll, but that became more of an aqua color). I’ve also done similar things with cocoa and guarana (natural caffeine), but the guarana can become very clumpy at trace.

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  11. Diane

    This is a brilliant post, can’t tell you how much I appreciate seeing the actual soap examples. Thanks so much for taking the time, I’m off to check out your other posts in this series. Diane

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  12. Abby

    Hi, Thankyou so much this is exactly what i have been scouring the net for! However , could you tell me what you mean by oil infusion? I may just be really dumb and its something very very simple but im new to soapmaking :) thankyou so much

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  13. Megan

    Absolutely awesome information on coloring soaps naturally. Thanks so much for posting.

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  14. Robin

    Thank you so much for taking the time to experiment- I especially love the orange peel powder. I was wondering if any fragrance survived with any of the herbs? I’m guessing not, since 1/2 tsp./lb is a very low concentration. What about with the infused oils?
    Off to read some more posts, thank you for the informative blog:)

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