Neem Oil and Titanium Dioxide in Cold Process Soap
|Recently we were asked if Titanium Dioxide would color a soap white if one used dark colored oils. Since I don’t have many dark oils, I decided to make 5 different batches of soap with Neem Oil to show how using Titanium Dioxide can lighten the color, but not make a white soap. This post is a collection of all these soaps and the differences that appear in the finished soap.
Collect needed items:
I started by mixing the Titanium Dioxide into 1 ounce of the water and allowing it to completely hydrate. I did not want any specks of white color since that would mean I did not have an accurate test. I allowed the hydrating Titanium Dioxide sit for 30 minutes before I started weighing any other materials.
After the Titanium Dioxide mixtures had been sitting for 30 minutes, I began to measure the fixed oils on the scale. You can choose to warm your oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the fixed oils in the microwave. It took about 2 minutes in my microwave to melt all of the oils.
As the oils were melting in the microwave, I added sodium hydroxide remaining water. Mix well. Combine the fixed oils and lye solution. Stir until thin trace. For me, this took just 60 seconds for batches 1 & 2, but batches 3, 4 & 5 took only 40 seconds to reach trace. After the soap reached trace, I added the Titanium Dioxide mixture and mixed well. I added the color and stirred to mix the raw soap and color. At this time, the soap accelerated like nothing else I’ve ever seen. I ended up actually plopping the soap into the molds rather than pouring. I allowed the soap to sit until was firm.
The next morning the soap was cut into bars. Stack to allow good air circulation. Allow to cure for several days before using. Longer curing will result in a harder bar.
The comparison photo shows the following soaps from left to right: Batch 1, Batch 2, Batch 3, Batch 4, and Batch 5. As you can see, batch 5 is the lightest colored soap but it is still not pure white.
As the comparison photo shows, the addition of Titanium Dioxide will help lighten the soaps, but you will not get a pure white soap when using dark colored oils like Neem Oil. If you would like to have a white soap, I would recommend using oils that contribute a light or white color to soap in combination with Titanium Dioxide. These would be oils that are light colored in their original form. Colorless Jojoba, Lard, Soybean Oil, Coconut Oil, and Almond Oil are some oils that I would recommend for such a soap.