Water Soluble Colors in CP Soap

Here’s a fun little project you can do along with me. Today we’re going to take our Water Soluble Colors and use them in cold process soap.

From left, Lemon Yellow, Grape, and Purple Raspberry water soluble colors in cold process soap.

Will they hold? Will they morph? Will they bleed? We will answer these questions!

First thing to do is make a batch of soap that I can split into three parts to color with the three water soluble colors: Lemon Yellow, Grape, and Purple Raspberry.

I’m starting out with a simple soap recipe based on our 6-5-4-1 model: Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Mango Butter. Here’s the soap formula I’m using.


16-Ounce Batch

6 oz Palm Oil

5 oz Coconut Oil

4 oz Olive Oil

1 oz Mango Butter


37.5% Palm Oil

31.25% Coconut Oil

25% Olive Oil

6.25% Mango Butter

This would be an easy recipe for a beginner to work with, so no matter your ability or confidence level in soap making, join me in my workroom!

If you are still learning about making cold process soap, please stop here and refer to this blog, the first in a series on beginning soap making. The series will teach you all you need to know to safely embark on your soaping journey.


Let’s make some soap. I accessed our Lye Calculator to determine the recommended lye and liquid amounts for my batch. I need 2.32 oz of lye and 4-6 oz of liquid. I’m using distilled water as my liquid, and I will use 5 oz, to which I added the lye and stirred until the water became clear. Then I set it aside to cool while I measured and melted my oils.

First into the soap bucket was Palm Oil, then Coconut Oil, then Olive Oil, and finally, Mango Butter. I microwaved the oils for one minute, stirred, and then heated them another 20 seconds to melt them fully. The oils were at 146ºF and lye solution at 158ºF, so I let them sit to cool a bit more. I prefer to soap at temperatures around 90-100 degrees.


Let’s choose a fragrance!

I went looking for one I had not used before and which might not jump out at me from its catalog description. Rain Orchid fits that bill, even though it’s been a staple fragrance for The Sage for over two decades!

I checked the usage rate in our Fragrance Calculator, and weighed the 0.3 oz of Rain Orchid I will use in this batch of soap.

Because Rain Orchid has floral notes, I am expecting it to accelerate my soap batter a bit. That’s not a huge problem. To combat any acceleration, I will soap at a lower temperature, use my stick blender very minimally, and only allow my soap batter to just become emulsified before dividing into separate containers for the different colors I’ll be using.

Freshly poured soap – the colors will change as the soap hardens.


Let’s talk a bit about those colors while the lye solution and oils continue to cool.

I’ll be using three colors today: Lemon Yellow, which makes a nice yellow color; Grape, which becomes purple; and Purple Raspberry, which becomes pink. With just these three colors, you could make almost any color of the rainbow! Yellow and blue become green. Blue and red become purple. All three colors combined will make a warm brown. But for this soap, I will only use the three colors in the kit without blending. I’m using the dyes that have been premixed with water, and I’ll just add dye until the soap reaches a saturation of color that looks good to me.

After the soap has hardened enough, I’m going to make soap shreds and add them to white soap to make a confetti soap and see if they bleed. Because the dyes are water soluble, I expect they will bleed. We shall see.

I used 30 drops of each color in the three separate soaps. As expected, the fragrance did accelerate a little bit, so I was working fast to get the soap poured before it became too thick. Now I’ll let it saponify and see what the colors look like. Come back tomorrow to check out the finished soap!

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About Denise

I'm a crazy goat lady who got into making my own soap with goat milk, found MMS to order supplies, and now I get to combine my love of creating skin care products with a job to pay the feed bill. I live in Alaska and greatly enjoy the unique aspects of my northern home - summer days when it never gets dark and the Northern Lights dancing above in winter. Favorite scents include Wild Mint and Ivy, Rhubarb & Sugar Cane, and Eucalyptus Spearmint.

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