What are the types of dyes for handmade soap

Handmade soap is a great way for artists to combine their creativity with practicality, creating one-of-a-kind and customized goods. The dye that is used to color handmade soap is one of the main components that gives it its distinctiveness. Not only can dyes improve the soap maker’s aesthetic appeal, but they can also convey their individuality and sense of style.

For coloring handmade soap, a variety of dyes are available, each with unique properties and advantages. For example, plants, minerals, and other natural sources are the source of natural dyes. They are preferred by people who want skin- and eco-friendly products. Turmeric, spirulina, and beetroot powder are common natural dyes that produce vivid colors without the use of artificial additives.

However, because of their consistency, large color range, and ease of use, synthetic dyes are widely used. Because these dyes are made especially for cosmetic applications, skin application does not pose a risk when using them. Mica powders and liquid dyes are common synthetic dyes that can produce beautiful effects and complex patterns in soap.

Pigment dyes are another well-liked choice because of their consistency and intensity. Usually, soap is colored with these dyes to produce vivid, solid colors. Because pigments don’t bleed or migrate when dissolved in water, they are perfect for intricate and multicolored designs.

For makers of handmade soap, there are various options available with each type of dye. Knowing your options when it comes to dyeing will help you create the kind of soap you want, whether that be a bright, eye-catching design or a natural, subtle look.

Types of dye for soap

A person looks at the color, shape, and aroma of the handmade soap before anything else. A shade or color scheme that is visually appealing will be used more often and present itself in an intriguing way. Adjust the "appearance" of products by introducing the right amount, kind, and quality of dyes.

Selecting the appropriate amount of pigments can be challenging since the alkaline base, oils, and supplements can alter the soap’s final color. Generally speaking, it is preferable to use the fewest possible dyes and to measure them carefully. Products with delicate shades are always the most appealing. There are several kinds of dyes that work well for making soap. The most well-liked ones are:

  • natural compositions;
  • food pigments;
  • liquid, dry, gel -like, oil agents.

Experienced soapons use sparkles, glitters, and different additives like dried color, beads, etc. in addition to standard dyes. They can help you add uniqueness and elegantly highlight the shape of a soap bar.

Natural dyes

Many professionals use safe natural materials in their work to produce a final product that is as natural as possible. They primarily obtain from plants. For instance, 500 g of basic oil is mixed with 1-1.5 teaspoons of the finished dry pigment indigo, which is extracted from the leaves of the indiger or wyda leaves, to create a vibrant blue product.

Here are some more instances of natural pigments being used to stain soap:

  1. Annato seed extract. For 2 kg of oil you need only 10 g of matter to give mass an orange color. Over time, the paint can fade, as it is a nonsense.
  2. Carrot juice. Soap after its introduction also turns out to be orange, but it must be stored in the dark, otherwise the color will quickly pale. You can replace carrots with sea buckthorn oil.
  3. Chocolate or cocoa. Give soap a rich brown tint, while the base becomes opaque.
  4. Color clay and dirt. Depending on the specific type, the soap will provide a pleasant delicate tone – pink, yellow, reddish, green. The therapeutic dirt of the Dead Sea will give a muffled brown color.
  5. Herbs. To “make up” soap, various dried and grinded herbs are used, which were previously missed through a sieve. Also, a little chlorophyllipt can be introduced into the soap – the oil extract of eucalyptus.
  6. The roots of Alkanne dye. Have a beautiful brown color, but stain the oils in red. They are insisted on olive, rapeseed, almond oil, and then added in the manufacture of soap.

Moreover, natural dyes can be made from coffee, henna, carry, turrkes, chamomile essential oil, and even activated carbon.

Food colorings

These funds are created using artificial or natural ingredients that are safe to consume. It is therefore perfectly safe to use them externally while cleansing the skin.

The majority of food pigments produce vivid, rich colors, but because of their migration potential, they are not appropriate for use in the production of multi-layer, multi-colored soap. However, these materials dissolve fast, mix readily with the base, and are remarkably persistent—they essentially never fade when soap is stored.

They are regarded as being extremely economical because typically 0.1 kg of the soap base takes a few drops of liquid food coloring. These funds are perfect for making transparent soap because, unlike some natural dyes, they do not reveal the base.

Cosmetic pigments

These dyes can be applied when making "soap from scratch" or added to the soap base. They are thought to be extremely persistent, essentially never moving from one layer to another, and they hold onto their color’s brightness for an extended period of time.


These ingredients are found in lipsticks, blushes, and shadows. Because they can keep the boundaries clear, they are used for both manufacturing drawings and continuous staining of the base. The soap’s color will be rich and vibrant, in addition to being stable. Dry dyes are diluted with oil or glycerin before being added to the main composition to ensure there are no lumps in the soap.


There are two kinds of these pigments:

  1. Water -soluble. Represented in the form of liquid. Have a lot of advantages – economical, safe, easy to use, do not require additional breeding. Retain the transparency of soap (in most cases), provide uniform staining. Give products a delicate, clean tone.
  2. Oil, or fat -soluble. Perfectly stain “soap from scratch”, soap base, basic oils. Suitable for creating soap and for the manufacture of massage tiles, creams, scrubs, etc. D. Most often represented by standard dry pigments dissolved in glycerol or oil. Usually cost more than water -soluble, but they give very juicy, beautiful shades and mix well with each other with the receipt of new colors.

Titanium dioxide

Titanium dioxide is a white powder used in the process of making white soap from a transparent base or for mass bleaching in advance. It is extensively utilized, among other things, in the production of medications and cosmetics. Titan’s dioxide produces a matte mixture that doesn’t migrate and lets you make eye-catching visual effects.

It is dissolved in glycerin or basic oil before being added to the mass; otherwise, lumps may form during mixing. You only need a tiny jar of this stuff to work with multiple kilograms of base.


Glitters are a range of foil and multicolored film sparkles that can take the form of hearts, stripes, geometric shapes, etc. D. These are decorative ingredients added to transparent soap to add shine, flicker, and glow without changing the primary color. Additionally, you can use glitors to adorn the product’s top or specific components.

Type of Dye Description
Mica Powder Natural, shimmery, and vibrant colors; ideal for clear soaps.
Liquid Dyes Easy to mix, wide range of colors; perfect for melt and pour soaps.
Natural Colorants Made from plants and minerals; gentle on skin, subtle hues.
Oxides and Pigments Intense and stable colors; best for cold and hot process soaps.

A crucial step in the process of making handmade soap is selecting the appropriate dye. Because so many dyes are available, you can be creative and customize your soaps to make them stand out from the crowd. Making educated decisions can be aided by your understanding of the characteristics of each type of dye, as each presents unique advantages and difficulties.

Mica powders are widely used in soap because of their easy mixing process and shimmering appearance. For those who favor environmentally friendly options, natural colorants made from plants and minerals offer earthy tones. While pigments are great for creating bold, solid shades, liquid dyes are more readily available and offer vibrant colors.

It’s critical to take the dye’s stability into account when using various soap bases. While some dyes work better in melt-and-pour soap, others may fade or change in cold process soap. You can save time and money by testing smaller batches before committing to a larger batch.

Making soap can involve experimenting with various dyes, which can be enjoyable and satisfying. You can make stunning, unique soaps that stand out by being aware of the qualities and applications of each type of dye. There is a dye to fit your vision, whether you like muted colors or vivid, eye-catching hues.

A variety of dyes can be used to beautifully color handmade soap, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Natural dyes with earthy tones, such as clays, spices, and herbs, are frequently used because they are good for the skin. Because they can produce a wider variety of vivid and consistent colors, synthetic dyes—such as micas and liquid colorants—are preferred for more complex designs. Another option is food coloring, which is safe and readily available but might not always produce the desired intensity or stability. The intended outcome, ease of use, and individual preference for natural versus synthetic ingredients all play a role in selecting the appropriate dye.

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Maria Vlasova

Chemist-technologist, expert on paint and varnish materials. I will help you figure out the compositions of paints, their characteristics and choose the best option for your purposes.

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