D&C Dye Testing

by Maryanne

Lancaster County Soapworks, Etc.

(Thanks to Maryanne for sharing her testing results) If you would like to share your own colorant additive testing results, please send to: webmistress@soapnuts.com (pictures are nice but not needed). Please include all pertinent info.


I asked some questions about D&C dyes a couple of months ago and was encouraged to do some experimenting.  This is the result of that testing.

Each test soap was cut in half and the piece on the left (unexposed) was placed in a cardboard box, away from light for a month.  The piece shown on the right was placed in a south facing windowsill for the same time. The soap used was a basic coconut, palm, soy, pomace mix soap colored with the combos shown below.

As you can see, there is some degree of fade in all the soaps, some more so than others, but still, these are much better than what I was using before, which faded on any exposure to light.
I did find that I was using a much lighter hand with the dyes than suggested and some soaps that I have made since these experiments, with a 1/2 strength dye are fading more quickly.  I always based my additions on warnings that a little goes a long way, but sometimes a little is not much better than none... These may discolor washcloths, but it does seem to rinse right out.

Mix dyes as directed - one .15 cc scoop to 1/2 oz. warm distilled water.

Color Proportions        Amt. used in 1#

Hot Pink 1         2 Red #33:1 Red #40 3T.

Hot Pink 2 1 Red #33:1 Red #40 5T.

Mauve 1 Red #33:1Red #40:1 Blue #1 3T.

Orange 1 1 Red #40:1 Yellow #5 3T.

Orange 2 3 Red #40:1 Yellow #5 3T.

Yellow Orange 1 Red #40:1 Yellow #5:1 Green #8 3T.

To test, I made a larger batch of soap and divided it into 4 oz. cups.  I had converted the Tablespoon measurements to ml. and divided by 4 to get the amount necessary for 4 oz.

(The Hot pink soaps both looked like tomato soup in the soap pot, but mellowed out to the color you see overnight.)

From what I understand these are the most colorfast dyes:
Green #5
Blue #1
Yellow #5
Red #33
Green #8
Red #40
Yellow #7


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