July 26, 2010

Ok, my every Friday natural colorant posts aren't working out like I planned. Life is getting in the way. So, here it is. Natural soap colorant #3... Alkanet Root. I apologize for low picture quality, I took these photographs with my cell phone.

Alkanet Root is an herb that is used as a dying agent (among other things) and has been for centuries .

Here, I'm using it to color my soap.

To begin, I take 6 tablespoons of Alkanet Root and add it to 16 oz. of warm olive oil (that I've heated slightly on the stove).

I let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes and then pour it into a clean jar, cover, and let sit over night.

The following day I strain the oil.

I add the olive oil to the other oils in my soap recipe. Add the lye/water. Mix until trace.

Continue with the other additives at trace. Pour into mold.

This is the result 48 hours later. Tiny bit of ash on top but looking great. Turned out a deep purple.

Lauren @ Style of Ones Own said...

Thanks for this post! I have been meaning to try some natural colorants but am hesitant because I'm not sure what the end color will look like exactly. This is very pretty. I could see this scented with a berry or wine FO.

Michelle said...

Its funny you mentioned wine because when I strain the Alkanet it always reminds me of red wine :)

Anonymous said...

Very cool, M! And it does look really great!! I love that you're trying out all these natural ingredients and posting about it. Thank you!

Jennifer Young said...

How did you get purple? Do you use Palm Oil? It must be the oils I am using but I am so baffled. I looooove the purple you got! Gorgeous! xo Jen

Michelle said...

Thanks T!

It is fun to play with all these herbs. Just wish I had them all growing in the backyard for easy access :)


I did use palm. This recipe had palm, olive, almond, coconut, and shea butter in it.

Amy Warden said...

I've never seen the root intact before - I've only ordered the powder!

Ambra said...

Nice, I guess I've been very stingy with my alkanet. This amount sounds about right and it give a lovely colour. I would love to see the cut soap and hear how it ages.

Michelle said...


If I remember I will take a picture of the cut soap. The color is still holding, looks just as it did out of the mold. **keeping fingers crossed.

Rebekah said...

Thanks for a wonderful post. I have a friend that makes soap in 5 lb batches. How far would the alkanet powder go? Love the deep, deep purple color.

Michelle said...

Hi Rebekah,

Thanks for reading my blog!

When you ask how far will it go, are you referring to how long the color lasts?

If so, the color is still present and very dark and it has been over 7 months since I made the batch I blogged about.

Rebekah said...

No, I guess I was more wondering how much this recipe makes? My friend and I want to order some and she makes her soap in 5 lb batches! So she's wondering how much she will need. Thanks for answering, I appreciate it!! We have bees too, so it's fun to read (as does this friend that makes LOTS of soap!).
Thanks again.

Michelle said...

Thank you for alerting me to the fact that I didn't mention the size of this batch of soap. I'm sure I did this in all my natural colorant blog posts too =( Big mistake... didn't mean to leave that part out. This recipe is 4 pounds.

It is great to meet another beekeeper in the blogosphere! =) I hope your bees are doing well this winter.