One of the best things about buying a bar of handmade soap is choosing your own color scheme, design, and scent. There are so many to choose from. Finding a soapery that is convenient, well priced, consistent, and has your “style” of products is golden.
i have clients who will only use unscented and unpigmented soaps and lotions. These clients prefer goat milk and/or yogurt based soaps and lotions. We also stock soaps containing natural pigments such as a variety of clays and vegetables, still all organic.
One of my favorite soaps is the Farmer’s Market line. Only available from April - October (or when we run out of garden bounty), the soap’s base is made of fresh vegetable or fruit from our organic gardens. If you have never tried a bar from this line, you have missed out! Heavenly mixtures of nature, organic oils and butters, and of course, our vitamin infusion. Charcoal, turmeric, ginger soaps meet plum, apple, peach purée, even chocolate.
Then, there is swirl soap. Gorgeous color layers, designs in each bar, brilliant and intense colors. Oh, the fun fragrance oils go well with intense color bursts. We make a maroon red soap with the scent Dragon’s Blood. It is a heavy moisturizing soap with exotic butters and oils. It is a moderate hardness soap bar.
The more color that is mixed in the soap process, the more likely the soap is to “bleed”. That means soap colorant will come off on your washrag and in the water when you use the bar. The softer the bar, the more likely it is to bleed. If it is handpainted it bleeds.
Users and makers of specialty soaps normally expect this and it is no big deal, unless it IS. A rule of thumb to makers is “as long as the colorant washes out of a white washrag, it is acceptable”. Others are passionate that any color bleed is unacceptable ( store soaps don’t bleed, do they?).
No, the store soaps do not normally bleed. Preservatives in products can stop that. Many artificial chemicals used can lengthen shelf life, standardize a color, create an unnatural scent and greatly decrease cost of production. Sometimes, you actually do get what you pay for.
P.S. After washing, the washrag was sparkling white, looking brand new. The soap colors should never stain.