Monday, March 28, 2016

Bleeding soap colors - what to do?

So pretty, but why won't those colors last?
Do you love those bright, clear colors in glycerin soap? I sure do, but they have their limits! A Soapyfan just learned about one of them and wrote to me:
I was wondering if you might help with suggestions to keep layers from bleeding. I tried the layered pops but after a few weeks it looked horrible. I would love to get those beautiful clear layers without it turning out to be an awful mess.
Sadly, I know exactly what she means. When I made this rainbow soap, I had just ordered an assortment of Labcolors and wanted to use every shade in every soap I made! The colors were so gorgeous and the clear colors were beyond lovely. I even took a picture right away (the one above), posted it on Etsy, and sold a whole bunch right away. I was so excited!

But lo and behold, a couple of days later, I noticed my crisp layers were getting blurry. The colors were bleeding together! So here’s what I told her:
“Yes, the clear layers are beautiful but fleeting! I learned that the hard way, too, AFTER I had shipped a bunch out! Oops!! 
The trick to making the colors stick is using non-bleeding colors. There are two types of colorants - dyes and pigments. Dyes bleed (even some micas are dyed and the colors will bleed) or pigments which are colored powders that don't bleed. If you go to and search "non-bleeding colors" you will find several articles about them. Brambleberry is great about indicating on their colorant listings whether the color bleeds or not.
I was determined to get clear colors even with nonbleeding colorants (which are typically opaque colors) so I tested many methods and wrote an article about how to do it here:
One more thing - dyes fade in the sun! So if you put out soaps using dyes at a craft fair (even in the shade!) they will fade right before your eyes!
I hope that helps!
Happy soap crafting!”
I hope that is helpful to you, too. I love helping soap crafters so email me at or message me anytime! Thanks and have a great week!


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