Reasons for White Soap
Some soap makers seek out ways to make white soap. White soap for a white wedding might be a request from a demanding bride on her large custom order, or perhaps white soap fits better with your branding. Another reason for white is the ease in coloring. When you start off with a white base, it is less challenging to predict the color when adding powders and additives. Whatever your reason for lightly colored soap, here are some tips to create a true white bar.
Use White or Light Oils + Butters
The color of soap begins with your choice of oils and butters. Generally speaking, white butters and oils will result in white soap. The light color of coconut oil, palm oil and lard contributes to white soap. Many liquid oils vary from light yellow to dark brown, and sticking with the lighter oils will help with a lighter soap. Sunflower Oil and Safflower Oil are among our favorites.
Add Titanium Dioxide
Add titanium dioxide to brighten up soap especially if your chosen oils tend to be on the yellow side. Most white cosmetic powders are titanium dioxide, and they come in a variety of shades and shimmer levels. Matte White Pigment Powder produces a flat white color and comes in varieties for oil and water. Mica powders offer more white shades, and come in shimmering, sparkle and super sparkle varieties. While the powders themselves are sparkly, often this luster can be lost in cold process soap.
Be Cognizant of Your Fragrance
The last factor to consider is your fragrance. Fragrance can dramatically change the color of your soap, and can be difficult to predict. Vanilla will change your soap from white to creamy to brown depending on the percentage of vanilla. If you are striving for white soap, avoid fragrances with vanilla or use a vanilla color stabilizer. Another easier way to predict color alterations from fragrance is to look at the fragrance oil. Clear fragrance oils are less likely to change color while yellow, orange, brown or other noticeable fragrance oil shades may tint your soap. The last factor is difficult to predict without testing. Fragrance oils are comprised of several ingredients, and sometimes one or a few of the ingredients may cause color changes in high pH environments. Always test your recipe with your fragrance in a small batch first to ensure that it will stay the beautiful shade of white you planned.