After making soap with Ratan Jot we realized that it behaves the same way that Alkanet does. It smells the same and they’re the same color before soaping and after. Wonder why that is? Well, Ratan Jot and Alkanet are the exact same thing! And here we thought we were being smart, comparing the way they react in soap and remarking on how similar they are.
Minor intelligence lapse aside,
Many soapers online talk about using alkanet for blue but the only color we’ve ever been able to get is purple. So, we decided to do an experiment to see where this blue is coming from. In the beginning, with our limited soap knowledge, we thought that the heat produced by the soap might be affecting the resulting color. Now we know better; it’s the PH that affects the colors.
Before we get to the experiment, here is some background about soap PH. When making soap, we mix lye with oil. Lye and oil react to create soap. If you have less lye than is required for your recipe, you will have extra un-saponified oils in your soap. This makes it mild and conditioning. If you have more lye than is needed in your recipe, you will have extra lye hanging around which makes for a very harsh soap. For the purpose of this experiment, we made one batch with more lye than required (-5%), one with 5% more oil than required and one with 15% more oil.
The lye heavy batch will be blue, the 5% batch will be light purple, and the 15% batch will be purple.
We had a newbie soaper for this round, take a look at her excellent soapy work:
Here are the oils before mixing, they are clear purple: