Saturday, 25 September 2010

Green Soap 7 – Nettle 3

My third attempt at Nettle did not produce green at all, but rather a darker version of Nettle 1. So for now, my conclusion with Nettle is that substituting the liquid for Nettle Tea, no matter how strong, does not produce green. Even if it does not produce green, it will most likely add some of the nettle qualities to the soap/ shampoo bar. The green must have come from the mulch, as advised by Cocobong.

Left - Nettle 1 (made with Nettle tea, steeped for 1 day)
Middle - Nettle 3 (made with stronger Nettle tea, steeped for 4 days)
Right - Nettle 2 (made with Nettle tea and nettle mulch at trace)

I will try infusing nettle leaves in oil for a month or so. I will also do some more experimenting with nettle mulch... maybe adding to the lye mix? I had previously added it at trace. As one of the Nettle bars I am now aiming for is a shampoo bar, I want to make sure that there are no bits to be left in my hair...

Anyway, for the moment, I am taking a rest from green experimenting. I may come back to it in a month or so, when my infused oils are ready.

Conclusions so far:
- Nettle mulch added at trace produces a nice green (with spots/bits). Nettle tea alone does not add green colour to soap.
- Spirulina added at trace produces a nice green although apparently it will fade entirely with time
- Green tea is a powerful and lasting soap colourant. However, substituting the liquid for Green tea produces brown, not green
- Green Clay - I have previously experimented with Green Clay and really like the green it produces

Experiments yet to try:
- Comfrey
- Parsley
- Green Tea infused oil
- Nettle infused oil

Any other suggestions?


Cocobong Soaps said...

Jen, my greenest green soaps are a result from nettle tea. Maybe I was not clear in my description as to the go here a short version:
Make a strong nettle tea from fresh plant material, let stand for approx 1hr. Puree THOROUGHLY (next to no green spots) and freeze. Make your lye solution using the frozen nettle tea, work at cool (27°C) temperatures. I add nothing else. Are you working with fresh,stinging nettle?

Saponin said...

Добавьте крапивный сок, свежий.
У меня получился замечательный зеленый :-)
Извините не знаю английский.

TheSoapSister said...

Ok, it's cold and sloggy here today, but I'm ready to put on my boots and go nettle hunting later this week!
I've looked at photos, but I'm not real good at identifying plants in the wild...any pointers, anyone? I've considered trying a tea from fresh Catmint...because it's so nice and minty...and it's right out my front door!:)