I LOVE creating natural colorant infusions to use in my salt bars. The colors come out so bright and vibrant! And because the herb powder is infused, you don’t have the speckled look that comes with adding the powder directly to your recipe.

natural colorant in salt bar
Added to trace (left) – Infused (right)

First of all, if you’re new to soapmaking, you might be wondering, what is a salt bar?!

A salt bar is typically a soap made with 50-100% of oil weight in salt. For example, if your salt bar recipe contains 900 grams of coconut oil then you would use 450-900 grams of sea salt.

To learn more about making salt bars, check out my eBook, Making Salt Bars – Creating Decadent Spa Bars by Combining Sea Salt and Cold Process Soap eBook + 12 Recipes. It comes with a free bonus, 7 Salt Soaps for the Face!

Since salt bars are typically 80%+ coconut oil, use coconut oil in your color infusion. You’ll need your coconut oil in a liquid state to infuse. Since coconut oil is solid at 76 degrees F, you’ll need to keep it warmed up. When it comes to infusing coconut oil, I typically do a warm infusion, using a water bath. If it is warm where you live, simply place your coconut oil somewhere where it will stay in a liquid state. It is COLD right now in Kansas City, so I have to keep my coconut oil infusion warmed up. Here is what I do!

Creating Coconut Oil Infusion Using Natural Colorants

Step 1: Weigh coconut oil into jars. You can infuse as little or as much coconut oil as you want. I added 400 grams of coconut oil to four jars.

coconut oil for infusion
Coconut oil ready for infusion!

Step 2: Add your powder colorants. Here is what I chose! You can try infusing many different herb powders.

  • Turmeric – 2 teaspoon
  • Paprika – 2 teaspoon
  • Alkanet Root – 1 teaspoon
  • Ratan Jot – 1 teaspoon
Four jars of coconut oil topped with powder colorants for salt bar soap
Add powder colorants to your jars!

Step 3: Tightly place caps on the jars and write on the lid what is in it. You don’t want to forget! Especially if you’re infusing similar herbs like alkanet and ratan jot.

jars ready to infuse
Jars are closed tightly and labeled.

Step 4: Infuse! You can do either a cold infusion or a warm infusion.

  • Cold Infusion – Simply place the jars of coconut oil and herb powder in a warm place. Your coconut oil needs to be melted in order for the infusion to work. Place in a warm sunny window or outside if it is warm where you live. You can infuse for a couple of days or even weeks! If your coconut oil will not stay melted…it will not infuse. Try a warm infusion.
  • Warm Infusion – My favorite type of infusion to do with coconut oil is a warm (forced) infusion. This works great if you’re in a hurry for infused oil or if it is cold where you live.

I simply heat up water to boiling, place my jars of coconut oil/herb in it, turn off the water and let them sit. The coconut oil will melt and begin infusing with the herb powder. I simply heat up the water once the coconut oil start solidifying, to keep the coconut oil in a melted state. I repeat this process over three or so days to allow the infusion time to get nice and dark! How long you do it, it completely up to you. You will get different results if you infuse for a quick three days like I do compared to letting it infuse for weeks. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Here are our beautifully infused coconut oils!

You can use your infused coconut oil up to 100% of the coconut oil in your recipe. So, if your recipe calls for 450 grams of coconut oil, you can use 450 grams of infused oil. If you want a lighter color, you can use a lesser amount of infused oil. Again, if your recipe calls for 450 grams of coconut oil, you can use 200 grams of infused oil and 250 grams of plain white coconut oil. Totally up to you! You might have to experiment to see what saturation of color you prefer for a recipe.

TIP! Allow your coconut oil to harden before you use. The herb powder will typically sink to the bottom as it solidifies. Then you can simply scoop out your infused coconut oil and not have to worry about straining.

natural color infusions
Infused coconut oil scooped out and ready to soap!

You can still add beneficial additives and even more herb powders to your recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Any of the recipes from Making Salt Bars can be modified to use an infused oil. Simply replace any amount of the plain white coconut oil with infused oil.

Here are the results from using the infusions in salt bars. I replaced 100% of the coconut oil with infused coconut oil.

I hope this blog post helps you create beautifully infused coconut oil for coloring your salt bars.

Happy Soaping!

-Amanda Aaron