Using FDA-Certified Dyes and Lakes in Bath Bombs (and other places)


There are a few things to keep in mind when using our FDA-certified dyes and lakes in your bath bombs and other products. Let us lay it out for you!

Dye Loads

The dye load indicates the percentage of color in a dye or lake. The higher the dye load, the "stronger" the colorant, allowing you to use less to do more.

Mad Micas works hard to source the finest dyes and lakes on the market, and they have some of the highest dye-loads in the industry. We invite you to compare our products with any others available; we think you'll like what you find.

Remember: As lakes consist of a substrate that's been colored by dye (that's why they look like the color they are, as opposed to un-bloomed dyes), they by definition will have a lower dye-load than a pure dye. When comparing dye-loads make sure you're comparing lakes with lakes, and dyes with dyes.

Bloom Your Dyes (because they look funny in jars)!

So you've ordered your first dye and expect a beautiful vivid jar of goodness. You open the box, take out the jar, and the dye looks nothing like what you're expecting.

That's normal! Dyes must be "bloomed" before they show their true colors.

Here's how: Take a small amount of dye and add enough water to dissolve the dye powder. Stir or swirl to assist dissolving. You can also add dye powder to a medium and use a spray bottle to spray water onto powder to bring out the brilliant dye color.

And if you're just dying (ba DUM bum) to see what it's going to look like, fill a clear jar with water, drop in a tiny bit of dye and give it a stir! Remember, a little goes a looooong way!

Using FD&C Dyes and Lakes in Bath Bombs

Lakes: Because lakes are colorant on a substrate, they are not water soluble. If you use them in bath bombs you need to include polysorbate 80 in your formula to properly disperse them in the bath - otherwise, much like a mica, they'll just float on the surface of the water. And no one wants that. Please consult your bath bomb recipe for ratios.

Dyes: Dyes are water soluble and thus polysorbate 80 is not necessary in your recipe. Incorporating the dye into your product can be done in a number of ways (for example, you can add bloomed dye to baking soda first so that you do not activate your citric acid), but we highly recommend following your bath bomb instructions for use.

Important: Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is alkaline and can change some colors to an unexpected color. If this happens, add a half part citric acid to your baking soda. This should balance the pH levels and give you an accurate color.

Use in Soap

We do not recommend using dyes and lakes in bar soap. While they are stable, overuse can cause staining, and they will bleed (migrate). Additionally, UV light exposure will cause them to fade. 

Everywhere Else

Please consult documentation related to your desired medium, or give us a shout - we'll help however we can!

Storage

Please store in airtight containers in a cool dark place. UV light causes dyes and lakes to fade.