The COVID-19 virus has left the world in unprecedented and uncertain times PPCI

The COVID-19 virus has left the world in unprecedented and uncertain times. As different countries and states implement their own responses to the virus and the world continues to change, it is critical that we take action where we can. One of the main ways everyone can help slow the spread of the virus is by regularly cleaning the surfaces in their homes and places of work which are regularly touched or handled. However, simply wiping down your phone with a rag is not enough. To clean effectively, you must use the appropriate cleaning products.

You have likely seen brightly colored cleaning products in stores around the world and never thought twice about why cleaning products are different colors. You might write the varied colors off as nothing more than marketing. While brands rely on color recognition there is often a reason why cleaning products have different colors. The color of a cleaning product sometimes indicates the product’s intended use and related attributes. But, more often the color correlates to the scent of the product. The color-based coding is often industry-specific, so you may observe the following colors in certain product-types:

Blue: General purpose cleaner, but also suitable for glass and other surfaces. Some industries use blue to denote acidic solutions, whereas others use blue to signify high pH solutions.
Yellow or Pink: Low-risk cleaners that may be used to signify that a reduced risk of cross-contamination.
Red or Purple: High-risk and heavy-duty cleaners usually reserved for areas with an elevated risk of cross-contamination and bathroom cleaning. Some industries use red to denote high pH solutions. In contrast, some industries use red to connote that the product is acidic.
Green: A cleaning product that is sometimes designed to be used in food preparation areas.
Brown: Oven cleaners

In contrast to color-coding based on industry and intended use, many colors are simply used to reflect the scent of the product:

Blue: Fresh scents, ocean-based scents
Yellow: Lemon
Orange: Fruit and orange
Green: Apple, pine, and invigorating scents
Red and pink: Tropical scents, cherry, floral
Purple: Lavender
Brown: Wood, nature-based

Just like not every cleaning product should be used on every surface, not every type of dye belongs in every product. There are many different types of dyes and each type has different properties that makes them conducive for certain applications and formula attributes.

FDA Certified dyes have been approved for certain uses by the Food and Drug Administration. FDA approved colorants may be able to be used in food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices that come into contact with humans or animals. Many cleaning products may need FDA colorants.

Below is a brief overview of some classes of dyes and other colorants which are commonly used in soaps and cleaning products.

Acid dyes consist of acidic molecular groups that give the dyes their name. Acid dyes tend to exhibit low staining potential in many types of cleaning products so they are often used in soaps, detergents, and glass and hard surface cleaners.

Direct dyes are a cousin to Acid dyes. Direct dyes are also commonly used in assorted soaps, detergents, and glass and hard surface cleaners. Some of these items can also be used in the presence of oxidizers (ex: bleach, chlorine dioxide).

Disperse dyes are generally used to color synthetic fibers and hydrophobic polyesters that lack ionic properties. Disperse dyes are far less water-soluble than Acid dyes, Basic dyes, or Direct dyes, and the Disperse dyes are more commonly used in high-temperature dye baths. For best results, the dye bath should be around 80°C – 100 ⁰C as lower temperatures may result in uneven coloring. Disperse dyes are also used in select industrial cleaning products including but not limited to detergents and degreasers.

Pigments are dispersible and they are often used in “extreme” products. Some pigments are stable in very low pH, others in very high pH. Some pigments are used in bleach and other chemicals which notoriously degrade many other colorants.

Polymeric colorants are commonly used in applications which need a color that will exhibit very low staining potential. For this reason the Polymeric colorants are often used in laundry detergent, fabric softener, and carpet cleaner.

As the world continues to change, you can rest assured knowing that Pylam will continue to serve the community by supplying clients with the colorants they need to continue producing cleaning products that will help keep you your family, and your living and work spaces safe.

Contact us anytime.

Acid Blue 145 Shortages

Are you having a hard time finding Acid Blue 145 (CAS 6408-80-6)?  You are not alone.  The worldwide dye and colorant market has been heavily impacted by supply shortages stemming from stricter environmental and regulatory controls implemented by both the Chinese and Indian governments over the past few years.  Additional challenges include recent industrial explosions and factory shutdowns throughout China.

How Are Regulatory Measures Are Restricting Acid Blue 145 Production?

Historically, Acid Blue 145 has been manufactured by a very small number of manufacturers and the vast majority of this dye has been made in China. However, within recent years, China’s anti-pollution clampdown with regards to its new environmental enforcement regime has forced the closure or reduced the production output of many of its dye factories. Many of those that are still running were also severely hit with restrictions in the supply of key dye ingredients. According to, this resulted in price hikes among several well-known dyes.

Ultimately, these environmental and regulatory measures eventually brought the manufacturing of Acid Blue 145 to a halt.  It is not known when manufacturing of this dye will resume, if ever.

Pylam Offers Alternatives to Acid Blue 145

Acid Blue 145 has become widely used because of its bright and vibrant blue shade, its ease of use and good solubility in water, its recommendation by 3rd party formulators, and its pH stability (generally pH 1 to 13 in most solutions).  We maintain an inventory of many blue colorants so we are in a great position to help our customers find alternative products for their manufacturing needs.

At Pylam, we go to great lengths to maintain deep inventories of the dyes and pigments our customers need.  Even so, unexpected factory shutdowns and ingredient shortages prove that the chemical industry will remain dynamic for the foreseeable future.  Nevertheless, the broad scope of colorants in our inventory means that Pylam can help its customers find alternatives to Acid Blue 145.  Please contact us or feel free to start a dialogue with us through our Sample Request Form to explore our capabilities in this regard.  Kindly specify in the form that you are looking for an alternative to Acid Blue 145.  We recognize that replacing one dye for another in your formula is a difficult process that you will not undertake lightly.  We are here to help you find the best alternatives for your product.

We have been in business since 1919, and through this entire time, we continue to excel at identifying the right colorants for the needs of our customers.  We are always happy to formulate new colorant shades and blends.  We are here to help you overcome the challenges faced by the absence of Acid Blue 145 in the market and any other colorant challenges you may face.  We hope to hear from you soon.



Ultramarine Blue


What is Ultramarine Blue?

Ultramarine Blue is one of the most sought-after pigments.  Historically, Ultramarine Blue (a.k.a. Lapis lazuli) was mined from the earth, and it was prized for its deep blue hues when used in paints.  However, the colorant was prohibitively expensive and often cost more than gold. Nearly 100 years ago Ultramarine Blue became much more affordable when it was synthesized in a lab and manufactured by the ton.  Now, the colorant is used in a large number of applications due to its brilliant color and its suitability in many applications.

Is Ultramarine Blue FDA compliant?

Ultramarine Blue is one of several colorants which is exempt from FDA lot certification in accordance with Title 21 Part 73 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  We offer grades of Ultramarine Blue which are compliant with worldwide cosmetics regulations including US FDA rule 21CFR73.2725, European Union Regulation (EC) 1223/2009, Japanese cosmetic rules, and Chinese Inventory of Existing Cosmetics Ingredients in China (IECIC edition 2014).  

What applications can Ultramarine Blue be used on?

Cosmetic grade Ultramarine Blue is commonly used in products including soaps, face makeup, eye makeup, and nail coatings.  Industrial grade forms of Ultramarine Blue are commonly used as a “bluing agent” to whiten yellowish soaps and papers, and this helps make those products appear “cooler.”  Ultramarine Blue is also used in paints, resins, lacquers, enamels, inks, rubber, plastics, cement, soaps, and detergents.

Ultramarine Blue has long-standing brilliance and permanence.  Moreover, Ultramarine Blue has excellent lightfastness, it is resistant to alkali pH, it is easy to disperse, and it demonstrates temperature stability up to 400 ⁰C (752 ⁰F) which makes it suitable for use in various thermoplastic resins.

Pylam Dyes Ultramarine Blue

We offer various forms of Ultramarine Blue in package sizes which range from 1 pound jars to 110 pound drums.  Please contact us and we will gladly work with you to find the most appropriate form of Ultramarine Blue for your application.

Pylam Products has been in business since 1919.  During this time we have established an expertise in coloring a vast array of different kinds of products.  The focus of our sales is business-to-business and we will gladly work with you to find the best colorants for your application.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our dye and pigment products.  We are always happy to share our expertise in the coloring chemistry that may pertain to your products and business.   

Vinegar and Easter Egg Dyes

We know that many people may wonder about the best way to color Easter eggs this time of year. We feel that the detail below is a good example of how dyes can be employed.

Most Easter egg dying kits instruct the user to mix a small amount of white vinegar along with warm water and a food grade dye (ex: FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #1). The eggs are then dipped into the vinegar-water-dye mixture, and the color is imparted onto the egg shell. Without vinegar, the dye acts much more slowly. Those of us who are not chemists may wonder why vinegar plays an important role in this process. The detail provided below answers this question.

Store bought white vinegar is a solution of acetic acid in water, and the acetic acid is typically present at about 5%. Acetic acid is classified as a weak acid, and it’s the weak acid functionality that makes vinegar so effective when coloring Easter eggs. A weak acid will provide hydrogen ions, which have an affinity for the anionic dye molecule of the FDA certified food grade dyes. When the hydrogen ions attach to the anionic dye molecule, the molecule is more capable of hydrogen bonding and is therefore better-suited to attach to protein molecules in the egg shell.

While any weak acid will work to enhance the coloration of Easter eggs, white vinegar is the most obvious choice since food grade vinegar is readily available at all grocery stores. Moreover, it only takes a small amount of vinegar to accomplish the desired result when coloring Easter eggs. It is interesting to note that too much acid can cause an undesired chemical reaction with the calcium carbonate in the egg shell. If too much acid is used, the chemical reaction will result in some fizzing, and a deterioration of the shell. Similarly, other types of vinegar can stain egg shells, so white vinegar is the preferred option for this dye procedure.

Pylam Products has been in business since 1919. During this time we have established an expertise in coloring a vast array of different kinds of products. The focus of our sales is business-to-business and we will gladly work with you to find the best colorants for your application. Please [Contact Us] if you would like to learn more about our dye and pigment products. We are always happy to share our expertise in the coloring chemistry that may pertain to your products and business.

Pylam Dyes now offering resin chips

From the Lab……

As our customers know, we spend a great deal of time and resources communicating about the available dye and colorant options for both their projects and their problems.  For many of these requests, solvent dyes are the best colorant option.  However, it can be difficult to communicate and capture how they appear during the color selection process.  In order to help with this, we now use colored resin chips to assist in illustrating how different solvent dyes in varying concentrations are likely to appear in the customer’s application.  Of course, the chemistry of the product can impact dye performance attributes.  However, dyed resin chips are a tangible, helpful, and meaningful method to show how our solvent dyes are likely to perform.  They help the customer to attain the right dye for their product in a more clear and speedy basis.  

We are offering a method for producing resin chips containing solvent dyes at 0.0040%.  When the method is fully developed, we will have clear resin-based chips with consistent dye concentrations.  The clear chips will allow comparison of similar colors, and will be stackable to provide a good visual representation of the effects of higher and lower concentrations.  Opaque chips are also under development, and will provide a consistent representation of solvent dyes as they would appear in an opaque material.  

We strive to continue to be a best-in-class solution for all of our customers’ colorant needs.  Our new resin chips help us along that path.  Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you have any questions, or if you have an interest in our solvent dye resin chips to help you select the right dye for your product.  

Doug Sawyer, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist


What is the difference between organic and inorganic pigments?

Inorganic versus Organic Pigments

In a previous post—Dyes versus Pigments—a comparison between dyes and pigments was provided along with clarification that, regardless of their differences, both dyes and pigments fall in the “colorant” family of chemical compounds. With this classification now familiar, we can dig a little deeper into understanding the colorant family taxonomy and, more specifically, the two primary types of pigments, which are organic and inorganic.

If a pigment is the preferred colorant for a certain product, one should know that both organic and inorganic pigments may be presented as options. Which one is the right choice? The answer depends on the characteristics of these two pigment types and, more importantly, how these characteristics impact their behavior with certain product materials during the coloring process.

In terms of chemical composition, Organic pigments contain carbon in their molecular structure and Inorganic pigments do not. The terms “organic” and “inorganic” pigments have no correlation to where the pigments are manufactured, mined, or created.

When it comes to deciding whether to use an organic or inorganic pigment, the following must be determined: (1) if the opaqueness of the pigment is a driving attribute, (2) the vibrancy of color is the key criteria, and (3) if its ability to withstand light and weather is paramount. Organic pigments tend to generate brighter and richer colors than inorganic pigments. However, organic pigments are usually more prone to fading or being destroyed when they’re exposed to sunlight and harsh chemicals than are their inorganic counterparts. Many organic pigments, when applied in a single layer, are incapable of generating a surface coat that will completely hide the undercoat, while inorganic pigments are generally more opaque.

Keeping all of this in mind, the application or product to which the pigment will be added will have a profound impact on the stability of the colorant. For example, if an organic pigment is added to a plastic it will be partially encompassed in the plastic material and that will shield the pigment from some light and weather. In other applications, such as an ink which may be used on a textile, the same pigment may be directly exposed to light and weather and consequently exhibit different light and weather fastness.

Due to the resiliency and performance properties of many pigments, the cost of a pigment may be outweighed by the benefits that it imparts once the colorant is used. For that reason, some pigments are widely used yet relatively expensive when compared to lower-priced colorants.

So what is the takeaway? Both organic and inorganic pigments have their particular uses and strengths based on the differences in their chemical and physical properties. If you are not sure of exactly what you need, contact us and we will do the work for you to find the best fit for your product. Additionally, if you would like to get a better feel for the in-person appearance of any of our colorants, fill out our sample request form and we’ll have your chosen colorant sent your way.

New Product Announcement Pylakrome Red VS LX-12137

Pylam maintains an inventory of thousands of distinct dyes, pigments, and blends of colorants. Our PYLAKROME RED VS LX-12137 is a high-tinctorial strength dye with outstanding solubility, good heat stability, and good lightfastness. Please consider receiving a free sample of this dye product so that you can evaluate its effectiveness first hand.

This dye product is a blend of Solvent Yellow 14 (CAS# 842-07-9) and Solvent Red 24 (CAS# 85-83-6) and can perform with great results in petroleum derivative products, and other applications including:

Our Pylakrome Red VS LX-12137 solubilizes quickly, which can naturally help your manufacturing and production become more efficient. The strength of this dye can help your product become more intensely colored, which can help you get a marketing edge over your competitors.

Please Contact Us for more information about this product or to discuss how we may assist you with any of your other colorant needs.

DuPont Fiber Identification Stain #4

Pylam Products has been offering DuPont Fiber ID Stain #4 since the 1970s. For nearly forty years we have been supplying one of the greatest fiber identification systems to the pharmaceutical, textile, and manufacturing industries. Whether you need to comply with USP guidelines, internal quality control metrics, or are trying to determine the fibers that are in your product, DuPont Fiber Identification Stain #4 will help.

By using DuPont Fiber Identification Stain #4 you will be able to visually determine fibers such as:

  • Spun diacetate

  • Bleached cotton

  • Spun viscose (Rayon)

  • Nylon 66

  • Spun Polyester

  • Spun Polyacrylic

  • Spun Silk

  • Worsted Wool

If you are unsure of how to use DuPont Fiber ID Stain #4, simply use these easy-to-follow instructions:

  1. Wet the fabric with hot water
  2. Make a dye bath that is 1% DuPont Fiber Identification Stain #4 and 99% water (NOTE: this equates to approximately 1 gram of dye per 100 ml of water)
    • a. The dye bath should have enough of this solution so that it’s 20 parts solution and 1 part fabric that will be tested.
  3. Place the fabric into the boiling water solution that is 1% DuPont Fiber Identification Stain #4
  4. Boil the fabric for 1 minute
  5. Remove, rinse and dry
  6. Evaluate the fabric against the color chart to determine if the fiber is correct
  7. If there are any difficulties in classifying “Dacron” polyester fibers from “Orlon” acrylic fibers, return the fabric to the bath an add 5% sulfuric acid and continue to boil for five minutes.
    • a. The “Dacron” will generate a golden shade and the “Orlon” will generate a dull orange shade.

Download Instructions for DuPont Fiber Identification Stain #4

DuPont fiber Identification #4 is just one type of fiber identification products we offer. Pylam also offers several types of indicators, for both dyes and pH identification purposes. Contact us today to find the right solution for your product.

Difference Between Dyes and Pigments

What is the difference between dyes and pigments?

Dyes versus Pigments

Both dyes and pigments fall under the umbrella term of “colorants.” Dyes and pigments are both used to color materials, although the way in which the coloring process takes place is different for each. Dyes require some sort of physical or chemical reaction in order for the dyeing process to occur. Pigments themselves are actual particles of color. Unlike dyes, the coloring process with pigments requires a binding or dispersion agent in which the pigment itself is suspended. The coloring process with pigments occurs when the binding or gluing agent, in which the pigment is suspended, attaches to the material being colored. The binding or dispersion agent works as a vehicle in which pigments can achieve the coloring process.

In terms of their chemical composition, one primary distinction between dyes and pigments is that pigments are insoluble in water as well as most other solvents. In general, dyes are either water soluble or soluble in another type of solvent. As mentioned above, dyes typically utilize some sort of solvent in which the dye is dissolved. This “dye-bath” is typically where the reactions of the dyeing process occurs. The coloring of materials with pigments categorically takes place on “the surface” of the product being colored. Once the pigment-dispersion agent mixture is applied to the surface of a material, the next step is for the mixture to convert from a liquid to a solid. This conversion usually occurs via oxidation, leaving a solid coat of color on the surface of the material at hand.

Another primary distinction between dyes and pigments is size. Before the coloring process, pigments are usually ground as finely as possible, resulting in a powder of pigment particles. These pigment particles, which are usually between a few microns in size, are much larger than dye molecules. Since the coloring process with dyes occurs by means of physical and chemical reactions, it is necessary to understand dyes at the molecular level—this is often how different types of dyes are categorized. Some types of dyes are categorized based on their cationic characteristics, and some types of dyes are categorized based on their anionic characteristics. Conversely, the coloring process with pigments doesn’t take place at the molecular level, so pigments are not categorized based on these qualities.

In short, certain types of products require pigments to be colored, and certain types of products require dyes. If you’re wondering which type of colorant your product requires, contact us and let us do the work for you. We will conduct thorough testing to ensure that the chosen colorant is completely compatible with your product, and that colorant will be long lasting and of the highest quality.

Pylam Pearlizer

Pylam is excited to announce a new product—our Pylam Pearlizer. The Pylam Pearlizer creates a pearlescent effect or appearance. Specifically, the Pylam Pearlizer is designed to be used with cosmetics and cleansers, such as hair conditioners, shampoos, foaming bath products, liquid bath soaps, liquid hand soaps, skin creams and lotions, liquid dish soaps, and more. If you manufacture or formulate one of these products, or something similar, and are looking to add a shimmering, pearlescent effect, then our Pearlizer is exactly what you need.

Pylam Pearlizeris a liquid, surfactant blend. Composed of Glycol Distearate, Laureth-4, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, pearlescent effects in your product can be achieved with as little as 1%; meaning that only 1% of your product’s composition is the actual Pearlizer. Different levels of pearlescent appearance can be achieved when more Pearlizer is used in your formulation, however, we do not recommend amounts over 5%.

The Pylam Pearlizer can also be used in conjunction with many of our dyes and pigments. If you’re looking to add luster to your product for which you already have a chosen color, or if you’re looking for a completely new pearlescent color, we have everything you need. Known for the quality of our colorants and our ability to create custom blends specifically for any product, we are excited to add the Pylam Pearlizer to our list of offerings. As with our other colorant products, we are happy to offer Pylam Pearlizer in small package sizes, of 10lb and 25lb containers. So if you’re looking to add a luxurious, shimmering look to your product, then contact us today and check out the Pylam Pearlizer.