A Question About Salt Bars

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Misschief

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I was going to ask this in Black Dog's thread about those gorgeous salt bars but I didn't want to steal another poster's thunder.

I've made salt bars and love the sample I'm still using but I have a question. Mine started out beautifully white and then started turning yellow. Why? A friend of mine who used to do a lot of soaping said it was normal for salt soap to discolour. Is that true?

It's not the greatest picture; it's still dark here and I didn't want to wake my husband by turning on all the lights.

Incidentally, the sample piece I'm using in the bathroom is even darker, almost a tan/ochre.

salt and other.jpg
 

Obsidian

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I've had my uncolored salt bars turn a very pale off white but they have never went full on yellow. I don't know what causes it but for the most part, they stay white. What oils and kind of salt are you using?
 

cmzaha

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Did you fragrance the batch? I am guessing fragrance oil. I have some salt bars here over 5yrs old that have not changed colors, although it could have been the mineral makeup of your particular salt. I have found even Pacific Sea Salt can vary greatly from suppliers, I have had some sea salt supposedly Pacific that completely killed the lather in soap like DS will do. Sea Wolfe might come in on this one since she does a lot of sea water testing... Anyways, I find using plain table salt will keep your bars consistently white. They look slightly pinkish, but could just be the photo, what oils did you use? Lard can turn pinkish at times
 

Misschief

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My recipe was:

30% olive oil
30% coconut oil
30% lard
5% castor oil
5% shea butter

SF at 8%
Sea Salt added at 7%

I used fine sea salt and added no fragrance or colorant. The recipe came from Soap Recipes 101.

Once it gets lighter here, I'll take a better photo, with the sample from the bathroom.
 
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Seawolfe

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Lol I read that as "sea water tasting" and I thought yes, yes I do...

I used bog standard non-iodized canning salt and minty essential oils and my 6 month old bars are white white white.

Any other salt could literally have just about any other minerals in it - especially if they are drying in coastal salt pans

Edit: on just seeing the recipe - what was your salt percent Misschief? Did you add salt to the water or to the batter? did you use just water for your liquid? And is your Olive oil green?

My soap bars are 80% coconut oil, 15 non EVOO olive oil, 5% castor / 20% SF / 80% salt
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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Is that using brine for the lye water, or actually adding in salt?

If the former, that would be a soleseife or brine soap rather than a salt bar.

If the latter, I hope it wasn't much or there will be next to no lather. Salt bars at actually very high CO (usually 80%+) to allow them to lather in the salt water.
 

BlackDog

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Misschief, mine tend to end up just slightly ivory, not pure bright white, but it might be due to your olive oil content (I'm not the expert here, I've only made three batches of salt bars, so someone tell me if I'm wrong). I use 80% coconut oil with 15% olive and 5% castor. And I use FOs that are reviewed not to discolor.
 

Misschief

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I just edited my recipe post. Sea salt was added at 7% and was added after trace. I used olive oil pomace, which was a yellow-y, normal looking olive oil. A subsequent can of olive was much greener than the one I used in this soap.
 

Misschief

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Here's another, better, picture showing an unused bar (which has been in my soap cabinet since early September) and a sample I've been using.
The lowest salt content I have used in my limited soaping is 50%.
I made it just after I got back into soap making; I'd never made a salt bar before and had heard good things about them. I found a recipe online and decided to try it. I like using it; I just wondered if anyone else's changed colour as well.

It has a slightly off smell to it but nothing like rancid oil, more like an old soap, musty, kind of smell, hard to describe. Not bad but just... stale.

Saltbar_Dec.jpg
 
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cmzaha

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Sorry to say but that is not really going to give you a true salt bar. As someone mentioned you need 50% to really get the feel of a true salt bar. Or maybe it was mentioned on another thread
85% coconut Oil
10% castor
5% lard, sunflower, OO etc
make very nice salt bars.
I superfat this formula at 15% and use 30% Lye Concentration, not water as percent of oil. I did some testing with adding in 5% palm and another with 5% avocado, which is my favorite oil, but both significantly affected the lather. Butters kill lather and so it seems so does avocado even with 5%
 
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Misschief

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Sorry to say but that is not really going to give you a true salt bar. As LSG mentioned you need 50% to really get the feel of a true salt bar.
85% coconut Oil
10% castor
5% lard, sunflower, OO etc
make very nice salt bars.
I superfat this formula at 15% and use 30% Lye Concentration, not water as percent of oil. I did some testing with adding in 5% palm and another with 5% avocado, which is my favorite oil, but both significantly affected the lather. Butters kill lather and so it seems so does avocado even with 5%
Carolyn, how much salt do you put in yours? 50%? I want to love it but the colour and, especially, the scent of mine are definitely putting me off.
 

Steve85569

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50% salt to weight of oil makes a bar that is salted enough that the musty smell ( almost like mildew?) won't happen. Too much salt for the bugs.
More salt sets faster so if you have an EO or FO in mind that slows set I would use that one. I also have taken to casting individual bars so I don't have to time the cut out just right. When these set they set hard like a side walk.
DW Jan complained about the bars from September being too big for her hand and I found that I could score and cut them with a dry wall knife.
Steve
 

cmzaha

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Carolyn, how much salt do you put in yours? 50%? I want to love it but the colour and, especially, the scent of mine are definitely putting me off.
I use 100% salt with strong fo's @ 7% oil weight that hold well. Cool water from NG holds very well in salt bars as does Salty |Air (my favorite) from soapsupplies.net and Dragon's Blood. Salty Air is an accelerator so full water is necessary and work quickly after adding in the salt. I usually end up with drop and plop with Salty Air, but it smells so good it is worth the trouble. I just took down a Pineapple Cilantro that is 3 months old (my min age for salt bars), from soapsupplies.net and it smells delicious in the shower. Will discolor to dark tan. Some high salt bars will resort back to smelling more of a salty ocean scent than the actual fo, I find salt seems to eat fo after a year or so. I always set a couple of bars away for at least a year on the top shelf with my castile so I forget about them.
 
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Misschief

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I made a small batch (500 g) of salt soap this evening. I used 80% coconut oil, 20% olive oil, at 20% SF and 60% oil weight of salt. I scented it with lavender, rosemary, and peppermint. I'm looking forward to unmolding it later and trying it in a few months. Thanks for all the help, everyone!
 

cmzaha

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I made a small batch (500 g) of salt soap this evening. I used 80% coconut oil, 20% olive oil, at 20% SF and 60% oil weight of salt. I scented it with lavender, rosemary, and peppermint. I'm looking forward to unmolding it later and trying it in a few months. Thanks for all the help, everyone!
Next time add in some castor and less OO and I think you will like it better
 

amd

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The recipe my bf fell in love with is 80% CO 15% AO 5% castor 15% SF and 50% salt. I like my CO at 70% and use AO, OO and castor. My first experiments were done in an individual mold and I've only done one in a loaf. I experimented with beer but it was just OK. We like split aloe vera juice with coconut milk.
 

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