Adapting a Salt Bar Recipe to Remove Palm

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makemineirish

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I plan to attempt a salt bar, but am interested in making something I like rather than the easiest option. I am fully committed to multiple attempts and refining my preferences. My hope is that you guys might be willing to pool a little collective wisdom into the coarse tuning.

The parameters that I have are that I would like to incorporate a little design and prefer to avoid palm oil. To that end, I was planning to use this recipe as a jumping off point. A customer service representative at Bramble Berry felt it left a some working time.
http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-b...ocess-soap/pretty-in-pink-salty-cold-process/

I understand that salt soap can move fast and that many of you struggle to get it in the mold before it ceases being pour-able. Under the assumption that the percentage of salt is directly proportionate to trace speed (and previous posts regarding others' preferences), I would like to keep my salt at the lower end of the spectrum, 25-35% without taking a water discount. I realize that avoiding cavity molds (for design purposes) will require a bit of a learning curve on when exactly to cut my bars.

Now, the slightly tricky part. When trying to remove palm from an existing recipe, I usually opt to substitute lard. However, I gathered from this recent thread that doing so may be ill-advised in a salt bar.
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=58250

I have a pretty full arsenal of oils, butters, and additives. So don't hold back. Let me do most of the legwork here (it's only fair). Switching the oils to percentages for ease, I get an original recipe of:

30% coconut oil
35% olive oil
30% palm oil
5% shea butter

Weighing my Himalayan salt multiple times, I averaged the results to find that what I buy is 245.20g(8.65oz)/cup. That would mean that Soap Queen's recipe calls for a quantity of salt roughly 80% of oil weight. I am planning to just drop the percentage to 35% and see how I feel about the first draft.

I think that covers everything. I am not committed to any particular design, mold decision, or recipe yet. The primary concern is how to avoid palm oil in a salt bar. I really want to thank any of you in advance for taking the time to respond. I am not trying to obligate anyone to generate a recipe for me, just point me in a general direction. I would like to have a little less error in my trial and error period:)
 

hmlove1218

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Honestly, a really simple (but really good) salt bar is IrishLass's recipe of 100% coconut oil with a 20% SF and full coconut milk for water.

I personally don't like butters in my salt bars as it makes it much more difficult to lather IMO. Others swear by shea.

A good base guideline for formulating a salt bar recipe is 80% coconut oil 20% other oils, 15%-20% SF and whatever salt amount you want. I use 50% and I have never had to rush to get it in the mold. I usually even have time to swirl even after getting it to a good trace before adding my salt.

Just be warned as coconut oil soaps get hot fast usually and can overheat. Keep an eye on it. And if you make it in a log mold, be prepared to cut as soon as it's firm enough to get out of the mold.
 

Obsidian

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Honestly, I don't like any hard oils or butters in a salt soap. Your best bet is to use 80% coconut oil and your favorite liquid oil for the rest. Some use 5% castor but I don't find it necessary.
I've made a lot of salt soap and the best IMO is the simplest.-+80% CO, 20% OO with a 20% superfat.
 

Seawolfe

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By definition salt bars need lots of CO to overcome the salt, coconut oil is the only soap that can do that. Lots of people think that salt makes a salt bar, but that's only half the equation.
 

makemineirish

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Salt bars are generally high CO 80-100%. Adding shea or palm would cut down or eliminate lather. Here is a recent active post regarding salt bars.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=58250 which you have linked to already has a lot of information.
Thanks. I appreciate that information, and am actively trying to remove the palm. I could just substitute straight coconut oil, but hoped to do a bit more than that. However, I will limit the butter(s) based on your information. As for the thread, I appreciate the link, but have read everything in that link (as well as a few others on salt bars). I thought of positing my question there as the lard discussion is what prompted my own post. However, I felt that doing so would be an impolite "highjacking" of Bamagirl's post.

Don't hesitate to set me straight if you feel that I should have placed this question elsewhere...or overlooked readily available information:) I attempt to exercise my due diligence in thoroughly researching a question before expecting anyone else to chime in. None of the posts that I came across addressed my specific concern.

Threads about removing palm were not so useful in terms of salt bar recipes (evidenced by the denouncements of lard in Bamagirl's responses). Threads about salt bars were not concerned with palm oil or even working time as it pertained to design elements. Most posters seemed content to move quickly and rely on cavity molds. Recipe suggestions were entirely based on the quality of the salt bar, which while important, was not my only consideration. I like pretty:oops:
 

makemineirish

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Honestly, a really simple (but really good) salt bar is IrishLass's recipe of 100% coconut oil with a 20% SF and full coconut milk for water.
Thanks for that. I have seen IrishLass' recipe reference in several threads and appreciate the vote of confidence in it. I will probably just shift to that as my starting point. (I'm a certifiable tweaker and cannot seem to leave anything as is:rolleyes:.)

I personally don't like butters in my salt bars as it makes it much more difficult to lather IMO. Others swear by shea.
The different perspectives are what cause me some vacillation. That being said, I intend to make test batches to fine tune what personally works for me. I think the reason a lot of us start DIY-ing anything is for the freedom to customize:).

A good base guideline for formulating a salt bar recipe is 80% coconut oil 20% other oils, 15%-20% SF and whatever salt amount you want. I use 50% and I have never had to rush to get it in the mold. I usually even have time to swirl even after getting it to a good trace before adding my salt.
Thanks! Most people don't mention their working time...except in terms of how soon they got "soap on a stick". This is incredibly helpful.

Just be warned as coconut oil soaps get hot fast usually and can overheat. Keep an eye on it. And if you make it in a log mold, be prepared to cut as soon as it's firm enough to get out of the mold.
I appreciate the heads up and was planning to use a vertical silicone mold that can easily be placed in the refrigerator if needed:think:. Cutting time is still tricky, but given that I am going to be doing test batches at first, I only plan to make 2-3 bars at a time. We are the only ones using them, so ugly is an acceptable stepping stone on my (hopefully steep) learning curve.
 

makemineirish

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By definition salt bars need lots of CO to overcome the salt, coconut oil is the only soap that can do that. Lots of people think that salt makes a salt bar, but that's only half the equation.
That is actually a really important point. I am aware that coconut oil is one of the few that lathers in the presence of salt. (Deanna has a great explanation about fatty acid profiles and the lathering capabilities of babassu and palm kernel as well.) However, I failed to consider the importance of coconut/salt ratio. Thanks!
 
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shunt2011

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Just try some different recipes and tweak it to your liking. I use 80% CO, 15% Avocado and 5% Castor with 25-35% Salt. It too me many batches to decide on what worked for me. I'm sure you'll find the sweet spot for your recipe. I have plenty of time to swirl etc. as long as my FO plays nice. I can cut at 4 hours. Playing with different formulas is half the fun of soapmaking for me.
 

LoveOscar

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My last salt bar was 80% Coconut, 15% Sunflower, 5% Castor, salt 50% weight oils. Everyone I gifted it to loved it. My next bar will include coconut milk though, probably same recipe or substitute the SO.
 

hmlove1218

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I use coconut milk in all my salt bars. They are my favorite
This 1000x!!

I must ask though, does anyone else find that CM keeps their salt bars cooler? Every time I've used CM, I actually have to force gel. Same recipe with goat milk and it gels by itself.
 

shunt2011

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I insulate it with a wood lid and a couple towels. It does seem to take a bit longer. Still ready to cut in 4 hours
 

Obsidian

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I never bother trying to gel my salt bars, either they do or they don't.
 

penelopejane

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I never bother trying to gel my salt bars, either they do or they don't.
I made salt bars with 100% OO. It had 25% salt. DH loves it and wants more. He is confined to OO for his skin (eczema). I have yet to make a CO batch of salt soap so I can't tell you how they compare but you really don't have to have CO is you are not a lather freak.

By "moving fast" it means you mix the salt in and a second later, just as it solidifies, you chuck it into the mold. It is very, very, very quick. And you cut it in about 2-4 hours. I left it too late and ended up with chunky slices.

I do have to say though that Himalayan salt (from that recipe you linked to) is maybe not the best salt to use. Those pink grains look great but they scratch your skin really badly. I use, and I think a lot of others have discovered, that plain, cheap salt is all that is needed in a salt bar.
 
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paillo

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I'm sorry, but there seems to be a waterfall of misinformation being increasingly spread on this thread. I don't even know where to start to correct the mess, including the last post. Those who don't know what they're talking about really should not sound so confident and know-it-all.

Have to go shovel paths one last time before the next foot of snow, or I would try harder....
 

LoveOscar

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I used fine grain pink himalayan sea salt (50%), and all of my testers (all 3 of them) loved it. I forewarned about scratchiness and no one protested after the fact (and hoping they were honest about it lol) except the lack of a scent.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I'm sorry, but there seems to be a waterfall of misinformation being increasingly spread on this thread. I don't even know where to start to correct the mess, including the last post. Those who don't know what they're talking about really should not sound so confident and know-it-all.

Have to go shovel paths one last time before the next foot of snow, or I would try harder....

Hopefully you get a chance to give it some more thought, as that is quite a way to leave things up in the air
 

makemineirish

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I'm sorry, but there seems to be a waterfall of misinformation being increasingly spread on this thread. I don't even know where to start to correct the mess, including the last post. Those who don't know what they're talking about really should not sound so confident and know-it-all.

Have to go shovel paths one last time before the next foot of snow, or I would try harder....
I really appreciate you chiming in, but would love to know specifically what comments you are referencing:think:.

You do not necessarily need to correct the misinformation. I understand that you are dealing with the snowpocalypse. I am a southerner who is burrowed into blankets right now because the outdoor temperature in an unfathomable 34 degrees. That being said, it will still be sunny and gorgeous with a high of 55 today, 66 tomorrow, and 72 by Monday:mrgreen:. I despise August, but have few complaints about what passes for winter around here:cool:.

I am a research fiend and happy to do the legwork myself as it usually leads me to interesting new discoveries. (Case in point: My recent searches for babassu in salt bars led me to a discussion on kpangnan butter, shooting me off into another direction...must learn more about previously unheard of ingredient:Kitten Love:.) Feel free to just click the quote buttons and delete those parts that are not germane to your point. I will start zealously vetting the information.

I have always appreciated the quote, "The trouble with most of us is that we'd rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism." That being said, it's rather ineffectual if it is not constructive (said with love).
 
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paillo

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Granted I was in a state last night, worried about the dogs and power, extremely grumpy and took it out on the forum. Inappropriate and wrongheaded. Many apologies. If I don't have anything constructive to say I will henceforth sit on the hands.
 

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