Brine soap recipe feedback, please

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sarasvati

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I have made salt bars but never made brine soap before and am excited to try it for the first time.

Will this recipe work?

What would you do to get a better Longevity value without using palm oil?

Your feedback will be very much appreciated!

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Carly B

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It seems to me that your salt is low, and with a brine bar you want a high superfat. I generally figure salt to be 25% (or more) of the water weight, which would be about double what you are adding. And I superfat 20% for my brine bars.
 

sarasvati

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@Carly B, thank you very much for your reply! Wow, 20% superfat! OK.

I thought I was calculating the salt amount correctly but maybe I am wrong...

This is what I did:
216.59g (water) - 108.3g (lye) = 108.29g
20% of 108.29g is about 22g
25% of 108.29g is about 27g

I read somewhere that for brine soap, add 20% to 25% of salt calculated this way, so I figured that 25g of salt would be sufficient.

Am I doing this calculation wrong??
 

Carly B

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Yes. I'm not sure why you subtracted the lye amount from the water. Factor the amount of salt on the total amount of water. You will have to split some of the water out to dissolve the salt (it won't dissolve in the lye water), but you still use the total amount.

25% of 216.59 is close to 54, which is twice your 27.

Forget what I said about superfat---20% was for my salt bars which have a high percentage of coconut oil. Your superfat should be fine with that much coconut.
 

Carly B

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There's really no right or wrong answer. Do a couple of smaller batches and see what you like. I use 25% of the total water weight to determine my salt amount, and the people I've given it to seem to really like it. But some soapers use less and some use more in their recipes. Just play with it and have fun.
 

sarasvati

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Thank you, @Carly B! I will try it and see how it comes out.

One more question. Can you use any recipe and add salt (20 to 20% of the total water weight) to make brine soap? Or does the recipe need to have a high percentage of coconut oil? It seems like a lot of brine soap recipes are that way and have a very high percentage of coconut oil.
 

amd

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However, maybe I understood it wrong?
If you did it as I mentioned in the previous thread, then no, you didn't do it wrong. Think of it this way, if you don't remove the amount of liquid used to dissolve the lye, you're over saturating the remaining liquid with salt and the salt won't dissolve. So if you're doing a 2:1 lye concentration (numbers made up for easy math) and 100g water is used to dissolve your lye, you have 100g water left to dissolve the salt. Depending on water temps the saturation level can be between 23-28%. So assuming somewhere in middle at 25%, you can dissolve 25g salt in water. More salt than that and it won't dissolve properly. So if you calculated using the full 200g water amount, you would be dissolving 50g - and leaving 25g salt undissolved. Remember, the 100g that has dissolved the lye is fully saturated with lye and can't be used to dissolve anything else.
 

sarasvati

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Thank you, @amd for chiming in! I think I it makes sense and I understand it :)
 

Spice

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Yes. I'm not sure why you subtracted the lye amount from the water. Factor the amount of salt on the total amount of water. You will have to split some of the water out to dissolve the salt (it won't dissolve in the lye water), but you still use the total amount.

25% of 216.59 is close to 54, which is twice your 27.

Forget what I said about superfat---20% was for my salt bars which have a high percentage of coconut oil. Your superfat should be fine with that much coconut.
is the amount of salt different when making a brine soap vs a salt bar? What oils can be used to super fat, or just CO? Can I use olive oil to super fat?
 

amd

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is the amount of salt different when making a brine soap vs a salt bar?
Yes. For brine soap (often called soleseife) the salt is dissolved before combining with the fats/oils/butters. For this type of soap, you can only use as much salt as will dissolve in your free liquid solution.

Salt bars the salt is added after you bring the fats/oils/butters to trace with lye solution. Most of the salt will remain undissolved in a salt bar. You can use up to an equal amount of salt as your fats/oils/butters weight.

What oils can be used to super fat, or just CO? Can I use olive oil to super fat?
I am confused by this question. Superfat is determined by the amount of lye in your recipe, not the oils you choose.
 

earlene

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There are many different recipes for Soleseife (aka brine soap) recipes. Here are a few links of various Soleseife soaps made by a variety of soap makers:

above translated into English: Naturseife – Soleseife „Lavendel“ | Seife selber machen

Notice in one of the above links, it states salt can be dissolved at up to 25% of the solution. However, it also depends on the temperature. How Much Water Is Needed to Dissolve Salt?

NB: Always run any recipe found online (or elsewhere) through a lye calculator to avoid possible accidental errors and to ensure a safe soap.
 
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Spice

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Yes. For brine soap (often called soleseife) the salt is dissolved before combining with the fats/oils/butters. For this type of soap, you can only use as much salt as will dissolve in your free liquid solution.

Salt bars the salt is added after you bring the fats/oils/butters to trace with lye solution. Most of the salt will remain undissolved in a salt bar. You can use up to an equal amount of salt as your fats/oils/butters weight.


I am confused by this question. Super fat is determined by the amount of lye in your recipe, not the oils you choose.
I have been making salt bars all this time, and I started to question if I was making my salt bars right, I became confused on the super fat and what it actually is. I was adding the SF oils into my batch rather then discounting the lye in my receipe; the last batch I made didnt looked too good and the lather was weak, I will be making soleseife. Thank you for the websites, I will check them out too.
 

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What is the benefit of this type of bar? I've read the links and it seems the benefit is the same as washing skin with salt. Are there more?

In the experience of those who make these bars, is the higher SF in these recipes (from 6.5% to 10%) to prevent the Coconut Oil from being too "drying", or is it the high salt amount that's drying (as when swimming in the ocean)? My concern is the higher SF impact on my septic system and plumbing. I know I can try and see, but has anyone made these with a SF lower than the 6.5% mentioned in one of the articles?
 

Spice

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F67B9111-357E-402E-86B8-84F34DF697D9.jpeg
As far as making my first soleseife, not sure if this is right. I made two. The creamy white, I added the salt to the water, than I added the lye to the salt water, because the other one just wasn't Dissolving the salt. I feel better with the creamy one.
 

Spice

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What is the benefit of this type of bar? I've read the links and it seems the benefit is the same as washing skin with salt. Are there more?

In the experience of those who make these bars, is the higher SF in these recipes (from 6.5% to 10%) to prevent the Coconut Oil from being too "drying", or is it the high salt amount that's drying (as when swimming in the ocean)? My concern is the higher SF impact on my septic system and plumbing. I know I can try and see, but has anyone made these with a SF lower than the 6.5% mentioned in one of the articles?
I would think that lower would be more like saline water, which would help your septic system...would soap do that to a septic system?
 

amd

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I became confused on the super fat and what it actually is. I was adding the SF oils into my batch rather then discounting the lye in my receipe;
If you're using a soap calculator, the calculator will adjust the lye based on the SF you enter, so no changes needed from the recipe.
1621520441360.png


1621520478059.png

In these two examples I did 100% CO just to show you quickly. The top is 5% SF, with 87.04g lye, the bottom is 10% SF with 82.46g lye. The higher SF = less lye so that more oils are left free in your finished soap.

What is the benefit of this type of bar?
I have dry skin, so when I use a soleseife (brine) I typically modify my recipe (RBO, tallow, CO, shea, cocoa butter, castor) to slightly increase the CO and up the SF to 10%. I use 15% salt in my lye solution (just to be on the safe side of getting the salt correctly dissolved). I like how much cleaner I feel, but these can only be used for me during the summer. In the winter it's too drying. My husband does not like soleseife as much, but he has very oily skin so he finds the higher laden salt bars to be better for him. He doesn't get oily through the day.

is the higher SF in these recipes (from 6.5% to 10%) to prevent the Coconut Oil from being too "drying", or is it the high salt amount that's drying (as when swimming in the ocean)?
A combination of both. CO in soap will be drying, with addition of salt more so.

has anyone made these with a SF lower than the 6.5% mentioned in one of the articles?
I tried 7% and it was too low. I had to cure them for a month longer before I could use them. Keep in mind though I have very dry skin, ymmv.

The creamy white, I added the salt to the water, than I added the lye to the salt water, because the other one just wasn't Dissolving the salt.
There's a few threads relating to this experience. We've found that when needing to dissolve things in lye solution (such as sugar or salt), it does indeed work better to dissolve before adding lye. Typically there will be some precipitation out of the solution when the lye is added, which I think is what you're seeing with the creamy white solution. It should come back together as you make the soap (this is my thought, so if someone debunks me - thank you!). Also, on a safety note, please don't mix your lye solution in glass. The lye will etch the glass over time, increasing the risk of the glass shattering.
 

sarasvati

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@earlene, thank you very much for all the links for different brine soap recipes. I checked all of them. The recipe by the Spruce Crafts was the easiest to understand and made the most sense to me when I plugged all the numbers into the lye calculator.

Modern Soapmaking's Citrus Breeze Brine Soap Bars is the recipe that I used as the base for my recipe. I thought that 42.9% coconut oil was going to be too much coconut oil for me so I replaced some of it with shea butter and decreased the amount of salt according to what @amd suggested in another thread. I think I will try this recipe and see how it works out.

When you add salt to a soap recipe, I understand that it will make the soap harder but that does not mean that it will extend the longevity of the soap, does it?
 

Spice

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If you're using a soap calculator, the calculator will adjust the lye based on the SF you enter, so no changes needed from the recipe.
View attachment 57445

View attachment 57446
In these two examples I did 100% CO just to show you quickly. The top is 5% SF, with 87.04g lye, the bottom is 10% SF with 82.46g lye. The higher SF = less lye so that more oils are left free in your finished soap.


I have dry skin, so when I use a soleseife (brine) I typically modify my recipe (RBO, tallow, CO, shea, cocoa butter, castor) to slightly increase the CO and up the SF to 10%. I use 15% salt in my lye solution (just to be on the safe side of getting the salt correctly dissolved). I like how much cleaner I feel, but these can only be used for me during the summer. In the winter it's too drying. My husband does not like soleseife as much, but he has very oily skin so he finds the higher laden salt bars to be better for him. He doesn't get oily through the day.


A combination of both. CO in soap will be drying, with addition of salt more so.


I tried 7% and it was too low. I had to cure them for a month longer before I could use them. Keep in mind though I have very dry skin, ymmv.


There's a few threads relating to this experience. We've found that when needing to dissolve things in lye solution (such as sugar or salt), it does indeed work better to dissolve before adding lye. Typically there will be some precipitation out of the solution when the lye is added, which I think is what you're seeing with the creamy white solution. It should come back together as you make the soap (this is my thought, so if someone debunks me - thank you!). Also, on a safety note, please don't mix your lye solution in glass. The lye will etch the glass over time, increasing the risk of the glass shattering.
never knew that. what do you use to mix lye?
 

earlene

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@earlene, thank you very much for all the links for different brine soap recipes.
I was just trying to show that Brine Soaps are made with a salt solution, which can vary somewhat, but also that they can be made with various oils as well. So I included a few examples to show that. There are many more examples if one wants to search.

When you add salt to a soap recipe, I understand that it will make the soap harder but that does not mean that it will extend the longevity of the soap, does it?
Correct! What makes soap last longer is based on the fatty acids in the oils used. Soaps made with high percentages of oils high in Lauric and Myristic acids will wear away quickly, as will soaps high in Oleic acid. Soaps made with higher percentages of oils higher in Palmitic and Stearic acids tend to last longer.
 

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