Crumbly Salt Bar… What went wrong

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
16
Reaction score
32
Location
Bronx, NY
I attempted to make a small batch of salt soap for the first time today. I did 80% coconut oil, 5% castor oil, and 15% olive oil with 20% superfat. Lye:water ratio was 1:1.8 and I soaped at room temperature. I also added 1 small spoon of green clay to the oils. I added a fragrance oil calculated at .5 oz/ per lb oils at light trace. (One that I’ve used with no problems). Then I added an equal mix of Himalayan pink salt and European Sea Salt calculated to 75% of the weight of the oils. Okay, so my understanding of salt soap is that they get very hard very quick and it’s best to un-mold within 4-12 hours and cut it soon after. Now I wonder if that’s correct. I un-molded at 5 hours and it was smooth and hard on the outside. I cut one slice and it was pretty crumbly and dry. The cut bar broke into 2 pieces. I left the rest of the loaf alone for know. Can anyone tell me… did I cut too soon or is this a recipe problem? If I wait a day, would the rest of the loaf be likely to cut better or will it still be dry? Any way to salvage this if not? Thanks!!
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
4,632
Reaction score
11,471
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
I find salt bars can often be crumbly. For this reason I tend to use cavity molds instead.
IMG_3065.JPG
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
518
Reaction score
864
Location
Florida
Not related to your crumbly issue, but I would seriously suggest doing a search regarding Himalayan salt. It tends to be way too sharp for soap and has actually cut people when they’ve used it.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
16
Reaction score
32
Location
Bronx, NY
Not related to your crumbly issue, but I would seriously suggest doing a search regarding Himalayan salt. It tends to be way too sharp for soap and has actually cut people when they’ve used it.

Thanks, that’s good to know, I’ll read up on it. Does that apply to the fine ground salt or just coarse grind? I used an equal mix of finely ground Himalayan and fine sea salt.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
16
Reaction score
32
Location
Bronx, NY
Waited too long to cut. I've had salt bars that were ready in one hour, others 8.
I mostly use individual molds now so I don't have to baby sit the soap for the perfect moment.

That sounds like the way to go for the future. I ended up pulverizing the bars and rebatching them. After melting, I put them in individual molds. 🤞🏼
 

RusticUrban

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
12
Reaction score
36
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Thanks, that’s good to know, I’ll read up on it. Does that apply to the fine ground salt or just coarse grind? I used an equal mix of finely ground Himalayan and fine sea salt.

I use fine Himalayan salt in my bars without a problem, no scratching or sharp edges. I love the creamy lather it ends up making with a sort of polishing feel to it
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
518
Reaction score
864
Location
Florida
Personally, I wouldn’t use any Himalayan salt. I still have a batch from 3 or 4 years ago that I couldn’t give to anybody and I used fine. I am able to use them with a wash cloth, but I certainly wouldn’t sell…or even give them away for that matter. I, too, wanted so badly to make a salt bar with Pink Himalayan salt and ignored all the posts and advice on here. Needless to say….I’m hardheaded🤣🤣🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
Messages
38
Reaction score
56
Location
Wisconsin
I have wanted to make a good M&P salt bar from the moment I started soaping and I finally got one! I used clear MP base from WSP with Blood Orange FO, dendritic salt, honey powder and 1ml rice bran oil. I found a blog somewhere that said to pour in layers, let set a bit then sprinkle the salt. Do that until you have what you want for salt content. I did three layers with the alcohol spray, of course, wrapped it tightly with plastic wrap and said a prayer. Well, when I unwrapped it it was a greasy mess and I thought I had another failure. I planned to make it into salt scrub cubes. Then I remembered something I read in one of these forums about hot process and drying out salt bars. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I unmolded the bars very carefully and layered them on paper towels in a cake pan. Then I wrapped it up again tightly and threw it in the fridge for three days. When I pulled it out to check I found the most beautiful salt bars! And the lather is amazing! It’s also very very moisturizing. Hopefully the photo comes through for you.
 

Attachments

  • 12550B2C-3ACD-4127-9AD5-E76A9DF97BBF.jpeg
    12550B2C-3ACD-4127-9AD5-E76A9DF97BBF.jpeg
    110.7 KB · Views: 27
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
16
Reaction score
32
Location
Bronx, NY
Everytime I've used Himalayan salt, even fine, it ended up scratchy

Its only been a few weeks so my rebatched bars are not done curing but I gave one of them a try to get an idea of whether they would be usable (for personal/ family use). You were right about the Himalayan salt. These came out more than scratchy though- they actually feel sharp. And it’s fine Himalayan blended 50/50 with sea salt and rebatched with hot process so I’m surprised it’s so rough. Otherwise the bar is already super hard, smells great & has incredible lather so I’m still going to use it inside a soap saver bag.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,645
Reaction score
8,933
Location
Idaho, USA
Its only been a few weeks so my rebatched bars are not done curing but I gave one of them a try to get an idea of whether they would be usable (for personal/ family use). You were right about the Himalayan salt. These came out more than scratchy though- they actually feel sharp. And it’s fine Himalayan blended 50/50 with sea salt and rebatched with hot process so I’m surprised it’s so rough. Otherwise the bar is already super hard, smells great & has incredible lather so I’m still going to use it inside a soap saver bag.

The color in himalayan salt comes from a gritty, sandy clay. If you dissolve a spoonful in a glass of water, you can see the grit left behind.
Its this grit that can scratch or even cut. I sliced my chest once with larger grained salt.
I only use cheap sea salt or canning salt now.
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
3,056
Reaction score
5,781
Location
Oregon
Then I added an equal mix of Himalayan pink salt and European Sea Salt calculated to 75% of the weight of the oils.

First of all, Salt Salt is going to be a bit crumbly unless you use cavity molds...it's just the nature of the beast. Second, I'm going to say that you used too much salt; general rule of thumb is 50% or less. Your unmolding time is going to vary depending on your recipe, how much salt you use, the size of your recipe, whether you gel or don't gel, the temperature and humidity levels of the room your soap is saponifying in, the size and type of your molds, etc. I was always told to check every hour.

With that said...salt soap and I don't get along; I've tried three times now and ended up tossing it. Even my nicest tester said that it was bad. LOL
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
3,056
Reaction score
5,781
Location
Oregon
I have to say, I have never heard this “rule of thumb”, and I have used up to 100% without issue. I’m pretty sure other soapers do as well.

Are you sure you are using 100%? I only ask because I've made a Salt Scrub with 100% and it's barely moveable.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
518
Reaction score
864
Location
Florida
100%…positive. I also use up to 150% in scrubs🤔🤔🤔not sure why you have such an issue. Actually, my scrubs are sugar, not salt (not sure if that makes a difference). I’m almost positive there are other makers who use 100% salt in soaps with no issue. Maybe one will chime in. I am able to color and swirl and I love, love, love my salt bars. I do give them a ridiculously long cure….at the very least 12 months.
 
Top