Crumbly Salt Bars HP - how to fix

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

CMars

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
Hey! I've tried searching this on the web and haven't come up with anything... Has anyone ever tried soaking or spraying their salt bars with water to rehydrate them to stop crumbling? I made my first salt bars yesterday HP and am very happy with the results. I cut when they were still hot and although there was a little crumbling on the bottom edge, I got a fairly neat edge. The top is very crumbly Hot process style. But now after a day I wanted to test an end piece and broke it in half - the whole thing broke in a bunch of pieces! I realize this may happen with the larger pieces as well, especially since the top is so rustic. Has anyone tried stopping breakage or crumbling by dipping or spraying the soap? Or are there any other tricks;)?
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,325
Reaction score
8,155
Location
Idaho, USA
I've never found a way to fix broken salt bars. How much salt did you use? I've done them HP a couple times and using a high amount of salt makes them so hard, they crack really easy. Last time I only used 25% salt and they cut great.

If they have hairline cracks, they will probably all break when you try and use them. You can shred/powder them and add to a new batch of salt bars. I use the ground salt bars in place of the salt and it works great.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,325
Reaction score
8,155
Location
Idaho, USA
I didn't have a specific reason to try it except to see what the process was like. My first try was pretty awful, instant cement I had to stuff into individual molds. The bars are uneven and full of voids but its still nice soap.
Batch two I wanted to add nori puree and I was trying to prevent it from going brown from the lye. I used less salt and added the nori after the cook, turned out perfect and I was able to cut it in about 15 minutes.
 

Consuela

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
240
Reaction score
177
All I can suggest is cutting sooner... I mean, I cut RIGHT as soon as it's set.. I don't cut the whole thing at once though...

I start on the ends, and cut.... one slice at a time, come back in 10 minutes, cut the next one... sometimes it'll take me an hour to cut salt-bars, but I haven't had a crumbly bar since i started cutting while it's still hot - and only set on the outsides... I find if I leave it, then my ends will be crumbly and my center will be perfect - so I cut as I go... the odd time I've cut too soon - and the soaps is SO hot and soft, so I leave it...and come back to it.

Also. I salt at 1TBS-2TBS PPO....
 

CMars

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
I only used salt at 50% of my oils and there are no hairline cracks. When I cut it was still warm, but it was 1-2 hours after molding. I did HP because I wanted to see if I could avoid the notoriously long cure you need for CP salt bars. Is it true that when you start using them they turn smooth like a river rock? I'm hoping that's what will happen instead of them breaking.
 

HoiPoloi

Active Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
31
Reaction score
24
Location
New Jersey
I've hp'd salt bars twice. Both times, I used 80% fine sea salt. I did cut them when they were warm and they did cut fine. I did get some edges that dropped off some salt but didn't get any cracking. I made unscented ones so I didn't have to deal with anything other than adding the salt. Once the batter was done, I just really quickly added in the salt and molded. I did add some pink clay into one batch that came out cute and yes, they do get really smooth in the shower. I don't know, let them sit and then once ready take one in the shower and use it and see what happens? Also, I do let my HP soap sit for at least 4 weeks, usually more unless I'm super impatient!!!! Or if the hubs keep asking, "can we use that YET???" LOL!! Good luck!
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,325
Reaction score
8,155
Location
Idaho, USA
You know, I do think HP shortens the cure for salt bars by a few weeks but they still need a good 8 week cure to be really nice. If you try them HP again try cutting as soon as its firm.
Salt bars can be a bit delicate the first few days, leave them alone until they have really hardened. I don't handle mine for a week or more.
Yes, they get super smooth in the shower and last forever.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,993
Reaction score
9,095
Location
Austria
.............Batch two I wanted to add nori puree and I was trying to prevent it from going brown from the lye. I used less salt and added the nori after the cook, turned out perfect and I was able to cut it in about 15 minutes.
Ah, that is interesting, thanks for sharing - good to know about the very short mould time!

..............I did HP because I wanted to see if I could avoid the notoriously long cure you need for CP salt bars...........
Alas, HP usually needs the same cure time as CP. There are some exceptions, such as shaving soaps, but even then they still get better with age.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,325
Reaction score
8,155
Location
Idaho, USA
Here are my HP salt bars

50% salt, quickly swirled some mica along with lime EO after the salt was added.


25% salt, added soaked and pureed nori after cook.
cut edges
 

CMars

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
SAM_6070.AVI_snapshot_00.10_[2015.11.06_23.22.10].jpg

This is what mine looks like. The crumbly top is partially intentional, but as it was cooling down I frantically jabbed at the top trying to get all of the little bits to stick. This is what I worry will crumble off. Other than that I am happy with it. It looks like a slab of granite, and am glad to hear it does get river stone smooth!

SAM_6069.AVI_snapshot_00.08_[2015.11.06_23.22.34].jpg

Glad to hear it gets harder after a week.

Wow, I didn't know HP salt bars had to cure just as long as HP. If anything, I'm really into the rustic look of HP.
 

Latest posts

Top