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First salt bar

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spenny92

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I've read and heard lots about salt bars, and I'd like to try and make my first one soon. Purely because I'm waiting on an order arriving before I can start any other batches, plus the supermarket is all out of lard so all I have is coconut oil and a little bit of some other oils.

Can anyone share their recipes? I'll modify it to suit what I have, which is coconut oil, castor, olive pomace, sweet almond and rice bran. I was thinking of around 80-90% coconut and superfatting at 20%. What should I make up the rest of the oils with? And how much salt should I be using? I have regular table salt - will that be okay?

Finally, is it okay to use a regular loaf mould? I don't like the individual bar moulds I have. I've read that I'll need to cut it as soon as it sets up. If I use coconut milk or some other kind of milk, I'll probably freeze it to stop overheating - will this be an issue with cutting or unmoulding? Sorry for all the questions, I just want to get it right!

Thanks!
 
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jadelilly

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I made 100% coconut oil with 25% superfat and 40% salt and love it so far.
I made it in a loaf mold (plastic box lined with parchment paper) and cut within 2 hours. Worked well for me.
 

KristaMarie

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I wouldn't do much less than 80% coconut oil and the rest is up to you. I wouldn't recommend a butter, as I've found they decrease lather in salt bars more than non-salt bars.
I typically use 100% salt, meaning just as much salt as oils. I think table salt is ok as long as it's not iodized? I just use sea salt.

I use a regular loaf mold, just keep an eye on it, because it'll probably need to be cut within a few hours depending on your recipe.
 

spenny92

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I wouldn't do much less than 80% coconut oil and the rest is up to you. I wouldn't recommend a butter, as I've found they decrease lather in salt bars more than non-salt bars.
I typically use 100% salt, meaning just as much salt as oils. I think table salt is ok as long as it's not iodized? I just use sea salt.

I use a regular loaf mold, just keep an eye on it, because it'll probably need to be cut within a few hours depending on your recipe.
Thanks! I think I'm going to do 90% coconut and 10% castor, salt at 50% and superfat at 20%. Do you think it would be best to freeze/refrigerate it as I'm using coconut milk, or just keep an eye out for it overheating? I normally freeze milk soaps, but as this seems to set so quickly I'm thinking maybe it should just be left out in a cool place?
 

KristaMarie

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I've yet to do a salt bar with coconut milk, so I can't say for sure. I can't imagine freezing/refridgerating will cause any harm though
 

snappyllama

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I normally use that exact recipe with full CM substitution and didn't find it getting overly hot when leaving it out on my counter. Although it was pretty chilly in my house until June, and I haven't made it since it finally warmed up outside.

It makes a really nice bar! Try giving it a couple of months to cure to really get the full oomph.
 

cmzaha

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My salt bars are 90% coconut, 10% castor with 100% salt. I usually cut them withing 45 minutes and do not put them in the freezer. With 50% salt you will probably need to wait an hr of 2. I usually use coconut milk (not coconut cream) or a mix of the coconut milk and fresh aloe. Butters will definetly cut lather in your salt bars. Remember to use fine salt or you will be very unhappy
 

spenny92

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Thanks everyone. It's in the mould now, it's been around 15 mins and it's already hardening up. I've just left it in the kitchen where it's fairly cool. I used the split method with the coconut milk, as I didn't want to wait until it was frozen to mix with the lye hah.

The issue I had was with the lye solution being very concentrated, I'm not sure that all the lye dissolved despite my best efforts. 105g of lye to 100g of water doesn't sound great on paper. I added the rest of the coconut milk as the liquid, so 185g, at light trace along with the salt, some dessicated coconut and EOs.

I normally use that exact recipe with full CM substitution and didn't find it getting overly hot when leaving it out on my counter. Although it was pretty chilly in my house until June, and I haven't made it since it finally warmed up outside.

It makes a really nice bar! Try giving it a couple of months to cure to really get the full oomph.
Someone on another thread suggested that recipe to me - it may have been you, but I can't remember and I'm too lazy to go back and check haha. :)

It's chilly here at the moment as I'm in New Zealand so we're in the midst of winter!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Thanks everyone. It's in the mould now, it's been around 15 mins and it's already hardening up. I've just left it in the kitchen where it's fairly cool. I used the split method with the coconut milk, as I didn't want to wait until it was frozen to mix with the lye hah.

The issue I had was with the lye solution being very concentrated, I'm not sure that all the lye dissolved despite my best efforts. 105g of lye to 100g of water doesn't sound great on paper. I added the rest of the coconut milk as the liquid, so 185g, at light trace along with the salt, some dessicated coconut and EOs.

That's because lye needs as much water as there is lye to dissolve - while you can do a 1:1 ratio of lye:water, you can never use less water than lye or it won't dissolve!
 

spenny92

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That's because lye needs as much water as there is lye to dissolve - while you can do a 1:1 ratio of lye:water, you can never use less water than lye or it won't dissolve!
Yes, that makes sense now but for some reason it didn't cross my mind when making the soap. One of those 'duh' moments! :Kitten Love:

I don't think this batch is great, anyway. I checked it on the mould and it had hardened up and the edges of the silicone mould came away nicely, so I popped it out. It's still warm so I decided to cut it so it wouldn't crumble if I left it too long. Well, my knife is rubbish and normally I use a wire cheese cutter, but I don't want to handle the loaf as it's still soft and I don't want to leave dents in it. So I used the knife and the centre of it is very soft and a darker colour, possibly a partial gel? Gah, I'm annoyed. Now it's just sitting out and I'm hoping it will harden up slightly, but not too much more, so I can attempt to cut it again!

It's definitely decided to go through gel phase now. I've popped a towel over it to help it along, as it's already started. Will be going in the freezer next time!
 

Seawolfe

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I just let mine run with the gel - Im not sure you could stop it with all that coconut. Why dont you want to gel?
 

spenny92

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Okay, it somehow managed to fully gel even after being cut at partial gel, unmoulded after an hour and sat out in a cold room - hah, soap is funny sometimes. I'm pleased with how it looks!

I just prefer the look and feel of ungelled soaps, personally. But it's no biggie.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Coconut oil soaps are notorious for heating up - last time that I made a 100% CO batch for laundry powder, it was gelling in the freezer! When I first made it, I thought it was going to set my wooden moulds on fire. Trying to keep it cold enough to not gel might well need some liquid nitrogen :p
 

spenny92

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Here it is cut:
Scented with lemongrass and litsea EOs.

 

Yooper

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I've never made salt bars, so this is very interesting to me!

One question that came up earlier was about the texture (grind) of the salt. It makes sense that a coarse salt would cut your skin- but can you grind it finely yourself with a salt grinder? Does it not dissolve? I'm trying to picture what grind of salt would be needed, and if it could be ground at home.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Grinding at home can lead to sharp edges which then cut the skin - depends on your grinder mainly. Good old table salt is fine
 
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