Pink Himalayan salt save

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Mobjack Bay

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My newbie self bought some medium grind Pink Himalayan Salt before I read all the warnings about how sharp/scratchy it is in soap. I saved it by dissolving it in distilled water and then drying it. I heated it on the stove until it was almost dry and then finished it in the oven. My last step was to sieve it through a fine sieve. If you try this, make sure you completely dissolved the salt before you start heating the brine on the stove. Once the water starts to evaporate, trying to get any remaining chunks to dissolve is a losing battle.

The resulting salt is powdery fine and light pink in color:

284D15CC-75E7-4854-BFEA-68C8A2512588.jpeg
 

Mobjack Bay

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I forgot to mention one other thing that might be important. I stirred the brine frequently while the water was evaporating. I was concerned that big crystals would develop if I left it alone. That’s also why I used the stove rather than the oven for most of the process.

ETA: and here’s one more pic of the salt when it is completely dry.

822D0C14-2517-456B-8969-AEDAA52581DF.jpeg
 
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Mobjack Bay

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Nice. Many years ago before sea salt was readily available my Auntie used to do similiar with salt water off Catalina Island in order to have sea salt to use.
That’s a really nice memory to have. She sounds like a clever aunt!
 

Mobjack Bay

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My first salt bars, made with the salt shown above. They look a little more peachy pink to my eye than they do in the photo. I don’t think the soap gelled, so I will up my water content the next time to see if I can force gel, which might deepen the color a little bit. I had zero problems with the recipe, which is one @shunt2011 shared on the recent salt bar thread. I used 50%+ water with my lye and 50%- warmed aloe vera gel with full coconut milk powder mixed into the aloe, which I then SB’d into my warmed oils. I started soaping when the oils were 93F and the lye water was 86F. I was totally surprised when the batter temp rose to 110F. I guess that’s because the recipe has so much CO, maybe???, but nothing bad happened. The batter had the consistency of liquified sand, like when you’re squishing your toes around at the Ocean’s edge :). The FO is Sea Salt from BB. Yep, it does smell a little bit like wet seaweed, which is just what I was hoping for.

So, two saves here... one for the salt and one for the oval molds that I’ve used to make some really bad soaps.

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Dawni

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I like how those look.. Like I'd like to rub my face on em hahaha

I'll be waiting for an update once this cures enough and you've tested it for scratchiness... I have fine pink himlayan salt sitting in an unopened bag that I've been afraid to use for a salt bar..
 

Mobjack Bay

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I like how those look.. Like I'd like to rub my face on em hahaha

I'll be waiting for an update once this cures enough and you've tested it for scratchiness... I have fine pink himlayan salt sitting in an unopened bag that I've been afraid to use for a salt bar..
But look above at how powdery the salt is after it was dissolved and re-crystallized. I saved some of it so I can have a look at it under a microscope at work. It doesn’t feel at all scratchy even when I rub it on the inside of my lower arm.
 

cmzaha

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That’s a really nice memory to have. She sounds like a clever aunt!
She was and very ahead of the times for healthy eating, but sadly passed away with cancer at 50.

My first salt bars, made with the salt shown above. They look a little more peachy pink to my eye than they do in the photo. I don’t think the soap gelled, so I will up my water content the next time to see if I can force gel, which might deepen the color a little bit. I had zero problems with the recipe, which is one @shunt2011 shared on the recent salt bar thread. I used 50%+ water with my lye and 50%- warmed aloe vera gel with full coconut milk powder mixed into the aloe, which I then SB’d into my warmed oils. I started soaping when the oils were 93F and the lye water was 86F. I was totally surprised when the batter temp rose to 110F. I guess that’s because the recipe has so much CO, maybe???, but nothing bad happened. The batter had the consistency of liquified sand, like when you’re squishing your toes around at the Ocean’s edge :). The FO is Sea Salt from BB. Yep, it does smell a little bit like wet seaweed, which is just what I was hoping for.

So, two saves here... one for the salt and one for the oval molds that I’ve used to make some really bad soaps.

View attachment 39887
They look really nice. What percentage of salt did you use? The scratchiness in Himalayan Salt usually comes from the clay in the salt so maybe you sifted out the clay. Most of us do not use Himalayan due to the scratch reasons with it.
 
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Mobjack Bay

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She was and very ahead of the times for healthy eating, but sadly passed away with cancer at 50.
Sorry to hear that you lost her so early.

@cmzaha I used 50% salt. It was dissolved and then recrystallized before I used it. It was very fine and powdery, even more so than it looks in the photos above. The salt I used did not have any clay in it. I know that because the solids were completely dissolved before I started to let the water cook off. A temp high above that of boiling brine would be needed to melt a clay mineral (just checked - kaolin starts to melt above 700 deg C).
 
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Dawni

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But look above at how powdery the salt is after it was dissolved and re-crystallized. I saved some of it so I can have a look at it under a microscope at work. It doesn’t feel at all scratchy even when I rub it on the inside of my lower arm.
Ehh I'll open my bag n check lol
 

Mobjack Bay

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Opinions please! Would it be better to up my water or gently CPOP these bars to get them to gel? I use 33% lye concentration and the batter set up was pleasantly paced. I could put them in the oven after I’ve warmed it and then turn it off, maybe? My experience with these molds to date has me thinking that the batter cools off fast.
 

earlene

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How much CO is in your recipe? Generally salt soaps are very high in CO and gel on their own with any nudging.
 

Mobjack Bay

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How much CO is in your recipe? Generally salt soaps are very high in CO and gel on their own with any nudging.
I’m using shunt’s recipe, which is 80% CO, 15% Avocado and 5% castor. It warmed up initially when I added the lye water, but didn’t show any signs of gelling that I could discern. I measured the surface temp of one of the soaps after I filled the mold and it was around 105F. I checked on them a couple of times before I went to bed and think they would have been soft if I tried to take them out of the molds at the 4-6 hour mark.
 

shunt2011

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I’m using shunt’s recipe, which is 80% CO, 15% Avocado and 5% castor. It warmed up initially when I added the lye water, but didn’t show any signs of gelling that I could discern. I measured the surface temp of one of the soaps after I filled the mold and it was around 105F. I checked on them a couple of times before I went to bed and think they would have been soft if I tried to take them out of the molds at the 4-6 hour mark.
I generally place them in a warmed oven covered with some plastic wrap if using individual molds. I've never been able to get gel in individual molds. I also find it takes longer to unmold in individual molds. My loaf molds, I don't have to do anything but cover lightly. Cut at about 3 hours.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I generally place them in a warmed oven covered with some plastic wrap if using individual molds. I've never been able to get gel in individual molds. I also find it takes longer to unmold in individual molds. My loaf molds, I don't have to do anything but cover lightly. Cut at about 3 hours.
Just what I needed to know, so thank you again. I love this recipe and look forward to seeing how the pink salt looks in a gelled soap. :)
 

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I tried a little cube of soap from the first batch of my pink salt bars. It’s just hitting the two week mark and I wasn’t expecting much. Well, surprise, surprise... although it took a bit of water and hand rubbing to get it going, it’s already producing a silky, creamy lather. Assuming it will only get better with time, this one shows high promise of becoming a very lovable soap.

If there are any newbies reading this and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about salt bars, go read this thread and then make some. They take months to years to reach their best, so the time to make them is soon :) It’s the perfect way to use up that beautiful pink salt you bought (after you transform it to a fine powder).
 
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