Question re Salt in Soaps

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Oct 19, 2012
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I'm fairly new to soapmaking-- and I've so appreciated the help I've found here when I've posted!

And it already looks like I may have found a good customer base already for the soaps I'm having so much fun making using milk from our wonderful goats! :)

I also only have been doing mine CP.

I just kind of stumbled across this, though. I saw Dead Sea Salt for sale at Frontier, and I thought how that would be. I did a quick archives search here for salts and found some information shared there.

I'm just wondering what anyone's input might be as far as the best way to use salts in soap. What are salts generally good for? Would "Dead Sea Salt" be a worthwhile investment for soaps, or am I going to find things provided just as well in less costly salt? I have some Himalayan salt somewhere, but it's probably going to need to be ground first-- or will it?

My basic recipe has become this: primarily olive oil followed by coconut and palm oils, then either shea or cocoa butters. Beyond that, I simply add what I might-- castor oil (I like this, for the foaming), sweet almond oil, and even avocado butter or emu oil. I'm perfectly willing to adjust things, of course. I've read where adding salt to a soap recipe makes it harden very quickly, so I'll be happy to change things if needs be. And I suppose I wonder this too-- I keep the temps very low when I combine the lye and goat milk (I never like it to be over 90F-- the last batch I did I combined at about 78F). Will low temps be any issue with adding salt?

Sorry-- a ton of questions, I know. Hoping for some input here!

Thanks SO MUCH to anyone/everyone who responds!

- Cathy
Dead Sea Salts are not good in soap. They never ever quit weeping. If you want to use salt in soap you are best using regular sea salt or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.

When making a salt soap you want to have a very high Coconut Oil content, up around 75% with the rest being things like Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Castor Oil. You are also going to want a higher superfat value to offset the drying effect of all that coconut oil. Low temps are not an issue using salt, I always soap cool unless I am doing a soap that needs to be HP'd. I like to use fine to medium grind salts. With a sprinkling of large grains on top just for the effect.

Take your time before jumping into selling. Depending on how many batches you are doing a week, I recommend at least 6 months so you can see what your soaps do after that long. Others are going to tell you to wait a year, but I happen to be somewhat more liberal.... LOL
Hi, Cathy, and welcome.

First, if you are fairly new to soapmaking, please do not even consider selling your soaps until you have been doing it at least one year. You simply cannot know how your soaps will perform over time unless and until you have actually invested the time. Period. No matter how much you have read, or you tube videos you have watched, or how nice your first 5 batches of soaps have turned out.

As for salt, there are 2 ways to use it. You can add a very small amount of salt to soap, usually up to 1 tsp ppo, to help harden the soap but salt can supress lather. There are also "salt bars" that are made with 25-100% salts, but they are VERY high or all coconut oil so they still give good lather. Those are somewhat exfoliating, very softening, and just luxurious. If you add a small amount of salt, make sure it is completely dissolved in your water before adding your lye, then proceed as usual. When making salt bars, wait until medium trace to add the salt so it stays suspended, but be prepared to move FAST, it will get very very thick and hot really fast.

Dead Sea Salt is not suitable for use in soaps. It has other minerals in it, it will make your soap soft and weepy and pretty gross. I use fine sea salt, the kind you buy in the grocery store, and save the expensive stuff like Himalayan sea salt for pretty decoration on top or something.

I use Kosher Course salt bought in the food store. I do not use a very high amount of CO in my salt bars, 40% and about 50 to 70% salt of oils. It is a great bar that hardens real fast so you have to cut early or it might crumble during cutting. My last salt bar even had coconut milk in it and it set up real nice. Cut like a dream and I am waiting for it to cure now to try it.
Thanks so much-- so far??-- for this information!

I'm not a "brand new" soaper. I've been doing it for about a year-and-a-half already. Still, I know I've got TONS to learn. So I'm glad I'm among great, helpful people here! All but my first batch of soaps have been holding up quite well so far. I think I've been well-instructed by a good friend who's been soaping for years! (Thanks, Lesli, if you're here!) The soaps I'm going to bring to this potential "outlet" for my wares are only going to be ones I've literally had for months-- some at least a year.

I appreciate the tips on the Dead Sea salt-- won't use those. But I'll find the Himalayan salt I've got. I will toy around with that.