Salt/Spa Bars... Any tips?

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RobertBarnett

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I plan To make salt/spa bars this weekend. I have ideas and some plans but would appreciate any tips or tricks you might wish to share.

Robert
 

mzimm

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Robert, ditto what dixiedragon said about individual molds. But making brine bars, or Soleseife, can easily be cut from a loaf mold, if a loaf is more to your liking.
 

Obsidian

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Yep, individual molds. I also don't discount water, I leave soapcalc on the default water setting. Make sure you bring the batter to thick enough trace that the salt won't sink and mix it in by hand. Color/scent before adding the salt.
 

paillo

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Ditto on all of the above. And keep stirring the batter every time you pour so you make sure you don't have unevenly-distributed salt. Been there, done that, wound up with first bars having little salt, latter bars mostly salt. Stir, stir, stir!
 

lenarenee

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If you're going to be hanging around the house for several hours after you make the salt bar - don't be afraid to a regular mold. Just be sure to check. soap. often. Setting an alarm is NOT a crazy idea....its an insurance policy!

I've only made 4 batches, used silicone molds, the smallest was 1lb and it was hard 90 minutes before the 2.5 lb mold.

I used IrishLass's recipe, and cut 1lb mold at 90 minutes, and the other molds at 3 hours.

***Wear gloves when you unmold and cut!!!*** My soap was still quite active.
 

KristaY

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I like to add the EO/FO to the salt. I weigh out my salt then add the scent to that, stir it well. I do it before I mix the lye with the oils. Then when I'm stirring in the salt, I'm add the scent at the same time. This has helped with an accelerating scent too.
 

Seawolfe

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I like mine in my 5 lb loaf, and I put the additional batter in individual molds. Just be ready to cut within 8 hours or less. Wear gloves, it will still be hot.

Also, I'm sure you know this, but it bears repeating: Use a recipe with mostly coconut oil! Some people miss that bit and end up with soap that "lathers like a bar of plastic".
 

LisaAnne

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I think a little color makes them nice. I've done pastels and a black granite looking one.
 

RobertBarnett

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Thanks for all the tips, your the tipseyest people I know
See attached recipe. Do you all think it will be ok. What about in the notes section? Is adding a bit of sugar over kill?

Robert


ImageUploadedBySoap Making1460190195.920840.jpg
Sorry the lard will be 15% and so will the beef tallow. Should I add some Shea or cocoa butter? If so which fat or fats should I deduct it from.
Also is the salt amount ok.

Robert
 
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shunt2011

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I think you are confusing brine soap with salt bars. With salt bars you need at least 80% CO. A popular recipe is 80% CO, 15% Olive or Avocado, 5% Castor with a 15-20% SF and 40-100% salt to weight of oils. The salt is added to your soap batter at trace.

Brine soap has salt dissolved in the water before adding the lye I believe at 20% but can't recall for sure.
 

Obsidian

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Yes, brine bars are quite different from regular salt bars. My personal favorite salt bar is 80% coconut oil, 20% OO with a 20% SF and 35-50% salt.
I'm a huge lard fan but I don't like it or butters in a salt bars, they change the lather too much. Drop the hard oils and add in liquid ones instead, you'll like the bars better.

If you want to make brine bars, you can use up to 26% of the water weight in salt. If making salt bars, you use whatever percent you want but its of the oil weight.
 

RobertBarnett

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I don't see the difference....

Hi,

I don't see the difference. My recipe is going to use 17 oz. of salt for 34 oz. of oils. That is 50%. I am choosing to melt the salt yes, but 50% salt can't be considered a brine. 1/4 cup would be a brine.

I have looked up salt bars in 5 different books and all of them recommend melting the salt so that it isn't scratchy.

As for the lard and the tallow, that is good to know and I will change that out to olive oil.

Robert
 

Susie

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I would make the following changes:

Skip the silk. You just do not need to complicate your first salt bar like that.

Drop the castor oil to 5%. The CO is high enough to ensure bubbles.

Skip the sugar. See above about the CO.

You are going to have a difficult time getting all of that salt to dissolve into the water. I would plan on using very hot water to dissolve the salt, and then I am still not sure if you are going to accomplish it. You may want to try to get the salt dissolved before proceeding. If you can't, don't despair, just plan on mixing the rest of the salt in at the end.

Forget colors on your first batch. Or do only one. Get used to this process before becoming more ambitious. You have to move VERY fast once you add salt to the soap batter. Better to add one color at the start than to add one more step when you are in a rush.

Let us know how it went, and don't forget the pics!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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The difference is in what the different types of soap are called. I use salt in all of my soaps, but they can't be called salt bars, either. We need to have some sort of way of knowing what people are actually talking about, or sharing recipes becomes that much harder.
 

Susie

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Yep, what we call these bars are going to confuse folks until/unless we come to some sort of working vocabulary. Here is how I look at it:

Less than 0.9% salt dissolved completely into the water. - Just regular soap. 0.9% is the percent of salt in "Normal Saline" that is used for IV's in the US.

1% to 30% salt dissolved completely into the water. (This could actually be higher, but that is how much salt I was able to get dissolved completely on my one experiment a few years ago, as I recall. My memory is not good, however, so actual results may vary. I just do not have time this week to test this.) - I would call Solseife. Although I do need to go back and actually find the numbers of how much salt is actually in sea water.

40% and up, or any salt that is not dissolved completely into the water. - Salt/spa bars
 

Obsidian

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You can't dissolve that much salt in the water your recipe calls for. I do believe the max amount of salt you can dissolve in water is 26% but that could be off some. For brine bars I use 25% salt and thats based off the water weight of the recipe. For your recipe that would be 3.2375oz of salt. Dissolve it in your water before adding the lye, salt won't dissolve in lye water. Your solution will be very white instead of clear.

salt bars use way more salt and have completely different lather types. Salt bars are my favorite, I've made hundreds of them. Brine bars just don't compare, I'm not really a fan at all. Salt bars will not be scratchy if you use fine salt, I use canning salt or cheap sea salt. I've even used kosher flake salt with no problem, the one time I tried used large grained salt, I sliced my chest open on a sharp edge.
 

shunt2011

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Salt bars are my favorite as well. I too have made hundreds. I never want to run out. I love how they make my skin feel.
 

RobertBarnett

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Ok, here is how I see it. Dissolve the salt in the water brine bar. Add the salt to the batter at the end salt bar as long as you use enough, something like 50% of oil.

Is this correct?

Robert
 

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