Seawater, sea salt, brine bars, salt bars... Soap scum? DOS?

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,461
Reaction score
3,816
Location
Virginia
Seawater contains a fair amount of calcium and magnesium. In practice, does making soap with seawater or sea salt lead to more soap scum compared with “unsalted soap”? I have been using sea salt in some of my soaps without taking the complex mineral content into consideration. It dawned on me this past weekend that the various minerals might contribute to DOS. The concentrations of metals, like copper, zinc, aluminum and iron, are very, very low in seawater, so maybe it’s not a problem? In practice, has anyone noticed a tendency towards more DOS in soap made with seawater or sea salt?

I would like to make some salt bars with sea salt I have on hand, but not if I’m going to have DOS problems down the road.
 

dibbles

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
5,881
Reaction score
5,643
Location
Minnesota
I’ve never used seawater, but I love salt bars and use sea salt. I cure mine for a minimum of 6 months, and have some in the 1-2 year old range. I’ve never had DOS on any salt bar.
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
14,436
Reaction score
8,635
Location
Michigan
I've got a couple salt bars from when I first started (almost 8 years) and they are one of my favorites. I have never had DOS in a salt bar. Other soaps, yep, once in a great while. I don't use a chelator, as I've been too lazy and can't locate my EDTA. Once I get re-organized I plan to re-visit it. I do get some soap scum but not really enough to worry about.
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,548
Reaction score
8,884
Location
Texas
I have used both sea water (filtered numerous times to remove itty bitty creatures), and reef salt which is evaporated water from various oceans where underwater reefs are located (we have a reef tank at home). I have never had DOS. But then, mine don't last very long, as they are my hubby's favorite bars. And while I was not a fan of them, I did not notice more soap scum than normal. Now that I live where there is hard water, I find that even my non sea salt bars cause scum, even with EDTA added.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
9,441
Reaction score
6,695
Location
Idaho, USA
I use sea salt and canning salt in salt bars. I've not noticed more scum with the sea salt.

Overall, salt bars seem to be some of the least scum making bars. My high lard soap is much worse.

I don't use any kind of chelator or additive to prevent DOS. I've only got dos once in a salt bar and I'm sure it was from using old oil.
 

Nanette

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
508
Reaction score
401
Location
Tucson AZ y
I use dead sea salt in some of my salt bars--brine bars and even those dont seem prone to dos.
 

dibbles

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
5,881
Reaction score
5,643
Location
Minnesota
I use dead sea salt in some of my salt bars--brine bars and even those dont seem prone to dos.
I've heard that Dead Sea salt is one to avoid because it will cause weeping in the bars. I've never tried it, so I'm curious - did you see any weeping or moisture on your salt bars?
 

Nanette

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
508
Reaction score
401
Location
Tucson AZ y
I've heard that Dead Sea salt is one to avoid because it will cause weeping in the bars. I've never tried it, so I'm curious - did you see any weeping or moisture on your salt bars?
Yes, when it gets humid my salt bars do weep....dead sea salt is kind of hard to use, it doesnt make the quickly hard bar that salts with less mineral content does...but once it gets hard its lovely...very salty. There is a thread on salt and dead sea salt here somewhere...all the comments and experiences other people have had with dead sea salt, most dont recommend it!
 

graylady

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
46
Reaction score
29
Location
New Zealand
I have a couple of batches made with seawater from 2017. I just checked them, and there is no sign of DOS and I live in a fairly humid climate. (They aren't wrapped). They did develop a soda ash layer, that washes off. Our water is so hard it is practically solid, so any soap creates scum. I haven't noticed the seawater soaps create any more scum than my other bars.
 

maya

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
783
Reaction score
295
Location
northland
I've heard that Dead Sea salt is one to avoid because it will cause weeping in the bars. I've never tried it, so I'm curious - did you see any weeping or moisture on your salt bars?
*Sorry I realize you were asking someone else* I found that true but it only lasted a couple of days. Basically I waited it out.

I've had DOS a couple of times but only with lavender EO, both as a higher percent in a mixed EO blend and single note. In both mixed oils and in OO only. So now I don't use Lavender EO in most soap formulas.
 

paillo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
2,227
Reaction score
721
Location
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
I use fine sea salt (San Francisco Salt Company) and much prefer it to plain old grocery sea salt for extravagant lather and silky smooth texture. Also trying an experiment in curing. I live on the dry Western Slope of Colorado with lots of sunshine, and have been putting them out on a black cookie rack in the sun for 10 days or so. Soaps are only a month old but the lather is amazing, as good as my bars that are six months to a year old. Experimenting with batches of fir needle/eucalyptus and lavender/eucalyptus and the essential oils are holding fine. As for DOS, I have salt bars that are five or more years old and no sign of DOS or weepiness. I do store them in rice.
 

kniquy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
58
Reaction score
30
Location
MA
I have used both sea water (filtered numerous times to remove itty bitty creatures), and reef salt which is evaporated water from various oceans where underwater reefs are located (we have a reef tank at home). I have never had DOS. But then, mine don't last very long, as they are my hubby's favorite bars. And while I was not a fan of them, I did not notice more soap scum than normal. Now that I live where there is hard water, I find that even my non sea salt bars cause scum, even with EDTA added.
I’m curios about using reef salt. I had a reef tank which I gave up. I have some reef salt just sitting around. What ratio have you used? Do you notice any difference in your soap using the reef salt vs other salt?
 

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,461
Reaction score
3,816
Location
Virginia
You can read about one brand of “reef salt” here. Relative to the regular “Instant Ocean,” it’s enriched with calcium to support the growth of corals and coralline algae in aquaria
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,548
Reaction score
8,884
Location
Texas
I’m curios about using reef salt. I had a reef tank which I gave up. I have some reef salt just sitting around. What ratio have you used? Do you notice any difference in your soap using the reef salt vs other salt?
I use regular (purple lid and label) Instant Ocean and just mix it to the directions. 1/2 cup per gallon. I don't make salt bars with it as I don't like salt bars. My husband LOVES this soap.

And I tried this before we set up our reef tank as my husband had had a reef tank before we got married and just had the salt sitting around.
 

SoapSisters

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
144
Reaction score
237
Location
Israel
I use fine sea salt (San Francisco Salt Company) and much prefer it to plain old grocery sea salt for extravagant lather and silky smooth texture. Also trying an experiment in curing. I live on the dry Western Slope of Colorado with lots of sunshine, and have been putting them out on a black cookie rack in the sun for 10 days or so. Soaps are only a month old but the lather is amazing, as good as my bars that are six months to a year old. Experimenting with batches of fir needle/eucalyptus and lavender/eucalyptus and the essential oils are holding fine. As for DOS, I have salt bars that are five or more years old and no sign of DOS or weepiness. I do store them in rice.
I'm curious about storage in rice. Would you mind explaining how exactly you use the rice?
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
10,866
Reaction score
9,528
Location
Southern California
I have never had Dos in a salt bar and I have a few that are approx 5 years that I hoard. My salt bars are made with 100% fine Pacific Sea Salt, or table salt and I love them. They are my husbands favorite to use also

As for Dead Sea Salt I find any amount over 5% makes for a hard waxy bar with zip lather, and I have tried many formulations using Dead Salt. The ones that will lather are not nearly as nice as my regular salt bars.
 
2

Latest posts

Top