Soleseife or Standard Salt Bar?

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by CaraBou, Jul 20, 2014.

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  1. Jul 20, 2014 #1

    CaraBou

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    I want to make my first salt bar soon so it has a long cure before winter, and I'm waffling between a standard salt bar with high CO and SF or a soleseife with a more normal CO and SF.

    My goal is for it to lather really well while being as conditioning as possible for use during dry wintertime. I'd like to share it with friends living in interior Alaska where it gets super dry during winter compared to my coastal location.

    If I went with a standard bar I'd probably use 80% CO, 15% avocado, 5% shea, 75% salt, 15-20% superfat (depending how much coconut milk I sub for water) -- or something like that.

    For the soleseife, maybe 30% CO, 40% lard, 20% avocado, 5% shea, 5% castor, salt at 25% of water weight, and 7-10% SF (again depending on coconut milk).

    I'm leaning toward the high CO/SF recipe mostly because I've seen a lot more positive reviews.

    Which do you think would meet my objectives better, and why? Any tweaks or tips you feel strongly about?
     
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  2. Jul 20, 2014 #2

    Obsidian

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    I would go with the standard salt bar. Your recipe looks good, I would do 50% coconut milk and use a SF of 15%. Thats been my favorite so far, the coconut milk really adds creamy to a salt bar. I have dry skin and in the winter, the humidity is non existent and salt bars work great for me.

    I've only made one soleseife with 30% coconut, 25% salt to water weight and 10% SF. Its still a young bar but the lather is quite reduced compared to the same recipe made without salt. The lather isn't as creamy and it's not the thick whipped cream lather a regular salt bar has. Its still a good soap but not near as nice a regular salt bar, I doubt I'll ever use the brine technique again.
     
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  3. Jul 20, 2014 #3

    CaraBou

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    That's helpful, thanks. I know a bunch of people made the soleseife this spring but most only posted before a good cure. I hope people will update that thread in the coming months. Or they can put it here -- I want to know!
     
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  4. Jul 20, 2014 #4

    KristaY

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    I agree, CaraBou. I'm really intrigued by the soleseife technique and will eventually try it, but I'm curious to know how others feel about the difference between those and a standard salt bar. I have 6 batches of high CO salt bars curing now so should probably do the soleseife soon to compare. Come on people! I know others besides Obsidian have done it so please give us your thoughts! :D
     
  5. Jul 20, 2014 #5

    OliveOil2

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    I prefer the soleseife soap, I would keep the SF to 7 or 8 percent, I made a recipe almost exactly as you posted, but I didn't use coconut milk. It bubbles like crazy, I gave some to a few of the people I know that are salt bar junkies, and I have requests for more soleseife. Also it makes a more unique gift or item to sell, don't get me wrong I love salt bars, but these are totally worth making.
    I was nervous about keeping the SF so low, thinking it would be drying, but it isn't at all, I think with a higher SF it would inhibit lather. So that is my experience, I was one of the people that posted early into the cure, and yes they are even better now, but they were very good earlier too, which isn't true for my salt bars.
    I may try making an uncolored batch, since the colors appear muted, and very soft. You also have to be careful not to scuff these bars us, they aren't soft, just a different texture, when you use them it feels like butter.
     
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  6. Jul 20, 2014 #6

    OliveOil2

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    CaraBou just checked my recipe, didn't use Shea. I put shea in many soaps, but skipped it in this one. I didn't include it because I was worried about the lather. I think with the lard and avocado you will be fine.
     
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  7. Jul 20, 2014 #7

    cmzaha

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    I did a soleseife with 30% lard, 30% Coconut, 18% palm 9% RBO, Castor 7% and Olive 6%. With a 25% dead sea salt blend and it lathers fantastic. My hubby told me to never make anything else!! It has only aged 2 months
     
  8. Jul 20, 2014 #8

    AKjulz

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    I just tried out my first soleseife in the shower today. Don't remember the recipe at the moment and it is only 5 weeks cure. I love the feel of the bar, rock hard yet soft almost velvety texture. Used that bath pouf and got great fluffy and creamy lather. Ran the bar on my legs to try it for a quick shave. It felt slick minor suds but then has sort of a slimy kinda gel thing going, got a decent shave and had no need to lotion up afterward so I'd call it a success!
    I'm just not sure how to analyze the two salt vs brine. Just haven't done a head to head comparison. I also struggle with how to talk them up to customers
     
  9. Jul 20, 2014 #9

    CaraBou

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    You guys have me intrigued -- maybe I'll make the soleseife tomorrow!

    The salt bar took less than 2 hours to harden. I thought it would take a couple hours longer so I wasn't quite on the ball to cut it. It was still warm, kind of a weird feeling! Broke a string on my cutter before getting very deep, so backed out of that. Then used a soap blade. It did pretty good though some of the bars crumbled a little. But between rubbing the bars with my thumb and sliding them over my new planer, I got things pretty level. Now I have a pile of salt soap shavings -- they're so fine, I bet they'll work great in a rebatch. Of did I read somewhere that salt soap doesn't rebatch very well :???:

    Anyway, here are pics of the pile!

    salt soap pile.jpg

    salt swirls.jpg
     
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  10. Jul 20, 2014 #10

    Obsidian

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    Those are very pretty, good job.

    Don't rebatch salt crumbs, it can be a disaster. You can always add them to a new salt batch or stir them into regular CP batter. If you give the shavings a few days to dry up, you can reduce them to a fine powder. I put the powder in a shaker jar and keep it by the sink for hand washing.
     
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  11. Jul 20, 2014 #11

    navigator9

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    Maybe it's just me. I've only ever made one batch of salt bars, using a coarse salt. It was like a chunk of cement, and I thought it was awful. I could never think of a reason to make it again. So I was all for the idea of the soleseif, being that the salt was dissolved. Mine is still young, but I've tried it. It's not drying, has nice lather. I'm just not sure why I would make it over my regular soap. Like AKjulz, not sure what the selling point would be. Maybe I'll change my mind when it's fully cured.
     
  12. Jul 20, 2014 #12

    kmarvel

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    Beautiful colors in your soap!!! What did you use to color them??
     
  13. Jul 20, 2014 #13

    kmarvel

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    Carabou,

    What is the soleseife method????
     
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  14. Jul 20, 2014 #14

    froggybean37

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    I made a batch of solesife about 5 weeks ago - not sure why, but mine stayed pretty soft for about a week (softer than I've heard these bars generally are, but about on par for my usual recipe). They have also developed fine cracks along the surface as they cure. So far, they aren't my favourite - I've found them to be incredibly drying (used one of my basic recipes @ 7% SF, passed the zap test fine). I do, however *love* the velvety soft texture of the bars - they feel almost like a stone or velvet, not the typical "slick" soap bar feel. Will continue to let them cure and see if that makes a difference. Has anyone else found they need a longer-than-normal cure?
     
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  15. Jul 20, 2014 #15

    Obsidian

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    I tried my solesife in the shower today even though its only a couple weeks old. The lather is pretty pathetic but it didn't dry me out at all. In all fairness, I did use 20% shea which I'm sure affected the lather some.
    The bar is very velvety and smooth, odd but nice. I still prefer a regular salt bar though. The lather, texture and hardness produce a tactile experience that I like.
     
  16. Jul 20, 2014 #16

    KristaY

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    CaraBou, those are beautiful! I love your soft swirls. I understand how you'd end up with such a huge pile of shavings, though. They can be a beast to cut. I ended up going with individual cavity silicone molds to avoid the battle.

    KMarvel, you can read the procedure in David Fisher's About.com post here:

    http://candleandsoap.about.com/od/S...seife-or-BrineSalt-Water-Soap-Recipe.htm?nl=1

    And the discussion on SMF in this thread:

    http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=44266&highlight=soleseife

    Hope these are helpful! :smile:
     
  17. Jul 20, 2014 #17

    jules92207

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    I took my salt bar crumbles and made a salt scrub with them. :)
     
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  18. Jul 20, 2014 #18

    OliveOil2

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    I had read on a German soap thread that I translated that the solesife soap did best with a 33% water ratio, and I do find that they stay moister than my regular soap. The most recent batch I did was 34% and I think I will go for the 33%, just have to consider fragrances that are easy to work with.
     
  19. Jul 20, 2014 #19

    CaraBou

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    Thanks for all of the great info everyone. I'm going to have to make the soleseife soon so I can compare for myself. As usual with soap, there are so many opinions and experiences, I'll just have to find out for myself. I have a friend coming over tonight -- maybe I'll see if she is game for seeing how soap is made :)

    kmarvel, the colors are micas. I'm still learning how to use them effectively. They turned out nice but a little muted. Soft colors for a hard bar!

    I have more thoughts to share but gotta run. In the meantime, keep the salt vs. soleseife comments coming!
     
  20. Jul 20, 2014 #20

    kmarvel

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    Where does one run in Alaska?? lol
     

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