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Soleseife - why or why not?

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KiwiMoose

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Have been reading tons of the old threads on here about soleseife. One thing that I am unclear about is why one would want to make/use it. I love the sound of it and having never used it I imagine it would be a gentle soap - but have seen that a lot of people find it drying.

Salt reduces lather, so you need to up the CO to compensate, so then you have a drying soap?

Could you please tell me why you like it and/or why your customers like it?

TIA :)
 

Obsidian

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Salt can be softening and healing to the skin. I use a lot of salt bars and they really seem to help with some skin issues like acne or in my case, a persistent fungal issue.

I can imagine that soleseife is similar and you don't necessarily have to increase the coconut to the point of it being drying. If you do, then raising the sf a little will help.

I used 30% coconut in my soleseife, its also the only recipe I use shea butter in. It's a nice mild soap. I keep meaning to try my regular recipe and see how it does with that much salt.
 

amd

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I have recently started making soleseife - maybe since July? I do one or two 9 bar batches a month. A few of my customers have completely switched to them because they really like them - for reasons unsoapy: they said their skin feels more moisturized, one customer has psoriasis and she said it has helped a lot. Soap cleans so I don't claim my soap does these things but this is the feedback I get from the customers using soleseife. Using them myself it is a looser lather with a cleaner rinse off and doesn't irritate my dry skin, compared to a soap with, say 25% CO, which does irritate it. [edit to clarify: 25% CO in a non-salty soap :D]

A few notes from my own recipe:
  • I use my regular recipe (RBO/Tallow/CO/Shea/Cocoa Butter/Castor) and increased CO from 18% to 28%, and adjusted all of the other oils in the recipe to make up the 10% increase.
  • I use 20% salt - I calculate like this (which is different than the recipes I found on the internet). [Total water - lye]*.2 = salt amount. E.g. if the recipe calls for 100g water and 50g lye: 100 - 50 = 50 * .2 = 10g salt.
  • I also dissolve my salt in water separate from my lye. I will dissolve 50g lye with 50g water in one container, then dissolve 10g salt with 50g water in another container before combining the two waters.
 

Dawni

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Have been reading tons of the old threads on here about soleseife. One thing that I am unclear about is why one would want to make/use it. I love the sound of it and having never used it I imagine it would be a gentle soap - but have seen that a lot of people find it drying.

Salt reduces lather, so you need to up the CO to compensate, so then you have a drying soap?

Could you please tell me why you like it and/or why your customers like it?

TIA :)
You'll probably have to try one and see then hehe.. I've never tried one til I made one (as my first unassisted CP batch). I'm no expert but this bar has been curing for two months now and it's lovely in my opinion.
_20181210_223605.JPG
Or I should say, it works for me.

By lovely I mean it lathers well, it bubbles fairly ok too (I didn't have Castor on hand at the time), and my skin feels nice n soft after. I've been using it on my face.

Coconut in general doesn't dry me out even in slightly higher amounts but this has 7% superfat, and my mom loves it as well. Salt was 25% water weight. Activated charcoal, neem and moringa powders as additives.

Soleseife has become my favorite go to when I feel the urge to CP, and most of my soaps after this has some amount of salt. Even the HP ones, just in smaller quantities. I don't know, they just feel right.

It's also practical for me since I can get away with a higher coconut oil amount and/or less kinds of oil. It'll be a cheaper soap to make for me (soaping as a hobby) compared to others where I need to use a more "conditioning" but more costly oil.

Oh btw, for any newbie coming across this... Be wary of trying soleseife in HP. Found out the hard way that it's a little difficult.. Ended up rebatching lol
 

amd

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Doh! I forgot to mention SF... I think I'm doing 7% SF as well. It's not as high as salt bar (I use 18% SF for those soaps).
 

smengot0

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Please what lye concentration do you all use? Thanks
 

Jill B Blasius

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My mom used to make it, don't remember the recipe exactly (it was about 50 years ago!) but I remember her using a block of lard, a bottle of sunflower? safflower? oil and a cup? of kosher salt in it. We'd stir it for what seemed like hours, as this was before stick blenders....and pour it into empty milk cartons.

(Actually all our soaps started with a block of lard! I don't think we had CO back then?! We all suddenly had skin issues so she started making soap, shampoo and laundry detergent. Come to find out years later - our skin problems were from Bounce fabric softener! :nonono: DOH!)
 

Iluminameluna

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I love my Soleseife soaps!
I have 2 ways of making them:
1) with filtered seawater. A friend that lives close to the ocean picks up 5 gal bottles (the ones you get with filtered regular water) and uses a water filter on it.
2) where I live ppl use actual sea salt because it's the cheapest stuff (6¢/12 oz bag!) So that's what I add to my water. Usually 5 oz/250g oil). I warm my water, dissolve the salt (the grains are large and dense) then let the solution cool completely before adding the lye.
I don't cure my soleseif bars any longer than my regular bars, nor do I have to hurry to cut them. Maybe it's because I use about 75% soft oils (HO canola, light olive oil, veg oil which is 90% palm/10% soy). I only add CO 76 at about 15% for lather, and, usually, either raw honey or raw sugar as well.
 

Karyn

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  • I also dissolve my salt in water separate from my lye. I will dissolve 50g lye with 50g water in one container, then dissolve 10g salt with 50g water in another container before combining the two waters.
amd - I'm getting ready to make my first batch. I'm curious about mixing lye/water and salt/water separately and then combining. Is that better? Thanks!
 

amd

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@Karyn I believe mixing the two separate is a better way to make sure the salt is dissolved. There's a number of discussions on the forum regarding if salt dissolves/stays dissolved in lye water. Because I wanted to make sure my salt for soleseife soaps is dissolved, I have chosen to do them separate.

I'm probably repeating a few things that have already been mentioned in this thread...
Salt saturation is 27%, so you will need to calculate how much salt to add that is less than 27%. I use 20% - and I also do not count the water that is needed to dissolve the lye. So... here's a standard recipe for me:
upload_2019-1-8_9-44-3.png

Total water needed is 344.81g, but 137.93g will be used to dissolve the lye. 344.81 - 137.93 = 206.88g
I want to do 20% salt saturation. 206.88 x .20 = 41.376g of salt
So now I can mix 137.93g lye + 137.93g water in one container, and 206.88g water + 41.37 g salt in another container. (hint: the salt dissolves faster if the water is slightly warm). Once everything is dissolved, I can add both to my oils.

This is how I do it - I've seen recipes on the internet that do 27% of the total water amount, which I think is incorrect as part of the water has already been used to dissolve the lye. Lye needs an equal amount of water to dissolve, so that's why I calculate my recipe that way. I'm sure there's a more sciency way to determine lye saturation, but I have found it easier to just mix lye water and salt water separately.
 

Steve85569

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If you are looking for a 20% salt to liquid ratio you would need to add 20% salt to the liquid used before the alkali. Otherwise the hydroxide will bond with the water and prevent the salt from dissolving.
As my memory serves me there is a limit to how much salt can be dissolved in water ( 27% comes to mind but could well be wrong) so using 20% is a good way to go. My limited experience is that using higher amounts of salt increases ashing and *may* cause some of the salt to precipitate out of the liquid.

*NOTE*
I also use sodium acetate and sodium citrate in my solid soaps which are salts. This undoubtedly has some effect on the ashing and total salts that can be dissolved.
 

Meena

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Coconut in general doesn't dry me out even in slightly higher amounts but this has 7% superfat, and my mom loves it as well. Salt was 25% water weight. Activated charcoal, neem and moringa powders as additives.
Hi Dawni, are you using neem oil or did you mean the neem was also a powder? I think I would like this recipe for a personal bar, and I have moringa powder in the fridge.
 

Dennis

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Doh! I was just at the beach and didn't think to grab a container of sea water to use in my soap! That would surely be cool - to put real seawater in.
Same here. I'm surrounded by salt water and even made my faux sea water to make a batch of castile using @Zany_in_CO recipe which was wonderful (Thank you Z!). Road trip! Guess it's to the beach for a couple gallons of sea water, a fresh fish sandwich and a brewski. Life is good.
 
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Meena

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Same here. I'm surrounded by salt water and even made my faux to make a batch of castile using Zany_in_Co recipe which was wonderful (Thank you Z!). Road trip! Guess it's to the beach for a couple gallons of sea water, a fresh fish sandwich and a brewski. Life is good.
Life IS good for ya'll in "short" driving distance of the ocean! Boy, does this Bostonian miss the ocean... :p
 

Dennis

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Life IS good for ya'll in "short" driving distance of the ocean! Boy, does this Bostonian miss the ocean... :p
Yes, it's wonderful but you also live in a beautiful state with so much outdoor recreation to experience. I spent a few weeks there and managed to get out and hike a bit. I want more of that place! Colorado is a beautiful place to be.
 

Meena

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Yes, it's wonderful but you also live in a beautiful state with so much outdoor recreation to experience. I spent a few weeks there and managed to get out and hike a bit. I want more of that place! Colorado is a beautiful place to be.
A very good fish hobby friend and his wife move from here to Florida last year. He said he couldn't take winter anymore. That being said, I don't find "winter" here to be "winter" much at all in the Denver area. It's in the high 50s all week again this week! We've had a piddling amount of snow maybe 3 or 4 times. It's also very expensive...
Thus, we will be leaving Denver for parts yet to be determined next December (when the lease is up).
 
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jcandleattic

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I don't find "winter" here to be "winter" much at all in the Denver area.
How long have you been here? It's not been the same in the last 15 years for sure, and our winters have been pretty mild since about 2000, but we used to get awesome winters, with a lot of snow, every winter for years and years. The infamous blizzard of '82 and of '03 come to mind as a couple of the worst ones, but there have been several that have been pretty awesome. I miss those winters.
It's also very expensive...
You can thank the legalization of marijuana on that one.
 

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