Sugar and Salt

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Bamagirl

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Since I tried my salt bars, I really, really like that they are like a brick in the shower, BUT I like the creaminess of my original batch better. While I am kicking around some ideas of experiments, I wanted to make sure I understand sugar and salt as additives. Here is what I THINK I know:

Salt--- salt bars are like a brick, but have to be really high coconut (because salt inhibits lather and co can handle it) and a higher superfat (at least 15%). Salt can be added in 1 Tbsp ppo to harden up my regular bars, but salt inhibits lather. Also, I am assuming 1 Tbsp ppo would not make a bar near as hard as my "salt bar". Salt would be added at trace unless you are doing a brine bar, in which case you would dissolve it water before adding lye?

Sugar--- sugar adds bubbles to soap, added at either 1tsp ppo or 1 Tbsp ppo, added to water and dissolved before adding lye. I also get the impression that adding honey is similar to adding sugar, but maybe you have to be more careful with honey? It is also my understanding that sugar is tolerated in most soaps (whereas salt needs coconut oil?)

Do I have a decent understanding of sugar and salt as additives? Anything else I need to know?
 

Obsidian

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Yep, you have a good understanding of salt and sugar for the most part.

1 tsp of salt shouldn't inhibit lather in your regular bar but you don't want to add it at trace or you will have speckled soap. It should be dissolved in the water before adding the lye. It helps harden the soap but you are right, it won't make it hard like a proper salt bar.

I think 1 TSP ppo would be borderline brine bar which I find are better with at least 30% coconut. They are quite hard but again, not like a salt bar. Brine bars usually have a creamy, pastel look to them.

I think honey heats up a bit more than table sugar, it also needs to be thinned down with water so it will mix into the soap really well. Adding the thin honey to the oils before the lye works really well.
 

FlybyStardancer

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Honey is made up of simple sugars, where as table sugar are more complex. Lye has an easier time reacting with the smaller sugars in the honey, which is why it heats up so much.
 

coffeetime

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Yes, you have to warm your honey in a bit of water before adding it. I've tried many different ways, and that's the only way that doesn't give me tiny orange spots of honey in the final soaps.
 

Bamagirl

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Thanks so much everyone! I appreciate all the responses, now to put on my mad scientist persona and see what I can come up with :twisted:
 

Susie

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Everything said above, plus...you can make a solseife (sea water) soap using either water from the ocean or water made from "Instant Ocean" sold at pet stores. My hubby LOVES soap made from this. He has oily skin, and I have dry skin. I find that it is already too drying with 20% CO. I find the lather is a bit less than soap made with 1 tsp salt PPO, but not overly so, and I am going to try compensating for that with a bit more CO.
 

Bamagirl

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Everything said above, plus...you can make a solseife (sea water) soap using either water from the ocean or water made from "Instant Ocean" sold at pet stores. My hubby LOVES soap made from this. He has oily skin, and I have dry skin. I find that it is already too drying with 20% CO. I find the lather is a bit less than soap made with 1 tsp salt PPO, but not overly so, and I am going to try compensating for that with a bit more CO.
Would this be like a brine bar? This sounds nice and possibly what I am looking for.
 

Steve85569

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"Would this be like a brine bar? This sounds nice and possibly what I am looking for. "

Soleseife (zo•luh zy•fuh)

Is soap made by adding up to 25 % salt to the water before adding the lye. The saturation point of adding salt to water is right at 25% si I usually try for just a bit less (23%) so the salt dissolves well. I have found that I have problems ( might be hard water) getting the lye to dissolve without having precipitate if I try to add 25% salt. Several types of salt are used for this. I have read warnings about "Dead Sea Salt" because of some extras in it and have also been cautioned about iodized salt. That said...

It does in fact make a harder and longer lasting bar. I have not found a noticeable amount of lather loss but then we use quite a bit of coconut oil in soaps (20-30%).


Don't forget the lard!
 

topofmurrayhill

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Sugar--- sugar adds bubbles to soap, added at either 1tsp ppo or 1 Tbsp ppo, added to water and dissolved before adding lye. I also get the impression that adding honey is similar to adding sugar, but maybe you have to be more careful with honey? It is also my understanding that sugar is tolerated in most soaps (whereas salt needs coconut oil?)

Do I have a decent understanding of sugar and salt as additives? Anything else I need to know?
A few more thoughts about sugar. Sugar is a solvent kinda like castor oil that makes the soap more soluble and increases lather. If you ever do HP, mix in sugar syrup at the end. In CP, sugar is only exposed to free caustuc because there's no choice.
 

CaraBou

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Honey is made up of simple sugars, where as table sugar are more complex. Lye has an easier time reacting with the smaller sugars in the honey, which is why it heats up so much.
A few more thoughts about sugar. Sugar is a solvent kinda like castor oil that makes the soap more soluble and increases lather. If you ever do HP, mix in sugar syrup at the end. In CP, sugar is only exposed to free caustuc because there's no choice.
I didn't realize sugars actually react with lye, and thought they were still present as sugar molecules in the soap after saponification has occurred. As for heat produced as a result of sugars being present, I thought that was explained by sugars being a catalyst (something that speeds up a reaction but is not chemically altered). What do sugars change to in CP that they do not change to in HP -- Or if that's not the right question, why is there a difference in how sugars influence HP vs. CP?
 

topofmurrayhill

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I didn't realize sugars actually react with lye, and thought they were still present as sugar molecules in the soap after saponification has occurred. As for heat produced as a result of sugars being present, I thought that was explained by sugars being a catalyst (something that speeds up a reaction but is not chemically altered). What do sugars change to in CP that they do not change to in HP -- Or if that's not the right question, why is there a difference in how sugars influence HP vs. CP?
I'm sure the sugar is present at the end or it wouldn't do what it's meant to do. Sucrose is not supposed to be particularly reactive with NaOH if at all, unlike the simpler sugars. On the other hand, sometimes there's some discoloration when the sugar and lye are together from the start and I'm not totally clear on what's up with that. With HP including transparent soap it's routine to add sugar at the end of the process, which seems like good practice for HP at least.

Solvents often speed up saponification to varying degrees by bringing the ingredients into more intimate contact. Sucrose seems very effective at that. Whether it's also some sort of catalyst, maybe but I don't know. Some solvents have only a subtle effect like castor oil and others can be blammo like alcohol.

I wonder if sorbitol would work in place of sugar in CP. I might give that a whirl.
 

penelopejane

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I make an OO soap with 25% salt. I mix a 50/50 lye/water mix and mix my salt into the water left over. My DH loves it and doesn't notice much of a loss in lather.

CO even I0% is drying for me.

If you are making a salt bar leave out the sugar- it makes it weep more.
Great advice above about honey - mix it with warm water left out of 50/50 lye water mix and then SB it into the oils before adding the lye.
 

Bamagirl

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One more question, I know salt makes the bar harder, but does adding 1 tsp ppo make it last longer?
 

lisajudy2009

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I have started adding .5 tsp PPOO of salt with the lye water and .5 tsp PPOO sugar (dissolved in a little of the weighted water) at trace. I feel like it makes a big difference.
 

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