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Trying to replicate a sea themed sage based soap.

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Hello

I tried a bar of soap from that guy on TV with the catchy commercials. Nautical sage is the name of the soap.

I loved it, I loved it so much I decided I wanted to make my own version of it, just for myself, and tweak it to find something even better.

The ingredients they list:
Olive oil
Palm oil
Coconut oil
Shea butter
Lye
Sea Salt
Kaolin Clay
Cypress EO
Clary sage EO
Lavender EO

I've never made soap before, but i've done my research, I understand the basics, I've got all the tools and components necessary to make a batch of cold processed with the ingredients listed above, but I have a few questions I was hoping someone might be able to help me with.

How do I determine the right % of those oils? Should I start with the 'holy trinity' reducing coconut oil a bit to include the shea butter? What do you think those percentages should look like? Are there any oils you think I should include that would improve this?

Also how am I including the sea salt? I assume it's as an ingredient, so it's not a 'salt bar', nor a 'brine bar', it just has salt as an ingredient...how much do I add and when? I assume somewhere right around trace, very quickly before it is poured so it doesn't want to sink to the bottom?

I really appreciate any advice, thanks.
 

artemis

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This is going to be a trial and error situation until you find the combination that works best for you. But, yes. You can start with the method you suggested for determining % of oils. A few teaspoons of the salt can be dissolved into your water. The clay can be added to your oils at about 1 tsp per pound of oil. My biggest recommendation is to make small batches so you can do more experimenting without wasting a lot of soap.
 

AliOop

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If you start with the trinity of oils, I'd probably reduce the CO to from 33% to 18%, add 5% castor oil, and use the remaining 10% in shea butter.

Dissolve 1 tsp of salt PPO into the liquid, before adding the lye to said liquid. Otherwise, the undissolved sea salt will be very scratchy in the soap. The purpose of the salt (besides label appeal) is to harden the bar for easier unmolding. But salt inhibits lather, so you should also dissolve 1 T of sugar PPO into the liquid before adding the lye. Sugar along with the castor oil will help boost and sustain the lathering ability that you lost when reducing the CO.
 
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If you start with the trinity of oils, I'd probably reduce the CO to from 33% to 18%, add 5% castor oil, and use the remaining 10% in shea butter.

Dissolve 1 tsp of salt PPO into the liquid, before adding the lye to said liquid. Otherwise, the undissolved sea salt will be very scratchy in the soap. The purpose of the salt (besides label appeal) is to harden the bar for easier unmolding. But salt inhibits lather, so you should also dissolve 1 T of sugar PPO into the liquid before adding the lye. Sugar along with the castor oil will help boost and sustain the lathering ability that you lost when reducing the CO.
I might be mis-remembering, I only had a single bar of the original, but I kind of think maybe the salt was not dissolved? I kind of remember a hint of grit but nothing scratchy at all. Should I just leave out the sea salt at this time and focus on dialing in the oils and fragrance blend?
 

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I might be mis-remembering, I only had a single bar of the original, but I kind of think maybe the salt was not dissolved? I kind of remember a hint of grit but nothing scratchy at all. Should I just leave out the sea salt at this time and focus on dialing in the oils and fragrance blend?
As KiwiMoose noted, you definitely want to use a soap calculator to figure out your oil percentages, and more importantly, how much lye to use based on the recipe you create.

Regarding the salt, if you felt grit throughout, and it was very finely ground sea salt, then recipe plans would definitely change. You would need high CO since that much salt will kill all the lather, and only CO can overcome that.

I recommend reading up on how to make salt bars; there are some great threads here, with recipes listed. Also, I believe Kapia Mera (Holly on YT) has a salt bar that includes most of the ingredients you listed.

Just know that salt bars usually need to be cured for six months or more before they hit their prime. The more salt that is used, the longer the cure needed, IME. I use 50% salt (by weight of oils) and like to cure mine 10 months or more. They are ok at 6-8 months, but fantastic at 12 months.
 
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