Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by JasmineTea, Dec 17, 2018.
"What Do You Like About Salt Bars?"
(Edited to add: PS. Just looked back and saw cmzaha used the same word ... all I can say to that is ... SNAP! )
Brine soaps tend to be more brittle than salt bars, in that the crystal texture of the soap itself is small and easily broken.
Fine sea salt (or table salt) in the soap (salt bars) makes a soap that is closer in texture to an ordinary soap (than a brine soap is), but the salt bar ends up rock-like and smooth to use.
Salt bars do best with a long cure (similar to olive soaps).
Brine soaps don't seem to need as long a cure as salt bars (although, like any soap, they get much better with age).
Salt bars set up quite quickly and need cutting while warm to avoid crumbling (individual molds or dividers to make this easier).
Brine soaps are slower to set up than salt bars, so there's more time to do colouring and swirls, and are easier to time for cutting (but will still crumble if left to set for too long).
Brine soaps don't tend to soak up water much at all, but salt bars can a bit (depending on the recipe, and still less than an "ordinary" soap).
Salt bars seem to be less prone to DOS than ordinary soap, and brine soaps seem even less prone to DOS than salt bars.
I've got a full brine clay bar that is surprisingly nice on the skin, considering that the recipe includes 90% coconut oil. It is less drying on Winter skin than a plain olive soap.
My most recent soap is a double-salt bar (both brine in the lye and salt added to the batter), using a recipe designed to also create soda ash in the soap.
I made a batch yesterday that has over 10% cocoa butter in it (now that I check the recipe, it's got more cocoa butter than coconut oil ), so it's got everything that says it's not going to lather .
I tested it today, and it's already starting to form bubbles and lather up, so after a long cure it is going to be just fine (I'm testing this one carefully - even tho the outside isn't zappy anymore, it's going to stay zappy inside for a while ).
It does have sugars in the way of coconut water and honey, so that helps (I've moved away from using table sugar, I think it leads to DOS, whereas real honey doesn't appear to do the same).
I've made a few so far, hated the first one and don't like the second but don't hate it.
I might try the recipe posted earlier. But I'm just not feeling the salt soap love
I've found that hard oils (lard, palm) and butters aren't very nice in a classic salt bar.
I do 80% coconut, 20% of a high oleic oil with 35-50% salt, 20% SF.
I cure at least 6 month, a year is even better.
I've tried brine soaps in the past and they end up too drying. I figure its from not having a high sf for the increased coconut.
I use Obsidian's recipe. It's awesome!
Thanks @amd. Will try this recipe soonest
I tried a batch of salt soap a few years ago. I think I did 100% coconut oil with 20% superfat and 50% canning salt ppo. I liked how the salt made my skin feel like I'd gone swimming in the ocean.
I didn't make any more after that one batch for whatever reason. Maybe it's time for me to revisit this idea and see what I think now. I think I'll do more like the 80% CO recipes y'all are suggesting -- the version with 20% avocado sounds really nice. I think Irish Lass might have been the person who was kind enough to share that recipe with us.
Thanks for the info, @SaltedFig!
I have yet to try making a salt bar but I made a brine soap that's 100% coconut with a 20% superfat and fuller's earth and its lovely!
Another I made is 40% coconut, 35% Olive, 15% avocado and 10% Shea. I superfatted at 7% and my mom likes it too.
I'll make the same with salt, not brine so I can also know myself the difference. My only concern is the humidity and heat we have here....
I also make my 100% salt bars with 25% Himalayan salt brine with a 17% superfat
20% avocado is nice, I've also used safflower with good results. I think I'll make a small batch tomorrow with sunflower, I need to get some almond to try also.
Do you think it would work to add salt to my 100% CO bar that is 20% superfat and also includes 1 TBSP of activated charcoal mixed in to 2 TBSP of castor oil? It is already a lovely bar (look, lather, and feel), but I'm interested in trying a salt bar now that I've read this thread. Seeing that at least some of you have used it in 100% CO bar, I'm wondering if you have any ideas how it might behave with the added charcoal? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
I add charcoal to many of my salt bars, and have done for years. Customers love my Kelpie bar with charcoal and kelp powder
Awesome, thanks for the feedback <adds another soap to the "try" list>
Dawni, how much fuller's earth did you add? I have some and would like to try it in soap. Thanks!
Were you trying to make a salt bar? They are generally much higher in coconut oil with a high superfat. I didn't care for butter in my salt bars, but others like it. Depending on your superfat, your bar could be just fine although I don't know if I would call it a salt bar. Give it a good cure time before you judge it. I've posted this comparison of two salt bar batches at different ages. https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/cure-time-doubters-a-visual.62723/
I've just used my Pink Grapefruit and Sea Salt bar for the first time today. It's just a baby - only 3 weeks since making but I broke a bar so thought I'd try it for hand soap. It DOES feel nice! Good lather and clean feeling afterwards, but not too dry.
Here's the recipe I used:
Coconut Oil: 75%
Apricot Kernel Oil: 10%
Canola Oil: 10%
Castor Oil: 5%
Lye Concentration 30%
Fine sea salt: 50% of oil weight
EOs: Pink grapefruit and May Chang
^^^ perfect bars! Great work.
It must be coloured with mica?
Thats a beautiful pink, good job. If you like them now, wait until a 4-6 month cure, there is a big difference.
Very nice. I agree with Obsidian, 4-6 months they are good. 1 year they are awesome... I prefer mine at a year. But will use at 6 months.
Wow, so pink!
I think it's very hard to follow these recipes when people only write 'em in percents instead of grams ( ;^ 3^)
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