Will sugar help lather in a salt bar?

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I've seen a few posts lately about using sugar to increase lather. I think salt bars are my favorite soap to make so far, but I don't want to use 100% coconut oil (or I don't think I do, haven't tried it yet but I like the ones I have made with a blend of CO, avocado oil, and Shea butter but there is not enough lather for me). So when I saw a couple posts about adding sugar to boost lather, I immediately wondered it it would work in a salt bar. I have so far used fine sea salt at 80% weight of oils added at trace, but am becoming very interested in soleseife (hope I spelled that right) soap as well. Has anyone tried this? Anyone think it will or won't work on either a salt bar or a soleseife or both?
And would it be added to the lye water?
Thanks, all! I love how helpful everyone is here!
 

Susie

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In most non-salt soaps, the lather-limiting issue is which oils you use. In solseife, or salt bars, the issue is that salt inhibits lather. Coconut oil is the only oil that will lather in the presence of salt. That is why salt bars call for extremely high percentages of CO. Adding sugar to a soap that has two lather limiting factors(shea butter and salt) is not going to help. It does not even help in salt containing soaps without the shea butter.(If this is not clear, please say something, because it is 2 am here, and I may not be making the most sense right now.)

Adding sugar to the CO, shea, an avacado(no salt, whatsoever) will help with the bubbles. I would also add castor oil at at least 5% to that to have more stable lather. "Sugar to make more bubbles, castor oil to keep more bubbles," is how I remember it.

I take 1 ounce of my water called for in the recipe out and heat it up, add the sugar to that and dissolve it. Then I dump that either in the hot lye water or the oils. I typically use 1 tsp sugar/PPO. This is sometimes table sugar, and sometimes honey, depending on what soap I am making. I must admit, though, that in the case of honey, it is more likely to be a bit higher amount, simply because of the difficulty in measuring it precisely.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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How much CO do you use in your salt bars? If 80%, try using less salt. How much shea butter do you use? As Susie said, that will also work against lather.
 
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Ok so I replied to this but it never posted....I'll call it lack of caffeine. I have made 2 batches, one with 70% CO, one with 65%. The one with 70 does lather better with nice big bubbles. Both I believe had 10% Shea, I never read that it inhibits lather until after I made these...go figure. I think I see a single bar cavity mold in my future so I can test different things with salt bars.
I also didn't realize sugar and honey were interchangeable. Thanks for the info once again!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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You'll often read here that in a normal bar it is often a problem at 30% or more - in a bar with a lot of salt compared to the CO, it might well be an issue even at 10%.

Maybe try a 70% CO, 5% castor with your shea and avocado oil, but with 70% or even 65% salt - while the drop in salt might not be noticable in itself, it might well be enough, with the castor and the better co amount, to bring your bubbles up to where you want it to be.
 

Obsidian

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I made a 90% coconut, 10% shea with 100% salt and it has really bad lather. Part of the problem is the high salt amount, I only use 50% now but the shea really kills the lather too, I'll not use it salt bar again.
 
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I made a 90% coconut, 10% shea with 100% salt and it has really bad lather. Part of the problem is the high salt amount, I only use 50% now but the shea really kills the lather too, I'll not use it salt bar again.
Do you find that your bars still have the same hardness at 50% salt? I love how they get so smooth with use and don't want to lose that quality.
 

lionprincess00

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I do 68% co, 7% castor, 20% sweet almond and 5% Shea with 60% salt ppo, very similar to teg's suggestion. It takes a second to get going, but then it's a creamy soft lather. There's a squeaky feel on the dry down, and once completely air dried it almost feels like lotion is on your skin. I am obsessed with tweeking this now. I use 15% sf.

You can do 70% co
5% castor
5% Shea
20% avocado
15-16% sf
Salt I'd do 65% ppo and see how this works out. Tweek thereafter.

It's all relative to your liking. That's the only problem with making soap as a hobby, or when you're just starting out: you have to make dozens and dozens to tweek and perfect different recipes and techniques. What works for me may not work for you, so you make several until you find your perfect batch. This recipe, I think, I could make even better by tweeking to lather up faster, but it's a start if wanting to keep Shea.

Edit, yes mines hard...my 100% salt ppo is a rock, like granite! But it doesn't lather at all. Sad really. These I make now with the above recipe are hard, yes, and if moving fast you can swirl some! Assuming you can work well with thickened batter containing salt and your fragrance doesn't accelerate too much.
 

shunt2011

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Not enough CO. I use 80% CO with Avocado and Castor and I love the lather/suds. I only use 25-50% Salt. My favorite bar to use. Nice hard smooth bars everytime.
 

new12soap

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IrishLass salt bar recipe:

100% coconut oil

100% coconut milk for the liquid (I use powdered coconut milk, so I can still use my lye masterbatch mixed with water)

13% superfat (NOT counting the fat in the coconut milk, 13% is what you enter into your lye calculator)

25% salt (I use fine sea salt I buy at the dollar store, and that is 25% of your oil weight).

Try this recipe one time. Give it a good cure first, and you can adjust from there if you want to. I have never adjusted it because it is fantastic as is :)
 

Cindy2428

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I used dendritic salt and love the texture. There is no grittiness and my soap poured thick, but smooth. I used at 70% with 50/50 coconut milk, coconut water sub.
 
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IrishLass salt bar recipe:

100% coconut oil

100% coconut milk for the liquid (I use powdered coconut milk, so I can still use my lye masterbatch mixed with water)

13% superfat (NOT counting the fat in the coconut milk, 13% is what you enter into your lye calculator)

25% salt (I use fine sea salt I buy at the dollar store, and that is 25% of your oil weight).

Try this recipe one time. Give it a good cure first, and you can adjust from there if you want to. I have never adjusted it because it is fantastic as is :)
Thank you! I think I saw this searching through the forum. Do you mix the powder with your lye water or add it at trace?





I used dendritic salt and love the texture. There is no grittiness and my soap poured thick, but smooth. I used at 70% with 50/50 coconut milk, coconut water sub.
So you use coconut water and coconut milk? Do you add the milk to the lye? Does it discolor? What exactly is dendritic salt? I've seen it mentioned but never actually seen it.

Thanks again!
 

Cindy2428

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Dendritic salt is super fine non-iodized salt. No grittiness at all. I buy mine from the San Fransisco Salt Company. Yes, I do add my coco water/coco milk directly to my lye solution. It's frozen and does not burn. It did thicken up my batter very quickly and using 2 colors I barely got them into my cavity molds. It was a little frenzied but using these bars 6 months later it was worth it. Next time 1 color only.
 

galaxyMLP

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Question, since I'm allergic to coconut I made a salt bar using 100% olive oil (yes, I was fully aware it wouldn't lather at all) I actually love the bar because it is lightly exfoliating and leaves my skin feeling very clean but not dry. Is it a bad thing that it doesn't lather? Or is that just a personal preference. Im pretty sure you don't actually need lather to get clean, right?
 

AnnaMarie

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I make a salt bar with 100% coconut oil at 20% super fat and almost 1:1 ratio salt to soap. It is amazing!!! The lather is so incredibly creamy rich, and the bar is rock solid. I'm finding it great for my skin. You might want to give it a try ;-)

Best,
Anna Marie
 
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Liesel Atwood

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IrishLass salt bar recipe:

25% salt (I use fine sea salt I buy at the dollar store, and that is 25% of your oil weight)
.
Hello Irish Lass! I wonder if I can ask you a question, just to clarify something in my own mind. There are salt bars, and then there are brine (salt water) bars, also known as Soleseife. The 25% salt in your recipe....is that a 25 % salt water solution, or is it salt added at trace, at 25% of the oil weight? From my reading, I understand that the salinity of seawater is 28 -33 %. So I was wondering if your recipe is a brine soap or is it a "salt" soap. I haven't made a true salt soap yet, so I'm learning as much as I can before I give it a try. Your recipe looks like a good one to try first, with the lower salt content....I can gradually work my way up. I'm thinking your recipe is referring to a 25% salt soap recipe rather than a brine soap, so I wanted to ask and be sure. Sorry if my formatting is all wrong....I'm not sure I even know how i'm supposed to do it! LOL! I surely appreciate all the wonderful info here. I always learn something new! :)
 

Liesel Atwood

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I made my Soleseife bars this evening - just 1 lb for testing. Using 25 % Himalayan salt in the lye water, and a lot of stirring, I noticed that some of the salt still hadn't dissolved. Maybe this was due to the addition of 1 oz of frozen rosehip water I made last year. I'm thinking the water was overloaded with the lye, salt and whatever particles were in the rosehip water/syrup. Still, I'm happy with it over all. But, I'm a little bummed, because now that they are in the mold doing their thing, I suddenly realized I forgot to factor in the castor oil when formulating my recipe. Arrrghh! LOL Hopefully the coconut cream, aloe vera, and kaolin clay will make the bars feel nice, and the 60 % coconut plus the sugar will give some sort of lather. I've never forgotten the castor oil! Live, learn and laugh at myself, I suppose. :)
 

cmzaha

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My only question is did you add in the castor oil upping your superfat even more? Sixty percent CO in a Soleseif bar will lather fine unless you have a super high superfat.
 
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