I have wanted to try my hand at a Cold Press “Salt Soap” for some time. Just recently Cee from Oil & Butter shared with us a blog on her facial Coconut Soap Bars. Just reading her blog made me more curious on trying my hand at one.
The last time I tried making a salt soap bar it was with Melt in Pour. I gave a bar to my little sister to try and it was then that we realize that she is allergic to salt =). Nothing like standing in the middle of a school event and itching like crazy! Needless to say the only bars that I make for her now are just natural oatmeal and goat milk soaps.
Being that this was my first try at making this type of soap in cold press, I did a little research, watched a couple of videos and asked a soapy friend for advice (Cee!). Also check out Jenny’s blog on her Pineapple Ginger salt bars. It comes with a video!!!
One other source was Anne-Marie’s post in her Soap Queen Blog. It was her blog that gave me the inspiration to use Pink Himalayan Salt.
I knew for sure that I was going to use Coconut Oil at 80% of my oils, and decided to use Avocado Oil and Mango Butter for the rest of the oils. Since it has such a high percentage of Coconut Oil, I superfat at 20%. For salt I had read that you can use 50% to 80% of the weight of your oils. I decided to use 50%.
Now a couple of things I did not plan for…and should have. Since we are adding salt to this recipe I should have adjusted my oils down so that it will all fit nicely in my mold ( I used Bramble Berry’s 9 Bar Birch Slab Mold). Since it’s such a high concentration of Coconut Oil…is it going to do anything to my trace time? ….and here is where my story picks up.
I gathered all my ingredients and soaped at cool temperatures (around low 90 degrees). I used Bramble Berry’s Pink Grapefruit fragrance oil. I love that fragrance and have pretty good luck with it. I also added a couple of ounces of powder Goat Milk to my oils. Lately I have been too inpatient to deal with the freezing of the milk so I have been using powdered milk more and just adding it to my warm oils before I add my lye.
So there I was…stick blending…and stick blending…and STICK BLENDING. The mixture was taking forever to reach thin trace! Now I had heard about soapers burning out their stick blenders when they work with castile soap, and I thought I was getting pretty close to this myself! I kid you not, I could feel my poor blender motor start to get pretty hot. I started to think that this may be a very good recipe to use to make a Peacock Swirl!…but with my luck, the darn thing traces fast.
Just when I thought I had blended it enough I started to see a bit of a “light” trace. I decided then to split my batch in half since I was planning on coloring half of it with pink mica. Now I thought that as soon as I added the salt that it would start thickening up, but it didn’t. It remained pretty loose. I poured both mixtures in the mold and then realize…WOW, I have too much soap! So in a panic I run to my soaping closet and dig up one of my individual bar silicone mold. My husband gave me a funny look as I ran from one end of the room to the other at lighting speed. =)
Once I put it to bed I could not wait to see the final results. I decided to gel the soap and I keep praying that it would harden up pretty nice. It was so thin and loose that I had my concerns!
The following morning I unmolded the bars and was pleasantly surprised to see that they had harden up pretty nicely. Now the only thing that I find weird is the how the top looks. It’s not as smooth as I have seen pictures of other bars. There is these all little white dots on top, which I can guess it’s the salt (its not ash). Now I must admit that the white is actually the part of the mixture that I did not color and just added the salt. Since the mixture was so flexible I tried to do some kind of swirl, except that it does not look like much now.
Here is a pic
I used Pink Himalayan Salt and for those of you that have tried salt bars, what kind of salt have you used? I have read that dead sea salt makes the bars “weep”. I am thinking of using Kosher Salt next time around and wondered what you think? Let me know! I am always interested to hear from my soapy friends!