Thursday, May 10, 2012

WEEK 8 SOAP CHALLENGE salt bars


This has been the messiest soaping project I've done to date !!  I've learned a few things. One:  there's not much time for layering and not a lot of swirl-ability or  fancy technique with salt soap.  Correction: after viewing the work of others, I realize there ARE options for fancy techniques. I'm just not sure how to accomplish them yet.   Two:  buy an extra roll or two of paper towels and have them handy. Clumps of salty soap seemed to drop in the most unexpected places.  Three:  Have a firm spatula or knift to level the top of your mold.  I decided I didn't want to cut bars from a loaf mold as I hear it can be tricky, so I scooped the salt soap into an eight cavity oval silicone mold.

Again, a big thank you to Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks. I'm sure I'd never have tried this if it weren't for her challenge.  Honestly, I wasn't sure I'd care much for a salt bar and thought they'd be overly drying.  I superfatted at 10% and ended up with a gorgeous bar of soap. I really like the smooth texture and FAST unmolding time, so will make them again.

Check out the amazing soaps from other soap makers at Amy Warden's Soap Challenge Week 8 link up



Here are some photos of the process:   

80% coconut oil
15% olive oil
5% castor oil

2.44 oz lye
5.28 oz water

10% superfatted

11 oz salt - a mix of table and coarse gray sea salt (it's what I had on hand and I was too lazy to run to the grocery store!)






Brambleberry's Earl Grey Lemon Fragrance...I just love this one and it didn't seem to accelerate trace at all.



The three colors I used were Aztek Gold, Spring Green and Violet - all micas from Brambleberry




Here's a close up of the salt soap in the mold. Super messy...or is it just me?


A bit of variety in the colors.  I'm not sure  how they'll hold once it's dry, but will post pictures.









Here are the finished salt soaps. They have some air bubbles, which is to be expected I think.  They ARE nice and smooth though...maybe because I cut down the amount of salt to about 11 ounces rather than 16 oz. (the amount of oils used).  After looking at everyone's photos/posts, I'm anxious to try a few more salt bar recipes.  I may even brave a loaf mold !


Testing time!!  Will I get any lather or bubbles?  A bit of both actually!  I think this would be a great shaving bar in the  tub or for hubby.  First it created a super creamy lather, then with some added water I had bubbles. Not a TON of bubbles and they were smaller in size, but bubbles.  And 15 minutes later my hands don't feel like they're coated or sticky and they're not dry, but I don't really feel overly moisturized either - just clean and soft.  I'm a happy girl! My favorite aspect is how hard the bars are. I love that!  






24 comments:

Katie White said...

They look great! I'm loving the fact that they are multi-colored!

Tina said...

Now I'm really excited to see how you like them. I tested mine after 2 or 3 days. Did you have any problems with the Dead Sea Salt? Your recipe looks like something I was going to do, until I decided to be brave and do 100% CO with 10% SF.

Suzy Whitten said...

Tina, I'll give mine a try today and post my thoughts. I wasn't sure how long I'd have to wait - I don't sell soap, so these are just for friends, family and myself. I like the idea of 100% coconut oil, actually. It might be fun to try that recipe as you made it and then one with some added oils like jojoba or shea butter to see if you can tell any difference.

Tina said...

As soon as you reveal your results, I will have an idea what to do next time. I was thinking 20% olive, castor, or jojoba (or combination) and maybe using goat's milk for liquid and still SF at 10% like you did. From what I understand higher superfats can kill lather so I didn't want to go too high. I look forward to your update.

Suzy Whitten said...

I posted a few pictures, Tina. I like the idea of goat's milk (just came from our yearly Shepard's Harvest Festival in Lake Elmo, MN with Llama, Alpaca, Angora Goats and Rabbits, so goat's milk is on my mind!!) and am going to try that in my next batch for sure. I might try the pink Himalayan salt next time as I think it's really pretty and I don't see the salt in my bars - they're very smooth - some pink salt on top would be pretty. Overall, I'm happy with the oils but would think about adding Shea Butter. All in all, a great bar of soap. My favorite aspect really is how hard a bar it makes!

Tina said...

I think your bubbles look rather large! I think I'm going to try 90% CO, 10% something, 10% SF and use milk for liquid. You honestly did help me decide :0). Thanks and congratulations!

Suzy Whitten said...

I'm glad I could help ! I'm new to soap making and have learned so much from just listening to what others have to say, what they've tried, what worked and what didn't. Let me know how your next batch turns out, will you? My best to you, Suzy

Simple Pleasures Handmade Soap said...

I like your multi coloured effect. Good job!

Traci R @ Savon Arts said...

I love the marbling look. Very pretty

Amy W said...

You were braver with the colors than I was! Once you add the salt, there really isn't a whole lot of time for play. I was pretty astounded to see what looked like some faux funnel pours! I'd say you did very well - and thank you for sharing your results with us!

Suzy Whitten said...

Thanks! I wish they'd stayed truer to color - they really lightened a lot - but you can still see them.

Suzy Whitten said...

Thanks, Traci !!

Suzy Whitten said...

I didn't think I'd be able to get much color effect at all because of the consistency after adding the salt, so I guess I can't complain. I wish the colors had stayed darker..,something to remember for next time !!

lwal50 said...

Good idea to use the individual moulds, and love your multi-colours, very nice. I bet they're a lovely soap to use. xx Linda

Natalia said...

I like you multi-coloured soaps and the flagrance you used ! Nice job!

Suzy Whitten said...

Thanks, Linda! I'd never tried a salt soap before and am new to soap making in general, so there was no way I was going to mess with a loaf mold. Now that I've tried it and see how it unmolds, I might make a small loaf. I don't sell soaps, I just make for family and friends, so how many salt soaps can a person use, right??!! Thanks again xx Suzy

Suzy Whitten said...

Thank you, Katie !! We'll see how they work - guess that's the true test. Right now, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Thank you for your comment.

Suzy Whitten said...

Thanks, Natalie! The single oval molds don't allow for a lot of fun layering, but they turned out okay and were easy to unmold. I do love the Earl Grey Lemon fragrance from Brambleberry....it's subtle and doesn't hit you over the head

Tina said...

I made two bars last night. They both had 90/10:CO/OO and 10%SF. I used water in one and goat's milk in the other. I had to try the GM one this morning and I had crazy thick lather, but I didn't use much water. I bet that one is going to be the winner! I will update Amy's page later this week with more test results comparing all three bars, so look for it. :0)

Suzy Whitten said...

Now THAT is interesting! I haven't used GM yet, so for Challenge 9 (peaked tops) I think I'll give it a try. Do you think the salt bars you made with the GM would make good shaving bars? Did it stay lathery (is that even a word? hmmm...) I just started keeping a journal of sorts for this very reason. and I never seem to remember when I need it Nice job, Tina !! Thank you for taking the time to make these batches. I'll be checking Amy's page for the full results!

Tina said...

No doubt about it, they will make excellent shaving bars. But, I'm thinking the salt could sting while shaving, so that will have to be tested too. I really want to test them now, but I also think it is better to wait a couple days and then I'll test all three for comparison. I can't wait! This time I used fine sea salt since I don't like the medium grains. They were so scratchy, it looked like I was attacked by the cat, so a cloth would be better used. I think they are going to be better overall, but am eager to try the one with water as well. I haven't had this much fun in a long time!

Suzy Whitten said...

Thank you by the way, for joining my blog. I'm just starting up and my friends don't soap or craft really, so here I am. I appreciate the company !!!

Suzy Whitten said...

Oh, I didn't think about the salt - yeah, not to shave friendly !! Ouch. I had to smile at your comment that you looked like you'd been attacked by the cat (coarse sea salt) AND that you haven't had this much fun in a long time. That's what I've been saying since I started making soap. I was so leery of working with lye, that I almost gave up on the idea. Catherine McGinnis of Newt+Fig encouraged me and assured me it wasn't nearly as scary as what I'd imagined in my mind and she's been a great mentor and friend ever since - another benefit of soaping - it's a great online community. :-D

Louisa McFarland said...

Hi Suzy, Your bars look great. Good on you for having a go at the different colours, they turned out so pretty. I am really glad you are enjoying soap making, I have to agree with you the online community is great. So many people are really helpful and there is so many ideas on fragrance and colour out there. I don't have any soap makers close to me, so these challenges are almost like having a soap party every week. Well not almost, they are...I am loving meeting new soapers from all over the globe.