Adding Salts to Home Made Soap


I was looking for a way to achieve the cleansing, exfoliating and detoxifying qualities of a salt spa bath  in a handmade natural soap. That meant that I had to attempt making a salt soap. Here’re a few of the benefits of a sea salt soap on the skin: Sea Salt - Coarse GrindImage of sea salt and olive oil soap foam -

  • Sea salt draw toxins out of the body, which will naturally lead to feeling refreshed.
  • Sea salt, is grainy and therefore makes for a great skin scrub, having a gentle exfoliating effect;
  • Sea salt increases blood circulation and allows for the skin to soak in ingredients from other products more effectively.
  • Sea salt soap lasts twice as long as regular soap bars in the shower because of the density and mineral content; 
  • Other benefits of a sea salt soap: Increased circulation, antiseptic effects, soft skin without a greasy feel and reduction in fluid retention. 

There is only one downside to adding salt to home made soap: It reduces the lather substantially (or so it’s being reported on the soap makers’ forums) The fix to this problem is to use as much coconut oil as possible and have a high superfat content. I also found that adding Aloe Vera gel increases the lather, as well as adding sugar or other additives high in sugar such as honey, milk, coconut milk and so on. 

 I’ve come up with this “salt bar” recipe with Aloe Vera Gel and Fresh Coconut Milk.  I haven’t tried a sea salt soap bar before but I was amazed by the luxurious lather of this wonderfully creamy soap that gently removes dead skin cells and leaves  skin feeling soft and smooth. 

If you’re new to soap making, be sure to read the cold process soap making instructions before attempting anything.

Sea salt and Wild Flowers Cold Process Soap Recipe

image of a white bar of soap made with sea salt in a flower soap moldadding salt in cold process home made soap Olive oil, 20% (7.055 oz.)  200 grams
Coconut Oil  70% (24.692 oz.) 700 grams
Shea Butter 10%  (3.527 oz.)  100.grams

Coconut Milk frozen (3.404 oz)  380.grams
Lye – NaOH  ( 4.834 oz.)   137.grams
fine sea salt: ( 14 oz) 400 grams  – added at light trace.

Wild Flowers Frangrance oil: 1 oz. ; 30 grams

1 oz Aloe Vera Juice added at trace

The result: really hard and heavy soaps that simply popped out of the soap molds. The fragrance survived the saponification so the soap’s scent is gorgeous. Although the soaps are hard as rock already, I assume I still have to let them out to cure for at least a couple of weeks. After only a day, I had to try the soap for its lathering features. It lathers and it lathers well enough for a one day old salt soap (see the first image above).

freshly grated lemon zest in cold process soap results image of flower soap colored with fresh grated lemon zestI liked the way my first batch of salt soap turned out so much that I used the above soap recipe and method to make another batch of cold process soap.

This time I added freshly and finely grated citrus peel (lime and lemon) added with the salt and Aloe Vera when the soap reached trace. I also added 1 oz. of lemon, lime and lavender essential oil.

 

With so many additions, the soap mixture thickened very fast so  I didn’t managed to pour it in the soap molds while it was still pour- able. I had to scoop the thick paste in the molds. As a consequence, my soap flowers turned out a little scruffy. The lemon peel addition also provided some unsightly orange specs throughout. Oh well, on the plus side, the scent, the texture, the hardness and the bubbles are perfect. The scent left on skin after using is fresh lemon.

Adding Salt to Home Made CP Soap - does it affect the soap lather?

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There’s also another way to add salt to handmade soaps: adding the salt to the water used for the lye solution will produce what the English call a brine soap and the Germans call Soleseife. Most recipes recommend dissolving  25% salt in distilled water and chill before adding the lye and  proceeding to the usual cold process soap making method, making sure the recipe is high in coconut oil to insure bubbly lather for the finished Soleseife soap.

Here’s how I made my version of Soleseife soap: 

The oils:

  • Olive Oil – 750 grams
  • Coconut Oil – 200 grams
  • Soybean Oil – 50 grams

Lye solution:

  • 300 grams Spring Water  with 250 grams Sea Salt dissolved.
  • Sodium Hydroxide – as calculated by this lye calculator with a superfat of 5%

Additions at trace:

  • 80 grams Aloe Vera gel
  • Carrot Oil for color
  • Lemon Essential Oil and Grapefruit Essential Oil mixed in 1 tbsp of finely ground oats