Jenny at Lather Be Soaping posted this tutorial on salt bars, which explains a lot about why coconut oil (and the high percentage) and other things - definitely go and check out her post for more information and some pics of a beautiful bar of soap. I wanted to try out making my own bars, and I got my hot little hands on some pink Himalayan salt to use. My husband uses Himalayan salt blocks to cook steaks (which are delicious, by the way!), but I went and bought medium-ground salt for my soaps :)
I used the same recipe Jenny uses on her blog:
80% coconut oil
15% avocado oil (I love avocado oil! I use it in all my recipes)
5% castor oil
I superfatted at 20%, since such a high % of coconut oil can be very drying. My problem was understanding how to size this recipe. I wasn't sure whether the salt would dissolve into the recipe or if it would add additional bulk to the recipe, so I sized it to fit a 9-bar mold for bars that were 3.5"x2.5"x1.25" (or approx 40 oz oils). I added 36 oz of salt to the recipe at trace, since you can use a salt weight of anywhere from 50%-100% of the weight of the oils used.
I definitely over-produced :) The salt does add additional volume to the bars (duh in retrospect), and it made nearly double what I was looking for. Therefore, I needed to cut the bars in half to get them to a size that can be held (and used).
Here's a pic of the soap being mixed:
|The salt didn't mix in as well as I thought it would... I had to do the same thing as Jenny and switch to a whisk. MUCH easier after that :)|
|Love that pink color!|
|The color is nice, but all the edges are kind of crumbly. A couple days after cutting, though, and already the lather is feeling lotion-like.|
I have a feeling that even though the salt bars may have won this round, I am going to win the battle! (muah haha)
SAFETY UPDATE: I realized after this posted that I am showing a picture of my bare hands with the caustic soap batter above. When I soap, I follow the safety precautions prescribed by numerous blogs, including Soap Queen (Google cold process safety procedures if you're new to CP soaping and want to try it out). I had removed my gloves to grab my camera to take this picture so that I wouldn't get soap batter on my camera from my gloves. I just forgot to put the gloves back on for the picture. Any soapers that are new who want to try this recipe, PLEASE PLEASE follow good safety practices for soap making.
|Listen to Sweet Brown - Lye Burns: Ain't nobody got time for that! :)|