Saturday, 12 May 2012

Salt Bar

We're on Week 8 of the soap challenge set by Amy Warden of Great Cake Soapworks.
This week it's a Salt Bar, and it's ....made in Portugal! (Shelley).
The reason I'm doing the challenge again is because Ishbel has already made salt bars and had a lovely one in her range previously, so I just wanted to have a go really! Only one problem- I have never seen a salt bar, used a salt bar or made a salt bar, so I have apsolutely no idea what it's supposed to turn out like!
Ishbel passed on her recipe to me- it was basically about 66% Coconut Oil, 11% Castor Oil, and about 22% Palm Oil (we dont use palm oil in any of our ranges any more, but i have a small  amount of old stock- it's organic and sustainably sourced from a small RSPO approved producer).
I used about the same amount of salt (ordinary fine table salt) as coconut oil (it seemed like alot!) and more fragrance than I would normally add- around 6% fragrance to base oils (we usually use 3%).
Ishbel instructed me to add the salt to the melted oils and mix well, and then add the fragrance, and finally the lye mixture (I just used water for this)- it took a while to trace (surprisingly) but was a gorgeous consistency.  I chose a fragrance of Bay Rum, and Peppermint Essential Oil- (the peppermint being the major part), and coloured it with a pale bluey sea green. The whole room took on an amazing aroma- the peppermint being so zingy and invigorating!
I was intending to do a small loaf mould- and add a layer of ground dried seaweed I had found in my box of goodies, but in a last minute change of heart I poured the mixture into chunky heart moulds and left them plain!
So here's the result- sorry there aren't more photos- my hubby has had the camera with him for the last few days, so I was unable to photograph the making process. Also these photos don't really show the colour very well- it's a lovely pale duck-egg blue/green.

I'm still uncertain if it's how it should be- I have to admit I imagined a more glassy bar. I will have another go with this method, but add more dimensions- maybe include some botanicals and layers of colours, but I really wanted to strip it down this time and keep it simple. Can't wait to see the other results of the challenge- I've been making soap for several years now and the challenges have shown me there's still loads to learn! It's been a brilliant process- thanks Amy, and thanks to everyone else who's taking part and giving everyone such positive comments and encouragement every week.

A quick P.S!i just wanted to add- i've just tried a little bit of this (it should be cured first- but I was curious!) and it does turn very smooth and glossy once it is in use- the only thing I wish I had done differently is added some texture - I feel like it should be scrubby!  Overall I'm impressed (and converted- i was dubious!) and I love the peppermint- I will definately be doing a new and improved version soon!



  1. Cute Hearts...

    Sharun, Suds 'n Salts...

  2. Ha ha Shell, I love it that you are already hooked on salt bars, they are amazing and I really love the idea of doing a textured one as they do go glassy smooth with use. I feel a new soap for the range coming on!!! I love the heart soaps too, I think we should keep them don't you? Well done M8, Im looking forward to my challenge this week XX

  3. They look great! I love the heart shape.

  4. Great job on your first one! Especially not knowing what you were getting into! Sounds like a great fragrance combo too! :)

  5. The heart shape is so pretty and I like that you used regular table salt and had success. I used 3/4 table salt and 1/4 grey sea salt. It's what I had on hand! It's so fun to see all the different recipes and techniques...all salt bars !

  6. Love the hearts. A shape like that makes it easy to grab and use for rough feet!

  7. So smooth and spa looking! Love these little soaps and the shape as mentioned is great to hit those heels with this summer! Guys love the salt bars too.