Thursday, July 19, 2012

Euphoria Spa Soap

I've read about salt soaps and I've been wanting to make them, but I had several concerns. First, salt bars have to be cut really early or they are to hard/brittle to cut. I don't know how my molds would hold up in an oven and a toddler makes it hard to get back in time to cut soap. But, I found an idea for salt soaps using individual molds! Perfect!

As many soapmakers know, extra minerals in soap will reduce the lather of the soap. People with hard water know this too. Most soapmakers add a little extra coconut oil to compensate, but several were concerned that too much coconut would make the soap drying to your skin. I decided to go with 50% coconut oil, but I've read that others go up to 70%. I then did 30% olive oil for moisturizing and 20% palm, but I don't know that I needed the palm to make them hard because I think the salt does that for you.

I couldn't decide what scent to make these. I wanted it to be uplifting and wonderful to go along with a spa or beach experience. I found a small bottle of an essential oil blend called "euphoria" and I thought that would be perfect. I really liked the smell of the blend when I bought it, but never could find the right soap to use it in! I know, that is just silly, but I'm glad I saved it.

I read several blogs about other's salt soaps and I decided to use a 1:1 salt:oils ratio. I also read that you have to be ready to move once you add the salt, so I had my everything ready to go! I mixed to a very thin trace and added my eo blend and mixed some more. I think the essential oil might have contributed to a little bit of acceleration, but I didn't experiment with it before, so I'm not sure (this is why you should always test first...oops). I added my salt and for some unknown reason, I tried to stick blend it in. I quickly figured out that it wasn't a good idea, so I hand-stirred. I started trying to get it in my individual molds and it was really thick. I meant to smoosh it down before I filled up the molds completely, but I realized I had a problem and panicked. So, I just put more soap on top of the soap in the mold. The result looks like two layers smooshed together.
Not so smooth because it didn't pour nicely. The other three cavities are filled with soaps that I was testing FOs on. See, I do test!

As you can see, the soap was thick and hard to work with, but I smoothed it out nicely. I used my blunt-edged cutter to shave the tops off before I removed them from the molds. They came out of the molds perfectly! I'm so glad I used a smooth mold because the bars are so smooth and glossy on those sides.
I do wish they were more even in the middle, but I'm still in love!

So, why did I panic? I didn't take into account how much salt was being added when I made my recipe! So, I had more soap than would fit in my mold. Of course, I didn't have any other molds lined or available. I usually have several extra molds lined for such an occasion! So, that was oops #2. I found some bar molds to use and the soap went in and came out nicely.
Not the molds I would have preferred, but they worked nicely.

Lessons for next time:
  1. Use an FO or EO that I've already tested and does not accelerate trace. The soap does a great job of that.
  2. Resize my recipe to account for the salt.
  3. Get it into the mold quicker and maybe get a helper to smoosh it into the mold evenly.
  4. Euphoria smells even better in soap than I expected. Buy more!
Want to give one of these babies a try? They'll be available August 14th.