Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bedtime Bath Salt Bars

Can you believe that it has been four months since I made a batch of soap?

I made my Christmas Tree Feather Swirl soap in late September and that was it for 2014. My husband and I had a cross-country move looming and I was busy with a million things getting ready for it. Plus I didn't want to haul a bunch of uncured soap two thousand miles.

By late January, we were settled enough in our new home for me to start thinking about making soap again. After such a long hiatus, I was worried that I wouldn't remember how to make soap. So I chose something simple by design and also out of necessity. I was out of almost all of my oils, as I had used most of them up and didn't want to buy more until after we moved. But I did have some coconut oil left, and two pounds of pink Himalayan sea salt.

You know what that means.


(You may remember that I adore salt bars. Hubby likes them, too. You can see previous batches that I've made here. And here.)

I did drag some fragrance oils with us on our road trip. And a bottle of lavender FO leaked all over the place. BUT the car smelled lovely. And lavender is known to be calming, and it is important to stay calm while driving.

One of the scents that made the cut was Element's Bedtime Bath fragrance oil, which also happens to feature lavender - along with chamomile - and it smells like a popular brand of baby lotion.

Salt soap batter gets thick pretty fast once the salt is added, so swirls and other intricate designs are just about impossible. So I decided to do a two-layer soap.

For this batch of salt soap, I used 100% coconut oil. Salt is a lather-killer, so a large percentage of coconut oil is necessary to restore the lather. In fact, coconut oil lathers well in salt water, unlike other oils. And because coconut oil can be drying in high amounts, I included a high superfat of 20% to make the soap more nourishing.

My recipe called for 32 ounces of oils. I decided to use the salt at a 1:1 oil:salt ratio, meaning that I used equal amounts of oil and salt. So for 32 ounces of oil, I used 32 ounces of salt.

The colors that came to mind for this baby lotion-type fragrance were pink and purple, probably due to marketing influences. I brought the soap to trace and then split it in to two equal portions. One portion I colored with ultramarine pink, the other with ultramarine violet.

Next I added 16 ounces of pink Himalayan salt to each portion. Then I poured the purple layer into my acrylic slab mold, smoothed it out, and then carefully poured the pink layer on top of it. Once both layers were poured, I inserted the dividers and let the soap gel.

A few days later, I unmolded the bars. Salt bars get hard really fast, so I could have unmolded much sooner. I just didn't get around to it right away. I especially like using my slab mold with dividers for salt bars because it takes all of the guesswork out of when to cut the soap. Salt soap needs to be cut at just the right time. Wait too long and you get a crumbly mess. With the dividers, I don't have to worry about cutting. And because salt bars are so hard, unmolding was a breeze.

Here's a videoooooooooo!

I'm glad that I've got a new batch of salt bars made and curing! We'll be set for a while now. And with such a fresh, soothing scent, we'll smell like clean, happy babies!