The following article appeared in the July ’05 issue of The Essential Herbal Magazine, written by Maryanne Schwartz. The original idea was posted by Iben on The Soap Dish Forum.
Some people use different oils with good results, but we love the coconut because of the added sudsing action. Although one would expect so much coconut to be somewhat drying, we haven’t found that to be the case (perhaps because of the water softening properties of the soap), and in fact many of our “test subjects” prefer the spa bars to the regular soap. I’ve been reading that others are finding it helpful for eczema, but that is anecdotal information.
SALT SOAP – SPA BARS
Well, as usual, one of us saw a recipe for something different. This time it was Tina. She started talking about this salt soap and even emailed the information to me. It sounded so strange that I was sure, even after seeing the info that it was a melt and pour soap with salt added and we'd tried that before. When she finally got through to me that it was really something different, we just had to try it.
Here's what we did: We call these "Canyon Soaps". The red of the clay and the rough texture that the salt gives the soap made us think of canyon walls.
4.5 oz. lye
5.5 oz. Distilled Water (Don't even think of discounting, this one goes so fast!)
25 oz. Coconut oil
By the time the oil is melted, the lye was cool enough to use and we mixed it, I'm not sure if it was even tracing, just well mixed and we added:
1 oz. Moroccan Red Clay
0.1 oz. ground Irish Moss
Then, we started adding Salt which we stirred in relatively slowly:
9 oz. coarse (pretzel) salt
6 oz. table salt
This traces FAST (you'll see!) and you basically glop it into the mold as soon as you can. It heats up and goes to gel almost at once. We went for a walk in the woods and it was pretty much ready to unmold when we got back... maybe an hour! It was still warm (even somewhat hot) when we sliced it up. It is a bit crumbly around the edges, but hardens up and the soap itself is heavy. If you plan to bevel the edges at all, do it now.We tried it out almost immediately! It has gotten much milder since then (really needed to rest for a while to continue the cure), but the bubbles are almost like lotion, rather than big and fluffy.
After the success of the first soap, we tried a second. We made it almost the same, but added Bentonite clay instead of the red clay and a little Hydrated Chromium Oxide for the green color. This one came out a seafoam green and we decided it would be called “Mermaid's Treasure”.
This is really a different kind of soap. Heavy, textured and the speed that it sets up is just fun and amazing. After doing soap in a production mode for so long, it's just such fun to try something with a new twist.
To see more variations, check out The Sibling Group!