Brine Soap a.k.a Soleseife

On my list to make has been brine soap.  What is that you ask?  Brine soap or Soleselfie (German and pronounced: zo-luh-zigh-fuh) is soap made with salt, but instead of adding the salt at trace you mix the salt in with your lye-water solution and let the salt dissolve.  You end up with a super hard bar like a salt bar, but not the super scratchy bar of a typical salt bar.

A few things you have to remember:  Salt takes more water to dissolve than lye and so the amount of salt you use can only be 25% (max) of your water.  And you have to take in to consideration that the lye requires at least a 1:1 ratio of water to dissolve.  You’re not using nearly as much salt as you would in a traditional salt bar, but the results are still pretty awesome.

EXAMPLE:

Say my recipe calls for 10 oz of water and 3 oz of lye.  I need at least 3 oz of water to dissolve my lye. That leaves me with 7 oz of water. I take 25% of that and that’s how much salt I can use if I want it all to dissolve.  You can’t take 25% from the 10 oz.

I’ve seen soapers use traditional salt bar recipes (majority of recipe is coconut oil) for brine soap and I’ve seen them use standard recipes with multiple oils.  I think my preference is towards the latter.  I have to cut my soap sooner, and the lather is much smaller (but creamier), but I really like the end result.

A few months ago I made a seaweed and brine facial bar. I used mostly dead sea salt (it’s all I had on hand). I KNEW it would make a soft soap, but it was a small batch and I wanted to play and so I did it.

It took days before I could unmold the soap it was so soft (almost crumbly).  And when I did unmold it the bars ashed over (thickly).  But I put it on my dry rack and forgot about it for a couple months.  Then one day I went to check it and the soap was rock hard (just like a salt bar). I was pleasantly surprised.  I started using the soap and I loved it.  It didn’t build a big lather—I used my standard facial recipe and not a traditional salt bar recipe—but it was oh so creamy and for washing my facial it didn’t bother me the lack of big bubbles.

When I was playing around with aloe and avocado I thought I should make another batch of brine soap.  I had sea salt on hand this time and I liked the previous bar so much that I thought it was good enough to sell.

The facial soaps turned out great.  I made some body soaps too in a loaf mold where I had to cut the soap about 4 hours after I poured.  If I’d waited a full 24 hours to cut like I usually do the batch would have been rock hard!  I can’t wait to see how these set up and to try them once they’ve cured.  I might have some new soaps I add to my line!

Experimenting is fun!  These past couple weeks I’ve played around with aloe, avocado, salt, and tallow.  I need to do this more often!

Advertisements

3 Responses to Brine Soap a.k.a Soleseife

  1. michele1880 says:

    I have a question after giving a bit of info. I made a small batch of brine soap for the 1st time last week and soaped with lye temp at 80 & oils at 82. I brought it to thin (thin) trace b/4 pouring into seven 2 oz individual bars. I used pink Himalayan sea salt, grinding it to a powder in my mortar & pestle (I have salt & pepper grinders so all I had on hand was large salt granules). The recipe I went with, now reading your post, was a tad bit heavy on the amount of salt but I strained off what minute amount was undissolved. It sounds like your brine soap made with Dead sea salt was soft (at 1st) but the brine soap made with regular ‘sea salt’ hardened very quickly; I did not have that same outcome with my Soleseife soap. I poured mine into my silicone muffin molds (7 x 2 oz) and I had to wait about 4 days to be able to pop them out. Not sure why mine didn’t harden like your regular ‘sea salt’ soap. Did you take yours to thick trace? Did you soap higher than 80ish? I read to have my oils & lye at 80 but I have noticed my goat milk soap (only made one loaf so far) took about 4-5 days before I could unmold it and I had to wait another 2 days to cut the loaf into bars. GM soap was made at low temps as well to keep the milk from turning color. I’m thinking temps might have something to do with such long wait time for unmolding; please tell me what you soaped at regarding lye/oil temps. I’ll make another tiny batch and go a bit higher in temp and bring to thicker trace b/4 pouring. Thanks for any insight you can give me.

    • Jennifer says:

      HI Michele, I typically soap at 90-100 (with a few exceptions). I do let my bars get to a medium (to thicker) trace before I pour.

      Was your recipe comprised of mostly soft oils? That’s typically more a culprit of soft bars I find. I would expect Himalayan salt to work fine (like sea salt).

      What was your water to lye ratio? Most recipes give a 2.5:1 ratio. I always soap at a 2:1 water to lye ratio. I find 2.5 to just make bars way to soft initially…making it harder to unmold, cut, and longer to cure. The milk could have also affected the soap. I’ve never made a salt and milk soap.

      I’d recommend trying a batch with milk and one without to see if you get different results. I’d soap at a little higher temps and I’d make sure your hard oils make up at least 40% of your recipe. Hope that helps.

  2. Jennifer says:

    HI Michele, I typically soap at 90-100 (with a few exceptions). I do let my bars get to a medium (to thicker) trace before I pour.

    Was your recipe comprised of mostly soft oils? That’s typically more a culprit of soft bars I find. I would expect Himalayan salt to work fine (like sea salt).

    What was your water to lye ratio? Most recipes give a 2.5:1 ratio. I always soap at a 2:1 water to lye ratio. I find 2.5 to just make bars way to soft initially…making it harder to unmold, cut, and longer to cure. The milk could have also affected the soap. I’ve never made a salt and milk soap.

    I’d recommend trying a batch with milk and one without to see if you get different results. I’d soap at a little higher temps and I’d make sure your hard oils make up at least 40% of your recipe. Hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: