You might be asking “why in the world would you put Himalayan Pink Salt in a soap bar?”
The truth is, Himalayan pink salt gives soap a natural means of cleansing, detoxifying and exfoliating all wrapped into one. Salt soap bars are a wonderful way to combine a sea salt bath with a natural soap – believe it or not, the final result is a hard bar of soap with a creamy, lotion-like lather.
I love the way it makes my skin feel!
Himalayan pink salt cold process soap is made similar to other cold process soap recipes, but with a few exceptions:
#1: Himalayan pink salt will suppress the lather in the cold process soap recipe — so you will need to adjust the oils in your cold process soap recipe to be at least 70% coconut oil. That high coconut oil will produce a rich, creamy lather, without drying up your skin.
#2: You will add the himalayan pink salt at trace – – any of three different amounts:
50-70% of the total oils in salt
100% of the oils in salt (which means that if your recipe has 30 oz of oils, then use 30 oz of salt)
100% of the soap amount (which means that if your recipe is for 3 lbs of soap, then add 24 oz of salt.
#3: Himalayan pink salt cold process soap will be very thick once you add it at trace – it will seem like a TON of salt. You will need to pour in the mold quickly, and insulate as soon as possible. Unlike regular cold process soap recipes, Himalayan pink salt soap bars will set up very very fast. Likewise, they will need to be unmolded in just a few hours after you pour into the mold otherwise the soap will crack and the loaf will be to difficult to slice.
Before you get started, you will want to create the recipe that you will use for the soap. No matter what recipe, you will need at least 70% coconut oil.
Himalayan Pink Salt Cold Process Soap
This base recipe is what works wonderfully for me – you might find that a silicone mold like this works better simply for the fact that you don’t have to worry about unmolding, and you can let the soap cure 24 hours.
My first few batches of salt soap in a log mold were quite a challenge; I found that 3 hours after pouring in the mold was the perfect time to unmold and slice. I find that using a circular or bar soap mold works so much better.
- 5.26 oz lye
- 11.22 oz water
- 1.5 oz castor oil (4.4%)
- 25.5 oz coconut oil (75%)
- 3.5 oz olive oil (10.3%)
- 3.5 oz shea butter, unrefined is what I find to work the best (10.3%)
- 2 C. fine grain Himalayan Pink Salt (more or less depending on preference)
- 1-2 tsp rose clay (if desired)* added before the salt, at trace
#1: Suit up for safety. Put on goggles, wear gloves and don clothes that have long sleeves. Go a step further and make sure all distractions are out of the room/house – kids, pets, etc. Use a well-ventilated area (I like to use my kitchen sink because I have a few windows behind it that provide ventilation).
#2: Prepare all of your ingredients – and have everything set aside to start:
- Thermometer (one that you don’t use for food)
- Silicone Column Mold, 31 oz or a circular mold (for easier removal)
- Pyrex 8 cup measuring device – not required, but so handy to have!
- Immersion Blender – you don’t have to spend oodles but you will want something reliable with a metal stick, not plastic.
- Lye – this is the brand we use
- Digital Scale to measure your ingredients
#3: Measure out your water and set aside. Make sure the water is at room temperature or colder (you don’t want it to be hot).
#4: Sprinkle the lye into your water. Stir slowly as you continue to add little bits of lye until the lye is fully dissolved. Never pour the water into the lye because that can create quite a reaction.
#6: Combine your oils that you have weighed out. I try to soap between 120-130 if I am using water. If I am using milk in my recipe, you’ll want to follow a different procedure by freezing the milk beforehand (see our post here). If your oils are not in liquid form, you can combine them in a pot on the stove and heat slowly.
#7: Pour the lye mixture into the oils. Use your immersion blender to stir mixture together, making sure to pulse the immersion and take 15-20 second breaks. Don’t overheat your stick blender. Blend with your stick blender until the mixture reaches a medium trace. It may take anywhere from 3-7 minutes if not more. If you are using scent (fragrance or essential oils) add during this time, too.
#8: Add the Himalayan pink salt when the mixture is at medium trace – stick blend as best as you can, the mixture will thicken up very quickly.
#8: Quickly pour the batter into the mold evenly distributing from one side to another. Use a paddle or long spoon to spoon out as much of the batter as you can – add additional coarse Himalayan Pink Salt to the top and texture as best as you can (if you wish). Insulate away from kids or others to allow it to gel for several hours.
Check on your soap over the next few hours – don’t wait too long to unmold, as it will be a challenge to slice. After 2 1/2 – 3 hours, your soap should be able to come out of the mold. Make sure you are wearing gloves, as the soap is still caustic.
Rub on the bottom of the mold very gently and pull out the sides of the mold to loosen the log. If it seems too wet, you may have to give it additional time. (If you are using a cavity mold, you don’t necessarily have to unmold until after 24 hours).
Once you manage to release it from the mold, immediately cut the log into slices and allow to finish curing.
Tips for making Himalayan Pink Salt Soap:
- Stick with fine grain sea salt for within the soap. If you wish to dress up the top of the soap after you pour, then a coarse soap will work wonderfully, too.
- Avoid using epsom salt in cold process soap – it won’t work out too well for you and you might have a very big mess.
- You can definitely use colorants (clays, mica, and scents/oils) in your soap – just remember that once you add the salt, the batter will get thick very quickly so you may want to add those items before you add the salt to give yourself time to work.
- Certain scents play better in salt soap bars – I found citrus to tend to dissipate, but scents like Palmarosa worked incredibly well. A great ratio is .7 oz of oils for each pound of oils in your recipe.
In most cases, cold process soap is ready to use within 4-6 weeks (cure time), but with salt bars, the longer the cure time, the more luxurious the bar.
It’s not uncommon to allow salt bars to cure for 4-6 months if not more – if you are selling salt soap bars to friends and family, I would recommend allowing them to cure for 6 months, as the lather will get much better over time.