Salty Beer Soap – Temperamental and so worth it!

Salt soaps in general are very temperamental. You have to really watch your temperatures, you have to make sure that you get a good medium trace with the raw soap before you add the salt, you have to make sure that the salt gets event dispersed, and then you have to keep an eye on it in the mold.

Salt soaps break the rule about how long you leave soap in the mold. Generally you leave soap in the mold anywhere from 24 hours to 7 days depending on the recipe, mold, gel time, and other factors. Salt soaps stay in the mold for just a few hours before you unmold and cut it.

Why? Because of the high salt content in the soap, and the larger than normal percent of coconut oil in the recipe if you let salt soaps sit in the mold for more than a couple of yours you won’t be able to cut it into nice neat bars. You would end up with one giant bar of soap.

This is why I only make salt soap in the morning or early afternoon, when I know that I will have time to unmold it and cut it. If I try to make it too late in the day I end up staying up later than I wanted to, which doesn’t make for good soaping.

While it is always recommended that you wear protective gloves and goggles when making and unmolding soap, salt soap adds an additional challenge. When it is ready to be unmolded it is HOT! This makes the process extra daunting, and it really makes you pay attention to what you are doing.

So if salt soaps are so temperamental and challenging then why make them? I found a bar of salt soap in a cabinet a few months ago, and realized that the soap was about 2 years old. I immediately took it to the bathroom sink to use and found that the extra cure time meant that the soap had amazing lather! It doesn’t take 2 years of curing to get this kind of lather, but I don’t like to sell salt soap that has cured less than 3 months for this reason. Unlike other soaps that maintain their properties with age, salt soaps are more like fine wines that improve with age.

So here I am with my timer on, waiting to check on the soap at the 2 hour mark and see if it is ready to unmold and cut. Waiting is always the hardest part.

Next time – Why make soap from beer?


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