Friday, 3 February 2017

Soleseife (Salt Water) Soap

Also known as German Brine Soap, this soap is hard, long lasting and has a silky feel with a mild lather.

I did some research and used ideas from the following websites:

I decided to base my recipe on the Soap Queen's Brine & Rose Clay Soap, although I used Rice Bran oil in lieu of the olive as I'd run out.  Also I used a loaf mould rather than individual moulds and decided to go for a very basic ITP swirl with two colours - green clay with a bit of titanium dioxide, and yellow clay. Any kind of swirl is a seriously courageous thing to do when working with salt soaps - which I temporarily forgot, duh! - as salt can accelerate trace at an alarming rate. Therefore my "swirl" isn't very swirly, which is neither here nor there ... :o)

I've been experimenting on and off for a year or so to try and come up with a beautiful ocean-type essential oil blend.  This one at first smelt fresh and salty and reminiscent of the sea, but as the soap cures it has morphed into something quite lovely but less sea-like.  I think it needs more lemon and I'll dispense with the cinnamon leaf.

Essential Oil Blend

For 1000 grams of oils I used the following essential oils:
10g Rosemary EO
10g Peppermint EO
10g Lemon Myrtle EO
5g Cinnamon Leaf EO

Soleseife Recipe

(Superfatted at 8%)

750g Coconut oil
170g Rice Bran oil
50g Avocado oil
30g Castor oil

82g fine table sea salt
330g De-mineralised water
152g Sodium Hydroxide

Colour: I used approximately 1 tsp each of yellow and green clay, and added a bit of titanium dioxide to the green clay to soften the colour.

WARNING: If this is your first cold process soap you need to learn the basics first as I won't be explaining them in this recipe. Here are two videos on how to make cold process soap by the Soap Queen you should watch first - Lye Safety & Ingredients and Basic Terms. It is important that safety procedures be strictly followed as sodium hydroxide, if not used correctly, can cause serious injury and death.

* Weigh out essential oils
* Weigh water and use a bit to disperse approx 1 tsp each of green and yellow clays, also some titanium dioxide if using powdered
* Mix remaining water and sodium hydroxide
* Add salt and stir to dissolve (some of the salt may not dissolve, this doesn't matter)
* Cool water to approx 35-40 degrees celcius
* Meanwhile, melt oils until just melted and stir to combine
* Blend the oils and lye (water + NaOH) together until emulsified (if desired the water can be strained to remove the salt that hasn't dissolved but I didn't bother)

WORK QUICKLY FROM THIS POINT - or forget colour altogether, which I may do next time!

* Pour off half the batter into another container and whisk in some yellow clay to desired colour
* Do the same with the green clay and titanium dioxide in the other half of the batter
* Stir in the essential oils - half into each batter mixture
* Do a quick In-The-Pot swirl and pour batter into the mould
* Tap mould on benchtop to disperse air bubbles
* Spray with isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash and leave for a couple of hours until soap has hardened and has cooled down (doesn't need to be stone cold)
* Un-mould and slice it up at this point or the soap will become too hard and crumbly to cut
* Leave to cure for 4-6 weeks


  1. put Castor Oil in the mix at exactly the same amount per kg as I do!. My past experience with Castor Oil is to set softer blend soap, especially a tallow and olive oil blend, a bit faster. Problem is it can begin hardening at light trace. In fact I just bought some for future batches of soap that I know take extra time to set if made without the "hardener".

    1. Hi RobynLouise - yes, it's also meant to help the other oils in the mix to produce more bubbles. This is my first soleseife soap. I think I'll fiddle with the recipe for next time, but only because avocado oil is so expensive!

  2. I loved making soleseife soap - mind you, it wasn't the easiest to keep looking good on my stall in damp weather! I loved the way that in use over time, the bars became like polished stone!