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Soleseife Soap Recipe – German Brine Soap

soleseife soap recipeA few months ago, a “new” kind of German brine soap was all the rage on soap making forums, so of course I had to try it out, too. It was called soleseife (zo•luh zigh•fuh). People spelled it all different ways and many were mistakenly treating this soap like a regular salt bar, even though the outcome is very different. Soleseife is different, because the salt is dissolved in the water instead of stirred into the soap batter; so you get the benefits of bathing with saltwater without the exfoliating dimension of using undissolved salt. I think salt is too scratchy for soap, and prefer sugar scrub bars instead, but I was intrigued by the idea of a different kind of spa bar.

I developed my own soleseife soap recipe after dissecting two others that I found online:

Both of these seemed just like any other soap recipe, except for the sea salt mixed into the water and that the coconut oil was on the higher end, at 25-30% (my usual recipe is only 15%). Saltwater and sea salt soaps tend to have less lather, so that is why these recipes have more coconut oil. I couldn’t find any resource that told me how to know how much salt to use, so I just did some math to figure it out. If you divide the ounces of salt by the ounces of water, both of the above recipes used what came to 25% of their water amount for salt concentration. So that is what I went with, also. By the way, don’t try to do this soap recipe using the hot process method. The salt in the water causes it to dry out and harden up very quickly, so the results are unattractive. I used cavity molds for my soleseife soaps.

Soleseife Soap Recipe

Yield: 36 oz (oils)

  • 9 oz Olive Oil (25%)
  • 9 oz Coconut Oil (25%)
  • 5.4 oz Avocado oil (15%)
  • 4.7 oz Shea butter (13%)
  • 5.4 oz canola oil (15%)
  • 2.5 oz castor oil (7%)
  • 2 T goat milk powder (not required)

Lye solution:

Fragrance:

  • 2.25 oz essential or fragrance oil

I scented mine with a mix of peppermint, lavender, tea tree and Himalayan cedarwood essential oils; and as you can see, it turned out very white. It was fun to try a soap recipe from another country – I wish they were easier to find! While I’ve only made this recipe twice, I have started using brine water in my Dead Sea Mud Facial Bar recipe – I use a lot less salt, just over 3% for this purpose, but my skin absolutely loves it.

Have you made soleseife soap? What did you think? Do you have another favorite recipe from another country?

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Trials for a Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar Recipe

After seeing solid sugar scrub bars for sale on Etsy that had been made from a melt pour soap base, I wanted to see if I could recreate the product myself. The only recipe I could find online was for single use solid scrub cubes, but these all had extra oils added to them, and were meant to melt away with one use. I was looking for something that would last a little longer than that. So I started experimenting, using both sugar and salt. Here were my results:

mp solid scrub bars - salt

Recipe 1:  Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Large Grain Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

I used Soap Queen’s instructions for adding my salt to this – I just dumped it into my melted & scented base, and after stirring, scooped out the grains from the bottom with a spoon. It sets up really fast, so two scoops was all that was needed, and then I poured the rest over the top.

Results: While this bar is very pretty, I don’t care for the feel of the larger grain salt. Sure, it dissolves as you use the soap, but you still have some sharp edges scratching you. I don’t think that creating microscopic tears on the skin is very good for it, so I don’t plan on making this one again. As for the lather? It was noticeably reduced.

Recipe 2: Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Fine Grain Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

I meant to use 2:1 as my ratio, but I quickly ran out of soap using a different method of incorporating the salt. This time, instead of stirring the salt into my melted base, I poured a little soap into my mold, then sprinkled salt on top (thanks for the tip, Genny of Naughty Soaper). I alternated these two steps until I ran out of soap.

Results: This was much better. I’m glad I didn’t use more salt than I did, because even with the extra fine grain salt I used, it is still far more coarse than the sugar scrub bars below. I would make this one again, because I know that a lot of people prefer a rougher scrub than I do. And the lather was still pretty decent, because the salt doesn’t make up so much of the bar.

MP solid sugar scrub bars

Recipe 3: Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Sugar

I just stirred my sugar into my base and poured. That was it. This one was the easiest to make and it was also my favorite bar of the bunch (even though I forgot to add my fragrance, haha).

Results: It has just the right amount of scrub – not too hard, not too soft. Sugar is supposed to be lather-increasing, so I paid particular attention to what happened with the lather in these bars; it turned out very lotion-like and creamy. I might continue to experiment with this one, but overall, it’s a solid recipe.

Recipe 4: Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Sugar (Dissolved)

This time I attempted to dissolve as much of my sugar as possible in the soap. Only some of it would, though. In the photo above, both bars look the same, since some of the sugar sunk to the bottom; but if you flip them over, you can see the difference (photo at right).

Results: This one was less scrubby than #3, obviously, but there was a noticeable difference in the later, too. It had big bubbles instead of the creaminess.  It looks like maybe the sugar has to be dissolved in the soap for it to increase the lather. I still preferred #3, despite the lack of large bubbles. This bar is meant to be a solid scrub – exfoliation is more important than cleansing.

coconut-sugar-scrub-barRecipe 5: Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Coconut Sugar and Poppy Seeds

I had some coconut sugar laying around, and since it’s a bit coarser grain and looks different than the white sugar, I thought I would test it, too. And I added poppy seeds just for the heck of it. I basically just wanted to see what they would look like.

Results: This one turned out much the same as #3. I won’t use poppy seeds in these again, because I think they are painful. But the coconut sugar feels about the same on the skin as the smaller grain sugar does. I like that it retained the brown color, so I think I will use the coconut sugar with fragrances that tend to turn brown.

And that’s it! In my experiments I learned that it IS possible to make a salt bar out of glycerin soap (I wasn’t sure, since people seem to always use cold process for them). And I learned that it’s really not hard at all to make a solid sugar scrub using melt pour soap.

Have you ever tried these? Any other variations I should test out?