Tuesday, 27 May 2014


I saw this method for making European brine soap on the website below


I decided to give it a try and I am really pleased with the results. I used a simple lard based soap recipe with a high coconut oil content of 30%. I usually only use a small amount of coconut oil in my soaps as I find it can be very harsh and drying, however salt is known to reduce lather so the increased coconut content should prevent having a non lathering soap. You can use any type of salt for this recipe, I used rock salt.

Ingredients   (This amount of batter fills a 7cmx7cmx25cm mould)

Water 349.6g
Sodium Hydroxide 133.2g
Lard 460g
Coconut oil 276g
Sunflower oil 184g
Salt (25% of water weight) 87.4g
Ocean Vitality Fragrance Oil 30g (~2%)
Titanium dioxide 1/2tsp
Ultramarine blue 1/4tsp


Start by dissolving the salt into the lye water. Then add the sodium hydroxide, the mixture will become pure white and almost frothy (set aside to cool). Melt the oils until they have dissolved and allow to cool also. When both have dropped in temperature to below 35-40C mix together and stick blend until fully homogenised. Add the titanium dioxide to all the soap batter and stick blend a little more to ensure it has fully mixed with no lumps. Divide the mixture into two unequal parts, 1/4 and 3/4 of the soap batter. Add the ultramarine to the pot containing 1/4 of the batter and mix thoroughly again. You will need to work fairly fast to ensure the soap batter does not set up too quickly. Pour the blue mix back into the white mix and mix gently with a spatula a couple of times. The same way you would fold ingredients into cake batter. Pour all the mixture into the mold and leave to set up. This soap will set up really quickly so you will need to unmold it and cut it within 4-6 hours or you will end up with a solid brick that is impossible to cut. Leave the soap to cure for at least 4 weeks before using it.

This is by far one of my favourite soap recipes so far. It makes a great shower bar as the soap is hard as rock and lasts forever. Give this a go, you won't be sorry! Has anyone else tried this method of making salt soap? How did your results turn out?


  1. Thanks for this info! I just made my first batch last night. A small test batch. 1 pound of oils. I used single molds and was able to unmold them easily today. My concern is that the pH strip was off the charts 13-14. But his website said to wait to test for a day or so. So I'm hoping it will get milder in a few days. Was your ph high after unmolding?

    1. Hi Lisa, Thanks for commenting. You're my first commenter so it's great to know that someone has read my blog! I do find soap to be very caustic the day after I have made it so I always wear gloves when unmolding and make sure to thoroughly clean all utensils and work surfaces that might have soap left on them. I wouldn't panic at this point that your soap has a high pH. It still needs to cure for at least 4 weeks and over this time it will slowly become milder. I have had trouble with pH strips and a lot of people have reported inaccurate results. I found that when using them to test my cured soap I was getting pH values of 7 which is impossible as handmade soap is always going to be alkaline, usually around pH 9-10. I feel safer and more confident using my soap if I have also zap tested it, however I would never zap test soap that hadn't had a good amount of time to cure. If you leave your soaps to cure for another week or so and strip test them again, I am sure the pH value will have dropped. Let me know how you get on, I would love to see how your soap turned out. I wonder if you can post pictures in the comments?

  2. Thanks for the quick reply! I wasn't sure if you would get my post. So I tested the soleseife ph again tonight. It was about a 7-8. What a difference! I don't know why I tested it the first day out of the mold. I saw your post and also watched a you tube video Coconut Oil Seaman's Soap  {soleseife brine soap}…: http://youtu.be/K5xZkbfz-b8. From Soaping 101. Thought this might be really cool to make and use. Her video was short and interesting. I used basically her type of recipe. 16oz 100% Coconut oil. But I used Dead Sea salts. I was going to swirl but things moved fast. I put a FO that my husband likes called Black Tie. I put that in the warm oils. I melted the salt in the hot lye water. Things went very well. I used silicone molds with bars and another one with flowers. When I unmolded the soaps they were really white. The bars stuck a little bit and have chunks off of the tops. The flowers came out great. Can use freeze these to help unmold.? Today I looked at them and they are a light pinkish purple color? And a lot lighter in weight. I live in AZ USA and it is 112 degrees and dry. Also on the flowers there is a white rim of color on the bottoms... Which were the tops when I poured them. I tried to upload a picture and wasn't able to. But now you have the details of my adventure. Thanks for calming my panic. Lol. Her videos are interesting. But sometimes she leaves details out. I guess she figures a lot of people know the basics. But I didn't even know whether to insulate or not. So I lightly insulated. And there was water on top of the molds when I went to unmold. But that is my story. It was way fun and I can't wait to really try them out.

  3. I'm looking forward to making these soaps. A little nervous since I have never made a soap with salt in it.

  4. I'm looking forward to making these soaps. A little nervous since I have never made a soap with salt in it.

  5. I'm looking forward to making these soaps. A little nervous since I have never made a soap with salt in it.

    1. Don't worry, you will be fine. If you have any problems then give me a shout and I will try and help. :)