A few months ago, I received an email from Jan Berry, the rockstar creator behind TheNerdyFarmWife.com, regarding her upcoming book. She wanted to be sure she credited me with the creation of the tiger stripe technique and asked if I knew the creators behind other techniques she used in the book.
I was so impressed with the amount of honesty and dedication she put forth that I had to get in on a sneak peek of the book. Lucky for us, I was granted that wish and am so excited to share her hard work with y’all!
Jan gave me permission to sneak you in on one of the lovely, earthy brine soap recipes featured in the book, Citrus Breeze Brine Soap.
If you enjoy the simple beauty of natural soaps, this book was made for you! Make sure to snag Simple & Natural Soapmaking when it hits the shelves on August 8, 2017 (or pop down below the tutorial to get your hands on a special pre-order offer!)
Citrus Breeze Brine Soap Bars
In brine soap recipes, a significant amount of salt is added to the lye solution, creating a brine that provides extra hardness and a smooth finish to the final bars. While this results in a much more solid bar of soap, the extra salt will diminish lather.
To offset that characteristic, these brine soap bars have a higher than normal amount of coconut oil, which lathers well in salt water, plus added castor oil to help stabilize bubbles. A higher superfat of 10 percent is calculated into the recipe to prevent the extra coconut oil from being too drying for some skin types.
Coconut water can be used in the recipe to slightly increase lather and add label appeal, but if none is available, plain distilled water works well, too!
Citrus Breeze Brine Soap Bars Recipe
- 9.5 oz (269 g) coconut water or distilled water (29.37% lye concentration)
- 3.95 oz (112 g) sodium hydroxide (10% superfat)
- 1.5 oz (43 g) sea salt
- 12 oz (340 g) coconut oil (42.9% of the oils)
- 10 oz (283 g) olive oil (35.7% of the oils)
- 4 oz (113 g) sunflower or sweet almond oil (14.3% of the oils)
- 2 oz (57 g) castor oil (7.1% of the oils)
- 0.88 oz (25 g) 10× (ten-fold) orange essential oil
- 0.53 oz (15 g) grapefruit essential oil
Notes & Substitution Tips:
Depending on the type of coconut water used, your lye may turn various shades of yellow to golden brown. This is normal and won’t significantly affect the final color of the soap!
This brine soap recipe works wonderfully in individual molds, even the clear plastic type that can be difficult to use with other cold process soap recipes.
If castor oil is unavailable, you can use more olive oil in its place, keeping in mind that castor oil helps promote stable lather while olive oil does not, so your soap will be less bubbly.
Yield: 2.5 lbs/1.13 kg of soap
Assemble all of the ingredients for the brine soap, along with safety gear, soap molds and equipment needed. All soapmaking ingredients, including liquids, should be weighed using an accurate scale.
Working in a well ventilated area and wearing protective gloves and eyewear, carefully stir the lye into the coconut water or distilled water until completely dissolved. Next, stir in the salt until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the temperature drops to around 100° to 110°F (38° to 43°C).
Melt the coconut oil, then add to the other oils. Pour the cooled lye solution into the warmed oils.
Using a combination of hand stirring and an immersion blender, stir the brine soap batter until it reaches a very light trace, then blend in the essential oils.
Pour the brine soap mixture into individual molds for easy unmolding. Cover the molds lightly with sheets of wax or freezer paper, then a towel or light blanket. Peek at the soap every so often; if you see cracks developing, move the mold(s) to a cooler location.
Keep the brine soap in the mold for one day, or until easy to remove. Cure on coated cooling racks or sheets of wax paper about four weeks before using.
If you can’t wait to dive into the rest of Simple & Natural Soapmaking, you’re in luck. Jan is providing some special treats for Modern Soapmaking readers!
- Available Now: Success with Fruits & Veggies
- July 13: Success with Flowers & Herbs
- July 20: Success with Alternative Liquids
- July 27: Success with Natural Colorants
- Aug 3: Success with Simple Soap Designs
- Aug 10: Success with Soap Label Design
Snag your copy of Simple & Natural Soapmaking to enjoy on launch day (August 8, 2017!) Thank you so much to Jan from TheNerdyFarmwife.com for sharing her creativity and dedication to this craft with all of us.