Summer is here, and that means it’s time to start using my favorite soap type ever: salt soap! I’m a huge fan of salt soaps. They gently exfoliate and feeling amazingly smooth and creamy in use.
And I’m going to add it to another favorite: activated charcoal soap!
Summer is also a playground for fun and refreshing scents. This salt soap recipe draws on a vintage favorite for many: blackjack gum.
Adams’ Blackjack Gum was the first flavored gum on the market in 1884. It continued to be a hit until the 1970’s. Talk about a good run!
Let’s hail innovation with a new tutorial here on Modern Soapmaking with this:
Blackjack Inspired Salt Soap Recipe
This formula is sized for the Brambleberry 10″ silicone mold, like most of my formulas here on Modern Soapmaking.
You can resize it using a lye calculator for whichever mold works for you. As requested, the formula includes percentages for your convenience in doing so!
Salt Soap Recipe Used
- 25 ounces Coconut Oil (69.4% of the base oils)
- 5 ounces Olive Oil (13.9% of the base oils)
- 3 ounces Shea Butter (8.3% of the base oils)
- 3 ounces Castor Oil (8.3% of the base oils)
- 5.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide (12% superfat)
- 10.6 ounces Distilled Water (33% lye solution)
- 13 ounces Table Salt (added at a rate of 36% of the total base oils, feel free to adjust up to 50%, which would be 18 ounces)
I bought these soapmaking oils from Soaper’s Choice, but you are welcome to buy them from your favorite supplier! The high amount of coconut oil ensures that the soap still lathers well, despite the salt present. Increasing the superfat helps to counteract the extreme cleansing of coconut oil.
Don’t have one of these oils? Find out how to make an accurate substitution properly, and don’t forget to recalculate your recipe with a lye calculator!
Essential Oil Blend Used
- 22 grams Spearmint Essential Oil
- 10 grams Anise Essential Oil
- 10 grams Peppermint Essential Oil
** This essential oil blend was adjusted for IFRA guidelines compliance due to recent amendments. Learn more about IFRA guidelines and usage rate calculations here.
These essential oils are from Lebermuth, but you can use any fragrances or essential oils your heart desires.
PREP WORK: Weigh out your soaping oils, including your essential oil blend. I like to add my essentials oils to my main soap pot so I can’t possibly forget them later! Make up your lye solution, too!
Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the length of your mold. Or use dividers made for your mold. (Brambleberry recently came out with dividers for their 5 lb mold, here’s crossing my fingers they come out with one that fits their 10″ molds!)
Measure 1 teaspoon of activated bamboo charcoal. Premix it with a small portion (about a tablespoon) of your soaping oils. Charcoal can kick up a lot of dust, so mix it with a spoon before attacking it with a frother!
Weigh 13 ounces of table salt. Do you want to use a different kind of salt? Go for it! Be wary of dead sea salts though. They are prone to weeping (drawing moisture and sweating).
GET STARTED: Add your lye solution to your soaping oils. Stick blend until emulsified. Once you have reached an emulsified state, add your salt to the pot and stir (not stickblend!)
Pour about a third of your batch into a measuring cup. Add your slurry of activated charcoal. (If you have not added your fragrance, you need to do that first!) Thoroughly mix your activated charcoal into the split batch.
DESIGN IT: Place your cardboard divider in the mold so that one section is 3/4 of the mold, and the other is 1/4. When I’m using one divider, I just hold it with my hand. You can tape it in place or use another piece of cardboard perpendicular with a notch cut out to hold it in place.
Pour the white soap on the larger side of the divider, and the activated charcoal soap on the smaller side.
THE FINISH LINE: Before you remove the divider, tilt it while it’s still inside the soap. You want to lean the top section of the divider over the uncolored white soap section. This will create a diagonal design in the soap!
Finish it up by texturing the top of the soap. Add a sprinkling of black Hawaiian sea salt over the top! Put the blackjack salt soap to sleep (insulate lightly), and unmold in 4 to 8 hours.
Make sure to unmold after the soap has gelled and set up, or your soap will be too hard to cut! I like to cold process oven process salt bars. I place them in the oven at 170° F (76.6 ° C) for 15 to 30 minutes, and then turn off the oven. I leave the soap inside the oven with the door closed until I am ready to cut.
Slice it up, cure it out, & enjoy!
If your salt soap crumbles, cut it sooner – the soap will still be warm to the touch. Definitely wear gloves! If you use a wire soap cutter, make sure to thoroughly clean the wires to prevent rust!
*Ash is super common on this salt soap recipe. If ash drives you nuts, you can steam it off or follow this tutorial on how to remove ash from cold process soap!
The anise and mint salt soap recipe featured in this tutorial is a Modern Soapmaking original. It is palm-free & vegan friendly. It uses a 12% superfat (thanks to the high coconut oil needed for lather, we can give a little extra superfat bumping!) and a 33% lye solution strength. Feel free to adjust as necessary!
Get the anise and mint salt soap recipe formatted for print, with approximate ingredient costs and appropriate INCI listings by downloading the recipe below: