A Pink Himalayan salt soap will leave your skin feeling magical and uplifted.
In this blog post, I will guide you through a simple recipe for making your own Pink Himalayan salt soap using just 2 oils: coconut oil and castor oil.
Back in 2018, I tried my first handmade Pink Himalayan salt soap bar and fell in love with its cleansing and uplifting feel, and I always had it in the back of my mind to recreate one.
Fast-forward 2023, I tried to make my first salt soap. Everything went well until I had to cut the soap. As I had to look after my baby, I waited for an entire week before I unmoulded and cut it. The result? When the knife cut through the soap, most of it crumbled in front of my eyes! Read on to learn more why this happened and to prevent this from happening when you also try to make your own cold process salt soap.
What's so special about salt soaps?
A soap made with salt will be very hard, which can be incredibly beneficial, because it means it will last for much longer. A salt soap is perfect for constant hand washing, or for your daily shower.
However, the fact that the soap is so hard, it also means that you cannot wait too long to cut it: you actually should be cutting it well before 24 hours have passed (this all depends on how much salt you used). Most people are able to unmould it and cut it within 2-3 hours from pouring it into the mould!
The day after the first disaster happened, I made a second batch. This time I unmoulded it first thing the next morning, and...although I could have cut it a bit earlier as it was already getting a little crumbly, this time the soap came out really nice!
Soap making can be very unpredictable...However, as long as it doesn’t jeopardise your safety, it’s OK to mess up.
I’ve done it multiple times. It’s what makes up learn more, improve and GROW.
This is something I share a lot inside Soap Making for Zero Wasters, my soap making online course; I encourage our students to share any issues they've encountered, so I and other students can provide support, they can learn from their mistakes and connect with other Makers 🙂
That was quite an intro: let’s dive into the recipe!
How to Make Pink Himalayan Salt Soap: A Cleansing and Uplifting Recipe
Recipe / Makes 100 grams / 3.53 oz of soap (about 2 bars)
80% Coconut oil: 80 grams / 2.82 oz
20% Castor oil: 20 grams / 0.71 oz
Sodium hydroxide: 14.13 grams / 0.50 oz
Water: 28.68 grams / 1.01 oz
33% lye concentration
In this recipe I chose to use coconut oil and castor oil because they have high foaming properties that can counterbalance the decrease in lather caused by the salt. To prevent the bar from being drying to the skin, I applied a superfat of 18%.
15% Himalayan pink salt: 15 grams / 0.52 oz
3% essential oils: 3 grams/0.10 oz total
I would recommend peppermint & eucalyptus essential oils
or lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils
or rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils
optional sodium lactate: 1.10 grams /0.028 oz
Soap making temperature: 100F/37C
- Mandatory safety gear: goggles, gloves and respirator
- Pyrex or ceramic bowl
- Stainless steel saucepan
- Plastic jug with the plastic symbol 2 or 5 for the lye solution
- Stick blender and spatula
- Silicone mould
- Rubbing or isopropyl alcohol to spray the soap once it is in the mould to help prevent soda ash
If you are completely new to soap making, make sure to check out this blog post, where I talk you through all the important information you must know before making your first soap.
1. Wear your safety gear (goggles, gloves, and respirator) and measure out the sodium hydroxide and water in separate containers.
2. Add the sodium hydroxide to the water and stir gently. Leave the lye solution to cool down until it reaches 100F/37C.
3. Gently melt the coconut oil and add the castor oil in.
4. When the lye solution has cooled down, add sodium lactate to give the bar a sleek, polished finish.
When you have reached the desired temperature of 100F/37C , it is time to add the lye solution to the oils. Make sure you have everything you need ready.
5. Prepare all your additives (Himalayan pink salt and essential oils), stick blender, spatula, silicone mould and optional rubbing or isopropyl alcohol to spray the soap once it is in the mould to help prevent soda ash.
6. Once you've reached the desired temperature of 100F/37C, add the lye solution to the oils and stir it in gently with a spatula.
7. Add the salt, stir it in with a spatula
8. Stick blend using a stick blender until you reach a light trace. This should only take a few seconds. Then, add the essential oils blend and stir again using the spatula.
"Trace this is when you let the soap drip onto the batter and you see a trail is left behind; you know that’s when the lye has emulsified with the oils, and you can add any delicate additives, which are not going to be destroyed by the lye solution, such as essential oils."
9. Pour the soap into the mould; tap and shake the mould to get any air bubbles out. Spray with rubbing alcohol or isorpropyl alcohol to create a seal and prevent the formation of soda ash.
Important: Don't let the soap reach "gel phase," as it may crack due to the high coconut oil and salt content. If you feel the soap is very hot, pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours. In fact, I suggest leaving the soap uncovered while it's in the mould.
10. Unmould the soap before 24 hours have passed, as this soap will harden quickly and may become crumbly.
11. Let the soap cure on a shelf for 4-6 weeks to let any leftover sodium hydroxide evaporate out and let the goodness of coconut oil, castor oil, and salt stay.
Making Pink Himalayan salt soap is truly a simple and rewarding process that will leave your skin feeling magical and uplifted!