Well, most things are still new to me with soap making, but rather then a new technique, I did a new recipe today. Instead of making my regular soap, I made a salt bar of soap. I had been reading a lot on salt bars and was curious about it and my partner said he was interested in having some salt bars, so it seemed like a good excuse.
My recipe is made with 90% coconut oil, 5% castor oil, and 5% Shea butter. At a light trace, I added 75% the weight of the oils to the batter. I had heard that adding the salt would greatly increase the speed of trace, but was a bit surprised when it didn't happen. The salt did increase the general thickness of the batter, but not the consistency. I hope that made some sense. I had added my fragrance oil before I mixed my lye in again, so I had no worries about not being able to pour it into the mold on time. In fact, it was worrying me a bit because it was still pretty liquid going into the mold.
The other warning that I had read was that it needed to be taken out of the mold and cut after a couple of hours instead of being left for 24 hours like a more normal soap. I started checking it after about an hour, and then I unmolded it after an hour and a half. I was worried that it might give me trouble as I used a PVC mold and I feared it would get stuck, but it came out easy enough once I got it started. Cutting this soap was a bit more adventurous then I would have liked because it was very crumbly, but this was not really a surprise.
So, in the end, because it was fairly crumbly, it does not have the nice clean cut that I would like to see in a soap, but I think I will be able to clean it up a little bit after it cures. My other option is to not worry about the fact that it is not the neatest after being cut and next time see if I can use individual loaf molds like many people on the forum do.
The soap is scented with Birds of Paradise Fragrance Oil from Peak Candle Supply. I did not add any colorant to this first batch as I had been worried about it accelerating with the salt. I hope you enjoy it! Sorry about the poor picture quality. I will learn to take pictures one of these years!