I wonder if this is one of those soaps that I will look back on and think…what the heck was I thinking?! It seemed like a good idea at the time! For a long time I’ve wanted to try making a soap using ocean water. I recently received a new beachy-scented fragrance oil and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try a soap made from ocean water. And what’s a beach soap without sand?! So, I headed off to one of the local beaches to collect some ocean water and sand.
To clean and sterilize the ocean water, I ran it through a coffee filter first and then boiled it for 10 minutes and then let it cool. I poured the water into a jug and kept it in the fridge until I was ready to use it.
To dry out and sterilize the sand, I spread it on a foil-lined baking sheet and baked it in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour. When it was cool, I poured the sand through a fine mesh strainer to get only the fine sand to use in this soap.
I ended up using seaweed sheets (the kind for wrapping sushi), because I already had some on hand, and it was already dried and ready to go out of the package. I used my stickblender to break the seaweed down into smaller pieces.
Keeping in mind that the salt in the ocean water might cut the lather, I used 31% coconut oil in my recipe and added some castor oil as well for extra bubbles. I added mango butter to offset any dryness that the high percentage of coconut oil might add. I was also concerned about using real sand in the soap, thinking it might be too scratchy, but it’s not at all; being that it’s just in a small corner of the soap, it adds a nice, slightly exfoliating feel to it.
This was also the first time using my new SoapHutch mold, and I can’t tell you enough how much of a dream it is to use! It was a bit of a fight to get it together the first time…the pieces fit so tightly, but I know it’s supposed to be like that! I also made use of the vertical dividers that Rich fabricated and poured the blue soap into one half of the chamber, and then poured the other two soaps in a layer on the other half, and then carefully pulled out the divider. The vertical divider is acrylic, which I like because I can easily see through it to compare if my two sides are even.
From reading of others’ first experiences trying to unmold their first soap, it seemed like I might be in for a bit of a fight to get the soap out the first time. However, the pieces came apart and slid off the soap beautifully, I had no issues at all. In fact, I had to stop and take a picture while I was unmolding, because I was so mesmerized by the glassy-smooth sides of the soap (bad lighting pic, sorry!):
I should also mention that I did CPOP this soap, which most likely contributed to the ease with which the mold came apart from the soap. After I poured the soap into the mold, I put it in the oven at the lowest setting (170 degrees) for 1 hour and then left it to cool in the oven overnight. I did get tiny bubbles on the surface of my soap, so maybe next time I will just preheat the oven to 170 and then shut if off when I put the soap in. I unmolded the soap first thing in the morning...I forgot how much I love CPOP! I didn’t have to use any sodium lactate in this batch either.
I also read that you shouldn’t wash the SoapHutch molds with detergent, as you don’t want them squeaky clean…the pieces need to be ‘seasoned’, so that they will slide together easily and give up the soap easily as well. Instead, I just washed the pieces in plain hot water. I did find that when I put the base together the second time, it was so much easier to put together, the pieces slid together quite easily but still fit very snugly. Once I got it back together, I put those vertical dividers right to work again on this next soap, which I think I will call Melon Crush :)
Happy Friday everybody!