How to Make Soleseife or Brine Soap (Salt Water Soap)

I’m a bit late to jump on the Soleseife soap wagon! It has been on my list to do for awhile; I finally got the chance!

Soleseife soap is soap made with a salt brine. Salt is dissolved in the lye water instead of added at trace.

How to Make Soleseife or Brine Soap (Salt Water Soap)

This soap comes out super hard and white. Just like regular salt bars, this soap works great in single cavity molds.

soleseife soap

There have been some tutorials written about how to make these bars. Check them out:

CandleAndSoap.About.com –Β Soleseife or Brine/Salt Water Soap Recipe, Soleseife Soap with Coconut Milk

Thumb Print SoapSoleseife Soap Recipe – German Brine Soap

SaponistaSoleseife

I decided that I wanted to use equal parts lye and salt. It is very important to note that it takes a certain amount of water to dissolve each of these chemicals. Lye can make up about 50% of a solution. So for example a lye solution can be 50% lye and 50% water. Anything with more lye would probably fall out of solution and you would be left with lye undissolved.

Salt needs more water than lye to dissolve. Salt creates a saturated solution at about 26% depending on temperature. So a salt solution could be 26% salt and 74% water at the most.

When I ran my recipe through a lye calc, I needed 4.6 oz. lye. 4.6 oz. of lye needs at least 4.6 oz. of water to dissolve. I wanted to use 4.6 oz. of salt. I decided to go with a 20% salt solution so ended up with 4.6 oz. salt in 18.4 oz. water.

Many recipes use less salt, which would require less water. Using the amount of water that I calculated, the soap moved nice and slow but still came out super hard.

Like regular salt bars, I went with 100% coconut oil with a 20% superfat. Here is my final recipe:

Soleseife Soap Recipe

Coconut oil – 32 oz.
Lye – 4.6 oz.
Fine Sea Salt – 4.6 oz.
Water – 23 oz.

Essential Oil Blend
Lemon essential oil – 1 oz.
Pink grapefruit essential oil – 1 oz.
Lemongrass essential oil – 1 oz.

Individual cavity molds – I used the square silicone mold and round cupcake mold from Bramble Berry. This recipe made 12 squares and 3 rounds.

Let’s make soap!

Gear up in your goggles and gloves. New to soapmaking? Visit our basic tutorial here.

Step 1 – Weigh out 23 oz. of water. Weigh out 4.6 oz. of lye into a separate container.

Step 2 – Pour the lye into the water and stir until dissolved.

make a lye solution

Step 3 – Weigh out 4.6 oz. of fine sea salt and pour it into the hot lye solution. Stir to dissolve.

Step 4 – Weigh out 32 oz. of coconut oil. Melt.

coconut oil for soap

Step 5 – Once cool, weigh essential oils into melted coconut oil.

Step 6 – Sprinkle pink Himalayan salt into individual molds.

pink salt

Step 7 – Once the lye solution and oils are cooled to under 100F, pour the lye into the oils.

lye into oils

Step 8 – Stir to trace using a whisk or a stick blender. This moved slow enough because of the high water to use a stick blender.

stir to trace

traced soap

Step 9 – Pour into molds.

IMG_9608

Step 10 – Let sit overnight. Unmold the next day and cure for at least 4 weeks.

soleseife soap

Enjoy!

Happy Soaping!

Amanda Gail

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About the Author:

I am a soapmaker, author and blogger! I started blogging in 2008, sharing soap recipes, design tutorials and publishing articles on various topics of soapmaking.

36 Comments

  1. Lisa August 8, 2017 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Would someone please clarify the water amount. At 23 oz this never reached trace and is now semi solid on top with huge liquid pools on the bottom. I fear its a complete failure.

    • Amoreena October 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      YOu may have used a wrong type of salt? I use fine sea salt! its what makes it rock hard, if you used epsom salt or something to that effect, then it has magnesium which is famous for making runny soap

    • Christina October 24, 2017 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      The same thing happened to me! I’m wondering if the amount of water listed in the ingredients list is wrong? In the text, Amanda talks about using 4.6 oz. salt in 18.4 oz. water (which would be 23 oz. total), but in the ingedient list she says to use 23 oz. water. I wish I would have took note of this discrepancy last night while I was making it! Is there a way to salvage this soap at all?

    • Christine McCluskey October 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      Hi – I wrote a note on January 25 (see below) and didn’t get a response, but I did end up using 18.4 oz of water and they turned out great! I think it was probably just a mis-print.

      • Christina October 24, 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

        Thank you! I will definitely try making it again. Is there anything I can do to salvage this batch? Or is it garbage?

        • Christine McCluskey October 24, 2017 at 3:57 pm - Reply

          I’ve never re-batched brine soap but I would think it would be possible, especially since the major problem here is too much water. So that might be something to consider –

  2. Stephanie February 25, 2017 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Hi if I wanted to make this soleseife recipe a liquid soap would I just change the lye to KOH?

  3. marianna papadim January 26, 2017 at 4:45 am - Reply

    Hi Can i use sea water instead salt -water solution ?

  4. Christine McCluskey January 25, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanada, thanks for this recipe, I’m looking forward to making it. A question, though: is there a discrepancy in the amount of water you recommend? In the narrative description you say to add 18.4 oz of water, yet in the ingredients list you say 23 oz of water. I think the 23 oz must be the total lye solution, right? (4.6 oz lye + 18.4 oz water = 23 oz). 18.4 oz water would be a 4:1 water to lye solution, which I think is what you meant – do I have this right? If you add 23 oz of water that would make a very high proportion of water, and maybe accounts for why some people had so much ash formation and/or trouble getting it to trace ? Thanks for any clarification –

    • Connie May 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      I have the same question. In my way of thinking it should have been about 10 0z of water.

  5. liz November 16, 2016 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    hi – i am still new to soaping and i suspect i always will be – i have read the questions and cant find the answer to my query – so – here goes – the salt – i only have table salt – it is from the sea but doesnt state that it is sea salt as such – can i use table salt – it is a fine salt for the shaker not a grinder – i do have the pink salt for the decoration – it looks so pretty and i would love to try this recipe – thanks – liz

    • Kat December 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      You can absolutely use table salt. I suspect the coarse Himalayan Sea Salt doesn’t add much to the feel of the bar in the shower – it’s either going to fall off or scratch the heck out of anybody’s skin. It looks great but is absolutely not necessary.

  6. Mally October 20, 2016 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Wow, these bars really shrunk due to the 72% water to oil weight.

  7. Marilyn October 12, 2016 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanda, I made this recipe except I resized to a 16oz batch instead of 32oz. They looked great and unmolded in 8 hrs, except for the next day they had tiny hair line cracks on the surface that was exposed to the air. I used the 6 cavity half round mold by Brambleberry. 2.35 lye and the 20% brine of 11.75oz water/ 2.35 sea salt. Yes, it mixed and poured beautiful but was that too much water? Can’t help pondering what may have caused the tiny cracks, too much heat or too much water. What do you do with yours after the pour. Do you cover with Saran Wrap, chill or just sit out? I just left them out sitting on a table like my regular salt bars. They feel great, just don’t look great.

  8. Ghislaine July 19, 2016 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Making the soap right now, my stick is so hot got to stop, no sight of trace after 40 minutes since I think too much water in this recipe. I will keep starring with the stick was looking forward to make this ?

    • Sarah August 7, 2016 at 12:23 am - Reply

      Mine took forever to trace too! I think it was over 10 minutes! I added fragrance oil and just blend again. It never reached thin trace, just emulsion phase but my soap turned out fine.

  9. Organic Body Soap July 13, 2016 at 2:16 am - Reply

    It seems a great substitute of water salt soap. It could be beneficial for skin cell nourishment. It’s loaded with lots of toxins and vitamins which are helpful to skin and hair too. Love the recipe.

    • Marilyn August 24, 2016 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      Toxins??.

  10. KRISTEN OTEN July 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanda. I just discovered this post yesterday and made a similar soap that night πŸ™‚ and I have a question regarding the soap that I made

    I used 16 oz of coconut oil at a 30%sf. my water was originally 6.4 oz, lye 2.05. I increased the water to 10 oz and added 2.5 ounces of pink himalayan salt After about 20 mins of blending i poured at a light/medium trace. Well this morning i checked and my soap had water beading on the top!! What did i do wrong? I put it in the fridge and will check on it tonight once i get home from work. Any assistance you can give will be great

    Thank you, Kristen

  11. Renee October 31, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Did these bars shrink a lot more than your average bar due to the 70% water?

  12. Kirsten October 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Hi, I haven’t tried this recipe, but it looks fabulous. I recently did a batch of sea salt soap, though, and although it came out of the molds, it was not neat and pretty, but had marks on it, and little parts where it stuck to the mold. Have you any experience with this? I read another recipe that called for adding some beeswax to the mixture, ideas? thanks

  13. Toni September 23, 2015 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Hi! I tried this last night, using your recipe exactly, except using a little clear 10x Orange to make up the 3 oz for the essential oils. Today they are all watery and still soft. Any idea why? Thanks for the help.

    • Amanda Gail September 23, 2015 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      Toni – its hard to say without seeing it. This recipe does have a higher amount of water and takes a bit to get to trace. Could you have undermixed? Also, what kind of soap did you use? Dead sea salt makes soap stay mushy…

      • Toni September 23, 2015 at 9:58 pm - Reply

        That was probably it, the undermixing. I’m used to salt bars where you have hurry. This was taking awhile so I thought I better pour. Will definitely try again knowing that. Thanks!

        • Toni September 23, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

          Oh yea, did that with Dead Sea salt one time! Learned my lesson πŸ™‚

  14. Maria September 21, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Can this be made using hot process?

    • Amanda Gail September 21, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      I haven’t tried it as HP. So not sure! It has a lot of water, so would probably be just fine… πŸ™‚

    • Renee Ballard December 16, 2015 at 10:28 am - Reply

      I attempted this as a HP recipe, because I was certain that the shrinkage with CP over cure time would be ridiculous if I did not. Bad idea. The excess water separated from the saponified coconut oil and superfat. I had to melt it down, mold it, wait for it to harden, and pour off the excess water that pooled up 3 times. It was terrible. I am incredibly stubborn, so I have usable soap now, but do not attempt to HP this recipe. It is not even remotely worth the hassle.

      • Sandra September 27, 2017 at 9:41 pm - Reply

        I used less water 10 oz. more salt 6 oz. and same amount Coconut oil 32 oz. I mixed the water and lye then added the salt slowly mixed till it dissolved. I added the oil and used my stick blender for quit a while. It did come to trace slightly. I was not happy with it so I put it into the crock pot on low because the mix was getting to cool. I left the room to get my cell phone (it was ringing). When I got back into the kitchen about five minutes and I found the soap had solidified into one block. I cut it up into pieces and mixed in some more water 8 oz. , it mixed up but in large curds, so I put the mix into molds and let it dry. Poured off all the liquid. Rebatch time.simply because I am bored, LOL I put the bars one at a time in the microwave and evaporated all the water out, results soap Souflie. I tore this into pieces and mixed with water and whipped it into beautiful ready to use bars (unscented just like I like it). I figure a week at most. I will use this myself.

  15. Katie September 21, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Thank you for linking to me! πŸ™‚

    • Amanda Gail September 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      You are welcome! πŸ™‚

  16. The Nova Studio September 20, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    That pink salt turned out so pretty against the white bar!

    • Amanda Gail September 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      It did! So feminine and pretty!

  17. Abiola September 19, 2015 at 3:09 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing! Took a while to get the math though πŸ˜€
    I wonder how this will sweat compares to a standed CP salt bar in my HiGHLY humid climes. Also do you know if this will work in HP?

    • Amanda Gail September 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      Good question! Let me know if you try it. πŸ™‚

    • Julia September 21, 2015 at 11:35 pm - Reply

      Abiola,

      I have found my solesife bar to be as bad, if not worse than my CP Salt bars for sweating and I am in New Zealand and not particularly humid. But I do use goat milk so that might change things. I have only made soleseife once but I really loved it. I did find it is kind of velvety and soft (compared to my salt bars) but hardens up over the cure.

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