“Soleseife Soap” presented by Catherine McGinnis. Hands on activity creating traditional ancient German brine soap.
Germany’s oldest soap maker, Klar Seifen was established in 1840 by master soap boiler Philipp Klar. Soapmakers at that time were known as soap boilers because soap was made by boiling diluted lye with fat until saponification took place. So the addition of salt to soap in boiling water causes the mass to float to the surface. This is call curd soap and curd soap is much harder than it would be if it didn’t have the salt. This is going way back, it isn’t how we make soap now, but way way back, they discovered if they added salt to the water that it would float that the mass would float to the top and then you would have soap and they called it curd soap. It was a really hard soap and it was really harsh. Also, the addition of 1% “solesidesalz” benefits dry and oily skin alike and produces a creamy lotion like lather. Okay, let’s translate this: soleseife, German to English, sole = brine, seife = soap. Soleseife brine soap. Traditional salt water soaps are made with a high percentage of coconut oil. Because coconut oil is the only oil that lathers in salt water. Let’s go over our recipe today. Today we are going to use are base oils of coconut because coconut oil is the only oil that lathers in salt water. What does coconut oil do to our soaps? Well it certainly makes the soap lather even in hard water such as sea water. It is ultra-cleansing but as we know from past retreats, we know that we can’t use just coconut oil because it’s ultra-cleansing, not drying, but ultra-cleansing, so we need to mix it with other oils that are more moisturizing. Olive Oil. Olive oil attracts external moisture to your skin and helps keep it soft and supple. So we are going to use 9 ounces of that in our recipe. Mango Butter. Here comes our super fat. It is an excellent moisturizer and a superfatting agent. Remember coconut oil is not drying, it’s ultra-cleansing, so we are adding super fats back into our recipe. We have to have a high coconut oil because why? Coconut oil is the only oil that lathers in salt water. We are going to use shea butter and shea butter is a great superfatting agent because it contains a large percentage of unsaponifiables, thus remaining in the soap to nourish your skin. And we’re going to use the additives of sea salt and did you know that sea water has a salinity of between 3.1 and 3.8, that means how much salt is in salt water, about 3.1 to 3.8% of the sea water you pull out of the ocean is salt. So we are going to use 3.4 in our sea salt today, but traditionally in sea salt soaps you can use as much salt as the water can hold, so you say you have 12 ounces of waters, you can just continue to pour that salt in as long as it still dissolves, you can continue to add the salt, but when it stop dissolving, it means it’s totally saturated, you can’t put anymore salt in there. Elsa Can you use a salt bar Catherin No, salt bar is a little bit different. This is kind of a hybrid of a salt bar, but today we’re using just 3.4, because it’s easiest for us. Question Do you have any idea like in the Dead Sea, what the percentage of salt would be? Catherine Is there any scientific way we could calculate. We can find out. Kevin We could just put it in a pot and boil the water away and weigh it before and after and divide the one by the other. Catherine And then the salt would be left over once the water has boiled out? Did you hear how to do that? Do you want to do that and then let us know? Just measure how much you have, put it in a pot, boil it until all the water is gone and measure how much salt is left over and then you will know the percentage. Elsa We just take whoever sells salt their word for the mineral value in the salt? Catherine There should be a manufacturer’s safety data sheet, it would be on there. Any manufacturer should be able to supply that to you. Group The Red Sea has 33.73% salinity. Catherine After the sea salt, the other additive is Anise Essential Oil. It is said that fish are very attracted to the smell of anise. So much so that fishermen rub anise soap on their lures to attract fish. We are using it today because well I thought it would be fun because we are making salt water soap, but also Anise you know smells like black licorice and is often used to relief muscular aches and pains. Will that pass through the saponification, probably not, but the scent sure will. It will smell like black licorice. A safe usage rate based on International Fragrance Oil Association is .1 percent, very very low and that’s for skin products. Today we’re going to use the thermal transfer method technique. So maybe someone has done it before. What we’re going to do and I’m going to make it with you today, so we’ll do it step by step together. Thermal transfer is we’re going to use hot lye water to melt our oils, so we’re going to open the doors and so the fume will go outside, most of it. Everybody should have a little bit of a mask underneath? Vita I’m going to need more than one. Catherine: Okay, they’re on it. You may not need it, but it’s better safe than sorry. If you feel like the fume is too much for you, you can put it on. Okay, while they’re looking for that let me go through this real quick. So what we’re going to do first is put on our aprons, put on your goggles, clear everything off the top. If you need something else, ask Brittan and he will bring it to you, introduce yourself to your partner. Did everybody get their masks? Okay, pour your water into the glass container, you have four containers of sale, two white, a pink and a black. Right? We concerned right now with the white ones. So right now we’re concerned with these two, one ounce each of sea salt, that’s all it is, it is sea salt. So pour it in the water, both of them, two white into the water. Take your spatula and stir it until it dissolves, it might take a little while. Traditionally you would use salt water, but we are mimicking it with the sea salt. Is everybody’ salt dissolving, stir, stir, stir. Now what we’re mimicking here is we are mimicking ocean water, because remember we used 3.4%, you can use as much salt as you want in a brine bar, as much as the water will hold, as much as it will saturate, but today we are using 3.4. Okay, here is where it will get a little bit fumes, we are going to add this bottle, which is sodium hydroxide, adding it to the water slowly and stirring it at the same time. It’s going to get really really hot. It going to produce an exothermic reaction. This is going to be so so hot. You have to be really careful not to spill it or touch it with your hands, don’t tip it over, keep it in one place and if you are sensitive to fumes, this is the time to put your mask on. Put it in a space on your table, where you are not going to move it once you put it in there. Slowly add it. Keep stirring it and it will dissolve. Once your container is empty, put it on the edge of your table and Brittan will come around and take those away. Anybody want to feel the outside of their container, it’s pretty hot isn’t it. Can you see the steam coming off of mine? I have an important question for everybody. Is anybody feeling light headed whatsoever? At first it will be cloudy and then we know it will clear up, right, but it might still be cloudy when we mix it with our oils, so don’t worry about that. Does everybody have their lye in the water and it’s pretty much dissolved and it’s cloudy, right? Okay, very very carefully, I want you to set it aside. Just off to the side. This big jar that you have, you should have a mold and inside this mold you should have everything you need. Okay, so this is coconut oil, at room temperature, so it’s not hard hard, but it’s not soft soft. I just need you to use your spatula and put it into your plastic mixing bowl. So you also have a couple more, a mango and a shea, remember? We will put that in there too and your olive oil. All the oils go into one pot. So remember this is really really hot. Okay now that everything is in, so don’t lift it like I’m doing, I’m just showing you, it is really hot. We are going to pour the hot lye water into our oils and it will melt our oils. Pour things slowly so it won’t splash back. Then with a spatula you can begin to mix it around and you will see immediately that it is melting the oils, especially that coconut. Slowly stir them until your oils are melted and they will melt. Then while you’re doing that I’m going to have Brittan come around and he is going to give you your two grams of anise. I would say that everybody’s oils are pretty much melted. Okay, let’s hit it with the stick blender. All we are going to do is bring it to trace and pour it in the mold. Also the pink and black salts you have left are to be added to the top if you want them. You just sprinkle it on top if you want to use it. We are going to leave the soap to saponify until tomorrow. How was it? Did you have fun? We are going to cut these tomorrow and then as always you can take it home with you. Okay, we’re going to wrap up and have some dinner.