Sunday, May 13, 2012

Great Cakes Soap Works Challenge #8

Last week for Amy's Challenge was Salt Bars. I usually make a salt bar, with my basic soap recipe, table salt, grated plain castile soap (just for looks) and scented with spearmint, peppermint and eucalyptus. This is a popular soap, but as I make it regularly it wasn't much of a challenge, so I went to and worked out a different recipe.

As a part of trying to rid our diet of processed foods, I had bought a packet of Murray River salt flakes, which are harvested/mined and packaged down stream of the Murray River at Mildura. We live at the head of the Murray River, not sure how far it is in km's but it is about a days drive. This got me thinking, what else is Mildura famous for? The first thing that came to mind is oranges, and then olive oil. So I thought I would make an orange salt soap.

I used 40% each coconut and olive oil, then 10% each of beef render and castor oil. Salt ended up being about 50% of the fats and oils, I left the superfat at 0% as after researching using orange juice as the liquid it came out that the acid in the juice would negate some of the alkaline of the lye.

Salt Flakes, I love the colour of them. Pity the pink doesn't stay in the soap.

I finely grated the orange zest and then juiced about 4 oranges, All this was added to the lye. About 50% of the liquid was orange juice, the rest was water.

Mildura may be famous for olive oil, but the Upper Murray has the best, so why use any thing but the best. Especially when it is grown right here.

The soap took ages to come to a trace. So long that my stick blender overheated. Finally it became thick enough to add the salt. I scented it with a mix of Orange EO, Lemongrass EO and Benzoin Oleoresin. I am hoping that the Orange zest and the Oleoresin will hold the citrus in place. But it was such a small batch that it probably wont matter too much. I poured the mix into my trusty HD individual molds so I wouldn't have to cut it. One thing I hate about the salt bars is cutting them. Extra batter went into the silicone ice cube trays for guest soaps.

I am very late in getting this post up, but due to driving the 7 hours to Sydney to visit our eldest daughter for her 21st birthday was worth it. I hope all the Mums out there had a lovely Mothers Day. 

I can't wait to sit in front of the computer for a few hours and check out what all the other challenge participants did.But I think I need to be thinking about this weeks challenge, Peaked Tops......


  1. Beautiful! I love that you figured out how to use citrus in your soap- I didn't think you could use as much as you did and have it still be soap! I love the color as well.

  2. I love it all! Funny you mentioned sitting at the computer for a few hours. I spent the whole day at the computer on Saturday because of the salt soap challenge. Your bar is very special because of your local ingredients. Hmmm. There are salt mines underneath Detroit (Michigan), USA. Maybe I should try and find some local salt!

  3. Hi Louisa,
    Love, love your salt bars, they are just divine, and your moulds are great!!
    I really love how you used all Australian products too - good stuff!!!!
    xx Linda, The Scented Dove

  4. Love the cute molds you used!! Very unique and interesting ingredients too - neat! I hope the soap works well for you!

  5. Sweet molds and I like the citrus juice and peel. I'm sorry to hear that your stick blender overheated though. I've thought mine would a couple times, but so far so good. I'm tempted to be a spare .....just in case. See you on Week 9 !

  6. Thanks for all the positive comments. I tested the soap last night, it had a nice lather, still smelt like oranges, and best of all got all the dairy smell off me after I milked our neighbours cows.

    Suzy, the blender did revive, but it was a cheap 2nd hand one to start with, so I wasn't too worried. I did buy a spare a couple of weeks ago, they were $11 in our local supermarket. I probably should buy 10.

    1. LOL ! I couple extra stick blenders couldn't hurt if the price is that good.