Soap Making Fun
Originally posted 6/10/2018
One of the perks of having goats is of course… having milk! Sometimes though, there is just more than you can utilize for consumption and it would be such a waste to through it away. So, one option is to freeze it and use it for later to make soap. Why though? Goat milk soap is so creamy and luxurious.
There are numerous benefits to the use of goat milk soap, and there are many websites listing these out in more detail… but what I want to talk about today is my soap process.
First things first – Safety!
To make the entire process go smoothly and safely, I first get all my materials together and ready before I start. Most importantly, I also prepare my safety equipment. When making homemade soap, you will need to use lye. When using lye, it is very important that you have safety equipment ready:
Well ventilated area
Vinegar (in case you get any lye on your skin)
This is a Cold Process recipe (I haven't yet tried Hot Process yet)
The first thing I do is place all my fats (oils) into a double boiler so the solid fats will melt and mix with the liquids fats. I remove the double boiler from the heat. The heat of the oil will continue to melt the rest of the solids, and the temperature of the oil needs to start coming down. If you remember anything from science class – oils take time to cool down.
While that melts, I prepare my goat milk and lye. In traditional soap made with water, you can simply mix the lye and water – when using milk, it takes a bit more time. Since lye will heat the milk up, you have to add the lye very slowly to prevent the lye from scorching the milk.
To assist with this, I first only use frozen goat milk. I freeze these in ice trays and transfer to a freezer bag for storage. This also makes it a lot easier to measure out the amount of ounces of milk I need as well. In addition, I place a cold pack under the bowl I use to mix the milk ice cubes and lye – this also keeps the milk from heating up to quick and scorching, but you can use an ice bath also.
I do my mixing of milk and lye outside for ventilation and put on my safety equipment. I add one spoon of lye to my milk cubes at a time – you will know if you add too much lye to quickly as your milk will turn an interesting shade of burnt orange.
Once all the milk cubes have melted, go back inside since the fumes from the lye are not an issue anymore.
This is where everything starts moving fast, and why I ensure my molds were set out ahead of time and everything was pre-measured.
I check the temperature of the milk (I use a digital laser infrared thermometer). The temperature of the milk should be within 10 degrees of that of the oil. If the oil is still too hot, place the pan of oil in a cold-water bath to bring the temperature down. You will have to work quickly since the milk/lye mixture is only going to get cooler at this point. My temperatures are normally around 95 degrees.
Using an immersion blender, slowly add the milk/lye solution to the oil mixture (not the other way around).
Once the mixture comes to trace, I add the fragrance and coloring (in this recipe – I used titanium dioxide which simply keeps the soap a whiter color since fragrance sometimes will darken soap during the curing process).
*** Note: I mix the titanium dioxide with a little bit of olive oil ahead of time, so it will mix properly and not clump.
That’s it – now I just pour into the molds. Different people complete the next step differently, but I place my molds in the refrigerator for 24 hours before removing them from the molds.
The next day, I remove them from the molds and place them on a rack. Here they will stay in a draft free, dry place. Six weeks later, Ta-Da - SOAP!