The two most important things in making soap is to measure the ingredients EXACTLY by weight and to make certain the fat mixture and the lye mixture are the same temperature or at least within 10 degrees of each other when you combine them.
Digital thermometer ( two would be helpful, one for the fats and one for the lye mixture)
2 silicone spatulas ( 1 for fats and 1 for lye)
Stainless Steel Bowl
Long rubber gloves
Protective eye wear
Here is the recipe I use.
24.7 ounces frozen goats milk ( I weigh out the amount, pour it in a ziplock freezer bag and toss it in the freezer.
6.7 ounces lye
24 ounces vegetable Shortening
18 ounces coconut oil
1 ounce castor oil
2 ounce olive oil
1/2 ounce lavender essential oil
Weigh out the 24.7 ounces of goat’s milk when you get home from the store with it, then it will be ready to go when you are ready to make your soap. I pour mine into a gallon ziplock bag and lay it flat in the freezer. It’s easier to break up that way.
On soap making day.
In large stainless steel bowl weigh out the vegetable shortening, coconut oil, olive oil and castor oil. As long as you zero out your scale between each addition you can just weigh everything right into the same bowl. I only got into trouble doing it this way once when the battery on my scale died while I was adding to the bowl.😩
Place your stainless steel bowl directly on the stove and with low heat start melting your fats and oils. You will want to stir it occasionally to help it melt. I usually use my hand to break up the shortening and help stir it. It should all be melted by the time it reaches 110 degrees. When it is all melted remove it from the heat and let it start to cool. Stir it occasionally to help it cool. You want it to be about 100 degrees when you combine it with the lye mixture.
The Lye and goat’s milk.
This is when you want to make certain you have gloves and eye protection on.
In a throw away plastic cup way out your 6.7 ounces of lye. Set it aside. Now break up your milk, I just crunch it up with my hands while it’s still in the bag. Re-measure the milk in the plastic pitcher to make certain you have 24.7 ounces of milk. Add more milk or water to bring it up to weight.
I like to set the pitcher of milk in the sink at this point so if I knock it over while stirring in the lye I have it contain. Now slowly start pouring in your lye a little at a time while you stir the frozen milk . You will notice that the milk is starting to melt. Keep stirring until all the lye is mixed in and the milk is all melted. The lye will heat up the milk, but I have found that it doesn’t always get the mixture hot enough. I think it depends on how big the chunks of frozen milk are. It needs to be close to 100 degrees. If it needs to be warmer I set the pitcher in a bowl of really hot tap water and stir it. That will usually get it warm enough. Remember we need to have the oils and milk the same temperature or at least within 10 degrees of each other. This is really the most difficult part of making soap, getting the temperatures right.
Once both of your mixtures are within 10 degrees of each other ( I don’t think I’ve ever been able to get them the same) slowly start pouring the lye/milk mixture into the fats/oil mixture while stirring it with a stick blender. I intermittently turn the blender off and just stir with it off a bit so it can cool down. My blender tends to over heat. It takes about 10 minutes of stirring to reach what is called the “trace” stage. Trace is when the soap is thick enough that when you spoon some on top of the mixture it stays on the top without sinking in. This is when you add your essential oil. Then stir a bit more. The soap should look like vanilla pudding when it’s ready to go into the mold.
This soap recipe makes enough to fill my 3×3.5×11 inch rectangular mold and 4 or 5 of the 2 inch ball molds. I got all my molds on Amazon.
You can take the soap out of the molds after 24 hours. This is when I cut and stamp my soaps.
Now the hard part… waiting a month for it to cure! The soap will mellow and harden. This is the time you can be creating your packaging for your soap!
Wrap up… no pun intended😉
Don’t be intimidated with making your own soap. Give it a try. Making soap is very satisfying. If you decide making your own soap is not for you, I’ll have a batch for sale in about a month.
I’m looking into opening an Etsy Shop, that should make selling my stuff a little easier. I’ll keep you posted. I’m thinking I’ll call my shop Stone Creek Market Place.
Until next week….