School starts back up on Thursday so for one final urban farming fling before digging back into books I made goat’s milk soap.
Here is the process:
Choose the oils you want to use. I chose coconut, olive and almond.
Here are some recipes in case you don’t want to make up your own.
Next get your goat’s milk ready. If you want a scented soap, choose an essential oil. I chose orange bergamot for this batch.
Saponification is a chemical reaction between a base and an acid to form a salt. Lye or sodium hydroxide, is the base and oil or tallow is the acid. Lye is extremely caustic and you must be very careful when using it. Don’t breath the fumes and be sure to use eye protection and gloves. Vinegar will neutralize the lye and is good to have on hand in case you splash some of the mixture on you. It’s also used in cleaning up any containers that have held lye or the lye containing soap mixture.
Once you’ve chosen your ingredients you need to calculate how much lye is needed. I used an on-line lye calculator which made the process very easy.
The next step is to mix the lye into the milk. Put your container of milk into an ice bath and do the mixing very slowly. If you do it quickly you can burn the milk as the reaction gets quite hot. The temperature should be kept below 90 degrees.
Warning – be sure to always pour the lye into the liquid, not the liquid into the lye. (If the liquid goes into the lye it can volcano up and could burn you.)
If you want whiter soap, then add the lye over a 20 minute period and keep the temperature low.
Once you have mixed all the lye in and the mixture has cooled then carefully pour the milk/lye mixture into your combined oils.
Stir this mixture until you reach the “trace” point. This is where the mixture begins to resemble custard and you can see a pattern when you stir. This can take up to an hour but can be speeded up with a stick blender. Be careful using this as it can thicken quite quickly and be too hard to pour into your molds. This is the time to add your essential fragrance oil.
When your soap has thickened you are ready to pour it into the molds.
The soap needs to stay in the molds for one to two days until it’s hardened. It will still be quite harsh at this point and can burn you so be careful. Once you’ve taken it out of the molds it will need to cure for a minimum of two to three weeks. To be sure it’s fully cured you can test the pH to see if it’s in the correct range between 7 to 9.5.