I’ve been absent from this microphone lately for two reasons. 1) I’ve been participating in a community play and while I’m sad that it will be ending soon, I’m also excited to write a daily blog again. 2) I recently came down with a lovely cold that traveled to my sinuses very quickly. I have several blog posts ready for you to read and I will release one each day of the week. Today, I’ll release the Milk Soap Challenge Responses from Terry and Rebekah. Tomorrow I’ll release another Milk Soap Challenge Response and on Thursday, I’ll release the post about my first time making cream soap.
Terry submitted her milk soaps for our Milk Soap Challenge. While Terry’s method is different from ours, it is a different perspective and worthy of review. If you are just starting with milk soaps or you are having problems with Terry’s method, go back to the fail proof Half and Half Method.
|I have been making soap for a little over two years now, and just love how creative I can be, either with color, scents or molds. I have only bought a few “real” molds, instead I just made a few wooden boxes, used round PVC, rain down spouts, or just about any square baking dishes, etc. I don’t like all my soaps to look alike, so I change the shapes.
I recently made goat’s milk soap and wanted to share the process with others. Handmade cream soaps are out of this world and your skin will feel so smooth. It is not really any more difficult than using distilled water or other liquids, just a few steps during the lye process will help keep your soaps stay nice a white.
My very first batch was a milk soap, when I added the lye, it immediately turned bright orange and had funny lumps. I ran straight to my soap forum to ask for help. A very experienced soaper (as in an author who has written 4 or 5 books) said “dear” I think you should start with something a little simpler and work your way up to milk soaps. Are you kidding, not me, I want to start with something difficult and work my way backwards. Anyway, the soap did turn
I will go through my process, geared more towards someone who has experience with cold process, but newcomers or beginners are welcome to ask questions too.
First, I decided what size batch I wanted to make and then I created my recipe. I decided to make a batch that used 28 oz. of oil. Here is the breakdown of my recipe:
10.64 ounces Goats milk
If you decide to use this recipe, be sure to run it through a lye calculator just for extra caution.
Before you start your process, decide and prepare what mold you want to use. For this batch I used both a celtic mold and a heart mold. The batch made nine soaps from the celtic and five from the heart mold. The other day, I was making back to back soap batches and knew the mold I wanted to use, but when it was almost time to pour I couldn’t find it and had to scramble to find something else. I knew as soon as I was finished, I would find that mold! Yep, there it was under the kitchen sink, where I had used it to check for a leaky faucet. Plan ahead.
Before I start gathering and weighing all of my ingredients, I weigh the goat’s milk and pour it into ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, I try to cut them in half and place in a stainless steel pan or glass container to add the lye. My dogs love ice cubes, so I had to convince them, or bribe is more like it, these were not for them! After I have all of my ingredients together, I weigh them in the pot I will be using to melt the oils. Be sure to use a good scale. A cup of flour and a cup of water, do not weigh the same, even though they fit in the same container. Now comes the extra step with the GM, pour a little lye over the ice cubes (never liquid into the lye!!!) and stir. Continue to add just a little lye at a time and keep stirring, this way the milk doesn’t get so hot it scorches the milk and turns it an orange color. It doesn’t hurt the finished product, it just depends on the color you are looking for.
Once lye and oils are about 100 degrees, lye mixture may be a little cooler, but that is OK, use a stick blender to bring to trace. What is trace? When I first started, I looked for the drops to make an indentation on the top of the mixture, or make a trail across the top when you pulled a spatula through. I think trace means when everything is completely emulsified, and depending on your oils can take as little as 5 minutes or longer. I usually look to see when the
Now that you have your mold ready, remember plan ahead, pour the soap. I usually cover it with a cutting board if it is a large square, or wax paper. There seems to be a difference in opinion about covering it and insulating with towels or blankets. Some say it makes it’s own heat, others say insulate to keep the heat in. I normally will cover it and insulate and then unmold in about 24 hours.
I shrink wrap my soaps and then label, it keeps them cleaner and holds the scent. With this soap I did add a few drops of warm vanilla fragrance at trace, just seemed like cream and vanilla went together.
Have fun soaping and be adventurous. The worst thing that will happen is you might have to toss a batch (hasn’t happened to me yet), the best thing is people will think you are a genius and love your soap.
Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by March 1st for posts during February.
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