How Goat Milk Soap is made

We've had a cold snap here the last couple days. And boy oh boy, I am not ready for frozen fingers & toes just yet.. actually never.

What better thing to do on the cold days when you really don't want to go check on frozen animal water? Make soap!

I have a lot of people ask "How on earth do you make soap out of GOAT MILK??!!"

We love our homemade soap, and I find it fun to make!

But at first, I have to say, I was very overwhelmed and apprehensive about making soap. I mean, I'd be working with lye!

And, Yes, you have to use lye (sodium hydroxide) in the soap or it's not really soap.

Some claim they make "lye free" soap, but all they are doing is buying a pre-made soap base (which contains lye) and melting it down, pouring it into molds and claiming it's "homemade soap with no lye" They're just not handling the dangerous part.

Now that sounds scary, doesn't it? "They're just not handling the dangerous part." Yes, lye is dangerous, I wear goggles while making soap (don't want any splatters in my eyeballs while stick blending!)

Now I know what your thinking. "Why are you telling me this, it will scare me from using natural homemade soap?!" "How can this be safe to use?"

Well, in your finished soap there is NO lye. When you mix lye with a liquid, then blend with melted oils, it goes through a chemical process called saponification. That chemical process changes the oil into soap and glycerin. So no lye is present in the final product.

Your next question. "Why is it better for my skin than soap at the store?"

Handmade soap is natural. It's the way our ancestors got clean and did laundry. But they didn't have the digital scales to get precise measurements on oils, lye, & water. So nowadays it's safer than ever.  Soaps sold in stores are usually full of chemical detergents, hardeners, or fake lathering agents. 

Homemade soap also contains glycerin. Glycerin attracts moisture from the air to the skin. It’s produced naturally during the saponification process. It’s one of the things that make handmade soap so amazing! Some commercial soaps remove the glycerin from the bars and sell it for use in making lotions and creams.

So what I do first is create my "recipe" I type in all my oils into a lye calculator (yes, the internet is amazing!) then it tells me how much lye & water to use. I replace all the water with goat milk. Goat milk has great moisturizing properties. I may add coffee or beer for some of the liquid (in Espresso & Beer soap) but I still always have goat milk in there also.

The oils I use can vary depending on what outcome I need in the finished bar. Little do people know, coconut oil is the main cleaning agent in homemade soaps (I use more in my Facial Bar for Oily Skin), so too much can be drying. If I need more moisturizing soap I add more Olive oil (My Butter Bar is unscented with so many different butters & oils to make it great for dry winter skin, like now).

It really is a science, wait, didn't I say I'd never need that in school??

Got a little ahead of myself. Actually, the first thing I do is freeze goat milk in ice cube trays. If the goat milk isn't frozen the lye will burn the sugars in the milk. Guess it really doesn't hurt anything, but it turns bright angry orange and stinks, instead of a pale pretty yellow when frozen.

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So, all the oils are melted together in a glass bowl (no metal, and no plastic unless you want your plastic to taste like soap). Lye is added to the goat milk and completely dissolved before adding to the oils. Once the lye/milk mixture is added to the oils you stick blend until it just starts to get thick. That's when I add essential oils, fragrance oils, colors or none of the above, and pour into a 5 pound mold.

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The soap loaf then goes into our freezer for 6-8 hrs., or a day if I forget about it. This is because the goat milk causes the soap to heat up, you wouldn't believe how hot it really gets. I started out not doing this step and would get huge cracks in the top of the soap from the heat trying to escape. So into the freezer it goes.

   Lavender with lavender buds

   Lavender with lavender buds

A couple days later it can be unmolded and sliced. 

But, it's not ready to be used yet! This natural soap has to cure for 4-6 weeks to make a hard long lasting bar of luxurious skin loving soap. For impatient people like us, it's hard to do, but necessary. 

Ready to pamper yourself with soft moisturized skin for the winter? Stop in our farm store to pick up a bar or five!

Anna HoffmanComment