Friday, January 8, 2010

goat milk soap with honey

since i started making soap, i've been on a quest to find an easy, fail proof method way of making it. to date, my favourite way is to make room temperature cold process soap. it is cold process soap without all the temperature checking and can be done in stages. there are 2 types of room temperature cold process methods. i've tried both and like both; each has their own application. one method uses the heat of lye mixture to melt the solid oils and the other needs the solids to be melted on the stove. the one i find more reliable is the one where the solid oils are melted independantly of the lye, especially when i use something like palm kernel oil.

i've received recipe requests for this soap, and have decided to post it here for everyone.

before soaping, prepare your work surface and protect it with newspaper. wear suitable protective clothing, including goggles and rubber gloves. lye (sodium hydroxide is highly caustic and can cause damage to work surfaces, and serious burns to skin and other bodily parts).

100 grams purified water
2 tablespoons honey
132 grams sodium hydroxide (caustic soda)
280 grams goat milk
250 grams coconut oil
750 grams olive oil

get your moulds ready. you can use empty milk containers, plastic containers, lined cardboard boxes....just don't use anything aluminium or of an unknown metal. lye doesn't react well with any metal other than stainless steel.

place the water in a heatproof glass or stainless steel container. add the honey and dissolve completely. add the sodium hydroxide very slowly to the honey water and stir to dissolve. this mixture will be very hot. set aside to cool. add the goat milk (straight from the fridge is fine) to the cold lye mixture slowly.

melt the coconut oil gently in a stainless steel stockpot, remove from the heat, and add the olive oil.

when both mixtures are no longer warm, pour the lye into the oil and stir to combine. i have an old handheld mixer i use solely for soapmaking to do this. i stop the mixer every so often and use it to stir the mixture around while switched off. the mixture will thicken and once it does so, your soap is nearly ready to pour. i tend to like to pour at what they call light trace. trace is the stage where the oils and lye are combining and thickening and if you lift the beaters from the batter, it will leave a trail behind.

pour the soap into the prepared containers once you have reached trace and set aside to solidify. because this soap contains honey and goat milk, it is best to set it aside somewhere cool and not to wrap the soap to insulate. you may find the soap might generate some heat on its own and it's best not to let it overheat.

leave the soap a day or two and cut it with a sharp knife or wire, if necessary, once it has set. place your soap pieces on a rack or box lined with some paper towel and leave to cure for 4-6 weeks.


Suzanne said...

Wow, just what I've been looking for. I asked on another forum about room temperature soaping, but was told it's not very satisfactory. I've also just bought Anne L Watson's milk soap book, and she makes it sound so complicated. I'll be trying your method first, for sure.

whisks said...

hi suzanne!

room temperature soaping is a great way for a beginner to start soaping because there's no mucking around with thermometers - as if there isn't enough going on for a beginner.

to make things even easier, you can omit the honey and replace the goat milk with extra water. the soap is still very nice without the honey and goat milk.

i don't think i'm the only advocate for room temperature cold process soaping - lots of people on all the forums i frequent like it too.

for me, i'd start with room temperature cold process, then move to the other methods later if you like to see if there's another method you prefer.

good luck and let me know how you go.