Up until now, our posts have been about “farm life.” Today, let’s talk about our first experience with goat milk soap. In many ways, our journey into the soap-making business happened as an “accident” of sorts. An experiment gone wonderfully right!
After we got goats, started enjoying the milking and enjoying the goats, the next question in our minds was what we could do with the glut of goat’s milk we were developing. After reading a bit about soap making, we thought trying our hand at making soap would be fun.
At first, I was really concerned about the use of lye in the soap-making process. It scared me. I read stories about people spilling lye on themselves and getting burns. I even read one story about a woman who was making soap and spilled the lye mixture on her dog, giving her dog some burns. That put some fear in me, but I was still intrigued with the process. I did more reading, including blogs from soap makers who, with careful safety practices, never had accidents and seemed to really have fun with their soap making. I also read about soap makers who made soap using goat milk for their families , whose problems with dry, flakey skin just disappeared. I was ready to give it a try.
Bob and I went shopping. We got safety equipment – goggles, utility gloves, special pots, and utensils to be reserved just for soap making – and some other items – a scale, olive oil, coconut oil, and essential oils. Then, I used a wonderful website called Soapcalc to calculate the recipe that I wanted to use and the amount of Lye to use in my recipe, and we made our first batch of soap.
There is a bit of a delayed satisfaction with soap making. We had thought it would be a fun science experiment and would be nice to have some soap to use for our family. After making our first batch, we had to leave it on a shelf in our guest bedroom for four weeks before we could try it out because it needs to cure for that long after making it. It needs that time to dry out to a nice hard bar of soap and also to mellow as it were and to allow the ph of the soap to come closer to that of our skin so it is not too harsh.
After a long 4 weeks of waiting, we tried our first bar of soap. Wow were we pleased! It not only smelled wonderful, but it was so gentle on our skin and was nice and bubbly. We were so pleased with the outcome and really thought we would like to try again.
So on to batch #2. We made a few changes to our recipe, tweeking it to be just what we wanted it to be, made a bit larger mold to pour it into so we could make more than 10 bars at a time, and started all over again. For the next 2 weeks in a row, we tried 2 more batches of soap with two different scents. Again, we were so totally pleased with the outcome and anxiously awaited the four weeks of soap curing, and again, after four weeks, we were very pleased with the results.
Always the entrepreneur, Bob’s mind was clearly turning. It was not long before he started thinking about how we could wrap the soap to look nice and how we could start to sell the soap . . . but more about that another day.
Our soap is always available to buy. Just click Soap on our website and place your order. Thanks.