Goat Milk Bath and Beauty at Badin Festival

JordanNatalieMia_edited-1Festival season is always my favorite time of year. We attend as many local events as we can because they are so much fun. I get to meet you and talk with you about your skin care needs; and thankfully, many of you share your beauty care regimes with me. Skin care is important to all of us, at any age.

Most of these venues allow us to bring a goat so we double our fun.

This year we brought Natalie. She’s five months old and was a perfect lady. We didn’t know how she would react because this is the first time she’s been off the ranch. She met oodles of new friends who wanted to pet her and even allowed a baby to play with her ears – for a moment. However, when she did get stressed, she jumped onto Jordan’s lap. Yup, Jordan was a busy lady, too. Natalie was exhausted and slept all the way home.

A special ‘thank you’ goes to Jordan’s friend, Mia, who helped with the soaps and the goat. Mia, you made our event even more fun and stress-free. Thank you for being with us.

Our goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions were received very well. Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. As usual the favorite essential oil aroma was lavender. I’ll make more lotion today.

Lemon was introduced as our newest soap and coordinating lotion. Most folks liked it for its citrus sensation and agreed that it would feel tingly on their toes.

I’m working on our festival schedule and will publisher it as soon as it’s more organized.

Thank you for coming by our booth. It was fun to see how many of you used the magic word and received a free soap sample. Be on the lookout for the next magic word so you can get your next free soap sample.

Happy soaping, Pat

Soap Making Process Makes or Breaks End Product

Having a recipe for making soap is one thing but knowing how to put all the ingredients together makes a huge difference. When? How? What temperature? For how long? … are all critical questions that can be answered by taking a few minutes before you begin to stop and think about what your getting ready to do.

I’ll be writing an instructional series on how to make soap. But more pointedly, I’ll be focusing on how you can develop your own process for making soaps. It’s been my experience that the process one uses to make soaps makes a significant difference in the end result. Since theses instructional steps are being developed and released concurrently, I’m not sure at this point exactly how many steps will be included.

My plan is to work through my process then let you know what works for me. Some of my recommendations may not work for you, and that’s fine, but at least you will have a model process to change. You’ll have a beginning, so to speak. By working with a tested process, you will have a better understanding of equipment layout, storage needs, and space planning.

My experience in these fields is buttressed by years of store planning and architectural/interior design, as well as years of writing information technology process manuals and teaching writing courses at the university level.

Getting Ready

If this is the first time you’ve made soap, then you are probably working with a recipe/formula you got from an experience soap maker. Chances are good the author included some preliminary instructions on how to put these ingredients together. But, did the author write the recipe for a beginning soap maker or for an experienced soap maker who has a degree ‘presumed knowledge’. The nuances make a difference.

Thoroughly understand your recipe. Be aware of the caustic materials, the temperatures, the flash points, the precautions, the neutralizers, and the ventilation needed to be safe.

Get your ingredients out where you can see them. Make sure you have enough of everything that your recipe calls for. Having these ingredients together will also help you remember to put all of them in your mix; forgetting an oil critically alters your end product.

Working with lye is dangerous. You must exercise caution with every step. Lye can burn your skin and inhaling its fumes can burn your mucus membranes as well as your eyes! Be careful! Know all precautions. Place neutralizers throughout your work space and have emergency phone numbers where everyone one can see them.

Gather all your equipment in one spot; make sure you have all the tools you’ll need BEFORE beginning because you will not have time to go searching for missing equipment or ingredients once the chemistry starts working. Put your equipment is in its proper place. This way that spoon you desperately need will be where you need it when you need it instead of across the room or in a closed drawer.

TIP: A ‘walk-through’ helps. What I mean by this is walking-through what the recipe instructions tell you to do; kind of like role-playing but without the ingredients. Go through every step the author suggests just to make sure you understand which tools work with each step. This is how I learned where to put my stainless steal spoons versus my rubber spatula; and where to store my stove and my immersion blender.

Clean or otherwise prepare your countertops and tools. I say this because I make goat milk soaps and lotions and everything that touches milk must be sanitized for milk to produce its best results.

Your room must be clean, well lit and have adequate ventilation and exits. Just in case you need to leave quickly. No children, no pets and no items on floors that might cause you to trip, slip or fall.

For you graphic learners, I have translated the above text into a process chart.

GettingStartedThis concludes the Getting Ready steps. Next I’ll address more of the actual preparation of soap making. That will take more time to develop so please be patient with me. I’m working on it.

May your soapmaking be joyful!

Goat Milk Oatmeal Soap Recipe

One of my favorite books about milk soaps was written by Casey Makela in 1997. Milk-Based Soaps: Making Natural, Skin-Nourishing Soap contains recipes for soaps as well as benefits and reasons why milk is so good for your skin.
My copy is tattered and torn on a page or two but it’s loved and well-worn. Every time I read this book some new bit of knowledge reveals itself. It’s fun reading my old notes on a few pages, seeing my thought process as I was learning soapmaking.
Of all the recipes about milk soaps, my favorite is Oatmeal Soap (page 66). Oatmeal goat milk soap was the first soap I made and always keep in stock because it makes my skin feel wonderful every time I use it — without exception. The recipe follows:
Oatmeal Soap (makes 32 4-ounce bars)
3 pounds pure vegetable shortening
17 ounces extra-light olive oil
12 ounces safflower oil
8 ounces canola oil
3 pounds goat milk (one gallon weights 8 pounds)
12 ounces pour sodium hydroxide (lye)
1 ounce borax
1/4 ounce white sugar
1/4 ounce glycerin
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 ounce almond fragrance oil
1/4 ounce vanilla fragrance oil
Special instructions. Prepare the oatmeal by putting 1/2 cup of rolled oats in the blender and grating it for 60 seconds, or until you get a medium-course powder.
Refining the oatmeal in this manner helps it to better blend into the soap, an creates a more finely textured soap.
Add the oatmeal when you run the liquid mixture through the blender for the first time, and add the fragrance oils when you run the liquid mixture through the blender for the second time.
I highly recommend getting this book if you’re interested in making milk soaps. Then read it about 7 times so you’ll ‘get it’.
Space is too limited here to discuss PROCESS but it is critical. To learn more about process, go to the following website.
Kathy’s Soapmaking Links lead to a wealth of information on soapmaking and soapmakers who share their talents and skills. These links are excellent places to begin your research on how to make soap.
Happy soaping!