Before I review our three soaps that have cured and we are using, I wanted to let you know that I won a $25 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage for submitting our Lavender Goat Milk soap in their milk soap challenge. Here is my entry on their blog. Pretty exciting! Can’t wait to order some new items for my lotions, creams, and of course, soap. If you are interested in soaping, check out that blog and their website for lots of recipes and soap making information.
Here are our fully cured soaps.
This soap lathers very well and feel good on the skin. Since we were just starting out, we didn’t add fragrance. It was our favorite..well, until we tried the Peppermint Oatmeal Honey.
The Peppermint Oatmeal Honey soap seems to lather a bit more than the Basic. The ground oatmeal throughout the bar, is a great exfoliator. I will admit at first I wasn’t sure I liked it. However, the more I use it, the more I really love this soap! I can not smell the peppermint, so would probably add more peppermint essential oil next time.
The Citrus Coffee Hand Soap also provides lots of lather. It is a great kitchen or workshop soap. The coffee grounds are great for getting off the garden dirt, grease, and kitchen smells. The citrus smell is not overpowering – just the right amount. This is a dark bar which is fine with us, but if we were wanting to sell these, we’d use regular strength coffee water instead of the double strength to lighten them up a tad. The lanolin adds moisturizer and makes my hands feel so soft. Dave and I are always making excuses to wash out hands with this great soap.
So far we’ve been really happy with our soaps. The Lavender Goat Milk Soap is still curing, but should be ready for use shortly.
If you are thinking about soap making, but are hesitant about using lye, if you take precautions, as you would with drain cleaner or any toxic chemical, you will be fine. You should be successful if you always run your recipe through a lye calculator and then measure the ingredients accurately. We measure everything in grams. This is the scale we use.
From our experience, the hardest part of making soap is getting the the lye water and oils down to the same temperature before adding together. With our batches we’ve added the lye water to the oils when they were both around 95 degrees. Well, the more I get into this, I’ve found that the temperature is not that important. In fact, the lye water can be mixed up the day before. It’s just critical that the temperatures of the liquids not be real high. What “real high” is I’m not sure. It varies, but according to Soap Naturally, mixing together the liquids when they are over 122 degrees can change the structure of the oils and even cause a violent reaction. However, we’ve been so successful with 95 degrees we may stick with that temp.
This has been so much fun for us. It’s so great to be able to make something that we can use every day and that doesn’t dry out our skin. I can’t imagine going back to using those liquid soaps from the store. I really encourage you, if you have any interest in making your own soap, just try it. You will end up being hooked! And if I can help, please let me know.