I finally got around to making my honey oatmeal goat milk soap (try saying that fast three times).
EDIT Jan 25, 2012: The link to the recipe no longer works, so here is the recipe from veggiesoaps.com that no longer is there. I did adjust the amount of oatmeal since I first did this.
42 oz olive oil
28 oz coconut oil
18 oz palm oil
33 oz goat milk
12.7 oz lye
1 cup ground oatmeal
4 Tbsp. honey
I really like the way it turned out. Since it was a larger batch, it took longer to mix, and I was able to get some pictures of the process.
Time for the disclaimer. I am fairly new to making soap, so I don’t guarantee that I am using the best techniques, and I’m certain there are parts I could do better. All you experts feel free to correct my methods or give constructive criticism. Without further disclaimers, here is my tutorial on making soap.
The first thing is to measure all the additives that you will need. Unless otherwise specified soap recipes give measurements by weight, not volume. I weighed my oatmeal.
Then I got out my coffee grinder. I set it for fine and turned it on.
You want the oatmeal to be ground as fine as you can get it.
Next I weighed my honey. Again, it is by weight, not volume.
I had my goat’s milk frozen into cubes. It makes them easy to measure, and they are small enough I can cut them in half to get my measurement exact. Once measured, I set the milk back in the freezer until I’m ready for it.
Next I weighed my olive oil and poured it into a 5 quart stainless steel pan. This is the container the soap will be made in. Be sure to use a spatula and get all of the oil in the pan.
Next I weighed my palm oil. Because it comes in a solid form, it is a fat rather than an oil.
I measured the coconut oil, also a fat, and added it to my large microwavable measuring bowl.
Then I microwaved it, a minute at a time, until it was just melted. While it was melting, I got the necessary safety items and put them on.
I also made sure I had my molds lined with parchment paper sitting handy to fill. I also had that handy dandy little scraper thing ready to smooth the soap.
Then it was time to measure my sodium hydroxide (or lye–make sure it is 100%) Remember that all items coming into contact need to be stainless steel or plastic.
Once it’s measured out, slowly add the lye to the frozen milk.
Stir carefully. It’s easier to splash those frozen milk cubes. Keep stirring until the lye is completely dissolved.
Set the milk/lye mixture aside and retrieve the melted palm and coconut oils from the microwave. Add it to the olive oil in the large stainless steel pan.
You can check temperatures, but it’s always worked out that the oils have cooled to about 92* F and the lye is around the same temperature. Carefully add the milk/lye mixture to the oils.
Use the stick blender and mix. You can see the lye mixture is on the bottom and the oils are all on top.
As you mix, you can see the two are combining. It’s not just mixing together. The fats and oils and lye mixed together create a chemical reaction called saponification.
Keep mixing until you have reached trace. This means that when you move the blender (or turn it off and lift it out) you can see the trace it leaves in the mixture. If you’re not sure about this, you can mix until your temperature has risen by five degrees.
At this point, you add the oatmeal and the honey.
Mix the oatmeal and honey into the soap. I must say, this was a bit thick by the time I had it completely mixed in.
Pour the soap into the molds.
Use the scraper to smooth the top. Because the milk can get dark with the heat produced by the lye, I put the soap in the freezer for 30 minutes and then move it to the refrigerator. Remove it from the refrigerator after 24 hours.
After 24 hours, the soap can be removed from the tray molds and be cut.
The soap in small decorative molds need to sit for another 24 hours to be solid enough not to lose their shape.
If they don’t easily pop out of the molds, you can put them back in the refrigerator for a little bit and then try again.