Did you know making your own soap is easy, affordable, and really fun? It’s also a great way to ensure you and your family are putting wholesome, natural ingredients on your skin. That sounds so much better than unrecognizable, synthetic chemicals found in store bought soaps.
Besides that, making soap is a creative process with countless possibilities. Once you learn the basics of soap making you can begin to create your own recipes and try new ways of combining natural, skin-soothing ingredients. The basics is exactly where I am, right now.
But where should you start? How do you learn the basics?
Luckily, I can answer that!
The Natural Soap Making Book for Beginners by Kelly Cable has all you need to know about getting started making your own soap with natural ingredients. Kelly is the blogger behind Simple Life Mom, and has put together this beautiful, informative resource that I cannot say enough good things about. The recipe I’m sharing today comes straight out of her new book. In it you will get detailed information about ingredients, tools and equipment, and various techniques needed to craft gorgeous, body-nourishing soaps.
Better yet, if you pre-order her book you will receive access to the Soap Making Bonus Collection!
- 4 How-to Videos on soap making, how to create swirls in soap, ideas for labeling or packaging soaps, and Kelly’s favorite herbs to use in soap.
- 4 Giveaways – Herbal courses, Natural Bath and Beauty products, Natural Soaps, and a surprise giveaway!
- Soap Labels that can be downloaded and manipulated for your needs
- An Essential Oil Blends for Soap – Reference sheet free download
- 10 % Discount to use in the Simple Life Mom Shop where you’ll find 100% natural soaps, makeup, essential oil blends, and other natural beauty products.
- A Bonus Soap Recipe!
You’ll need to hurry! The Natural Soap Making Book for Beginners will be coming out on August 8th. That means you only have two weeks to pre-order and receive those amazing extras in the bonus collection. Follow this link to head over to Kelly’s blog and find out how to access the bonus collection once you’ve pre-ordered the book.
My Soap Making Thoughts
In the past month, I’ve made soap twice! I followed Kelly’s recipe (below) for Goat Milk and Honey Soap. I was thrilled to be adding the goat milk and honey I purchased from local farmers into my soap.
But where do you go for other soap ingredients?
Kelly covers this by suggesting various resources for your soap ingredients in her book. I shopped around a little bit and found that I could get everything I needed from Bulk Apothecary and Soaper’s Choice.
First, you will want to purchase the supplies and ingredients needed to create lavish soap bars for you, your friends and family. Investing in the health and wellness of those you love, including yourself, is always worth it, don’t you think?
A Note on Soap Molds…
I searched Etsy for a log soap mold, because they seemed to get the best reviews. However, I also didn’t want to purchase anything too expensive until I knew for sure soap making was going to become a regular hobby for me. I purchased a silicone soap mold, and it was nice to have the individual bars all made out all ready. The downside is that it can be difficult to get the soap out to cure without touching it and effecting it’s shape.
My mom fashioned this soap mold from some scrap wood and bag clips for our second round of soap making. It worked well, but we decided we needed some tried and true dimensions to get the shape we were looking to achieve. Many things can be used as a soap mold, which you can dig further into by searching for DIY soap mold instructions on the internet.
So today we are going to make soap and pour it in the log mold my dad built for us. (Crafting really becomes a family affair around here.) I was so impressed with it! I think it’ll work really well and we will get the desired shape and texture we are going for a lot easier than the silicone molds could offer. I’ll have to let yo know how that goes.
For now I will leave you with this recipe for Kelly’s Goat Milk and Honey Soap. Be sure to pay special attention to the ‘Prep Ahead,’ as there are a few things you can do an hour or more in advance to prepare for the actual mixing of ingredients. And don’t forget to have fun while enjoying the lovely feeling of doing something good for you and your family!
On to the Soap Recipe…
Goat Milk and Honey Soap by Kelly Cable
Yield: 3 pounds or twelve 4-ounce bars
Lye Discount: 15%
Start to Finish Time: 2 hours, 24 hours in mold, 4 to 6 weeks to cure
Though a Castile bar was the first soap recipe I made, I dreamed of making a Goat Milk and Honey Soap bar. Well, here it is. Using milk and honey in a recipe means you need to be aware of a few more things, but it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Enjoy the many nourishing benefits of this soap!
Large stainless steel pot
bowls for measuring ingredients
small zip top bag
glass or plastic bowl for lye water
- 10 ounces olive oil
- 8 ounces lard
- 8 ounces coconut oil
- 4 ounces sweet almond oil
- 2 ounces beeswax
- 4 ounces lye
- 8 ounces filtered water
- 4 ounces goat milk
- 1 ounce orange essential oil
- 1 Tablespoon raw honey
Remember to wear your safety equipment and mix the lye water outside.
Tell everyone you live with that where you’re working is off limits.
Give yourself enough time to complete the recipe.
Prep Ahead: Combine the water and milk in a large glass, plastic, or stainless steel container. Place milk-water into the freezer for 1 to 2 hours. It is okay if a slush forms, as long as it doesn’t freeze. The colder your milk-water, the lighter your soap will be after adding the lye.
- Heat the Fats/Oils: In a large pot over medium-low heat, combine olive oil, lard, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and beeswax. Heat until they are melted and incorporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 90-100°F.
- Mix the Lye-Water: Put on protective gear including a mask, gloves, and long sleeves. Outside, very slowly pour only ¼ of the lye into the milk-water and stir until dissolved. Let cool for 20 minutes. Repeat until all lye is dissolved into the milk-water. If milk still browns, don’t worry. Your soap will just be darker. Allow to cool to 90-100°F. If oil or lye water cool at different rates, you can use a cold or hot water bath in the sink.
- Prepare the Mold: While the oils and lye water cool, line the mold with parchment paper.
- Combine and Bring to Trace: When both oils and lye water are around 90-100°F, pour the lye water into the pot of oils. Use a stick blender or hand mixer to mix for 1 to 2 minutes and then let the mixture rest for 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat mixing and resting until light trace.
- Mix in Natural Additives: When soap reaches light trace, add essential oils and honey and blend for 30 seconds.
- Mold the Soap: Pour the soap mixture into the mold, cover with a lid or parchment paper for 24 hours. Do not insulate unless your house is below 75°F, then insulate by placing a towel around the outside edges to avoid a partial gel.
- Cut and Cure: Remove soap from the mold. If it seems too soft to remove, wait another 12 to 24 hours before removing. Cut the soap into twelve 4-ounce bars. Allow the bars to cure for 4 to 6 weeks.
Tips: Milk can scald when lye is added. Placing the milk-water in the freezer until it’s very cold helps prevent this. Be sure to add lye slowly. It is okay to really take your time, coming back every 20 minutes to add a little more. Adding milk can also make your batch get hotter than usual, so just insulate a milk recipe lightly with a towel if you’re concerned about getting a good gel for color. Honey can also make soap come to trace faster, so add it and blend really well right before pouring soap into the mold.
Be sure to head over to Kelly’s blog to find more soap making resources, and to get your Soap Making Bonus Collection! Please let me know how it goes if you try out this recipe. I’d love to hear how it turned out, and if soap making is a new hobby for you, too!
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