Thread: Soapmaking
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Old 04-15-16, 10:02 AM
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Windhelm Windhelm is offline
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About seven years ago I first learned to make soap. I've mostly made batches to meet my family's needs ever since. I enjoy getting to experiment with ingredients, or make something to meet a specific need. Are there any other people who make soap hanging around?

This is my most recent batch. It is a salt soap. Literally for each pound of soap to be made, one pound of salt is added to the soap. I use coarse kosher salt. The outcome is a soap that is very hard and polishing, but but not in a way that is harsh on the skin. I actually adore using it on my face, because it makes a tight lather that is much like shaving cream. The biggest downside is if a person has any cuts or scrapes, it burns like, well, salt in a wound does.

The only oil that is saponified in this is coconut oil. The unique property of coconut oil in soap is that is creates a lot of lather (a 100% coconut oil soap is the only soap that can lather in seawater). On its own, coconut oil is actually very drying, so a soapmaker must compenste with a much higher than normal superfat (additional fat in the soap that cannot be saponified because all the lye was used up). Most soaps will go rancid if a superfat of 20% is used, but not coconut oil. It resists going rancid so well, that it can do this. Normal superfat in the average soap is around 5%, give or take a few percentage points, depending on a soapmaker's preferences.

The ingredients are in order of weight: coconut oil, salt, goat's milk, sodium hydroxide (lye), natural Brazilian Mango Grapefruit Fragrance Oil, and sugar (another lather booster).

I own milk goats, so I have the supply of milk at hand all the time. That means I don't have to use powdered or struggle to find fresh milk from another source. All my soaps have goat's milk in them.

Today I am actually making another batch specifically for a friend. Just a few bars. It'll be a mostly olive oil soap with a bit of coconut oil for lather (olive oil in soap is great for skin and is moisturizing, but makes a slimy lather without some help). It'll have lavender essential oil for the scent, goat's milk, and oatmeal flour. The goal is a very gentle bar of soap for some sensitive skin.

Last edited by peripatetic; 04-15-16 at 10:21 AM.. Reason: commercial link removed per guidelines
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