How We Make Our Soap

Interested in learning how to make soap? We
will be offering Beginning Soap Making
classes soon! Check back later for more

For those inquiring minds that would like to know how we make
our soap, here's a brief overview of the steps involved in making
our cold processed soap.

We make all of our soaps the old-fashioned way. This means we
use LYE. The lye is always mixed with a liquid. The liquid used
can be distilled water, any type of milk, or even beer or wine. The
lye and liquid mixture is then combined with various natural oils
or butters, like olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, castor oil, palm
oil, shea butter, etc.

1. Since lye is a caustic substance, in the initial soap making
stage, the first thing we do is to don our protective gear (eye
protection, gloves, closed toed shoes and a long-sleeved shirt,
apron or smock) and  carefully mix the lye with distilled water or
the liquid of choice. Then, we let the lye water mixture cool to the
appropriate temperature.

2. While the lye water mixture is cooling, we carefully measure
the selected oils and/or butters that will be used in the recipe
and heat them to approximately 100 degrees.

In the first picture, we are making goat milk soap, so we are
adding the lye directly to the goat milk. We prefer to freeze the
goat milk before adding it to the lye, as this reduces the strong
smell that can occur when the lye makes contact with the protein
in the milk. It also helps to keep the color of the soap light.

3. Next, we slowly add the lye/ water mixture or lye/milk mixture
to the heated oil mixture and blend with an immersion blender.

4. We blend the soap until it reaches what is known as "trace".  
We have to be careful not to mix it too much, or it will harden and
become useless. We also need make sure the soap mixutre is
mixed well enough or this can cause separation of the lye from
the oils later in the process. (a BAD thing)

5.At this point, we may add herbs, colorants, essential oils or

6. Finally, we pour the soap into molds and and cover it to keep
it warm. This is known as the "gel" phase.

We leave the soap in the mold at least 24 hours, sometimes
longer, depending on the recipe.

7. After the soap has hardened sufficiently, we remove the soap
from the mold and cut it into bars.

8. We allow the soap to cure for several weeks to harden and to
finish the saponification process.

At this point, the soap has "saponified" or turned into soap and
there is no active lye present. We double check this by testing
each batch with a ph test strip, just to make sure.

9 .Last, we label and wrap each bar and it's off the farmers'
market for us!