Friday, May 17, 2013

a washcloth full of feta

One of my goals for this year was to try my hand at making soap. Not just the soap where you buy some glycerine from Michael's and pour it into a mold, but real, good, all-natural soap.

A few years back a friend of mine gave me a bar of her friend's goat milk soap. At first I was kinda weirded out--I mean it just seemed SO hippie-ish. Also, I despise feta cheese and in my head there was some bizarre correlation there that gave me the mental image of my family laundering their nethers with a washcloth lathered in feta. Ew.

But then I tried it, and I was hooked. It worked great. It smelled good. When used on my face I noticed a decrease in breakouts and I no longer needed to put lotion on my face. Seemed win-win to me. So naturally the making of goat's milk soap landed itself on my lengthy to-do list.

Well yesterday, after some lengthy contemplating, fearing, getting over my fear, stocking up, driving out to timbuktu to a random goat farmer and buying milk, and just plain working up the motivation to do some semi-dangerous chemistry experiments in my kitchen with three kids under foot, I went for it.

Goat's milk soap


Goat's milk soap

It's all natural, too. Goats milk, castor oil, shea butter, olive oil, red palm oil (which gives it that mango color) and coconut oil. And of course essential oils and the lye for the dangerous chemical part of the experiment.

I did a lot of research, but mostly used the info gleaned from here, here, and here to get started. I really wondered why so many tutorials had bad pictures of the process until I actually started and all my ideas about taking step-by-step pictures vanished. It was just too messy and there was too much danger of dropping my camera in a vat of liquid-hot-magma. So all you get are end result pictures. Next time I'll enlist some photographic help.

Anyhow, today I cut the log of soap into these bars, and now I have to wait a month (!!!) for them to cure so they won't disintegrate in the shower. *sigh* I guess the good Lord is putting another opportunity to learn patience in my path.

In the meantime, my back room smells super good, and I can check #3 off this year's goal list. Yay!


Lynz said...

Oh, Jenn!! I LOVE handmade soaps, yours look so bloody awesome! A month to cure, eh? That would give it time to get here before I use it. Nae cheek nae chance, eh? *g*

Rachel at Stitched in Color said...

Yay, they look great! Go you! I made soap with the same kind of ingredients (though not goat's milk) about 3 years ago. It did feel dangerous... but no one was hurt! I hear you on waiting for the cure. Meanwhile everyone who comes over wonders why you display it so proudly...

good. said...

You did it!! That's so awesome! And they look beautiful.

mrs.deane said...

Feel free to send some of that lovely cheese my way, please, before it gets too hot and it melts in the mail ;0) making goats' milk soap is on my list, too. I used to buy it on etsy, but then the seller started charging a lot more than I wanted to pay. I'm sure it was fair cost for work involved - and danger, apparently!