Soap Making Lessons Learned: Before and After

I remember the first time I made a batch of soaps from scratch. Uncertainties gurgled in my throat: the heat, working with lye, would my mold be big enough? Feelings of uncertainty filled my chest. Don’t you hate that feeling? But, as you probably know, you just gotta BIG-UP and go for it.

All those unknown/first-time-things concerned me. Being a rookie is scary, especially if you’ve never worked with much chemistry. Oh sure, Kitchen Chemistry, of course I could do that. But, to me, working with lye is hard core chemistry! Sigh … . By the way, I’m still afraid of lye and that’s a good thing. Lye does major damage to everything it touches. More on that later, but for now I’d like to talk about soap making.

This yellow photo is of my first batch of bergamot goat milk soap. I remember not knowing how to figure out how much soap needed to fill the mold. So I doubled my formula. HA … still didn’t fill the mold. See how thin this bar is? Or short, if you’d prefer that word. Need I tell you how easy this batch was to cut? They were so short, any knife would go through them. (We can talk about cutting tools later, too.)
My first soaps had been made in an old wooden office drawer I purchased at a second hand store. Well, Husband Bob would have none of this second-hand-stuff-for-his-wife, so he made a log mold measuring 44 inches long, 3.5 inches wide and 4 inches tall. Actually, he made two. (Thanks Darlin’.) They’re wonderfully efficient and the log molded soaps were easier to cut.

This second photo is my most recent batch of bergamot soaps. Quite a difference, huh!?! Practice makes perfect. Well, better anyway. My design swirls are better, formula is better than ever, AND I know how to figure volume so I can fill ANY mold nicely. (You guys pay attention to high school math; you’ll need it!)

Yes, I know the website photographs need updating. I’ll get to it soon — very soon. We’ve grown in so many ways; better formulations, better labels, better designs, better packaging.

Speaking of packaging, Bucky is still the cover boy for our bergamot soaps and always will be. All of our products showcase a special goat. After all, without our goats, we wouldn’t have milk products for you.

I am always looking for just-one-more technique that accentuates the benefits of milk, like blending it with a particular oil or managing its heating properties more tightly. After all, it’s GOAT milk that we believe in so strongly.

More later, but for now, I’m going to take my morning bath and get this day going.

Happy soaping, Pat


2 thoughts on “Soap Making Lessons Learned: Before and After

  1. Anonymous

    I definitely need to be more afraid of lye. I tend to forget that I am working with something very caustic. I use precautionary measures, but likely not enough. The learning curve is different, depending upon the results you are looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

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