Soapmaking on a snow day

One of my jobs is soapmaking. This is actually a paying gig, and it also gives me another outlet for creativity. I can come up with new fragrances, colors, designs, types—I made a shampoo bar for myself a few weeks ago that I am looking forward to trying. I make soap to sell (on-line and at local farmers markets), but also for myself. I love an all-natural bar of soap that I can use and give as a gift.

During one of the recent snow days, the children were all playing at a cousin’s house, so I took a few hours to go make soap. The “soap shed” is at the top of a long steep drive, so I parked the truck at the bottom and walked up.

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Here’s what I did:
Measure and melt the solid oils. Add olive oil.
oils
olive oil

Measure the lye and mix into water. Let that lye mix cool out in the snow.
051

Measure goat milk and mix lye into the milk.
Mix lye/milk with oils. I use a stick blender to make this process go much faster.
mixed

Once this mixture traces, or is thick enough, I pour it into molds. The soap will harden in the molds for a few days. Then out they come to dry for a few more days.
molds

Then, we cut them into bars and set them on a shelf to dry (or cure) for 4 to 6 weeks.
Aren’t they pretty? They smell great too!
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The really fun part about that day was getting back to the truck. I brought a sled up with me, so I had a long, fast sled down to the bottom.

sled run

truck

4 thoughts on “Soapmaking on a snow day

  1. nice! I’d love to come watch the soap-making process sometime! mostly, I just want to smell the inside of that soap shed…… hmmmmm citrus sunshine sounds perfect right about now! do you sometimes work the table at the Black Mt tailgate market? If so, I’m sure we’ve spoken before~ I’ll look for you starting in May 😉

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