Thursday was soap making day here at Happy Acres. We’ve got several new creations we want to try, and after a busy summer it was finally time to get down to it. And since so much time is spent on setup and cleanup, we decided to make two batches while we had everything out.
One soap I had been wanting to make was a Cocoa/Mango soap. On our January trip to Florida we stopped in Tarpon Springs and picked up several bars of goats milk soap. One of my favorites was a Mango scented bar with Cocoa butter in it. I loved the way this soap lathered up, and the mango scent reminded me of warm, tropical places – even though we about froze to death during that trip!
Our Cocoa Mango Soap creation has Cocoa Butter and Mango Butter in it, as well as Coconut, Palm, Olive and Castor oils. I am hoping this will be a nice wintertime soap, since both Cocoa and Mango Butters are noted for being good for the skin. We used a cutting tool with a serrated edge for some of the bars, and we liked the way they turned out.
Since we’re still pretty new to making soap, every batch is an experiment. My wife is the one who creates the detailed recipes, and runs them through a soap calculator to check the ingredients. She has been wanting to make a soap out of lard, so we brain-stormed and came up with Old Tyme Vanilla Soap. This one is 75% lard, and I have to admit the kitchen was really stinky while we made it!
For this one we used round and oval silicone molds. The soap is a beautiful white color, and the lard odor has dissipated. Both soaps are now curing down in the basement, and the smell down there is heavenly!
We’ve got several more soaps we want to make, including another one with a high percentage of olive oil as well as a hand soap that has some pumice in it. We also want to experiment with using botanicals, and I think a mint soap sounds interesting. Plus we want to make another chocolate soap. We haven’t bought any soap from the store for almost a year now, and at the rate we’re making homemade soap, we may never have to buy any again!
I have never made soap. My best friend makes it all the time. Both of the soaps that you made sound very nice. You will have to do a soap recipe post once you have tested them.
When you make your only olive oil soap it will take longer to come to trace. If you use extra olive oil it will take much longer also. I usually add some castor oil to increase the suds. Olive oil soap (also called Castile Soap ) is one of the easiest to make since you don’t need to melt any oils down. It just takes longer to trace. I have been a member of the Soapmakers Guild for the past 3 years. I am not renewing my membership this year because I will be moving soon and haven’t made fresh soap in the past year. I haven’t sold any this past year also because I was busy packing and moving. Half my supplies are on one coast and the rest on the other. In the past 10 years since I learned out how to make soap I haven’t bought any. Hubby made me a mold that holds 6 pounds of soap that I usually cut into 4 ounce bars the next day. A guitar string works well to cut the soap, we use a coping saw to hold it. When making a 6 pound loaf I usually add 6 heaping Tablespoons of fine Pumice. Let me know how things turn out.
We recently went to a lecture at our local Bee Guild about soap making using beeswax. Have you tried that? We’ll add our bees to the farm in spring, and it would be fun to try making things from the beeswax. Goats will come later (I hope) primarily for milk and cheese, but I love the idea of making a goats milk soap. Your most recent soaps look beautiful, and I can only imagine the aroma in your basement!
We’ve never tried beeswax as an ingredient in soap. We have used goat’s milk though, and many soapers swear by it. We will probably use some in one of our next creations, though ours comes from a can! 😛