I adore real goat's milk soap, and its gentle cleansing and moisturising effect on my skin - but finding high quality products at an affordable cost has proven difficult. So, I decided to make my own, thinking how difficult could it be?
To be honest, the most difficult part was the research. I spent several hours scouring the web for the best information on technique and suitable recipes. There is a wealth of information out there on soap making which proved somewhat overwhelming. In the end I settled on a cold process using a recipe from veteran soap maker Janelle of SudsnBuds Bath & Body. Her YouTube clip clearly demonstrates the process from start to finish.
I set about purchasing all of my utensils and ingredients - there are soap making kits for sale online which are convenient, but I found it more cost effective to source my own materials.
The whole process took about five hours (but I think I could easily trim that down to three on my next attempt this weekend), and I definitely made some rookie mistakes.
When I removed my soap from the fridge and its moulds the following day, it looked absolutely perfect. Upon trying to cut the soap loaf however, I encountered a big problem - it was way too hard to cut.
I left it on the bench for a couple of days (part of the original instruction which I'd overlooked...) then tried again. I tried cutting it with a pastry scraper, a paint scraper, a hot knife, a guitar string, dental floss and finally success - with a hacksaw!
What a mess!
I did some troubleshooting online, worked out where I went wrong, and adjusted my instructions accordingly for my next attempt. I'd call the end result semi-successful! The soap I poured into silicon cupcake moulds are the most aesthetically pleasing.
The soap takes six to eight weeks to cure so I've no way of knowing how it will turn out, but I'm feeling confident, and looking forward to my next attempt.