Have you ever wondered how real soap is made? It is fascinating how oils, water, goat milk, and lye can turn into a luxurious, cleansing soap bar that we use and enjoy.

When I first began making soap, I started with a base recipe and changed it to include goat milk which adds so many benefits to the soap, including making it moisturizing. So while you use the soap, it is not only cleansing your skin, it is moisturizing it as well!

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More experimentation and alterations were also done to the recipe to create a soap that had the precise balance that I was desiring of things such as bar-hardness and a good, rich lather. The end result is the soap that you all use today!

Each of the soaps are handcrafted in 24 bar batches, and it involves many steps. While it’s not exactly easy taking photos in the midst of soapmaking : ), I have been able to take some to share with you all. Here is a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the process behind our soaps . . . .

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Measuring paper to cut for lining the wooden soap molds

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Weighing out the oils

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Weighing the essential oils . . . all of our soaps are scented with 100% pure essential oils. (There aren’t any synthetic fragrances in any of our products.)

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Once everything is weighed out, the lye and water are mixed together (which I always mix outdoors due to the fumes), and then that mixture is added to the oils.

An immersion blender is then used to blend and bring the soap to trace, and at a certain point in this process, the goat milk is added. No infused oils were used in the above soap which is why the mixture is white.

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Once the soap reaches what is called ‘trace’ (about the consistency of pudding or a little thinner), it is time to add the essential oils, additives, colorants, etc. The above soap, Lavender Orange, only had the blend of lavender and orange essential oils added to it so it was pretty simple. The orange is what gives it the bright yellow color.

When using infused oils for the colorant, the process is a bit different. At the beginning, I will measure out how much of each of the infused olive oil combinations that are needed . . . .

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Regular olive oil with two different infused olive oils (paprika and annatto seed powder – both of which are used in the Citrus Bar.)

The olive oil mixture is then added to the other oils and instead of a white soap mixture, it is now colored. This time, it is orange for the Citrus Bar . . .

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Besides using infused oils, another way I color soaps is to add things such cocoa powder or various clays. Our Peppermint Clove and Meadow Grove soaps are examples of those.

Once the soap reaches trace and has all of the colorants and additives added, then it is poured into the lined mold . . .

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In the above photo, Lavender Orange soap is in the mold and is ready to be insulated and left for 24-48 hours to finish saponifying. Then it will be cut into bars which will cure for 4-6 weeks.

After the soaps have cured, they are ready to be labeled, packaged, and sent on their way to be used and enjoyed!

All Natural Rosemary Lime Goat Milk Soap 3

Niobrara Farms Bath and Body Cedarwood Soap

 

 

 

4 Comments

  • Betsy Posted September 1, 2016 9:21 am

    Fascinating process, Sarah! I notice that your oils are in large jugs–you must purchase those in bulk? Where do you buy them? Or is that a trade secret?:-)

    –Betsy

    • Niobrara Farms Bath and Body Posted September 3, 2016 2:09 pm

      I am glad you enjoyed seeing it, Betsy! Yes, I do purchase in bulk, and I’m happy to share where. (: I get them from both Soapers Choice and the Bulk Apothecary. I love their oils!

  • Sara Posted August 28, 2016 8:28 am

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your soapmaking process!

    • Niobrara Farms Bath and Body Posted September 1, 2016 8:28 am

      You’re welcome, Sara! Glad you enjoyed it!

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