Understanding the science of making goat milk soap may be difficult for some but not for qualified and experienced soap makers. They know exactly how to handcraft this soap to the perfect consistency and texture. Since this soap is handcrafted, ingredients may be added for customized skin care needs. Understanding the science of making goat milk soap gives more appreciation for its superior quality and the soap making efforts that accompany it.
Handcrafted soaps are formulated using a combination of emollient oils and butters, such as: olive and avocado oils, and cocoa or shea butter, with lathering oils such as coconut or palm kernel oil. These oils are mixed with liquid saturated lye. The chemical reaction that occurs between oil and lye is known as saponification.
Once saponification is complete, there is no lye left in the mixture. A simplified explanation of soap making chemistry is that, one molecule of fat added to one molecule of lye yields three molecules of soap and one molecule of glycerin. In reality, each type of oil requires a different amount of lye to produce the complete reaction. However, today's savonnier has tools to calculate exact ratios of specific oils to lye, but the result is always soap and glycerin in roughly a 3:1 ratio.
It is important to understand essential oils. Why is it important? It is important because, essential oils are bioactive ingredients. That means, they contain natural chemicals that interact with biological systems. Never use large amounts of essential oils externally, or internally. Never use essential oils straight. Essential oils must always be diluted in carrier oil, or soap, lotion, or other buffering agent. Finally, never use essential oils without knowing what their bioactive compounds are known to do. Essential oils are potent chemicals. They should be respected and used with care.
Great Grandma had to make her own lye; we have standardized lye available commercially. Grandma also rendered animal fats to get oils, so she was limited to tallow or lard. We have all kinds of terrific oils to choose from, but the lard with some olive oil and coconut oil makes wonderful, basic, castile-type soap.
Lately, finding lye has become a problem for the small soap maker. Unfortunately, it is an ingredient in illegal homemade drugs, so the lye companies have just about all stopped packaging it for household use. You cannot use any kind of drain cleaner. Try the cleaning supply section of the local hardware stores. You must find 100% lye. Also, you might try contacting a goat milk soap maker for soap making supplies.
The science of goats milk soap can be a lot of fun. Goats milk soap offers a lot of skin care benefits. Learning the science and chemistry of making goat milk soap can help you produce a high quality and long lasting natural bath product. Your natural product and handmade soap making efforts can be acknowledged and admired by many.