Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goat Milk Oatmeal Soap Making Recipe

One of my favorite books about milk soaps was written by Casey Makela in 1997. Milk-Based Soaps: Making Natural, Skin-Nourishing Soap contains recipes for soaps as well as benefits and reasons why milk is so good for your skin.

My copy is tattered and torn on a page or two but it's loved and well-worn. Every time I read this book some new bit of knowledge reveals itself. It's fun reading my old notes on a few pages, seeing my thought process as I was learning soapmaking.

Of all the recipes about milk soaps, my favorite is Oatmeal Soap (page 66). Oatmeal goat milk soap was the first soap I made and always keep in stock because it makes my skin feel wonderful every time I use it -- without exception. The recipe follows:

Oatmeal Soap (makes 32 4-ounce bars)
3 pounds pure vegetable shortening
17 ounces extra-light olive oil
12 ounces safflower oil
8 ounces canola oil
3 pounds goat milk (one gallon weights 8 pounds)
12 ounces pour sodium hydroxide (lye)
1 ounce borax
1/4 ounce white sugar
1/4 ounce glycerin
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 ounce almond fragrance oil
1/4 ounce vanilla fragrance oil

Special instructions. Prepare the oatmeal by putting 1/2 cup of rolled oats in the blender and grating it for 60 seconds, or until you get a medium-course powder.

Refining the oatmeal in this manner helps it to better blend into the soap, an creates a more finely textured soap.

Add the oatmeal when you run the liquid mixture through the blender for the first time, and add the fragrance oils when you run the liquid mixture through the blender for the second time.

I highly recommend getting this book if you're interested in making milk soaps. Then read it about 7 times so you'll 'get it'.

Space is too limited here to discuss PROCESS but it is critical. To learn more about process, go to the following website.

Kathy's Soapmaking Links lead to a wealth of information on soapmaking and soapmakers who share their talents and skills. These links are excellent places to begin your research on how to make soap.

Happy soaping!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Soap Making Lessons Learned: Before and After

I remember the first time I made a batch of soaps from scratch. Uncertainties gurgled in my throat: the heat, working with lye, would my mold be big enough? Feelings of uncertainty filled my chest. Don't you hate that feeling? But, as you probably know, you just gotta BIG-UP and go for it.

All those unknown/first-time-things concerned me. Being a rookie is scary, especially if you've never worked with much chemistry. Oh sure, Kitchen Chemistry, of course I could do that. But, to me, working with lye is hard core chemistry! Sigh ... . By the way, I'm still afraid of lye and that's a good thing. Lye does major damage to everything it touches. More on that later, but for now I'd like to talk about soap making.

This yellow photo is of my first batch of bergamot goat milk soap. I remember not knowing how to figure out how much soap needed to fill the mold. So I doubled my formula. HA ... still didn't fill the mold. See how thin this bar is? Or short, if you'd prefer that word. Need I tell you how easy this batch was to cut? They were so short, any knife would go through them. (We can talk about cutting tools later, too.)

My first soaps had been made in an old wooden office drawer I purchased at a second hand store. Well, Husband Bob would have none of this second-hand-stuff-for-his-wife, so he made a log mold measuring 44 inches long, 3.5 inches wide and 4 inches tall. Actually, he made two. (Thanks Darlin'.) They're wonderfully efficient and the log molded soaps were easier to cut.

This second photo is my most recent batch of bergamot soaps. Quite a difference, huh!?! Practice makes perfect. Well, better anyway. My design swirls are better, formula is better than ever, AND I know how to figure volume so I can fill ANY mold nicely. (You guys pay attention to high school math; you'll need it!)

Yes, I know the website photographs need updating. I'll get to it soon -- very soon. We've grown in so many ways; better formulations, better labels, better designs, better packaging.

Speaking of packaging, Bucky is still the cover boy for our bergamot soaps and always will be. All of our products showcase a special goat. After all, without our goats, we wouldn't have milk products for you.

I am always looking for just-one-more technique that accentuates the benefits of milk, like blending it with a particular oil or managing its heating properties more tightly. After all, it's GOAT milk that we believe in so strongly.

More later, but for now, I'm going to take my morning bath and get this day going.

Happy soaping, Pat

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps Retailers in Stanly County

Be on the lookout for our countertop displays at your local stores. Many retailers have the countertop display pictured on the right. It holds an assortment of soaps and lotions and talks about many goat milk benefits for your skin.

Our larger retailer stores have a full-line of our products on the Bakers Rack like the photo below.

God's Country Outfitters, Hwy 52 in Albemarle and McCoy's Feed on Hwy 24-27 at Hwy 601 have the largest displays with selections ranging from individual bars to gift wrapped packages complete with a gift tag waiting for your signature.

Select the title link above for a retailer located near you.

Happy soaping,
Pat Allen, Soap Maker

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crochet Face Cloths and Coordinated Soap Savers

These face cloths are fun and easy to make. Starting with 4-ply 100 percent cotton, I chain stitch about 30 links. Turn then single crochet in each chain. SC one then, this is where the creative part comes in. You can either single crochet the entire cloth, or you could use a half-crochet or any other stitch you want. The main thing is to make the cloth as square as possible.

The sample is the photograph has a colored trim because I wanted more color. The coordinated flower and trim on the soap saver are made with the same colored trim. Mainly because it was fun.

The soap saver is a smaller square that I close to make a tube. About one inch from each end, weave the contrasting yarn through the stitches (like a draw string) so you can close the ends, keeping your soap pieces inside the saver.

This saver is a blessing in our household. The hubster doesn't use the little pieces; they just stuck on the walls in the shower until they dissolve. This little saver has saved more than the soaps. (need I say more? … didn’t think so)

For more crochet gift ideas, visit my website. Enjoy!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Goat Milk Soap Gifts Available on WebSpecials

Each creamy colored metal bucket can double as a soap dish and comes with three goat milk soaps:
  • Maschio Motivo's Espresso Caffé Latté,
  • Wayland's Patchouli Plunge, and
  • Dean's Orange Delight.
All three soaps are for combination skin types and contain essential oils for a gentle aroma-filled bath.
  • Our Maschio Motivo (Italian for Main Man; Bucky is our main man) Espresso Caffé Latte contains espresso coffee grounds for a special exfoliating feeling.
  • Wayland's Patchouli Plunge fills your senses with a fresh herbaceous, earthy aroma; and
  • Dean's Orange Delight completes the aromatic tones with a cleansing citrus scent.
Our goat milk is high in fats, proteins, and vitamins that naturally moisturize and enrich dry, sensitive skin.

Ingredients: saponified oils of shortening, palm, coconut, olive, corn & castor oils, goat milk, essentials oils, cocoa butter glycerin, borax, salt and sugar.

As a free gift, we've included a bathing puff and a gift tag for your convenience. To purchase these Goat Bucket Gifts, follow this link to our GoatMilkBath website.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New soaps are on the drying shelves

The new soaps are looking and smelling very good. Husband Bob checked 'em out last night. To us, 'checkin' 'em out' means touching, smelling, and seeing the soaps. (Although there is a 'taste' test for lye soaps, we don't do that. ughhhh)

The hearing sense takes place when Bob purrs while he's investigating the newest batch. If he doesn't go uuuuuuuuuuuuu and ahhhhhhhhhhhh, that batch goes no further. We only want the really nice, fine goat milk soaps.

Bob is our Inspector General and a tuffffff job it is. His facial expressions either make or break a batch. So far ... so good.

This new batch is still very wet so they'll need extra drying time. I added a bit more goat milk then usual but the difference will be worth the extended drying time.

Be on the lookout of a photo. I'll post one after they've been polished and are closer to being ready for you. Thanks for visiting, Pat

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

so much to do ... so little time

Finally weaned the babies from their mamas. Now it's time to milk, milk, milk. Shazammmmm, do we have milk for our soaps! We're cranking soaps out as often as possible.

AND a few of the babies are for sale. We got a super batch of babies this year.

Check 'em out at this link.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Plenty of milk for new products

We have enough milk to add more products and a larger territory. What a wonderful feeling having our goat milk products so widely received. Thank all of you for your support.

Clary Sage was popular we've decided to keep in the Gourmet Collection permanently. You voted by your purchases. We listened.

Be on the lookout for our newest release of Clary Sage Goat Milk Soap.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How important is it that the merchandise you receive match the photo on the web site?

I ask because I'm always experimenting with designs, new colors, textures, exfoliates, and sizes. Swirls are my passion now and will be until I master them. Then I’ll move onto another design challenge.

How would be the best way to convey my designs to you without upsetting you as customers?

My formulas are pretty much established; that is, until I learn of a different oil combination that improves our products significantly. The industry is bursting with creative people. All of us love our craft and want to make the best products possible. The goats are pretty set in their ways (whew that’s a good thing).

But aromatherapists and suppliers are constantly inventing new products or finding new suppliers.

The industry changes frequently. Tell me the best way to communicate with you about our products:

Should I update my website with every new batch?
Should I remove individual photographs and just have a photo composite of our products?

Please let me hear from you on what you expect.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Milk Proteins and Milk Fats in Milk-based Handmade Soaps

Soap made with milk is naturally protein and fat rich. Milk fats absorbed into handmade milk soaps produce a naturally moisturizing soap.

These unique properties of milk-based handmade soap are an all-natural way of moisturizing dry, delicate skin.

The two tables compare the protein and fat percentages on a variety of animals.

Percentage of protein in milk
Animal -- Percent protein
Cow -- 3.5
Goat -- 3.5
Sheep -- 5.8
Buffalo -- 3.6
Reindeer -- 10.3

Percentage of fats in milk
Animal -- Percent fats
Holstein cow -- 3.55

Nubian goat -- 5.0
Saanen goat -- 3.5
Sheep -- 6.4
Buffalo -- 7.9
Reindeer -- 20.3

Of these animals, I prefer the goat. Cows can and do step on you and that hurts. Sheep are too labor intensive. Buffalo are too big and often refused to be milked. Reindeer, on the other hand, are cool weather critters who probably wouldn't be happy in North Carolina. But I sure would like to try some reindeer milk soap.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Saponification is the making of soap

Understanding the sanctification process could be daunting if we delve deeply into the chemistry. But let's not to that. Why don't I just tell you how I make soaps, generally speaking, of course.

Simply stated: Saponification is the chemical process of making soap.

I used to be very concerned about the process of making soap until Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs came into my life. Honestly, most of the situations that man gets himself into are insane. Soap making is a breeze compared to what some folks do for a living. I honor them all and now thoroughly enjoy soap making.

BEGIN WITH THE GREATEST OF CAUTIONS. Be alert, aware and focused at all times.

I recommend working with stainless steel or glass utensils and containers. Aluminum will melt, wood, and some plastics, will burn. Have plenty of water available in case something is spilled and it will. Vinegar is a neutralizer for lye so keep that handy too. By all means, protect your skin/eyes/breathing at all times. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area because the lye fumes are dangerous, too.
I won't go into formulas/recipes because there are so many available online or in books. I'll mainly share my experiences with soapmaking. You'll need three main ingredients:
  1. sodium hydroxide (lye);
  2. liquid (usually water); and
  3. fats and oils (fatty acids).

    Since the oils/fats take longer to blend, I begin the process by weighing them. Because some of the oils/fats are in two different forms (solids versus liquids), you'll need to heat the oils/fats mixture until they have melted and blended together. Careful: it gets HOT.

    Remember: Oil and water do not mix. So you need to mix the water and lye together first. Be careful with this mixture because it gets HOT and lye is dangerous. Mix thoroughly. Sometime a crust forms on the bottom of the mixture if it is left too long without stirring.

    More than likely, you now have two different mixtures at two different temperatures. It's been my experience that the oils/fats take longer to cool down than the water/lye mixture. Doesn't matter; I stay with these two containers without interruption (no cell phone, animals, or distractions) until they are ready to blend.

    When both containers are in the low 100s, I put them in a water bath (large utility sink outside my garage door). I stir and watch each of them closely until both of them are in the low 90s or high 80s AND within 5 degrees of each other. At that time I pour the lye mixture into the oil mixture and begin stirring like a crazy woman.

    After the initial blend, I carry this cauldron inside to my factory where the essential oils, coloring, and molds are located. Mind you, the factor work areas has been sanitized and the molds have already been prepared or lined. They are ready to go because once the soap 'traces' I'll JUST have time to pour the mixture into the molds.

    The faster you stir or agitate this hot mixture, the faster it will setup. I recently purchased a super big deal blender and have yet to use it at full power because the mixture traces too quickly. Darn, I want to play with my new blender but can't. Sigh ... . I digress.

    You should know your design strategy (molds, colors and essential oils) before you begin. Again, you will NOT have time once the saponification process begins.

    Again, exercise caution: this mixture is hot with heat and is hot chemically. You can/will get burned both ways.

    Carefully pour your pudding-consistency mixture into your mold. Cover with blankets so it will cool slowly.

    Here's where I stop. I leave all my tools, mess, buckets, containers alone until the next day. It's all hot and will burn me with heat and chemically. By the next day it'll be cool enough to wash.

    The exception is the lye mixture mess. I pour vinegar/water in the container and put the utensils inside. I make sure this container is concealed so no critters can get into it. By critters I mean chickens, goats, birds, or dogs. The chemistry could really hurt them.

    I frequently check the soap for hardness then cut it when it's firm enough to keep it's shape; but, soft enough to cut. If you wait too long, it'll become too hard and you might not be able to cut it. (I did this once and still have some of that log.)

    Happy soaping ...

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps LOGO

    We're unveiling the logo for our companies. We have two: One is for our goat milk soaps; while the other is for our goats.

    We raise nubian dairy goats for sale. That is after the babies have been weaned. In some cases, the mama and baby will be sold together. It depends on what you're looking for. I seldom milk the does because our freezers are full. My does give me plenty of milk in addition to them nursing their babies.

    I'm amazed at how many requests I get for goats in-milk. That's why I started selling the does. I want to supply what you want. Along with the sale of a goat, I also share a list of my resources for goat management tips, soap making, and cheese making. While I don't make cheese for resale, I do make it for friends and family.

    Even though most of our does in-milk are for sale. We do keep our retired ladies as well as a few of our favorite friends. Our goats have taken good care of us, it's our time to return the favor.

    To check out our sale goats, please visit our website:
    Sleeping Dog Ranch Nubians

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Looking for gift ware sales firm in the southern region

    We've decided to expand our market and are looking for a sales firm to pick up my line of handmade goat milk bath and beauty products. If you know of anyone in the Charlotte, North Carolina region, please let me know.

    Sales firm must know gift ware industry in the southern Region with possible expansion to the west.

    Independent representatives are encouraged to contact us.

    Oatmeal exfoliants remove debris while soothing your skin

    The surface of your skin not only traps interior waste and toxins but it traps exterior pollutants as well. Bathing with an exfoliant helps remove those wastes while stimulating your healthy cell growth.

    Exfoliants are irregularly shaped textures that helps release debris collected on the skin's surface. But rubbing too hard could damage your skin.

    At Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps oatmeal is our primary exfoliant because it is a gentle exfoliant that soothes your skin while cleansing it.

    Goat Milk, Oatmeal, & Honey Soap in our Nurture Collection contains oatmeal that has been finely ground, gently chopped, and coarse flakes. Our application of oatmeal exfoliants benefit your skin in the following three ways:
    1. Our finely ground oatmeal powder spreads the oatmeal's gentleness throughout each bar;
    2. the chopped granules gently exfoliate your skin; and,
    3. the coarsely chopped flakes float in your bath water allowing for greater penetration of the soothing properties of oatmeal.
    Further protecting your skin, I've added moisturizing nutrients via shea butter and castor oil into our exfoliating formulas. These nutrients help reduce irritation and dryness. Remember: Always rub your skin gently in small circular movements and rinse your skin thoroughly.

    Learn more about how goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions benefit your skin ...

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps Uses Shea Butter

    Shea butter has been used as a moisturizer for centuries, one of the most stable, natural fats known; it is easily absorbed into the skin because it melts at body temperature, thus creating a moisture barrier between sensitive skin and the environment. Because of these properties, shea butter is an excellent carrier for moving nutrients of goat milk and oils into your skin.

    Known to have anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter acts as an emollient and humectant by attracting moisture to your skin.

    Research indicates that shea butter could be an effective treatment for the following conditions: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, severely dry skin, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles, and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis. (Wikipedia)

    Learn which Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps can help your skin become softer and more supple.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps Superfats All Her Soaps

    Superfat means that additional oils used in my soap formulas do not turn into soap but remain as oils in the soaps. I do this because I want my soaps to be as nurturing as possible. These additional oils stay in the soap until you bathe at which time they gently soak into your skin. Leaving it feeling moisturized, supple, and softer.

    Learn more about the benefits of using Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps ...

    Friday, August 06, 2010

    Vitamins absorve through your skin

    Goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions contain a rich supply of vitamins and minerals that absorbs into your skin.

    In particular, vitamin A nourishes various parts of your body:

    * Vision
    * Gene transcription
    * Immune function
    * Embryonic development and reproduction
    * Bone metabolism
    * Haematopoiesis
    * Skin health
    * Antioxidant activity

    Research indicates that vitamins can be absorbed through your body as well as through the food you eat. That's why we use goat milk in every product we make.

    Replenish your skin often with goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions from Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps.

    To purchase goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions ...

    For more information about vitamin A ...