In her book Pure Soapmaking, The Soap Queen Anne-Marie Faiola made Nettle and Yarrow Soap and used a milk carton as a mould. She put some cardstock across the carton from corner to corner and her soap came out looking .....
...like this! Nice and neat as you can see. So I had to have a go as well but used my loaf mould as I wanted to see how goat's milk soap would react in it as normally I use individual small moulds because it can heat up so much. However, I didn't need to worry about that.
I had poured the milk into ice cubes the night before and in the morning poured the lye over them slowly until they melted but they didn't heat up more than 25C which was a pity as I had already heated up the oils to 50C. Oops! So I put the saucepan containing the oils into cold water in the sink to bring the temp down but it was taking too long and I had to go out so I decided I would just add the lye mixture to the oils when I got home and it would all be done at room temperature.
So eventually I got started and added the lye to the oils and brought the mixture to a light trace. Then following Soap Queen's instructions I poured that into two containers and added pink clay to one jug before pouring both into each side of the cardstock at the same time. The idea then was to just quickly remove the card which I did but the top was a bit of a mixture of both colours so I decided to cover that up with dried calendula petals. Then the instructions were to leave it for 48 hours but I couldn't wait quite that long so after 44 hours I took it out of the mould.
I may not have mixed it as well as I should have but I was trying not to let the mixture get to a thick trace as it makes it too hard to pour so there are some specks of what I presume is milk that you can see. Well it didn't end up looking like the Soap Queen's soap but I am no Soap Queen and like the 'individual' look. LOL!
Even though I waited so long to take the soap out of the mould it was still quite soft so the stamp didn't take too well and I really should have left it harden a bit more before stamping. I don't mind the look of it and the colour is quite nice and probably more close to the colour in the first photo which was taken in the morning and the others were taken in the late afternoon light in a different room. I didn't add Fragrance Oil this time as I didn't want it to discolour due to the vanilla in most of the ones I have. So this soap has no scent at all.
I just know you are all sitting there with bated breath waiting for the recipe so here it is. I like to record my experiments in case they ever turn out and I want to repeat them in the future :-)
Goat's Milk Soap with Plantain Infused Oil and Pink Clay
400g Rice Bran Oil
300g Plantain Infused Olive Oil
300g Coconut Oil
380g Goat's Milk
1T Pink Australian Clay mixed with 3T water
I can't wait till the 6 weeks are up and I can start using this batch. By the way the Coconut Milk and Lemon Balm soap I made at the end of last year is now cured and is a really nice soap to use even though it has a few specks as well. I added poppy seeds to this batch.
Have you made your first batch of soap yet? Give it a go if you haven't but be warned...it can be addictive!