Workshop News 30th July

Updated: Aug 11

Goats Milk Soap

I have been busy making and trialling Goats Milk Soap – I made it at the beginning of July and it was maturing for 2 weeks before I used it, leaving a few bars to mature for another 2 weeks. This week I have realised that the longer it is left in the open air, the more soda ash forms on the soap surface and in the soap itself. Soda Ash is Sodium Carbonate formed when free sodium molecules from the Sodium Hydroxide used to make soap react with Co2 molecules and water molecules in the air. It is harmless and looks like white spots or a white layer on the soap. It is very common on soaps and especially on goat’s milk soap, probably because it is made and then sets at low temperatures to prevent the milk from burning. This means that there are some free sodium molecules as the soap does not gel completely at a low temperature and they will readily react with air. The soap is also stored in my workshop where steam is generated when I heat solutions which also helps the soda ash to form.

Soda ash is completely safe but does diminish the soaps look. There are some solutions I can try

- I can wrap the soap in wax paper to keep it out of contact with the air after it’s cut

- I can steam the soap to remove the soda ash although there will be white patches left on the soap

- I could add beeswax to the soap recipe – this creates a film on the soap preventing air from reaching the sodium molecules.

I prefer the first option so my next steps are to make more soap, store it in drier place in my workshop so its not exposed to steam, and wrap it in wax paper to keep the air out. It means that I’ll be waiting for another month until its ready for sale but it is a problem that has to be solved before the soaps go on sale.

Silver Hair Shampoo Bar

I gave a bar to mum to try and she is happy with the effect on colour but says her hair still feels dry. So, a small change to the formulation to add some nourishing oils and then I will be making more to give out for further testing. Getting the amount of colour right was the biggest challenge and so I think this product is nearly ready.

Face Oil

I have planned to add a collagen building ingredient to my face oil for a while and I have just started a trial using sea spaghetti extract, which is harvested in the North Sea and made by a Scottish company, with the face oil formulation - the suppliers trials indicate a 20% increase in collagen after 28 days so I am trying it out to see if there is any difference. I have no idea at this stage how it will go but I will need to see a definite difference before I include this ingredient in my current Face Oil formulation.

My next Blog will be another ingredient Review –I'll be looking around Boots for the next product tomorrow for posting soon.

3 pale brown goats milk soap bars with spots of soda ash


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