It takes how long?!
Many times people ask why their favorite soap is sold out and are a bit stunned when I tell them how long it takes to go from start to bathroom. So what does happen with handmade milk soap....let's talk about it!
Brown Cow Soaps are handcrafted in small batches right on the farm using the old-fashioned cold process method, which means that the soap batter is not heated by any external means. I have my own little micro herd of Jersey cows who provide all the milk and cream for my soaps.
Real milk soap is the result of a natural chemical process called saponification, in which an acid (the oils) and a base (sodium hydroxide--which is lye) are dissolved in a liquid (fresh milk or cream), and are brought together to form a salt (soap).
The words "saponified oils" actually means that the oils are mixed with a lye liquid solution. This produces a naturally occurring glycerin that helps moisturize your skin, and is a by-product of the saponification process.
So is there lye in my soap? NO!
Real soap cannot be made without lye (sodium hydroxide), but when the lye is mixed with the oils and fresh milk during the initial soap making stage, saponification begins. At the end of saponification, all of the lye has reacted with the oils to make soap.
There is NO lye left in any bars of Brown Cow Soap!
So how do you make soap? I start with fresh milk and cream that the my Jersey cows make twice daily. Then I need fresh, plant oils and butters that are gently warmed. The warmed oils are slowly mixed with the lye and milk solution. Some soap companies use water, or imitation milk...never here...our soap contains fresh from the cow all natural raw milk. The mixture will begin to thicken. Then, depending on the soap, I will add pure essential oils, fragrances that are only listed as phthalate free, natural clays, charcoal, all natural colored micas and other beneficial ingredients, or perhaps nothing at all. The liquid soap is poured into molds and allowed to set for 2 to 3 days. Finally, the soap is cut into bars and allowed to naturally air cure for 6-8 weeks. Each batch is carefully tested before release to make sure that the saponification process is complete.
I have soaps that have no scent or color added—I never add any FDA or Lab colors to any of the soap.
Why Does Your Handmade Milk Soap Need To Cure?
Once the oils and the base have been mixed, I do not add additional heat to hurry the chemical reaction along; in fact additional heat would ruin the benefits of the raw milk and cream I put in every single batch of soap.
The freshly cut bars are soft! During the 6 to 8 week curing time, any excess moisture in the bars evaporates which creates a wonderfully hard long lasting bar.
While some soapmakers use a 4 week cure, I think my longer, slower cure time creates a milder, harder, longer lasting bar, with a very rich lather.
Brown Cow Soaps contain no...
parabens, paraffins, sulfates,
sodium laurel sulfate, FDA colors, Lard,
Triclosan, Phthalates or Powdered Milk!