Goat Soap Analysis
As the final step in her quest to make the perfect goat milk soap, Ellie sent a bar of her farmstead soap for analysis, concentrating on the amount of lye (if her formulation was correct the amount of lye in the finished product should be zero), the pH, and the fatty-acid profile.
Third-Party Analysis – Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories, Inc.
The 3.7-ounce bar of goat milk soap was prepared for analysis by creating a solution (merely using pH paper on a bar of soap renders incorrect pH readings). The fatty acids are reported as a percentage by weight contained in the soap.
- Sodium hydroxide (lye) = Zero
- pH= 10 (range 9 – 10.5)
Ellie uses a cold process soap making method that results in naturally alkaline soap. This alkalinity gives the soap its ability to remove dirt. The higher the pH the harsher the soap. Lye has a pH of 14. Remember old fashioned lye soap? Great for scrubbing almost anything except your face, hands or hair. Ellie’s goal was to balance cleansing and conditioning while achieving a lower pH.
Fatty Acid Profile and Properties (highest to lowest percent)
- Oleic- 42.4% – Conditioning
- Lauric – 14.9% – Cleansing, long shelf life, hardness
- Palmitic-12.9% – Cleansing, stable lather, hardness
- Linoleic-8.7% – Conditioning
- Myristic-5.9% – Cleansing, fluffy lather, hardness
- Stearic- 5.2% – Helps bar of soap retain its shape, hardness, long lasting
- Ricinoleic–5% – Conditioning, stable lather
- Caproic-0.056%, Caprylic-1.9%, Capric-2% – Conditioning
- Linolenic-0.5% – Omega 3 fatty acid, conditioning
“Ellie’s goat milk soap makes bathing a treat even in the cold, dry winter months. Her soap leaves your skin soft and hydrated, and you can tell there are no harsh chemicals to dry your skin. I am out working in the garden or the cold frame all the time and come in with ground-in dirt on my hands. I wash with this soap and somehow my hands are clean and don’t feel dry. I used to have to slather on the lotion after each wash with store bought soap, but not when I use Contrary’s Whey Goat Milk Soap. Ellie and her goats must be putting lots of love and hard work into their soap. Thanks for such a wonderful product!”
—Kristen Rush, Meriden, Conn.