How to Make Goat Milk Soap in 7 Easy Steps

An Easy Cold Process Goat Milk Soap Recipe

Learning how to make goat milk soap doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow our step-by-step goat milk soap recipe and see for yourself. I will demonstrate one method for achieving pure, white goat milk soap, by using a water discount and adding the milk at trace.  

Equipment Needed:  Large mixing bowl of #1 or #2 plastic, glass, or stainless steel — NO ALUMINUM. (It will react with the lye!); two smaller containers made of #1 or #2 plastic, for measuring water and lye; a spatula, spoon or whisk for stirring oils, and another for stirring the lye mixture; a mold for the finished soap. Optional: small glass or stainless steel container for measuring essential or fragrance oils.

Ingredients:  Palm oil, 4.6 oz; coconut oil, 8 oz; olive oil, 12.8 oz; castor oil, 4.6 oz; sodium hydroxide, 4.15 oz; distilled water, 6 oz.; goat milk, 6 oz.  Optional: 1.5 – 2 oz. fragrance or essential oils.

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Step One: Assemble All Supplies and Ingredients

When learning how to make milk soap, it is important to gather all of your materials and soap ingredients together before you begin. Make sure you have a clean, cleared counter or tabletop workspace and set all of your supplies out for easy access. Ensure that you will be uninterrupted by family, friends, children, pets or the phone for a little while. Put on your personal safety equipment – chemical splash goggles and gloves – and consider wearing long sleeves to protect your arms and an apron to protect your clothing. Once you have all of your materials and ingredients together, and you are properly outfitted in protective gear, it’s time to activate the lye.

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In the process of researching this story, we tried several different methods of adding goat milk to soap. In this picture, frozen goat milk has been mixed with lye. The heat of the chemical reaction has caramelized the sugars in the milk, resulting in a deep orange, toffee color.

Step Two: Mix the Lye

Place a #1 or #2 plastic container on the scale and turn on. The scale should register zero. Add 6 ounces of distilled water  to the container.

In another container, weigh out 4.15 ounces of sodium hydroxide. Pour the lye into the container with the water and begin stirring immediately and constantly. Make sure to stand at arm’s length away from the container as you mix, in order to avoid caustic fumes. An open window, fan or stove exhaust is recommended for the process of mixing lye. Continue stirring until the lye has completely dissolved.

In this recipe, we are using a water discount in order to allow room in the recipe for milk without adding to the cure time. Instead of using the full 12 ounces of water that a lye calculator would recommend for this recipe, we are mixing the lye with only 6 ounces of water, leaving room for 6 fluid ounces of milk to be added later in the process.

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Palm and coconut oils are measured into the soap pot.

Step Three: Weigh the Base Oils

In this case, our goat milk soap recipe calls for palm, coconut, olive and castor oils. Measure each oil individually before adding to the large mixing bowl. First, weigh out the palm and coconut oils. Since these oils are solid at room temperature, they will need to be heated in order to melt and fully mix into the soap batter. Use a microwave or stovetop to gently melt the oils just until liquid. Now you may add the olive and castor oils, which will help to cool down the heated oils to a more moderate temperature.

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Another method we tried was to add the goat milk to the base oils before adding the lye. This method was successful, but had no obvious benefits above adding the goat milk at trace. Being a water-based liquid, the milk does not mix with the oils until the lye, an emulsifier, is added.

Step Four: Combine Oils With Lye

Pour the lye mixture into the mixing bowl with the base oils, and stir gently for a minute or two. Use your immersion blender to mix the soap in short bursts, alternating with stirring, until light trace is reached. Light trace means the soap batter has just begun to thicken slightly, and has emulsified and lightened in color.

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Pictured: light trace. The soap batter is emulsified and lightened in color, but still very liquid.

Step Five: (Optional) Adding Fragrance or Essential Oils

At light trace, add your scent, whether using fragrance or essential oils. Mix thoroughly. The fragrance may cause the soap batter to thicken. That’s perfectly fine – once it reaches medium trace, pour into your mold. Medium trace means that when you pour some of the batter off of the spoon into the bowl, it will leave a raised trace of the batter. If needed, a few more short bursts with the stick blender should thicken up the soap batter within a few minutes.

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Pictured: medium trace. The soap better is emulsified, lightened and thickened, and when the soap batter is poured from a spoon into the pot it leaves a “trace” before sinking back into the mixture.

Step Six: Adding Goat Milk

Once the soap is well mixed and has reached medium trace, add the goat milk and stir thoroughly to incorporate. This will loosen up the soap batter slightly and make pouring easier.

Step Seven: Pour Into Mold

Pour evenly into the mold of your choice, then gently tap the mold on the countertop to release any air pockets.

That’s it – you’ve made goat milk soap! Allow to rest in the mold for 24-48 hours or longer before unmolding. Your soap is safe to use as soon as 1 week after making, but for best results, allow at least 4-6 weeks of curing time before using.

Now that you have learned how to make goat milk soap, will you try it for yourself? Will you use this goat milk soap recipe, or another? Let us know your results!

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Finished goat milk soap made by following this recipe.

Pictures – All photos by Melanie Teegarden

 

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