Soap is a necessity without a doubt, but I hate that it is full of chemicals and often heavy perfumes that trigger my allergies. Organic soap is often hard to find or expensive. Many store bought soaps I have tried caused skin rashes or other issues with my sensitive skin, so I decided to make my own bar soap recipe.
It is not hard to do, but I recommend making sure you have a quiet place to work away from distractions. Lye can be dangerous so it is best to keep kids and pets away from it. Caution should be used when you are mixing the ingredients, but there is nothing to be afraid of as long as you use common sense and follow the instructions exactly.
There are a few basic supplies you need before you begin to make homemade soap. Below there are links to products I recommend from companies I have a referral relationship with as well as several goat milk soap recipes. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
There are many recipes for making homemade soap, personally I prefer to make goat milk soap because I raise dairy goats and have the excess milk available. Goat milk soap is also the most famous type of bath soap because of its soothing effect to the skin.
In making your own soap, you can use other liquids for your lye solution. The most popular alternative to water is goat’s milk but it is not the only option. Goat’s milk makes a rich and creamy soap that moisturizes the skin which is why I love it so much. Other soap makers use coconut milk for the milk soap because it produces a rich lather. Some soap makers use cow’s milk or buttermilk. All of these alternatives are good for keeping the skin moisturized and it really just comes down to personal preference as well as what liquid is easily accessable.
Here is my go-to goat milk soap recipe:Print
- Before beginning slightly freeze your goat milk. You want small chunks of ice in it, but you do not want it completely frozen.
- Pour the lye, in powder form, into the milk.
- Be careful here as the lye will quickly heat the milk up. Stir as you do this. You do not want the milk to get too hot and curdle.
- Once the milk and lye are well mixed, add the honey.
- The ideal temperature for the lye mixture will be around 85 degrees F, but be warned the mixture will need to cool down some to reach this temperature.
- Once the milk, honey and lye have been mixed together, set the pan aside, with a lid on it, if possible, so the mixture does not cool too fast. Stir occasionally.
- Put the lard into another container and heat it up until it reaches 90 degrees F then remove it from the heat.
- When the contents are both pans are the right temperatures, 85 degrees F for the lye mixture and 90 degrees F for the lard mixture, slowly pour the lard into the lye mixture. Stir constantly and be careful not to splash this mixture. You do not want to get any of this on your skin.
- When the lye mixture and the lard are well mixed, add the glycerin and borax. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens. When the mixture becomes the consistency of pudding, drizzle some of the soap on top of the mass of soap. If you can see the drizzle briefly before it sinks back into the mass of soap, the soap has begun to “trace” and is ready to pour into a pan to cool. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.
- Pour the soap into a pan and allow to cool overnight. You can add essential oils, herbs or other ingredients at this point or simply allow the plain soap to cure. This is the last step to make homemade soap unless you want to make hand milled soap.
- If you allow the soap to cure without additives, when it is dry, which can take 6 weeks or longer, you can grate the soap, add nine ounces of water to twelve ounces of soap flakes, re-melt and add the additives. This is then known as hand milled soap.
Note: Be sure to choose lye for soap making as some lye that is used as drain cleaner contains tiny bits of metal flakes.
Safety first: Always wear gloves, goggles, a hair net and use rubber gloves.
Tip: I recommend weighing all of the ingredients before you begin. This makes the process easier.
Tip: Line the soap mold with plastic cling wrap or plastic coated freezer paper. Personally I prefer using the cling wrap. Be sure to overlap the edges of the mold by 2 inches on all sides.
Benefits Of Goat Milk Soap
It may seem strange making soap using goat milk but goat milk soap is gentle therefore, great for those with sensitive skin, adults and babies alike. The benefits of goat milk soap come from the fact that it does not contain harsh or artificial ingredients like detergent, hardener and perfume that can dry and irritate the skin.
Goat milk soap is also an excellent moisturizer because it has natural lipids, which lock in moisture and help keep the ideal pH level of your skin. Goat milk soap is the perfect soap to treat skin problems like acne or eczema.
One drawback of making goat milk soap is that it is more difficult than making regular soap because goats milk has a different reaction to the rest of the ingredients such as the vegetable oils and sodium hydroxide commonly called lye or caustic soda.
There are many methods for making homemade soap. Here are a few additional ideas for you to try and soap making tips.
You should be extra careful when making your own milk soap because different liquids can aggressively react with lye. In addition, a foul odor is sometimes produced as lye burns up the milk sugars. However, the foul odor does not stay in the final milk soap product.
You can follow the steps below to lessen the burning of milk sugars and chemical reaction:
- Always wear protective gears like goggles, apron, long sleeve shirt and gloves.
- Place a large bowl in your sink that is filled with ice or frozen milk. I personally do not freeze my water or milk when making soap, but many people do.
- Put your purchased lye in the bowl and slowly pour in 1/3 of your milk that is in liquid form and then the other 2/3 in frozen, icy form.
- Using a wooden spoon with a very long handle, continuously stir the milk soap base but be cautious with the reaction that will occur.
- During the chemical reaction of the lye and milk, the soap base may produce a lot of bubbles causing the mixture to tip over the bowl.
- Wait for the reaction to stop.
- After the reaction is done, again continuously stir the milk soap base until the milk and lye reaches trace.
- Wait for it to cool down then you can add the essential oils and fragrances.
- Pour the soap base in the molds and then let it set under room temperature.
- Let it cure for three to five days and then you can remove them from the molds. I normally remove the soap within 24 to 48 hours, but sometimes it is not dry enough to remove – or I simply get busy – so I let it cure in the mold longer.
- For best results let the soap dry out completely for another week. The soap’s color darkens after it is completely dried.
The above procedure is the same if you intend to use plain water instead of milk.
It is best to make your milk soap when there are no children or pets around to avoid risks of accidents.
If you have sensitive skin or dry skin, try making some of this soap at home for a great natural skin remedy. Goat milk soap is available commercially but it is a bit more expensive than regular soap. Now that you know how to make goat milk soap at home, you can stock up on it. Bars of homemade goat milk soap make great DIY gifts for family and friends.
I highly recommend the following articles:
- Basic Goat Milk Soap Recipe
- Goat Milk Laundry Soap Recipe
- Goat Milk Soap Recipes Round-Up
- Freezing Goat Milk
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