My interest in making my own homemade soap started about a year ago when I was at a farmers market in Provo, UT and I ran across a lady who was selling some very beautiful and amazing soaps. I chatted with her for quite some time and decided someday I would be a soap maker! I finally bugged my husband long enough to get him to make me a wooden soap mold. I had shopped around and if you think I am spending $40 on a wooden box you are crazy! So for $8 Jory made me a wooden soap loaf mold.
Before I started I read everything I could read about making soap. What I learned from the internet is that they make it sound really scary….It isn’t that scary as long as you are educated and know what you are doing. Just be smart, use your brain and be careful. I recommend this book Making Soap From Scratch: How to Make Handmade Soap – A Beginners Guide and Beyond to anyone who has not ever made soap, it has all of the basics and everything you need to know about soap making.
The main thing to remember when making goat milk soap is that you can substitute the water in any recipe for goat milk, the only thing you need to remember is that you NEED TO KEEP THE MILK COLD. When you mix the lye and the milk it gets really hot and can scorch the milk so it is important to start with frozen milk and keep the mixture in a bowl of ice water in order to keep it cold and prevent scorching.
If you don’t have access to fresh goat milk you can use powdered goat milk. That is what I did. So you will still use water to mix with the lye and then reserve a little oil to mix with a scoop of powdered goat milk and add it in at trace.
Ok lets get started. To make handmade soap you need a few tools and supplies.
Food Scale (All of the measurements are in WEIGHT…this is extremely important because your measurements need to be exact)
That is everything you need as far as supplies. The recipe I used only requires a few ingredients, but the fun thing about soap making is that you can go as simple or elaborate as you would like. For me, I don’t do anything if it has a huge list of ingredients…not in my cooking and especially not in my soap making!!! When making soap it is important to always use a lye calculator, you can get an app or you can find websites with free lye calculators. All you do is put in the amount of each ingredient you are using and it calculates the amount of lye and water to use. Super easy! Here is the recipe I used-
12 oz Coconut Oil
15 oz Olive Oil
13 oz other oil such as lard, sustainably sourced palm oil , tallow, vegetable shortening, or another comparable oil.
Powdered Goat Milk
13 oz water
6 oz Lye
1 oz essential oils Get 100% pure essential oils here
Additives such as oatmeal, poppy seed, etc. (optional)
First, mix your water and lye. Remember that “snow falls on water” so you slowly add the lye to the water NOT water to lye. I wear rubber gloves and safety goggles in case something happens. Again, use common sense and treat it like bleach…you do not want it on you.
*Disclaimer-I am not responsible for anything that happens to you while making soap and handling lye. It is YOUR responsibility to read the safety instructions on the lye and know the risk you are taking upon yourself.
Once the water and lye are mixed, set them aside. After you have weighed your oils separate a small amount of olive oil to mix your goat milk powder with and set aside.Combine the rest of the oils together in your stainless steel pot and melt over low heat.
Once the oils are melted, remove from the heat and set the pot in the sink. Slowly add your water/lye mixture to the oil mixture. Use your stick blender and get to blending. Be careful not to splash any on you as it could burn you. Blend until the soap comes to trace (gel like phase where you can “draw” in the soap and the design stays).
Once the mixture is at trace add the goat milk powder/olive oil mixture, essential oils and any other additives. I used lemon essential oil and poppy seeds. Blend again until it comes back to trace and pour into your soap mold. I use a wood loaf mold lined with freezer paper. I line it because rumor has it soap is really hard to remove if you don’t line it. Once it is in the mold and smoothed out all nice and pretty I put my loaf in the freezer. Milk soap has a tenancy to get hot and it could mushroom out if it continues to heat in the mold, so it is important to keep it cool! I leave it in the freezer for about an hour and then remove it and keep it in a cool place to finish setting up. Let it stay in the mold for 12 hours then remove it and cut it into whatever size bars you desire.
The hardest part of soap making is waiting for it to cure! You should wait 4-6 weeks for it to completely cure and then your soap is ready for you to use! Yay! Good luck!
It really sounds more complicated than it is so don’t be scared!! Just do your research and go for it!