Natural homemade soap recipe: How to make goat’s milk soap at home
You can enjoy the benefits of rich goat’s milk soap without paying the high price. Whether you want to try a quick and easy recipe or commit to making it completely from scratch, you can create luxurious soap in your own kitchen.
In an era when the benefits of natural ingredients are once again being discovered, beauty bars and bath soaps that contain “farm fresh” ingredients are becoming very profitable products. In the category of moisturizing bars, few blends are more sought after than goat’s milk soaps, which are praised for their incredible skin conditioning properties. Fine cosmetic counters and lush spas offer these soaps for exorbitant prices that women gladly pay — but you do not have to. Believe it or not, you can make an identical product in your own home for pocket change.
In deciding which of the following recipes is right for you, first consider how much time and energy you have to devote to soap crafting. For the busy man or woman, making soap completely from scratch may be more trouble than it is worth. However, this does not mean that you have to blow all your money on a commercial bar of soap. Instead, you can try re-batching soap to create exactly the type of bar you desire. The following is a list of ingredients you will need:
- Glycerin soap base
You can purchase this in bar form at any drug store, in a slab from a local craft shop’s soap making section, or from a supplier of crafting supplies in grated form.
- Goat’s milk
You can buy this from some grocery stores, most health food stores, and craft supply shops. It comes in liquid or powder form.
You can purchase soap molds from craft stores or use containers you have around the house. Small loaf pans, milk cartons, plastic candy molds, and muffin trays all make interesting molds.
- Stovetop or microwave
- Pot (for stovetop) or glass Pyrex measuring cup (for microwave)
- Utensil for stirring (old wooden spoon, dowel rod, etc.)
To begin, finely grate your soap base or cut it into small chips. Place these in a pot or Pyrex cup and heat until the soap is an even liquid. Stir occasionally to aid melting. Once your base is melted, add the goat’s milk. Remember that if you use powder to add water to it to create a thin paste or it will create clumps when added to the soap. About one tablespoon of liquid milk is used per 4-5 oz. of soap. Stir until the soap and milk are evenly blended and pour it into your prepared molds. Make sure to grease your molds with a cooking spray or oil to aid releasing. Allow the soap to cool for a day, remove it from the mold, and enjoy!
Now I will cover a more complicated method: cold process soap making. It involves using various fats and oils in combination with the chemical lye to create the chemical process known as saponification. Combining these ingredients in the proper quantities creates a cleansing, lathering substance commonly known as soap. If you love cooking and want to make you soap completely from scratch, you may enjoy this method. Just remember that lye is a chemical that can burn the skin, so wear protective clothing and keep vinegar on hand to neutralize the lye if it comes in contact with your skin. You will need the following ingredients for a simple batch of soap:
- 1.25 oz. Lye* Plastic molds* Candy thermometer (2)
- 2 oz. Coconut oil* Gloves, apron, goggles* Mask (optional, to avoid lye fumes)* 2 oz. Palm oil * Pyrex measuring glass (large)
- 4 oz. olive oil* Wooden spoon
- 3 oz. water * Non-aluminum pot
- 1 oz. goat’s milk* Stovetop
To begin, measure out the oils (by weight, not volume) and place them in the pot. Heat them to about 140 degrees and remove them from the burner. Next, pour the water into the measuring glass and slowly add the weighed lye. Caution: this mixture will quickly become very hot, so take care when handling and do not breathe in the fumes. Once the mixture is dissolved and clear, add the goat’s milk. Stir until the mixture is smooth, add it to the oils, taking care to avoid splashing. You will have to continuously stir until your mixture traces, which means it has a honey or custard-like texture. This may take 15 to 30 minutes; be patient and keep a close eye on the soap. If it becomes too thick, it will be very difficult to remove it from the pot. If you find that your soap will not thicken, gently reheat it to about 120 degrees and continue to stir. Using a stick blender can also help speed up the process. Once your soap traces, quickly pour it into the molds. Insulate the molds by covering them with a piece of cloth or a board if they are sturdy enough. Let the soap set up for 3-5 days (or until it can be touched without caving in) before removing it from the mold. Place it in a warm, dry room. Allow the soap to cure (completely saponify) for three to four weeks before using. Congratulations! You have just made your first goat’s milk soap.
If you enjoy crafting soap, you can try new recipes. There are numerous sources for making re-batched and cold process soap. Search hobby shops, book stores, and the internet for resources. Be safe; be creative. There are endless ways to enjoy your own creations and save money. It is a rewarding hobby that you will likely find addictive once you start.