This article is going to walk you through an overly detailed step by step guide on how to make goat milk soap. I found many useful recipes online but each one lacked a simple step which caused my soap to fail. Instead of giving up, I kept trying, wasting ingredients, until I finally figured it out. I'm going to include every single step (with photos) in this simple process for all the beginners that have yet attempted to make soap, or attempted and failed. This recipe is for unscented soap (with the option to add essential oils) There are fancier recipes but also more complicated so start here, master the basics and then we can move on.
Goat milk soap is made through the process of saponification, which is what happens when you combine fats and lye (sodium hydroxide) and the end result it a hard soap. The fats increase the lather and the oils nourish and moisturize. You are left with a gentle cleanser that exfoliates the skin without drying it out. Adding in the nutrients from goat milk bring extra benefits to your shower. The vitamin A will help repair skin damage. The alpha hydroxy will exfoliate your skin. Minerals such as selenium found in goats milk can help prevent sun damage. Using milk instead of water will help moisturize and not dry out your hands, especially during the winter months when the weather is dryer.
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Let's start off by gathering all of our ingredients and supplies
I have included links of what I used.
20 ounces of coconut oil
20 ounces of olive oil
13 ounces of lard/shortening
18 ounces of frozen goats milk (we use our own raw goats milk from our Nigerian Dwarfs)
9 ounces of lye/sodium hydroxide
(optional 1 ounce of essential oil)
bowls or measuring containers
3 glass or stainless steel bowls
a pot for double boiler
Start off by making sure your kitchen surface is clean, hands are washed, and you have all the ingredients you need. Put on your rubber gloves. The lye WILL burn you. It only took one time for me to learn that lesson. Send the kids and pets out of the kitchen.
Measure all of your ingredients
Take your frozen goat milk out of the freezer and chop up into workable pieces. I find it easy to freeze my milk in ice cube trays and filling zip lock freezer bags with 18 ounces ahead of time. Put the cubes into a small or medium stainless steel bowl.
Fill a large stainless steel bowl about 1/4 way full with ice and water.
Put the smaller bowl filled with the frozen goats milk into the larger bowl filled with the ice and water.
Begin to slowly add the lye. A little bit at a time and then use a fork or potato masher to start mixing. After you see the milk begin to melt a little, you can add more. Don't add all the lye at once or you run the risk of burning your milk. This is also the very dangerous part. Lye will burn. Be careful. Wear gloves, long sleeves and even eye protection.
The finished product will look like this:
Leave it in the ice water bowl and move on to the next step.
You are going to melt your oils and fats now. Using a double boiler, fill up the bottom pot about 1/4 to 1/2 full and turn the heat on medium. Place your glass bowl on top.
Add coconut oil to the top bowl to melt.
Add the fat to the bowl to melt.
Mix these two together until they are completely melted. This photo shows that the coconut oil melted first and the fat needed a little longer. Continue to stir.
Once the coconut oil and fat have melted completely, add the olive oil and mix thoroughly.
Allow the oils to cool to around 100 degrees by continuing to stir. This only takes a few minutes.
Add the milk to the oils/fat.
Hand mix for the first 5 minutes.
Using your immersion blender, mix until you get a pudding like consistency. This process takes less than 5 minutes.
At this step, you would mix in your essential oil if you were using any.
Pour your soap into your molds.
Use the rubber spatula to scrape every last bit out of the bowl and into the molds.
If you'd like to dress up your soap, you can add lavender on top.
I spray alcohol on top to prevent the whitening that can occur as it hardens.
Allow to sit for 24 hours to set/harden.
Remove the soap from the molds and cut.
Put on racks to cure for 4-6 weeks. If you get antsy and want to try it too early, you'll feel the sting from the lye not completely cured. It needs the full time to go through the saponification process. Some people touch the soap with their tongue to see if it's ready. I have bad memories of soap in my mouth as a kid so I just wait until I know it's ready.
WATCH THIS VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE PROCESS.