Monday, January 30, 2012

Goats milk soap

I have made two batches of goats mik and olive oil soap this week.  I have made this for my Mum. She, and I, have dry sensitive skin and this soap is gentle and moisturising. I hope it works for her skin.

One of the greatest advantages of making your own soap, like cooking, is knowing exactly what is in it. I read the ingredients on soap and wonder what on earth most of them are. To make soap you need two ingredients only: fat (animal or vegetable) and lye, other wise known as caustic soda (or draino).  People are often shocked to hear lye is in soap but its a fundamental ingredient. The fat and lye react and make soap. After being mixed and let cure for 4-6 weeks the combination is no longer toxic but pure soap.

 This recipe uses vegetable shortening, olive oil, sunflower oil, goats milk and lye. So simple, so pure. Ok I would never use pure olive oil for cooking, only ever extra virgin olive oil in this house but according to the recipe book some of the stuff in the poorer quality oils actually aids the soap making.
 The goats milk and lye reacts to a shocking orange colour. This mix is highly caustic so be careful!
 Add the lye solution to the melted vegetable oils (I only make vegetarian soaps) and mix to trace which is when it starts to solidify and look like custard. Sadly not good eating!

Poor into molds quickly. It can get hard to work with more quickly than you would believe. This recipe goes to trace faster than any other basic recipe I've tried. Sometimes you can stir for hours but not with this one.

I always leave my soap to cure for 6 weeks, with sensitive skin I don't take a risk on 4 weeks being enough. I can wait a little longer. Soap hardens within a day or two so really the way you know it isn't ready is that it tingles and burns when you use it. Better to wait I say and enjoy your lovely soap at its best.  I record the date I make it. I always think I'll remember, but I never do!

My favourite soap book is listed under my Books I'm reading page. I have taught soap making and its great fun.


  1. Great admiration from me! too nervous of the lye to make soap myself so good on you.

  2. Thanks librarygirl. lye is a bt scary but can be conquered. Suggestions include: gloves, goggles. You definately don't want to leave ANY granules around if you have kids or animals around. But the big secret is vinegar. I wash up my equipment (I keep separate stuff just for soap) with hot water and soap and then rinse everything down with vinegar. Any splashes on skin can be quickly be fixed with vinegar too.
    If you want to give it ago I am happy to talk you through the process. It is lovely to use your own soap. cheers

  3. I had no idea making soap could be so dangerous! Now I appreciate handmade soaps even more.
    Thank you for playing along this week with Make : Grow : Thrift

  4. Thanks for the opportunity to play! Please don't be put off, making soap is easy, rewarding and fun. Its just one of those things you need to be a bit sensible with. :)

  5. This is something i have always wanted to try, do you leave them in the moulds for 4 weeks or haveyou taken them out of the moulds.

  6. Hi Linda, welcome!
    After about 2 days the soap will be completely dry and hard so you take it out of the mold. Then you need to leave it in a dry airy place to cure. It can't be in contact with metal. I have some sitting on newspaper under an old food cover. For molds I mostly use chocolate and bath bomb molds I pick up at craft stores. Soap molds can be bought online. But you can just as easily use an old milk carton and slice it up later.



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