Goat Milk Soap – Part 1

This is not going to be a goat milk tutorial. There are so many good tutorials on the web and I’m not a proficient or knowledgeable enough soap maker to think I could cover the subject well. But here are some pictures and brief descriptions of the process I underwent yesterday in my first attempt at making goat milk soap. I used the hot-process method of making soap in a crockpot.

This soap’s process is different in the beginning only. Where you’d normally mix your lye into distilled water, you must instead dissolve it into milk. But the milk will suffer badly during this combining if you don’t keep it cool enough. So I froze the goat milk until it was slushy and then put it in an ice water bath (first picture) while adding the lye. I added the lye over the course of 20 minutes, very slowly. If you go too fast, it will get too hot and the ice can’t help. You can see that the slush is gone in the liquid, evidence of it being heated up (second picture). Also, note the changed color.

Then I combined the lye/milk mixture with all the oils in the crockpot and stick blended them together for a good 6 to 7 minutes, until it took on the pudding consistency – drips remain on the surface instead of falling back in (third picture). This is called “trace” and it signifies that the stirring has forced the chemical reaction far enough along that it won’t revert backward – in other words, on toward soap and away from being lye and oil separately.

The “cooking” process takes about an hour on low in the crockpot. First the mixture will turn translucent or somewhat see-through (fourth picture), then when it is done there will be a pool of glycerin on top of it all (fifth picture). Glycerin is the natural by-product of the soap-making chemical reaction called saponification. Seeing that on top is a good sign.

But, at this point, I stirred the glycerin back into the soap and it was so liquidy, instead of gelled. So I got worried, but what could I do? I just let it cook 15 minutes longer. Then when I checked it, it was gelled. Praise the Lord!

I put a bit of it on my tongue, to test whether it “buzzed” me or not, but it only tasted soapy. That was a sign that the chemical reaction was complete and all the lye was turned into soap. I was really happy! Normally, my first attempts at something don’t work, but I think I’m having a bit more success lately – my cheeses are all working and this soap worked. I can only thank God for paving the way and making things go well! He is so good.

Finally, I scooped the hot soap mixture into the molds (sixth picture). They are plastic drawer trays lined with freezer paper and then sprayed with olive oil. I have tried other molds, but I always end up using these. I can get the soap block out easily and cut it up easily and I end up with nice looking rustic bars (here’s a picture, though it isn’t that close up).

The soap hardened in the mold overnight and I haven’t cut it up yet. I’ll take pictures of the finished bars then and show you.

Oh, the smell! I can’t quite place it. It is different. It is a little like some food. A pleasant food, but I can’t figure out what. It isn’t offensive. In fact, it might be inviting. But it is different than any other soap I’ve done. I’m excited to lather up with it and see what I think!

Comments

  1. Martha Bisharat says:

    Wow thanks for the step-by-step and intriguing demo. I used to buy goat milk soap from a family East of the Mountains who brought their supplies to the craft fair. I miss it too! May I buy a few bars from you? (No rush tho!) Love, Mom

  2. A good friend of mine makes goat’s milk soap. One afternoon I went over there when she was making it and she showed me how. I never did get around to making any, now I’ve forgotten how. :lol: I can buy bars from her. ;) Glad to hear your first attempt went so well. Do you think you might try scenting some?
    .-= Marg´s last blog ..Greek Roasted Chicken & Potatoes =-.

  3. Wardee, I am so happy for you that it turned out nicely! I really like making goat’s milk soap, its my favorite kind to make and I often made it using olive oil and pure vegetable oil instead of lard. I used to store all the milk destined for soap making in the freezer. I used old milk cartons and freezer tape. Then when I was ready to make soap, I would pull out a carton and allow it to defrost just a bit.
    My source of goat milk is gone now and its just not economical to buy canned milk to make big batches of soap, so I am sticking with cow milk, but I am enjoying your soap making adventure so much.

    Sylvia
    .-= Christianhomekeeper´s last blog ..Hemming A Formal Gown =-.

    • Marg – How fun that you got to see the soap being made! I think I remember that but I don’t remember it being goat milk soap. I won’t be scenting the soap – none of us really like scents and at least one person would break out, possibly two. Good soap smells good to me just the way it is!

      Sylvia – Thank you! I will keep in mind your idea to keep the designated milk for soap ready to go in the freezer. Great idea!

  4. Oh no, am I starting to tell the same stories over again? Did I tell you it was goat’s milk soap she made? ;) :lol: …Now there’s a sign of age if I ever saw one. If I can’t laugh about it, I’m in big trouble. :D

    • Marg – I don’t remember whether you said it was goat milk soap or not, I just remember you talking about making soap with a friend. I think you mentioned it on the CHK forums :) I’m glad you reminded me of your experience!

  5. Martha Bisharat says:

    Bringing the soap with you will be fine! I can definitely be a little patient for those fine pleasures from my daughter. I am still enjoying my “kitchen soap” from you–by the kitchen sink. You can too (enjoy it), when you come! Love, Mom

  6. Ha…. you are having a good streak! I remember our castile soap adventure ~ what fun that was :-D We are enjoying using it now . . .

    Don’t have much use for bar soap at this time in life, I still have a box of organic oatmeal bars I bought when I got my lg bucket of castile soap. Well the castile I bought is long gone now, and so I’m grateful for making more with you. Soap I can squirt that makes me happy!

    Your soap displays look so nice, I can’t wait to see this batch cut up.

    I’m glad to read the kidos will be back home again soon. Those tank tops turned out great, didn’t they?

    Love,

    Jami

    • Jami – yes, isn’t it great? Not many mess-ups lately. :)

      I don’t see why we couldn’t make goat milk liquid soap – let’s try it next time! When are you ready for more liquid soap? I’ll be ready anytime. I’ve got a bit left from last time.

      We use bar soaps in the shower, and liquid soaps at the sink. It is a good balance! And most of the bar soaps I have for sale, at the Umpqua Store and now I’m going to put them on consignment at Localvore in Sutherlin.

      I just finished cutting up these bars and took many pictures, so I’ll share them soon!

      Love ya!

  7. Hi Wardee, I was wondering, what were the oils used in the Goat milk soap and the ounces used . I have been making cold pressed soaps for a month or two now and really love the idea of being able to use the hot process soap right away. Also could you substitute coconut milk for goats milk ? Thanks for all you help.

  8. Love your site. I was looking up your crockpot was of making soap. Just for your own FYI. I used Powdered Goats Milk. then i didnt have to worry about the heating up of the milk and causing any problems. Can’t wait to see more great Postes.

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  1. […] Milk Soap ~ It was bound to happen eventually – I made goat milk soap (that links to my personal blog, Such Treasures, with more detail). It was fun and surprisingly, my […]

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