Soap making is an easy and fun craft hobby. But soap making can be a great part-time business. Many folks pull in an extra thousand or two a month with a part-time venture.
What’s The Appeal of Handcrafted Soap?
Commercial soaps are usually drying and many are actually synthetic detergents. Your kitchen-crafted soap can work better. It has a special, moisturizing luxury feel.
Plus you have the option of customizing it with different ingredients… especially scents in literally infinite variety. This can be a goat milk soap recipe or any other kind of milk as well.
This gives you one of our proven recipes and the basic instructions to put it all together.
Our specialty is milk soap. We made over 30,000 bars of soap like this in our kitchen sink over a four-year period. We sold all that soap at craft shows and festivals and through our own catalog. Though you can make soap using water instead of milk, you will like the milk soap better… guaranteed!!!
Lightly Lavender Goat Milk Soap Recipe
- 11.3 ounces (320 grams) Coconut Oil
- 11.7 ounces (330 grams) Palm Oil
- 15.5 ounces (440 grams) Olive Oil
- 3.9 ounces (110 grams) Almond Oil
- 6.1 ounces (175 grams) Sodium Hydroxide
- 15.5 ounces (440 grams) Whole Milk
- 2 1/3 Tablespoons Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Almond Oil
Now for some “inside information”. To make any soap, you mix fats and an alkali or lye. All soap is made that way. The cured product is harmless. You can brush your teeth with it. You can even eat it. It won’t hurt you!
But the lye and the uncured soap mixture are very caustic. It will burn your skin. It will blind you if it gets in your eyes! You absolutely must wear goggles when you make soap and it’s best to wear rubber gloves and long sleeves too.
Equipment You Will Need
- 2 Stainless Steel Pans
- 1 Plastic Pan
- Rubber Spatula
- Thermometer (90-200 degree F Range)
- Scale For Weighing Material
- Molds For Soap (Plastic Tub)
- Hand Held Stick Blender (Optional)
Soap Making Step-by-Step
1. Weigh oils and combine in stainless steel pan.
2. Heat slowly until everything melts. Cool to about 110 degrees. Do not include the scent oil or the small amount of almond oil.
3. Weigh lye in a plastic container. Remember the gloves and goggles.
4. Weigh milk and pour into a separate stainless steel pan.
5. Put 2-3 inches of water in your sink and add ice cubes. Put your pan with milk into ice water.
6. Slowly pour the lye into the milk. Take twenty minutes to do this, stirring all the while. Monitor the milk temperature and keep it below 150 degrees so it does not burn. When all the lye is added, let the mixture cool until it is 110 degrees.
7. Add the lye/milk mixture to the oils, stirring while you do so; now stir the soap mixture until it begins to gel. It’s time to stop stirring when a thin stream of soap drizzled on top of the soap mixture lays on top. This is called tracing. If stirring by hand this may take 45 minutes. To speed things up the trick is to use your hand blender to stir the soap for 30 seconds, let it rest for a minute and repeat until it traces.
8. Add scent oils and the extra almond oil.
9. Pour into prepared molds. Let sit for 24 hours. Remove from molds. Cut into bars and set aside to cure for 4 weeks.
These are basic instructions. Lots of soap making books are out there, but many make it so complicated, it’s tough to get going. Even if you consult some of those soap books, return to these instructions for the basics. Try this recipe. You will love the results.
Al Bullington has made and sold soap for years through his family business.
Photo. Tabitha Mort