How to Make Goat’s Milk Soap From Grocery Store Items

How to Make Goat's Milk Soap Using Oils and Canned Goat's Milk from the Grocery Store

This recipe uses common oils and canned goat’s milk from the grocery store to make a wonderfully creamy soap that costs around $1.50 per bar to make! (See below for the full price breakdown.)

Click HERE for a hot process version of milk soap that you can make in your crock pot.

Food grade lye can be purchased HERE from Amazon or flake form can be bought HERE from Bramble Berry. <– (Those are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but if you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. This helps support my site and lets me keep doing what I do. Thank you!) :)

All measurements are by weight. You must use a digital scale to make soap at home. If you’ve not made milk soap before, be sure to read through my tutorial HERE on How to Make Milk Soap From Scratch first.

You may also enjoy my eBook package on Natural Soap Making:

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Goat’s Milk Soap

  • 22 oz (623 g) olive oil
  • 8 oz (226 g) coconut oil
  • 5 oz (141 g) chilled water
  • 5 oz (141 g) canned goat’s milk
  • 4.2 oz (119 g) lye (sodium hydroxide)

 

Frozen Goat Milk Cubes

Step 1

At least a day before you plan on making soap, weigh out 5 ounces of canned goat’s milk, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. Because canned goat’s milk is usually evaporated and double strength, we’ll end up diluting it later with an equal amount of water.

 

Add Lye Slowly to Water and Frozen Milk Cubes

Step 2

When you’re ready to make your soap, place the frozen cubes of canned goat’s milk into a heat proof plastic or stainless steel pitcher. Pour 5 ounces of chilled water on top of the cubes.

Wearing proper safety gear – gloves, goggles and long sleeves, slowly sprinkle a bit of lye in at a time, stirring well after each addition. This will take several minutes. Make sure that the lye is fully dissolved before you proceed.

Milk Will Turn Bright Orange and Smell Weird - thats okay

The mixture may turn orange or yellow and smell weird – like ammonia – but that’s all perfectly normal. Avoid directly breathing in the fumes. I like to work in my kitchen sink, with the window open for fresh air.

At this point, your lye mixture will probably be around 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). It’s okay if it’s a little higher or lower.

 

Line Mold with a cheap unscented trash bag

Step 3

Set the lye mixture aside for a few minutes.

Heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan – first until melted, and then an extra three or four minutes until it’s hot. Pour it into the container you’ll mix your soap in and add the olive oil. The combined oils should be around 100 degrees F (37 degrees C), but it’s okay if it’s higher or lower by ten degrees or so.

Line your mold. For this batch, I used a glass 8.5 inch x 4.5 inch loaf pan (a 9″ x 5″ will work too) lined with a super cheap, unscented trash bag. You can also use parchment or freezer paper. (Wax paper is too flimsy and tends to tear and stick, so don’t use that.)

 

Blend until trace which takes 8 to 10 minutes

Step 4

Now, it’s time to mix everything together!

Carefully (wearing gloves, goggles & long sleeves), pour the lye solution into the soap mixture.

Using a stick (immersion) blender, like THIS ONE, stir the oils and lye together. Since this soap is high in olive oil, it will probably take a while longer to reach trace – perhaps up to ten minutes. Trace is when the soap batter is thick enough to leave a faint impression when you drizzle a bit over the top of itself. (If you hand stir it will take a long, long time – possibly hours to reach trace. I don’t recommend a hand mixer either.)

 

Soap freshly poured into mold

Step 5

Pour the soap batter into the prepared mold. Usually you can put milk soap in the refrigerator overnight, if you’d like it be a lighter color. (See my How to Make Milk Soap From Scratch tutorial HERE for more information.) Since canned milk has already been exposed to high heat during processing though, I just left this batch uncovered at room temperature.

What soap looks like 3 hours later

Above, is what the soap looked like after three hours. You can see that it’s turning darker in the middle, as it goes through gel phase. That’s perfectly normal and okay. (“Gel Phase” is when cold process soap heats up in the mold and develops a darker, jelly like look to it in places.)

If you see a crack developing though, that means it’s overheating, so move it to a cooler place.

 

Unmold and slice into bars

Step 6

Let the soap stay in the mold for 24 hours.

The next day, you’re ready to unmold and slice into bars. Using the 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan, this batch made 7 full bars, plus two ends that we’ll still use – they just aren’t as pretty for gifting.

Let the soap cure in the open air for at least four to six weeks. Since this soap is pretty high in olive oil, it may take longer to firm up. High olive oil soaps have a long shelf life and improve with age.

Ingredients from Grocery Store for Goats Milk Soap
Cost Breakdown:

Using oils and canned goat’s milk from Wal-Mart and lye from Amazon, this batch cost:

  • Olive oil (.21 ¢/oz x 22 oz) = $4.62
  • Coconut oil (.25 ¢/oz x 8 oz) = $2.00
  • Goat’s Milk, 1/2 can = $1.49
  • Lye (.56 ¢/oz x 4.2 oz) = $2.35

Total Ingredients for 1 Batch = $10.46

7 Giftable Bars Cost $1.49 each

 

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You may also like:

Crock Pot Oatmeal Soap | Selling Handmade Products | Honey & Dandelion Soap

Homemade Oatmeal & Honey Soap Hot Process Method   Selling Handmade Products FAQS Series   Dandelion and Raw Honey Soap Recipe

Some links in this post and on this blog are affiliate links. That means if you click on one and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. This helps to provide my family with a small income and lets me keep doing what I do – thank you! :)

 

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61 Responses to How to Make Goat’s Milk Soap From Grocery Store Items

  1. Jen says:

    Hello there…
    I make my own soap at home and I love goats milk soap. Will have to give this recipe a try. I’m wondering why some recipes say to cover and insulate the soap overnight and others to leave it uncovered or even refrigerate? How do I know when to do what? Does that make sense? :)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jen, That’s a great question and one that confused me for a long time too! Whether you cover or insulate your soap or not depends on a few things. One, is if you want it to go through gel phase or not. Gel phase is when the soap heats up extra hot in the mold. If you’re using natural colorants, it will usually make them brighter and show up better, so I’m a big fan of gel phase. However, if you’re aiming for a light colored milk soap, then you want to keep temperatures low and you can put the mold in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent gel phase from happening. This picture shows the difference between milk soap (made with fresh milk) that was put in the freezer 24 hours (the white one) and the exact same recipe left out, uncovered (the brown one):
      https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/soap-on-left-went-through-gel-phase-soap-on-right-did-not.jpg

      If you have something with natural sugars in it – such as honey or milk – then the soap will tend to heat up even more than you might like. If you cover/insulate soap with honey or milk in it, it may end up getting too hot and best case, getting a crack along the top, worst case – having the soap bubble up out of that crack and making a mess.

      With this recipe, using canned milk,, I was a little less worried about the heat than if I were using fresh milk, so didn’t bother refrigerating. Evaporated milk has already been through high heat and turned a brownish shade, so I’m not sure how much lighter it would be if chilled. (It might make a difference still, I just haven’t tried it to know!)

      For most recipes (even a few with just a bit of honey), I cover the mold and leave it at room temp, peeking at it every so often to make sure it’s not overheating, since I like my soap to go through gel phase. Milk is handled differently, but also some soapers might want to prevent gel phase across the board and that’s okay too. There’s lots of room for different methods and personal preference in soap making! :)

      I hope that helped! :)

      • Erin says:

        Hi Jan,
        This isn’t milk soap related but gel phase related. I just made my first batch of soap (a 16×12″ mold). It still has a darker patch in the middle of the soap 3 days later. How long can gel phase last? There is honey in the soap so we’ve left it covered with a towel. Thanks!
        Erin

      • vicky says:

        I typically use ice for all of my soapmaking. I just like the way it works out. I freeze my goatsmilk as I usually get it fresh. It does help to create a lighter bar if you put it in the freezer. I usually do so overnight. I also like to freeze anything that I am going to use when I make my soap. I will freeze the teas or just use plain ice cubes when mixing with my lye. I feel it is less fumy that way.

  2. Carroll says:

    I am interested in trying this…Is there a chemical reaction heating the frozen and chilled ingredients when the lye is added..?!? I am new to your blog and really enjoy your posts! Thanks…

    • Jan says:

      Hi Carroll, I’m happy that you’re enjoying the blog! :) Yes, you’re exactly right – there is a chemical reaction when lye meets liquids and it makes the temperature of the liquid super hot. By freezing the milk and using chilled water, you kind of temper the reaction so that it’s not so hot to scorch the milk. This is usually more of an issue with fresh milk (since canned milk has already been processed with high heat), but you always want to start with room temperature or colder liquid when making soap. I hope you enjoy the recipe – let me know if you run into any more questions!

  3. gemma says:

    could this be done with fresh goats milk rather than tinned, just not diluting.

    Thanks

  4. Wow, what a great resource! I’ve never made soap before but have wanted to try it for a while, pinning for later! :)

  5. Lynne walker says:

    I have been trying to make home made soap and sometimes my soaps don’t want to harden up so I have to batches of oily too. What am I doing wrong?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Lynne! I have a couple thoughts that might help – One, does your lye have any clumps in it? If you shake the container and you hear some clunking around, then your lye has gotten moisture in it at some point and isn’t going to measure correctly. Are you using a digital scale that’s accurate? You can test it by weighing a stick of butter (it should be 4 ounces or 110 grams). What type of recipe are you using? Have you double checked it through a lye calculator to make sure that it has enough lye in it? And another idea (one that caused the same problem for me at first too!) – are you sure that you’re reaching trace before you pour into the mold? Sometimes, false trace happens – it looks like it’s at trace, but if you let the soap batter sit for a minute, you’ll see a bit of an oil sheen start to develop on top and it thins back out.

  6. lotta joy says:

    You know I’m scared to death using lye, but is drain cleaner the wrong “kind” of lye? Or is it all the same. I swear if I do this, I’m doing it outside.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Lotta Joy! I know exactly how you feel. I was terrified of lye at first. I wouldn’t even touch it for my first several batches – I made my husband do that part. (Outside, on our back porch.) Not all drain cleaners are good to use for soap making. You want one that is 100% sodium hydroxide, with nothing else added. I use Roebic Brand from Tractor Supply or you can order off of Amazon or Bramble Berry to make sure you get the right kind.

  7. Deb says:

    It is incorrect that you must use a digital scale to weigh soap ingredients. I have been making soap for 16 yrs. now and have never used one and can’t afford to buy one. I have a scale that has grams on it but not digital. Works fine for me. Great posts. I sue recipes from: The Natural Soap Book-making herbal and vegetable-based soaps by Susan Miller Cavitch . Very good book, what I use for most all my soap recipes, although I do print off ones I find interesting. I also use the same scales for lotion bars and no problems. So for those who can’t afford a digital scales, it can be done without.

  8. Heather says:

    Is there a way to make homemade soap without using lye?

  9. Christie says:

    This may be a silly question but what does the soap smell like? Does it smell like goats milk or is there no fragrance?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Christie! It’s unscented, but it has that fresh clean smell that soap has. The only times my soaps have a faint trace of milk smell left is if I use fresh milk and pop the mold in the freezer after pouring. Then that smell hangs around a few days longer, but it eventually goes away as the soap cures. Sometimes too, fresh soap batter and freshly made soap might have a faint ammonia scent due to the lye’s reaction with milk. That’s okay too and will fade away.

  10. Nancy says:

    Can this recipe be made in the crockpot? I like this method as I don’t have the long wait for my soap to cure and it always turns out perfect, but I was wondering if heating it for an hour will harm the goats milk?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Nancy! It sure can be made in a crockpot. You want to freeze the milk first, as you would for making cold process milk soap. I hope to do a full write-up on that very soon with some step-by-step photos! Until then, I found this site which gives some tips for making goat’s milk soap in a crockpot that I hope will help you too: https://outlawfarmer.wordpress.com/soap-n-things/

    • Zainab says:

      HI
      Can I use milk without freezing it .

      • Hi Zainab! If using fresh milk, it’s better to freeze it or it can scorch and turn your soap browner and possibly smell bad. If you’re using canned milk though, you could get away without freezing it, since the canned milk itself has already gone through high heat and further high heat shouldn’t change it any more than it is.

  11. Nancy says:

    Thank you Jan, can’t wait to make this soap :)

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  13. Katelyn says:

    Hello!! I’m thinking of making this soap, but I’m curious if I’m able to add essential oils to add a scent, or maybe flower petals to make it look pretty! Am I able to do this for this particular recipe??

    • Hi Katelyn! Yes, you can add essential oils for scent in pretty much any soap recipe that you’d like. To get a good idea of how much to use, try the Bramble Berry Fragrance Calculator.
      http://www.brambleberry.com/pages/Fragrance-Calculator.aspx
      I usually put 1 to 2 tablespoons of essential oil in batches this size.
      About the only flower petal that you can mix into soap and have it maintain a true color is calendula petals. (Dried, not fresh – since fresh will blacken and mold.) Most other types will turn brown after a while, when mixed directly into the soap batter. You can sprinkle dried petals on top though and they often do well. Good luck with your soap making!

  14. Wendy Greene says:

    When is the best time that you could add different scent oils to this soap or maybe oatmeal if you wanted to add a small amount?

  15. Catherine says:

    How many ounces are each bar? Thanks! Great recipes.

    • Hi Catherine! I just weighed one that I’ve had for about a year now and it weighs 3.45 ounces. They start off weighing somewhat more, but as they cure over time, water evaporates out and they become lighter. Happy you like the recipe!

  16. Joanne says:

    Hi Jan, I’m new to soap-making and would like try this recipe for my very first CP soap. I would very much like to add ground oatmeal. I’m guessing the oatmeal should be added at light trace. Here’s my question, is it safe too add oatmeal without changing the rest of the recipe? And how much oatmeal do I add? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Joanne! Yes, you sure can add oatmeal. You’re exactly right to add it at light trace. It won’t change the rest of the recipe.
      I would add around 1 tablespoon of ground oatmeal to this recipe. I grind up oats in my coffee grinder so they’re fine and not scratchy in the soap. Grind and then measure out the coarse powder.

  17. Ex-Army Girl says:

    Hi Jan,

    Firstly, thank you for the work you put into these things you so graciously & un-selfishly share with total strangers.

    Secondly, I have a question which I have been unable to find an answer to after tons of searching pretty much everywhere. Why can’t I use a baking extract, such as lemon, for scent in soaps rather than a lemon essential oil? The baking extract, though made with alcohol, stands up to a 350°F oven for 30 minutes or more. Also in the same thought process, can vanilla beans be used in soap making? I would think you could steep them in olive oil but not sure what the end result would be doing that. You could then add the beans into the soap too that the steeped oli was used in, right?

    Thanks in advance & have a Blessed day!!

    • Hi Ex-Army Girl! I had the same thought before too! If you read through soap forums though, you’ll see reports where it just doesn’t work.
      From this link: https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/the-truth-about-vanilla-essential-oil/
      “Vanilla extract should not be used in soap, as adding alcohol to soap can cause unpredictable and negative results. Plus, vanilla extract won’t leave any scent in your soap, making it a waste.”
      I tried vanilla infused olive oil before but even after months of infusing the scent was barely noticeable in the oil… sadly, the final soap had no scent, though vanilla bean itself does give a nice texture to soap in small amounts.
      Lye and the saponification process is really tough on scents – very very very few last through the process. I can only think of chamomile (VERY faintly), honey (also faint) and pine tar off the top of my head that has some scent that makes it through to the final soap.
      A few forum posts you might enjoy reading too:
      http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=22556
      http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=38519

      • Ex-Army Girl says:

        Thank you very much for the quick reply Jan, and the effort you put into making it a well rounded reply. Glad I asked before just doing it. Never would have heard the end of it, like EVER from the DH…LOL. Well, I guess I will be saving up for some essential oils. I have lemon, but will be getting peppermint &vanilla when I can.

  18. Grace says:

    How much fresh goat milk would you use for this recipe?

  19. Jessica says:

    Hi there, I made a 2nd batch of coconut milk soap two days ago. Just out of habit I insulated my mold. I went to cut it today and it is firm but still gel looking in the middle. Will this go away with curing and if not is it still useable? Love your recipes and seeing your ideas. Thanks for any insight

    • Hi Jessica! Sometimes soap will take a couple days to finish up the gel phase stage, especially if your mold is pretty thick (like a loaf style mold). Sometimes, it completes the gel, but sometimes it stays a partial gel.
      Either way, your soap should be completely fine to use!
      You could also have been on the higher range of liquid for the recipe, which means the soap might take a little longer to firm up. (These days, I often aim for using about twice as much water as lye and that seems to work like a charm. I learned that trick from the LovinSoap blog!) :)
      I would give it another few days before trying to cut again; it just might need a little more time.

  20. Laura G says:

    Can you put orange peel or lemon peel or herbs in the soap or will that turn bad because it’s fresh food?

  21. Victoria says:

    Hi victoria here, I am new to soap making. I read a receipe that said to add sodium lactate to make the soap harden. It said that it would mke the soap last longer. Then I rezd thar palm oil doex the same thing. But my understanding is that you can’t add the two together. Please tell me what to do.

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  23. Kristina Dillingham says:

    Hi! Can the chilled water be regular or should it be distilled? (Typo in earlier post.

    • Hi Kristina! It’s usually recommended that you use distilled, since tap water can contain minerals or contaminants that might make your soap do funny things (like be more prone to white soda ash or develop little white spots).
      I’ve used tap before (we have well water) & it turned out okay, but almost always use distilled unless I run completely out mid-soaping session.

  24. Megan says:

    Thank you for all this helpful information. Do you know what the PH of this soap is?

  25. Denese says:

    Hi, I’ve just made my second batch of soap and it is reading at 4-5 ph. Can I use it, what does it Mean? Thanks.

    • Hi Denese! When the pH starts getting to neutral and lower (under 7), then the chemical bond that holds soap together will break down – it has to have a higher pH by nature. Is your soap separating back into oils with a liquid layer? If it’s not, then your pH reading is off somewhere. Did you use distilled water to do the test (rub the soap with some distilled water – using gloves – and test that liquid). If you did and it still reads under 7, your pH strips may be expired. If your soap is separating and you’re sure your lye & oils all measured correctly, you can throw it in a crock pot and cook for an hour and see if that helps. If not, perhaps your lye wasn’t completely active. If you get a chance, write back and let me know how it does! :)

  26. Lena Sorrells says:

    I have a silly question. I am VERY new to soap making..when adding the 5oz of water to the frozen goats milk, is it 5oz using liquid measure, or 5 oz weighed?

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