Milk and Honey Soap (Cold Process vs Hot Process)

How to hot process milk soap

I often get questions on my milk soap making posts (HERE and HERE) as to whether it’s possible to hot process soap with milk in it. The short answer is: Yes, with some care taken, you can hot process milk soap.

For the longer answer, I’m going to take you step-by-step as I make this Milk and Honey Soap recipe both ways and show you just what the difference is when you hot process milk soap versus cold processing it.

If you’ve never made soap before, you might find this project a little tricky. Two simpler recipes to start with are Oatmeal & Honey Soap (cold process) or Hot Process Oatmeal & Honey (make in your crockpot).

You can also find further information on making cold process milk soaps in my complete Natural Soap Making package (HERE).

Natural-Soap-Making-eBook

 

This blog contains affiliate links to Mountain Rose Herbs, Bramble Berry and Amazon. That means if you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. This doesn’t cost you any extra, but does help to support my blog and lets me keep doing what I do. Thank you! :)

 

How to Make Milk & Honey Soap using Hot Process or Cold Process Method

Milk and Honey Soap Recipe

Liquid & Lye Portion:

  • 9 oz (255 g) milk*
  • 1 oz (28 g) water
  • 4.05 oz (115 g) lye (5% superfat)

Oils & Butters:

  • 14 oz (397 g) olive oil
  • 7 oz (198 g) coconut oil
  • 4 oz (113 g) sunflower oil
  • 2 oz (57 g) shea butter
  • 2 oz (57 g) sweet almond oil

Add-ins:

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) honey
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) water – for hot process version only

Milk, water, lye and oil measurements are by weight. You must have an accurate digital scale to make soap.

* For cold process soap, you can decrease the amount of milk from 9 oz (255 g) to 8 oz (227 g) so it will firm up faster in the mold.

I buy most of my oils and butters through Mountain Rose Herbs, Bramble Berry or my local grocery/health stores. You can buy lye (sodium hydroxide) on Amazon.

 

frozen cubes of goat milk for soap making

Step 1: Weigh out the milk and freeze it in ice cube trays overnight. You can use goat or cow’s milk, fresh or canned. Canned milk is concentrated and should be diluted with equal parts of water before measuring out to freeze.

Step 2: Place the frozen cubes in a heat proof plastic or stainless steel pitcher or container. Add the water.

Step 3: Wearing safety goggles, gloves and long sleeves, weigh out the lye and pour it into the pitcher of frozen milk and water. Pour a little bit at a time, stirring well after each addition until the lye is fully dissolved into the milk. At this point, the milk will probably smell a bit like ammonia. That’s normal, but try not to breathe in any lye fumes. Set aside the lye solution for around 10 minutes, while you prepare the oils. The temperature will probably drop to around 90 to 100°F as it sits.

Step 4: Weigh the coconut oil and shea butter into a small saucepan. Melt gently over low heat, keeping a close eye on it. Weigh the other oils into your soap making pot or container and then pour the melted oils into there too. The melted oils should bring the temperature to around 90 to 100°F, though you don’t have to get too hung up on trying to make the temperatures match.

Step 5: Now, you’re ready to mix! Working carefully and still with gloves, goggles and long sleeves on, pour the lye solution into the oils. Stir by hand for around 30 seconds then begin mixing with an immersion (stick) blender. Do not use a hand mixer – you want a stick blender that looks like THIS.

Step 6: Blend for around 30 to 40 seconds, then hand stir with the motor off for 30 to 40 seconds. Alternate until trace is reached. “Trace” means that your soap batter has gotten thick enough so that when you drizzle some of it across the surface of itself, it leaves an imprint or “tracing” before sinking back in.

For this batch, I actually stirred a bit much and got a thicker trace than I normally would. So, here’s a photo for reference for you visual folks like me, but keep in mind it doesn’t have to be quite this thick:

How soap looks at a fairly thick trace

 

Up until this point, you were making hot process and cold process exactly the same way. Now, things start to differ a bit after this depending on the outcome you want.

Same Soap Recipe but Different Methods Yield Different Results

For Cold Process Soap Version:

(Cold process soap is easier and the bars will be smoother, lighter and nicer looking. The drawback is that you have to wait several weeks before using your soap.)

Once trace is reached, stir in the honey and any other additives you’d like such as oatmeal or essential oils. Pour the soap batter in a mold and lightly cover it with a sheet of wax paper. I used THIS mold from Bramble Berry. Keep the mold in a fairly cool place and don’t insulate it. You can even refrigerate it for 12 to 24 hours, if you’d like to try to end up with a whiter bar. (I didn’t refrigerate the one shown.)

Once the soap has firmed up in the mold (24 to 48 hours, or longer), remove it from the mold, slice into bars and allow to cure for at least 4 weeks before using.

That’s it for cold process!

 

For Hot Process Soap Version:

(Hot process soap needs extra cooking and attention, and the bars have a rough, rustic appearance. On the plus side, you can use your soap right away. For a longer lasting bar though, hot process soap still benefits from a few weeks of cure time.)

Once trace is reached, pour the soap batter into a crock pot set on low. Cook for 1 hour, checking every 15 minutes of so and stirring each time you do. This is what my soap looked like over that period of time:

Milk & Honey Soap After 15 Minutes of Cooking

Milk & Honey Soap After 30 Minutes Cook Time

Milk & Honey Soap After 45 Minutes Cook Time

Milk & Honey Soap After 60 minutes cook time

Once your soap has cooked for an hour, you can add any extras you’d like to your soap. Mix the honey with the extra 3 tablespoons of water and stir quickly into your hot soap. The extra water helps it stir in without scorching and makes it easier to mix.

Spoon the soap into a mold. I use a glass loaf pan, like I use for baking bread, and line it with parchment or freezer paper. Many of my readers have mentioned that an empty Pringles chip can makes a perfect hot process soap mold. (I haven’t tried that, but it sounds like a good idea if you have one handy!)

Milk & Honey HP Soap Starts Off Darker But Will Lighten Some

Cooked soap will look dark in the mold, but it will lighten up a bit over the next few days. Also note that my crock pot runs on the hot side. I’ve seen pictures of lighter colored hot process milk soaps, so keep your heat low and yours might not be as dark as mine.

Let the soap sit in the mold for 24 hours, then remove and slice into bars. As noted above, hot process soap still benefits from a few weeks of cure time to allow the water to evaporate out, creating a harder, longer lasting bar, but you can still use it right away.

And, that’s it for hot process!

If you have any questions I didn’t cover, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Because of pesky spammers, I have to keep several layers of spam filters in place and unfortunately some legitimate comments get lost in the process. If your comment doesn’t show up in a week or so (it sometimes takes me that long to get to them), then try again with a different email address. I try to answer every single one that I see. Thanks! :)

If you enjoyed this tutorial on making milk and honey soap, be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE to get my best herbal projects, soap ideas, and DIY body care recipes sent straight to your inbox, once per month. (No spam ever, unsubscribe at any time.)

You may also like:

HP Oatmeal & Honey | Baby Carrot Soap | Milk Chocolate Mint Soap

How to Make Oatmeal & Honey Soap In Your Crock Pot or Slow Cooker   baby carrot soap palm free recipe   Milk Chocolate Mint Soap Recipe

 

Natural Soap Making eBook

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92 Responses to Milk and Honey Soap (Cold Process vs Hot Process)

  1. Jasmine says:

    I love your recipes so much! You are a peach!

  2. Dominic says:

    Thanks for doing this! We are getting ready to make our own soaps, and I have been wondering what the difference is between hot & cold process.

  3. Savanes says:

    Thanks for this great tutorial (and all the others)… :)

    Just a quick question: why don’t you insulate the cold process soap?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Savanes! I normally insulate most batches of cold process soap, but when you add honey or milk in the mix then the natural sugars in those products will tend to heat up the soap more than normal. If you insulate milk soap (or honey soap), then it may overheat causing a crack to form down the middle, or worse, it will volcano through the crack and spill out of your mold. So, with those two ingredients, cooler is better. :)

  4. Pingback: How to Make Goat's Milk Soap From Grocery Store Items

  5. Jessica says:

    Do you feel like cold or hot process soap last longer? Or are they the same? Can you take any recipe and made the cold process and hot process?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jessica! I think cold process might have the edge on lasting longer, but if you let your hot process cure for a few weeks too, it should be pretty similar. Hot process and cold process recipes are pretty much the same until you get to the trace stage. For cold process, you add the extras (essential oils, oats, etc) and then pour into the mold. For hot process, you wait on the extras and stir them in after cook time. If you want to make a cold process recipe into a hot process recipe, just make it up until trace, but don’t add the extras then, but cook it instead and THEN add the extras. If you want to make a hot process soap into a cold process, make the soap, add the extras (that you’d normally stir in after cooking) at trace and then pour into a mold. Most of the time, this works out! The only exception is if a cold process recipe has extra oils added at trace – they would normally be saponified by the lye, but if you add them after cooking, they won’t be and your bar might be a tad on the moisturizing/higher superfat side. (Usually not a problem though.) You also don’t generally need as much essential oils in hot process. Bramble Berry has a great fragrance calculator to help you figure out the amount you might need: http://www.brambleberry.com/Pages/Fragrance-Calculator.aspx

  6. Both of your soaps, cold and hot process look great! The process photo examples are fantastic to show how heat affects the bars.

  7. Ruth says:

    Hi Jan,
    Going to try this sosp but cp. I made my frist milk base soap yesterday. Was a nervous wreck. But it turned out and impatient to try it.
    Thank you so much for your recipes and encouragement to us all.
    Sincerely
    Ruth

  8. Heathbee says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve never made soap but now I’m excited to try!

    • Jan says:

      Good luck with your soap making! Let me know if you run into questions! :)

      • Sakthi says:

        Hi.It’s been 3. Days n still it’s not much demoulded more solid.its soft to tuch n if pressed goes in.iv demoulded it n how to cure it?It’s honey added.so dint insulate as u sd.can I opt a freezer?or pack it in airtight box.How shd curation b done n duration.its oils n honey without milk..Pls help.its my first batch

        • Hi Sakthi! It sounds like your soap needs more time in the mold. Is it out of the freezer/refrigerator now? I would let it sit at room temperature a few more days before trying to unmold, then see how it does. How much honey did you add? Keep me posted! :)

  9. Darlene says:

    If the goat’s milk is already frozen should the same weight be used? I don’t dare try it until I get an answer. Thanks! P.S. love your recipes!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Darlene! Yes, you are exactly right – you use the same weight. When liquid is frozen, it might change in shape and volume, but it still weighs the same since none of it is lost. Good luck with your soap! :)

  10. Courtney says:

    What if I wanted to add Kokum butter to this receipt? Can I add 4 oz just like the Shea butter?

  11. Courtney says:

    2 oz I mean!

  12. Shelby says:

    Great recipe! just one question, Does it double well? the last couple milk based soaps i’ve tried didn’t double very well even after running them through the lye calc a couple times. I could never get the same result as the first time.

    Maybe it’s just me D:

  13. Joy says:

    I’ve read about the benefits of goat’s milk in soap, but haven’t found anything on the benefits of cow’s milk in soap.

  14. Joy says:

    Okay, I found it. The benefits are basically the same!

  15. Debbie says:

    Hello, I made the hot process soap with goats milk. It turned out pretty much like the picture but has chunks of white in it. What did I do wrong or what caused the white chunks. Thanks

    • Hi Debbie! Are your chunks hard, just like chunks of white soap mixed in? I’ve noticed that if I don’t stir every so often that I get sections of the soap batter turning white and hard (soap-like). I add a little extra water and stick blend right over each one until it breaks up for me, then hand stir stir stir the whole thing well before cooking some more. Stirring more frequently will keep that from happening. However, if your chunks are crumbly and dry, like chunks of lye, then that could be a problem. Does your soap lather up nicely and feel good on your hands? If so, then it should be fine to use! If it burns at all, write back and let me know and we can troubleshoot some more!

  16. Vanessa says:

    can i use fresh homemade almond milk and turn it into a almond honey soap? using the same amounts in recipe? im getting ready to try this today or tomorrow. cold process. thanks! i love your site!!!

  17. Brooke Davis says:

    Have you ever tried cold process – over process. I don’t have the patience for cold process but like the swirls you can get. I tried it last night for the first time and it all thickened up so quickly all I could do was layer it.

    Thank you for what you do, I so very much enjoy visiting your website and seeing what is new. It brings me much joy! Have a blessed day!

  18. Susan says:

    Can you add essential oils to this recipe?

  19. Susan says:

    I made this recipe last week hot processed and the soap is rather soft. It looks good and I have not tried to use it yet. Is this because of the olive oil or because I did something wrong? It has been sitting out for a week but doesn’t seem to be getting any harder.

    • Hi Susan! I tend to use water on the higher side when I make hot process, to avoid it becoming too difficult to work with. It’s probably the water content still needing to evaporate out. I just checked a leftover bar from this batch that I had from 4 months ago and it’s rock hard. If you’re pretty comfortable with making hot process, next time you can drop the water amount down an ounce or two. (This will hold true for all of my hot process soap recipes on this site, but my cold process ones are usually discounted a bit more.)

  20. dori says:

    Can you, or have you, ever added more milk at trace?

    • Hi Dori! Yes, you could do that. Just take the amount that you plan to add at trace, out of the total milk allowance. So, if a recipe calls for 9 oz of milk, and you want to add 2 oz at trace, you would make the lye solution with 7 ounces of milk and stir in the other 2 ounces at trace. (Don’t add extra liquids or your soap will end up too soft.) Another idea is to add reconstituted milk powder at trace. So, for that recipe that calls for 9 oz of milk, you could use 8 ounces of milk to make the lye solution, and reserve the other ounce as 1 ounce of distilled water (more milk might work for this too instead of distilled water, but I haven’t tested that one out.) Then make your soap like normal, stir together the milk powder & water really well & blend that in at trace.

  21. Michelle says:

    Hi there! I’m pretty new to making soap- I’ve only done hot process so far- and I was wondering why the milk is frozen when you add the lye.

    Thank you!!!

  22. Cheryl says:

    Thank You! My son lives in a residential care home. His Skin Is Very Dry needing special lotion.I have Found a wonderful Relief to his skin in the milk and honey. But the recipe I found and love superheated.Coconut Oil with honey? So To Not lose The Batch ,I hot processed It before It Was set in the mold. I thought it was lost because of the brown coloration. But I loved the result! I Tested it out on myself before I offered it to the house for his use. And now with your comparison by pictures, I see both batches were right on. Thank You! And yes..It is all fragranced by spices. I need it with as natural as I can get it. It is cinnamon and clove, milk and honey. Masculine but soft

  23. Melissa says:

    I’ve just started making my own hot process soap and really enjoying every minute of it :-). Since there is such a small amount of sweet almond oil used here, can I substitute it with castor oil? It’s less expensive and much easier for me to obtain. Thank you :-)

    • Hi Melissa! Yes, castor oil is a great substitute. In fact, it should help boost the lather of your soap. Running it through the lye calculator, the lye amount barely changes – from 4.05 oz to 4.03 oz. Happy soap making! :)

  24. Chandra says:

    Hi! I don’t have sunflower oil, can I substitute castor oil or more coconut, or olive oil instead? (I’m planning to do CP with raw cow’s milk). Thanks so much!! :)

    • Hi Chandra! Instead of sunflower oil, you can substitute another light oil. Castor oil would be nice, though 4 oz is usually the amount I add to a shampoo bar (to make it extra lathery) and I do a little less in bar soaps. You could do something like 2 oz of castor oil and the other 2 oz more olive oil, so it would look like this with those adjustments – (I ran it through a lye calculator and the lye amount barely changed a blip!)

      9 oz (255 g) milk
      1 oz (28 g) water
      4.03 oz (114 g) lye (5% superfat)
      16 oz (454 g) olive oil
      7 oz (198 g) coconut oil
      2 oz (57 g) castor oil
      2 oz (57 g) shea butter
      2 oz (57 g) sweet almond oil

  25. kartika says:

    Hi Jan,
    I started my first experience on making soap 2days ago. My lemon soap was great as your recipe. Now i try to make this one for my sister! But the problem is to find shea butter and sweet almond oil in my town, can I substitute with the other oil?
    I make the percentage of oils before turn it to grams, here is my combination oils :

    olive oil 45%
    coconut oil 30%
    sunflower oil 20%
    castor oil 5%

    what do you think? could it be?
    thanks so much 😄😄

  26. Darcie says:

    Hi Jan,
    I’m new to soap making and can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you for sharing!!
    Also, I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. When a recipe calls for certain oils can they be substituted ? For example, if it calls for castor oil can olive oil or vegetable oil be used instead?
    Thank you,
    Darcie

  27. Christine says:

    Hi Jan! I need your advice asap pls!

    I run your recipe on a soapcalc and it gives me weird percentages.

    Pls tell me what percentages are the oils and what water discount did u use?

    Also can i substitute the butter with palm oil? And if i want to add castor oil for lather what would be the best way?

    Better to add all the milk at trace or ur way? Which would give a whiter bar u think??

    So many questions im sorry :) just dont want to invent and ruin your beautiful recipe!

  28. Chandra says:

    Hi again! I’m planning to make milk soap hot process and would like to put a fragrance in their… Would I add the fragrance oil after the Crock-Pot part?

    Thanks!

  29. Janelle Cole says:

    Thank you for a great explanation of the differences! I love making CP soap, but was wondering about doing the HP since it seems so much faster! I see people making it and selling the same week. Anyway, thank you for sharing – I follow you on IG and now will be following your blog too!

    Blessings,
    Janelle

  30. Sue King says:

    Hi, I am a newbie and just started making soap and hence do not have many types of oils. Can I sub the olive oil with canola oil? I have shea butter and coconut and palm oils. What can I sub the sweet almond oil and castor oil with? (I have posted earlier but it did not seem to go through, apologies if this is a repeat) Thanks again for all the sharing on your blog, can’t wait to try out the various soap recipes!

    • Hi Sue!
      You can usually substitute part of the olive oil in a recipe with canola oil. With the amount of substitutions you need to make though, you may find it easier to go with a completely different base recipe.

      For example, at the Soap Queen blog:
      https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/my-favorite-cold-process-recipes-2/

      One of her favorite recipes is:
      Lots of Lather
      16 oz. Coconut Oil
      16 oz. Palm Oil
      16 oz. Olive Oil
      2 oz. Castor Oil
      13 – 19 oz. water
      7.4 oz. lye
      Recommend 3% superfat for best bubbles

      Though it may diminish the lather just a bit, you could replace the castor oil with your shea butter. (Castor oil boosts bubbles, shea is more creamy & nourishing, but doesn’t promote bubbles.)
      You could also try replacing the olive oil with canola. (I’m not 100% sure how that will work out, though I think it will.)
      If you want it to be a milk soap, use milk instead of water, freeze it, then follow the directions for the process in this post, just using the other recipe.

      Be aware that the recipe from the soap queen site is a 5 pound soap recipe (oils + lye + water/liquid = how many pounds a recipe is), where mine is half the size.

      This post should be really helpful for you too:
      https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/how-to-substitute-oil-in-cold-process-recipes/

  31. Sarah says:

    I am following this recipe for hot process today and I made a mistake — I added the honey before cooking the soap. It’s cooking now and dark liquid is separating from everything else…is it ruined??

    • Hi Sarah! The honey is probably just getting too hot from the cooking process and starting to scorch. If the soap is still cooking, you can remove it from the heat right away and stir it up really really well then pour/spoon into your mold. Depending on how long it has already cooked, it may not have gone completely through the hot process stages, but that’s okay – you can just treat it as cold process. Keep it in the mold for a day or two, then remove and slice into bars. (If it’s too soft, then let it stay in a few days longer.) Let the bars cure at least 3 weeks before testing out. It might turn out a dark brown color, but as long as it doesn’t smell unpleasantly burnt or scorched, and hasn’t separated in the mold or anything, the soap should be good to go!

  32. Ariane Mahabir says:

    Hi, would this work with frozen coconut milk? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks

  33. Mare says:

    Hi! I have a question. Can i use only olive oil instead of all the above mentioned oils?

    • Hi Mare! Yes, you could use all olive oil, but then you’d have a castile soap recipe. For that, you’ll probably need a bit different lye amount.
      What you could do is take a castile soap recipe, like this one I wrote for Bulk Herb Store Blog:
      https://www.bulkherbstore.com/blog/post/how-to-make-easy-cold-processed-lavender-soap/
      and use milk instead of lavender tea.
      Otherwise, you can make the recipe just like this one here and it should turn out great!
      Castile soap does start out softer, so it might have to sit in the mold for several extra days, and you’ll also want to let it cure longer too.
      Also, castile soap doesn’t really lather a lot, but the milk and honey will help boost that.
      Good luck with your soap! :)

  34. kim says:

    How much does this make? I need to put in a calc to make it fit my size mold right? How do I know how to do it if I don’t know how much this makes? I am new to soap making and this will be my first attemtp

    • Hi Kim!
      To figure out how much a recipe makes, (as far as “2 pounds”, “5 pounds”, etc), you add the amount of oils + lye + water.
      This recipe is
      29 oz oil + (abt) 4 oz lye + 10 oz liquid = 43 oz (or 2 pounds, 11 ounces)
      so you could use a 3 lb mold for it OR use a 2.5 lb mold and have a container or extra individual molds handy for any extra soap batter you may have.
      This excellent article over at I’d Lather Be Soaping has tons of great information and should answer all of your questions on resizing recipes to fit your mold:
      http://lather-be-soaping.blogspot.com/2014/03/resizing-and-converting-soap-recipes.html
      Good luck with your soapmaking adventures! :)

  35. Elizabeth says:

    Hello,
    I’m new to soap making and don’t like to make bug batches of one kind of soap. What is the best way to cut a recipe in half? Is there a specific website/calculator that can help with this?

    • Hi Elizabeth! If you’re cutting a recipe exactly in half, with no changes to the oils or anything, you can usually just divide everything by 2.
      You can also input the amount of oils into a lye calculator, like this one:
      https://www.thesage.com/calcs/LyeCalc.html
      Then hit “Calculate Lye” at the bottom.
      It will pull up a new screen with the suggested amount of lye, etc.
      At the bottom you can change the number under “Resized Batch” to be half the amount or 1/3 the amount.
      Then hit the button under that which says “Resize Recipe”.
      I hope that helps, but if you have more questions, just let me know! :)

  36. Valerie says:

    Hi Jan. What would happen if you combined the milk and honey, freeze the mixture and use this as the liquid to add the lye to? Even frozen would you end up with a volcano? Would the lye destroy the properties of the honey?

    • Hi Valerie! I’ve seen a few people add honey to their lye solution. I would think it would increase the chances of it scorching and a potential lye volcano, but it seems to work for them! I’m a little bit too chicken to try that out myself though. :)

  37. Meg says:

    Hi there,

    I want to create a subtle two tone white on white. I was thinking of only adding honey to one half, and putting a touch of zinc oxide or something white in the other. Do you think that would create a noticeable difference in colour? Also, with cold process, do you know what would happen if I left it at room temperature but didn’t insulate? Would there be enough heat in there to gel anyway? Many thanks :)

    • Hi Meg! I’ve added a small bit of honey to part of a soap batch before to get a contrasting look, but it turns more of a honey-brown color than a white. (It still gives a really cool effect though!) What you could do for a white-on-white look, is put zinc oxide or kaolin clay in one half and leave the other half uncolored so it stays in it’s natural off-white shade. (Maybe aim for 1 tsp white clay or 1 tsp zinc oxide per pound of oils in your recipe. Mix the clay with water, the zinc oxide with oil, before incorporating.)
      If my house is REALLY warm in the summer, I sometimes let my soaps sit at room temperature uninsulated; also the same if a batch has honey or milk in it & I’m afraid it will overheat. Sometimes, that works and sometimes I get a partial gel! What I more often do is start the mold out lightly covered (with a sheet of wax paper, then a light pillowcase) and keep checking it every so often. If it starts cracking, I immediately uncover, but otherwise, just monitor it while covered so I can make sure I get that full gel.

  38. Courtney says:

    How many bars does this recipe make? How many lbs is it?

  39. lacricia swift says:

    Very helpful! I’m making my very first batch as we speak. I wanted to know if you could take any cold process recipe and make it the hot process way so I could try it sooner. You answered that question wonderfully! Thank you!

  40. Nathan says:

    Hi Jan,

    I had great success (I think) with your CP version of this recipe. Now I am to the point of taking it out of the plastic mold. How long do you think I need to wait to do that?

    Also, 4 weeks is enough for the cure? Other sites talk about curing CP soap closer to 8 weeks.

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Nathan! Hooray on your successful batch of soap!

      After 24 to 48 hours, the soap should be firm enough to remove from the mold. Sometimes it may want to stick a little bit, depending on the mold, so if you see that happening, just let it stay in another day or two.
      If it still doesn’t want to unmold easily by that point, you can try popping the mold in the freezer for several hours and then see if it releases.
      If you have to use the freezer method to unmold, the cold soap will build up some condensation as it sits out in the room temperature air, but that’s perfectly normal and it will evaporate off.

      I always start testing new soaps on my hands after 3 weeks of cure, but 4 to 6 is often recommended as ideal. Soaps high in olive oil do benefit from an even longer cure time, so 8 weeks could certainly work well for those kinds, but isn’t 100% necessary.
      After 48 hours, virtually all of the lye is reacted with the oils, so the soap won’t be caustic or anything after those first few days.
      The main point of cure is to allow moisture to evaporate from the soap so it becomes harder and lasts longer in the shower. Lather is often improved by cure time too.
      Some soapmakers like to weigh their soaps after cutting & throughout cure time. When the bars stop losing significant water weight, they consider them cured enough to use.

      • Nathan says:

        Hi Jan, One more question (for now).

        I made the recipe and it was a success! I really like the feel and the level of suds. I find that it does need a good scent. Do you have suggestions (with the amount to use for this recipe)?

        I am thinking of a honey almond bar (using this https://goo.gl/5nJrT4 They suggest to use about 3% of the fragrance. How do I calculate how many ounces of the fragrance that equals? Thanks so much!

        • Hi Nathan!
          So glad the soap was a success! Looking at the link, it says:
          “Our Honey Almond fragrance oil can be used at .3%.”
          To figure out the amount of fragrance oil you would take the total weight of the oils of your recipe and multiply it by the recommended percentage.
          In this soap recipe, you would end up with:
          29 oz of oil x .3% (.003) = .087 oz of fragrance oil needed.
          .087 ounces converts to 2.46 grams which is a very small amount! They’re not kidding in the description and reviews when they say it’s super concentrated! :)

  41. Elif says:

    Hi Jan,
    Your receipes are fantastic:) Thank you for sharing them as I have been learning too much from you:)
    Re-milk soap rcp — I would like to go with cold process. But I have raw Goat milk on hand. Should I cook the milk first or can I go with raw milk directly?
    Thanks in advance & kind regards,
    Elif

  42. Shirley says:

    Hi, I’m new to soap making! I made a cold process batch and it was white in color when I put it in the mold but after a week the soap bars have turned a golden brown color. Is that normal? Will it turn back to white eventually or did I ruin the batch?

    • Hi Shirley! Did the soap have milk or honey in it? If so, then it probably turned that color from the natural sugars in those ingredients. That’s completely normal and the soap will still be perfectly fine to use! :)
      For a whiter soap next time, you can use light colored oils (oils like extra virgin olive oil or dark green oils can darken your soap). You can also put the soap in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours after making it to keep it lighter in color.
      Those things are completely optional though. I personally don’t mind if my soap turns browner, but some people do – it’s whatever makes you happiest with your soap!

  43. Kim says:

    Am I able to use whole cow or goat milk that has been pasteurized? (Store purchased organic)

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