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Making Round Soap with Milk

Posted By Suzanne McMinn On September 6, 2010 @ 1:05 am In Handmade Soaps,Primitive Crafts & Country Style | 47 Comments

I’m making soap with milk! I’ve been using Beulah Petunia’s milk, but soon I’ll be milking Clover and making goat milk soap, too. You can make soap with any type of milk–cow milk, goat milk, buttermilk, coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc. Soap made with milk is extra soothing and nourishing. This post will show you how–and it’s a twofer because I’m going to tell you how to make round bars, too!

If you’ve never made soap before, you can find my step-by-step soapmaking tutorial for hot and cold process soap here: How to Make Soap.

Read more about the different processes of making soap and what goes into soap here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 1.

See all about the scary lye here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 2.

And find out all about the necessary tools and utensils here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 3.

If you want to develop your own recipe or test a recipe you’ve found online, use a soap calculator: SoapCalc. Do not make changes to a soap recipe without checking it through a soap calculator.

One more finger-wagging note: Wear safety gloves and goggles and always follow safety guidelines when making soap!

How to make soap with milk:

Making soap with milk isn’t very different from making soap with water. You can exchange milk for water in any soap recipe. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Get the milk icy cold before adding lye. When the lye is added to the milk, the chemical reaction with the sugars in the milk will burn the milk if it’s not very cold. Measure out your milk in a container. Place it in the freezer before making soap. The milk is ready to use when it’s icy-slushy.

ADD LYE TO MILK. NEVER ADD MILK TO LYE. (Same procedure as when using water.)

The lye will heat up the milk and melt that icy-slush very quickly. The mixture will turn a golden color and have a slightly curdled look to it. That’s normal. What you don’t want is for the mixture to turn brown and smell scorched. To prevent scorching the milk, always make sure your milk is icy-slushy cold before using!

Add the milk/lye mixture to the fats in your crock pot and continue on following all the usual soaping procedures.

Soap with milk takes longer to come to trace, and it also takes longer to cook in hot process. The recipe below (Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey soap) took 15 minutes to trace.

It took 4 hours to cook by hot process in the crock pot. (Hot process in the crock pot is my preferred method for making soap.) When using milk in any soap recipe, don’t be concerned with the time it takes to cook. Continue cooking your soap until it tests within the safe range with a pH strip.

How to make round soap bars:

To make round soap, you can…..

1) Buy a round soap mold from a soapmaking supply company.

2) Buy (or salvage from your barn or garage) some PVC pipe. (Getting it out of the PVC pipe is the trick. The best advice I’ve seen for that is to line the PVC pipe with a sturdy silicon mat. Make sure several inches of the mat stick up out of the top of the pipe. When the soap has set, pull the mat out to remove the soap.)


3) Eat some Pringles!!!! (This method sounds the most fun already, doesn’t it?) DO NOT USE PRINGLES CANS AS MOLDS FOR COLD PROCESS SOAP. Pringles cans have an aluminum lining. They are only safe to use as molds for hot process soap because by the time soap goes into the mold in hot process, it is already soap. Soap made by the cold process method is still saponifying when it’s placed in the mold and cannot be placed in molds containing aluminum.

Just one of the many reasons to make soap by the hot process method.

Spoon cooked soap into the cans. Fill each can no more than about two-thirds to three-fourths full so that you have room to work with the can when you are removing the soap. Bang the cans down on your counter to settle the soap. You can also insert something like a can of air freshener or oil spray to tamp down the soap. (You’ll have “air pockets” or holes in your soap if it’s not tamped down well.) For the 2-pound recipe featured in this post, I used two Pringles cans.

Allow the soap to set up for about 12 hours before removing from the cans.

To remove the soap, cut a slit at the top to get started.

From there, you can easily tear away the can by hand.

And now you have a beautiful round log of soap.

Slice into bars.

Would you like to make the recipe pictured in this post?

This is a creamy, soothing soap made with milk and honey and a little finely ground oatmeal for light conditioning. Make it by either the cold or hot process method. (See how to make soap.) Fragrance oil is optional. You can make this soap as designed below, or use it as a basic milk soap recipe to make other milk soaps by changing up the additives. (To change the fats, you must re-calculate the recipe.)

How to make Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Soap:

Crisco — 9.6 ounces or 272.155 grams
olive oil — 9.6 ounces or 272.155 grams
lard — 6.4 ounces or 181.437 grams
coconut oil (76-degree melt point) — 6.4 ounces or 181.437 grams
milk — 12.16 ounces or 344.73 grams
lye — 4.463 ounces or 126.524 grams

1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal (old-fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons honey
1 fluid ounce oatmeal, milk, and honey fragrance oil

This makes a deliciously sweet-smelling soap that is ultra-soft and healing for the skin.

Find my Crafts archives here.

See all my soapmaking posts here.

Thank you to CindyP, who worked with me in calculating and testing this recipe, and is owed all the credit for the Pringles mold idea. Check out her homemade soaps here: Chippewa Creek Soaps.

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