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goat milk soap

Note: I put together this recipe before I became a vegetarian. I do not make this any longer because of the lard.  You could substitute Shortening, or some other oils for the lard, but the temperatures might need to be a little different.  I have not tried it myself yet so don't really know what the temperatures should be.


fiasco cooks up a storm

  • 3 pints of ice cold goat milk
  • 1  12 oz. can of Red Devil Lye
  • 5 1/2 pounds of lard
  • 2 oz. glycerin
  • 2 T borax
  • 1/3 Cup Honey


Be very careful when handling lye!  Wear rubber gloves.

You can find the lye in the drain cleaner section of your grocery store, make sure it say 100% lye. Before you buy the lye, shake the can and listen to it to make sure it's free flowing and has no lumps in it (you do not want lumpy lye).

Glycerin (liquid) can be found at your drug store. It gives the soap more moisturizing qualities.

Borax can de found in the laundry detergent section of the grocery store. This boots cleaning ability, soften the water and helps with sudsing.

Lye heats the milk up very hot; the sugar in the milk will "caramelize" and this soap will be tan in color.

Soap made with 100% lard will not lather a whole lot, but make a good cleaning, very gentle, moisturizing soap. Lathering and cleaning ability have nothing to do with one another.

Use a stainless steel or unchipped enamel pot for your soapmaking. Slowly (very slowly) pour the lye into the ice cold milk (the milk could even have small bits of frozen milk floating in it), stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  The milk will heat up very quickly due to the addition of the lye.  If you add the lye too fast, the milk may scorch and curdle. The milk will turn an orange color and curdle a little bit, don't worry. Add the honey.  Let the mixture cool down to 85*.

While the lye/milk is cooling, warm the lard to 90*.  Slowly pour the lard into the lye/milk, stirring constantly.  Add the glycerin, borax.

The best thing to stir soap with is an electric handheld "stick blender".  You really need to stir the heck out of the soap mixture it to get it to "trace".   The "wimpier" and/or slower your stirring is, the longer it will take to trace.  You cannot just let it be, or go away and let it sit; if you do not stir constantly, the soap will never "trace".

Add the glycerin and borax.

Keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken like thin pudding nice "traces". The mixture "traces" when a small amount of the solution drizzled across the top of the main solution's surface leaves a faint pattern before sinking back into the mass. A trace should be reached within 10 to 20 minutes of hand stirring, or 5 to 10 minutes of stirring with a "stick blender". 

Add any essential oils you wish to add to sence the soap at this point.  Stir it in well.

Pour the mixture into your molds.  I use the box my keyboard came in lined with a plastic kitchen garbage bag.  Cover the mold and then cover it with a blanket.  Leave it undisturbed overnight.

The next day you can cut the soap into bars using fishing line.  Stack the bars on a cookie sheet lined with a large paper bag.  It is not ready to use yet; the mixture needs to "saponify" and cure.

Let the soap cure for at least 6 weeks before use.

Be aware, you cannot make bar soap at home without lye (sodium hydroxide). Do not worry, correctly made and cured homemade soap is milder than anything you can buy. The fats and lye go through a chemical reaction, or "saponify" and become soap; the end product no longer contains any lye.

The recipe above is a very simple goat milk soap recipe, and it is the only recipe I have any experience with. People often write me and ask about using different kinds of fats and oils. Yes, you can use other fats and oil, but each fat/oil has it's own particular temperature it needs to be heated to. Please don't ask me what these temps are, because I don't know. You may want to see the links below more more information on soapmaking.

Soap Making Links:

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