Workshop notes: Goat Milk Soap
We hope you enjoyed today's
Cold Process Goat Milk workshop!
Your soap block should be removed from the mold within 24-72 hours and then cut it into bars.
You might decide on 8 chunky, 10 regular or 12 slim bars, or a combination of all three. Use a ruler for best results, and as mentioned in the workshop, use a sharp, non-serrated knife. If you have a purpose-built soap cutter, that's great for making smooth, uniform soap bars but you could also use an inexpensive carpenter's mitre-cutter, or just a keen eye!
Set your soap bars aside to cure in a ventilated space for three or four weeks to for best results. This will allow for complete saponification and the evaporation of excess water.
We would love to see your work!
If you enjoyed the workshop, we encourage you to tell friends and family, share your experience and photographs on Starlite Soap Studio’s social media, and tag us!
Please sign up for our other soap, lotion, bath bomb and candle workshops. They are always informative, interactive, and tons of fun!
We recapped the basics of cold process soap making, as discussed in our Beginner's Soap Making Workshop. Every oil lend's its own unique qualities to a bar of soap, and will optimize a bar's hardness, conditioning qualities, lather and cleansing qualities.
Each oil has its own saponification factor, which requires a different quantity of sodium hydroxide to properly saponify it into soap. If you use too much sodium hydroxide, you will be left with a block of harsh, skin-irritating soap, if you use too little you could be left with an oily, partly unsaponified soap that is prone to rancidity. Measure carefully for perfect results.
If you decide to adjust your soap recipe, be sure to use a Lye Calculator. Our preferred lye calculator can be found here.
If you want to repeat this recipe at home, we sell refill kits for $35 which will make the same amount of soap that you are made in the workshop, re-using the soap mold. A full kit, including the re-useable silicone mold is also available.
A basic equipment and materials list
Digital weight scale
Fats & Oils for your specific recipe
Hand and eye protection
Heat-resistant mixing bowls or jugs
Whisk and spatula
Essential oils or fragrance oils
Additives (optional exfoliants)
Goat Milk: fresh or powdered
- Don’t get sodium hydroxide into contact with skin
- Keep sodium hydroxide properly labelled, in a child-proof container and location.
- First aid - rinse splashed skin with cold water for 30 seconds. If splashed into eyes or mucus membranes, seek medical advice immediately.
- Look out for spinning blades! You can't use a bar of soap if you don't have fingers.
Goat Milk Notes
Goat milk is generally healthier for you than cow milk, and it’s already drunk by about 65% of the world’s population with a steady annual increase in consumption.
Most of our Starlite Soaps are made with fats, sodium hydroxide and water, but to make goat milk soap we will substitute the water component with goat milk.
Switching to goat milk soap can benefit your skin’s health. It’s great for people with dry or sensitive skin.
Goat milk (or any animal milk for that matter) contains alpha-hydroxy acids which help remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, leaving new cells on the surface of your skin that are smoother and younger-looking.
Goat milk contains many vitamins but is particularly high in Vitamin A, which is necessary to repair damaged skin tissue and maintain healthy skin. Studies have shown that soaps and creams made with Vitamin A reduce lines and wrinkles, control acne, and provide relief from eczema and psoriasis.
The additional fats in goat milk help boost the moisturizing quality of goat milk soaps. Since many people suffer from dry skin, particularly in the winter months, this is an important quality for soap. Unlike many other soaps, Goat Milk Soap will not dry your skin out. This is important because keeping skin naturally moisturized helps keep it healthy.
Goat milk contains important minerals for the skin such as selenium. Selenium is believed to have an important role in preventing skin cancer and can also help prevent sun damage.
Making our Goat Milk Soap
We are combining oils and fats, composed of certain fatty acids that lend their specific benefits of hardness, cleansing qualities, lather, conditioning qualities to our luxurious finished product. We use a very precise quantity of sodium hydroxide to saponify the types, quantities and ratios of oils that we have chosen.
First up, we gather our ingredients!
We chose 10 - 20ml of essential oil or fragrance oil.
You could also opt for an unscented bar.
Colour is not essential, because the goat milk naturally transforms from white to a light creamy yellow or brown. Some folks add a pinch of white colourant (titanium dioxide) to lighten the colour, or some yellow, orange or brown to enhance the natural colouring of this type of soap. You be the judge!
3. Sodium hydroxide & goat milk solution
First up, gloves and goggles!
One of the keys to making a successful batch of cold process goat milk soap is not NOT BURN THE GOAT MILK! The best way to do this is to freeze your goat milk before preparing the Sodium Hydroxide / Goat MIlk solution.
We added 128 grams of SODIUM HYDROXIDE to a combination of 260 grams of FROZEN GOAT MILK CUBES and 80 grams of DISTILLED WATER.
Your proportions can vary a little, but aim for about 75% milk to about 25% water for best results.
We added the sodium hydroxide to the goat milk and water mixture slowly, about 20grams at a time, stirring the whole time to ensure the sodium hydroxide dissolves completely. If you neglect this gradual method of dissolving the lye, your goat milk might scorch, resulting in a darker colour and a less than pleasant odour! Take it slow for best results.
4. Soap Oils
Here’s the oil combo I have chosen for this recipe. A basic soap recipe which works really well for this bar. You can substitute other fats at home if you want, as long as you run your recipe thru a lye calculator. No matter how luxurious a goat milk soap is, you still need to be very accurate in your recipe. Too much or too little lye can and will ruin a batch or soap. Our palm-free soap recipe included the following oils:
275g Coconut Oil
275g Olive Oil
275g Sunflower Oil
75g Castor Oil
We warmed these oils up to about 45 celsius. Combined, our goat milk/lye solution and soap oil temperature will be about 40 celsius - somewhat lower than our usual soap making method. This helps keep the goat milk from overheating, or reaching "gel phase."
5. Mix and pour!
With our soap oils and sodium hydroxide / goat milk solution at an average temperature of about 40 Celcius, we combined them and mixed until they were well emulsified, then we added our scent and mixed again, to fully disperse.
Then, for those of us doing a two-colour soap effect, we divided our soap batter into two containers, added the colourants to each, and then we mixed some more, until we reached a light or medium trace level - the consistency of a light pancake batter.
We could do a swirl, a sandwich effect, a spoon plop or whatever effect you want.
That’s it! Job done!
If you want to repeat this recipe at home, we sell refill kits for $35 which will make the same amount of goat milk soap that you are making here, re-using the soap mold that you have in front of you. The kit contains powdered goat milk, but you can replace it wit fresh if you wish.