How to make Natural Goat Milk Soap
Beauty | Soap

How to make Pure White Natural Goat Milk Soap

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Easy recipe and instructions for making pure white goat milk soap. Includes guidance on temperatures, equipment, and ingredients.

When you make goats milk soap, you can substitute some of the water used to make the lye solution with milk. Easier said than done though! Some years ago when I first began teaching myself how to make soap, I tried a recipe for goats milk soap. I tried and failed abysmally. The bars I cut at the end were yellowy-brown and crumbly and I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong. I’ve made a lot of soap since then and understand now that my temperatures were too hot. You’ve got to be mindful when using sugars in soap and that includes milk.

In this recipe, I’ll show you a way to make pure white goats milk soap. It’s a little trick that I’ve learned that combines a typical milk soap recipe with soaping at room temperature. The end product is a conditioning and very gentle bar of soap perfect for the most sensitive of skin.

How to make Natural Goat Milk Soap

Soaping at Room Temperature

This recipe is a little different from many of the others I’ve shared in that the temperatures are low. They’re low so that the milk in the recipe doesn’t scorch and change colour, and they’re low to avoid any strange crumbly messes. The lye-water will be at room temperature when we mix it into the oils, and the oils themselves will be just twenty degrees above that. I don’t usually soap at these temperatures but it needs to be done to avoid your milk soap turning brown. Oh, and you’re going to need both space in your freezer and refrigerator for this recipe too.

How to make Natural Goat Milk Soap

Goats Milk Soap Recipe

Makes 8 bars

For full information on soap making safety and equipment please head over here. It’s important to read it before trying to make soap the first time.

Lye Water
109g / 3.8 oz Sodium hydroxide (also called lye or caustic soda)
100g / 3.5 oz Distilled water in a heat-proof jug
100g / 3.5 oz Goats milk

Solid Oils
200g / 7.05 oz Refined coconut oil
150g / 5.29 oz Shea butter

Liquid Oils
400g / 14.11 oz Olive oil pomace (it’s lighter in color than virgin olive oil)
50g / 1.76 oz Castor oil

Add at Trace
8 drops Grapefruit seed extract (optional)

Special Equipment needed
Digital thermometer
Digital kitchen scale
Stick (immersion) blender
Silicone soap mold

How to make Natural Goat Milk Soap

Step 1: Freeze the Goats Milk

Pour the goats milk into an ice cube tray and freeze.

Step 2: Make the Lye solution

Put on your rubber gloves and eye protection and set yourself up in an area with good ventilation. Under a hob, on the doorstep, or outdoors is perfect. Pour the sodium hydroxide into the water and stir with a stainless steel spoon. Be careful not to breathe in the fumes. Stir until the lye is completely dissolved and then set the jug aside to cool to 100°F (38°C).

Step 3: Add the Milk Cubes

When the lye-water has cooled, add all of the goat milk ice cubes to the jug. Allow the cubes to melt and for the lye-solution to lower to room temperature — that’s between 68-72°F (20-22°C)

How to make Natural Goat Milk Soap

Step 4: Heat the Solid Oils

As soon as you add the ice cubes to the lye solution begin melting the solid oils. In a stainless steel pan, heat the coconut oil and shea butter on very low heat until just liquefied. They’ll melt quicker than you think so don’t be tempted to turn up the heat.

Step 5: Add the Liquid Oils

When the solid oils are melted, take the pan off the heat and pour in the liquid oils. Being already room temperature, they’ll cool the hot oils down. Stir well and keep an eye on the temperature. You want the oils to cool to 90°F (32°C).

How to make Natural Goat Milk Soap

Step 5: Mixing

When the lye-liquid is fully melted and the oils are the right temperature, pour the lye solution into the oils. Immerse a stick blender into the pan and use it (turned off) to stir the contents together. Then bring the stick blender to the middle of the pan, hold it still, and pulse for a couple of seconds. Repeat the stirring and pulsing until the mixture begins to thicken. It will take a couple of minutes.

Step 6: Add the Antioxidant

When the soap batter has thickened to the consistency of warm custard, stir in the optional drops of grapefruit seed extract. It works as an anti-oxidant and helps prolong the shelf-life of your bars of soap. It’s not a preservative but rather an agent that helps stop oils from going rancid.

How to make Natural Goat Milk Soap

Step 7: Mold and Cool

Pour the soap into your mold, whether it’s the silicone soap mold, an empty paper milk carton, or something else. Now line the exposed part of the soap with plastic wrap and pop the mold into the refrigerator. Leave it there for 24 hours.

Step 8: Cut & Cure

Take the soap out of the refrigerator the next day but leave it inside the mold. Set it someplace on the counter and leave it there for three or four days to harden up a bit. This soap is very soft when it comes out of the mold and could break or get stuck if you try to cut it too soon. Use an ordinary kitchen knife to cut it into bars.

When cut, leave the bars someplace airy and out of direct sunlight to cure for four weeks. The soap is safe to touch 48 hours after making it but it needs the extra time to allow the excess moisture to evaporate out. For full instructions on how to cure handmade soap head over here

Using your Soap

The lather and feel of this handmade goat milk soap is fluffy and silky. The scent is softly milky and making the recipe just as it is will create bars ideal for sensitive and dry skin. If you’d like to scent these, you may add essential oil at the same time that you add the grapefruit seed extract. Read more about scenting soap with essential oil here — the article also provides recommendations on how much to use of each when making handmade soap.

96 Comments

  1. I appreciate you posting your soap recipes! I’ve tried others and have had much disappointment. The goats milk recipe had me wondering if I could use goat milk powder instead of goats milk itself?
    Goats milk is not easiest to come by where I’m located and would be extremely helpful if I were able to use the powder.
    Again thanks for all your post & the time it takes to do this.
    Thanks Kindly,
    Kimberly

    1. Hi Kimberly, the best way to add goat milk powder to cold-process soap is to blend it with the liquid oils. You do this before you add them to the melted solid oils and before you add the lye solution. Many soapmakers use 1.5-3 tsp of goat milk powder per pound (454g) of soapmaking oils so that’s a good place to start with your own recipes. Hope this helps :)

  2. Hi Tanya! I’m excited to try this recipe this weekend! I have one question that you may not know the answer to: Can I use frozen breastmilk in place of the goat milk? If so, does the lye amount change? I haven’t been able to find much online for using human milk haha.
    I will be making this batch with goat milk but I thought maybe the next one I could try breastmilk!

  3. Hi Tanya – I sent you a message via this format over a week ago about how much to measure out “drops” of GSE but have not received a reply. However having looked at other parts of your website I realise that you have just moved house so you’ve doubtless not had any spare time, let alone answering queries. I hope the move has gone okay, it can be really stressful I know. I’ve watched your video of the new house and garden, it looks wonderful, I’m envious of the garden as mine is tiny.
    After my email about the GSE drops I realised I have a dropper so used that when making the goat milk soap. I followed the recipe closely and having taken it out of the mould and cut into bars it looks really and just like your’s; I’m looking forward to using it when it is ready.
    Many thanks, Marianne.

    1. It has been a bit stressful recently and I’m glad you’ve sorted your dropper out :) GSE is an optional ingredient that you don’t need to use in soap recipes if you don’t wish to. It’s added in such tiny amount — drops — that I’ve never measured it in weight before.

  4. Hi Tanya,
    I am new to soap making and want to know if I make this recipe and let it cure the 4-6 weeks, can I use it as a Melt and Pour Soap Base? Or is that different recipes that require Hot Process

  5. Hi Tanya, I’m planning to try your recipe, but I’m just wondering – does it matter if I use semi-skimmed goats’ milk? Is the milk’s fat content important?

  6. Hi Tanya,
    Thanks for sharing your recipes. I have just started making soap.
    For the smaller 6 soap recipes, can you typically double a recipe?

    Alison

  7. Hi, I may have missed it, where do you get your goats milk, what brand do you use? Thanks so much and I love your website.

  8. This website is making want to make soaps. This is really the best for easy to follow instructions. Is there any ingredient that I can use to replace the shea butter? Shea butter actually dries my skin. Thank you for the advice.

    1. Most of the shea butter in this recipe is transformed into soap so it should not have the same effect on your skin. As for swapping out, that’s not an easy thing to do without recalculating the entire recipe. Soap making is chemistry and the sodium hydroxide amount is specifically for the oils, and amounts of those oils, in a recipe.

  9. Hello, please can you tell me the use by date for this soap? Surely it’s longer than the milks use by date? Thanks, Cathy

  10. hi ! Thank you so much for you soap-lovin’ heart and blog! It has been a great friend to me during my beginning stages! I plan on trying this recipe out. I really am looking forward to the white color; however, I have extra virgin olive oil,, will this effect the nice white? If so, can I add bentonite clay?

  11. Hello, love your recipes! I was wondering if you could replace the coconut oil with anything else? I’m allergic to coconut and I’m hard pressed to find melt and pour, per made soaps, and soap recipes without it.
    Thank you for your help!

  12. Hi Tanya,

    Absolutely love making your soaps, they are absolutely amazing, was just wondering with your goat milk soaps, how do you go about adding some essential oils and colour, do I need to modify the recipe at all? Or can I just add the recommended % of essential oils to the recipe? Or in the case of colour as much as I would like?

    Thank you so much!

  13. Dear Tanya!

    What’s use Sodium hidroxide or Natrium hidroxide? And you wrote water , natural water or destilled water? Many many thanks :)

    1. Hi Orsolya, it’s best to work with distilled water or rain water if possible. Tap water with chlorine or minerals can affect the soap’s lather and amount of soap scum it produces. I’m not sure about what you’re asking in regards to Sodium hydroxide.

  14. Hi Tanya,
    I’ve given a few bars of my goat’s milk soap away as gifts and my mother-in-law is saying that the soap is turning her white wash clothes a bit orange. Could goat’s milk soap do that? Or did I do something wrong when making it?
    Thank you for your help!
    Vicki

    1. It should not be turning anything orange. Also, this recipe is not a good one for laundry soap and shouldn’t really be used as such. It’s superfatted — meaning extra oil for your skin. Extra oil does not bode well for clothing though.

      1. I created bar soap for skin. She uses a wash cloth to wash her face. She said the soap turned her wash cloth orange.

      2. Definitely! I’m only using it as face/body bar soap. I’m guessing my mother-in-law is using a white washcloth when washing her face. Possibly she’s laundering her wash clothes in something that is causing a reaction with the goat’s milk soap? I believe she always uses white vinegar in her rinse cycle to soften her laundry. Maybe that is still on the washcloth when she uses the Goat’s Milk Soap to wash her face? What are your thoughts on that?

        Thanks,
        Vicki

  15. Hi Tanya, your website has really made me want to start and make soaps! I have ordered my mould online today. However, I am wondering if there are any other ways to prolong the “expiry” of the soap other than adding GSE. And any suggestions to stamping the soaps?

    1. There’s no way to prolong the best-by date of soap, I’m afraid. GSE and other antioxidants only help free-floating oils in the soap from going rancid too early. The legal shelf-life of your soap will always be the closest expiration date of any of the raw materials you use. If the coconut oil you use goes off next week then your expiration date for soap sold to customers is also next week. Saying that, I’ve found that the best by date of many oils, especially solid oils and butters, is longer than on the packaging. If you’re making soap just for yourself then you don’t need to be as strict about an expiration.

  16. Hi Tanya!
    I just made a batch of your Natural Goat Milk soap and I’m not sure why but when I introduced the lye/milk (74 degree) to the oils (87 degrees), the batch gave off an ammonia smell. Is that normal?
    Thanks,
    Vicki

      1. I just pulled it out of the refrigerator and I think I’m smelling just a hint of goat’s milk.
        Thank you Tanya! I can’t wait to try this soap…..in 4 weeks. :)

  17. Dear Tanya,

    I’m just getting into soap making, and I intend to start with your goats milk recipe, which I’ll stick to rigidly. I’ll let you know how it turns out. However, I just wanted your opinion, on the assumption that it works out well, as my intention is to focus in future on producing herbal soaps. Do you think that adding herbal oil and a corresponding colouring to your recipe (say sage oil and/or chopped sage and a little green french clay) would work, or is there a potential problem that I need to know about?

    I think your website is really good, by the way, and your videos are great!

    Best wishes,
    Stephen

  18. Hi Tanya!
    I just love your website and how you explain everything. This is my first try at goats milk soap. I got my silicon ice trays and opened my very first bottle of goats milk and when I started pouring the milk into a container to weigh it before putting it in the ice trays, I noticed that there were some curds in the milk. :( I checked the date and it expires next week, so it should be okay. Is that normal? Or should I ditch the milk and go get a fresh bottle?

    1. Milk that expires next week is still in date :) Just strain the curds out and freeze the liquid. There’s a chance that the curds might scorch and turn your soap brown but if that does happen, the soap is still fine to use.

  19. Would it work if I were to ad lemon or orange zest to it and ad a citrus touch? Would that change the recipe? Also, If I were to emit the grapeseed oil, how long would it be good for? Could I use sunflower oil instead of Coconut oil? Lastly, is this recipe good for eczema and/or dry and irritated skin?
    Sorry for all the questions! It sounds like a very good recipe!

    1. Unless you’re an experienced soap maker I don’t recommend changing anything in a soap recipe. It’s more complicated than just taking an oil out and replacing it with another. However, you could add the citrus zest if you wish — half a teaspoon will do for this recipe. It won’t add scent but will add specks of colour.

  20. I made the Goat Milk Soap recipe today and it went exactly as you described. Thank you for this recipe and your detailed instructions. The soap looks beautiful and the whole process was very satisfying. I made soap 20 years ago and it did not go as smoothly as this recipe did. I appreciate Lovely Greens website, a true gem!

  21. Hi Tanya ,
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Can I use cold pressed coconut oil in the place of refined coconut oil?

    Thanks
    Sushma

  22. Hi, what does it mean if my soap was crumbly? Also can I use all goats milk or must I use hall and hall (water/goats milk)?

    1. Crumbly soap can be an issue when making soap with sugars like milk, honey, or actual sugar. It’s not the sugars themselves though that cause the issue — it’s the extra heat they generate. It can cause the centers of the soap to gel and the outer edges to not go through gel. In other types of soap it’s just a color difference that happens in this case. In sugar soaps it can sometimes cause crumbliness. Avoid this by soaping at lower temperatures and either ensuring the bars go through gel completely (insulate or gently oven process) or don’t go through it at all (refrigerate). As for the amount of milk — yes you can use all milk. Your chances of soap coming out crumbly or discoloured go up though if you do not take precautions.

      1. Hi!
        Thanks sooo much for all the great information… I was wondering if I am suppose to put soap in refrigerator after making it to avoid over heating and for the soap to come out crumbly?

  23. Hi Tanya,
    I am new to your website and I just love it. I tried your goat milk receipe today and I hope it will turn out right. My only worry is that the soap didn’t thickend as much as it used to do to reach trace with my other recipe.
    I was wondering if goat milk powder could be an alternative to the liquid one. Did you ever try it?
    Thanks for your help and time :)
    Joanne

  24. Hi Tanya, I’m interested in making goat milk and also goat whey soap so my question is- could it be done only with milk or whey without any water? Also, should I use fresh or pasteurized milk- is there any difference, because I’d rather use fresh.
    Greetings

    1. The more milk you use, the higher chance of it scorching. Saying that, give it a go and see how the soap looks, smells, and lathers afterwards. As for fresh or pastueurized — I don’t think it really matters.

  25. Hi! I am wondering if there is a way to color this soap a light gray. I love the white, but I am worried the white won’t be as white as I need it to be. So my next option is a light gray. Do you have any ideas?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Lesley, I’d recommend you try making it first. This recipe will give you pure white bars if you follow the instructions. If you’d still like to tint it a light grey you can use a little activated charcoal.

  26. I was wondering if it is possible to color this soap to a light gray? If so, what would be the best colorant to use as well as maybe add to the soothing properties that this soap has. I love the white, but I’m concerned that it won’t be as white as I was hoping for. So my next alternative is a light gray.
    Thank you so much!

  27. Hi – how much soap does this recipe make – just looking at possible mould sizes?
    Many thanks – and looking forward to trying this! xx

  28. Love this easy to follow instructions, and the comments have cleared up many questions. Is there a print option for the goats milk soap? Blessings to you and your family.
    Bev

  29. Hi Tanya!
    I am a always so impressed by your recipes, ideas and farming information. Thank you for sharing all your ideas, recipes and tips. I would like to double this recipe..is this possible without any major issues? Do you have any thoughts or tips on doing this successfully? Thank you so much for all you do for the natural living and soaping community! Tara Penske-Amadeus Aromatherapy

  30. Is this recipe compatible for hot process soap making? I am new to soap making. I tried your recipe and love the way it feels, but I don’t really have the time to wait 4 – 6 weeks since we are getting ready for farmer’s markets.

  31. Love this! Can I leave out the anti-oxidant if I don’t have any on hand? If I do leave out the Grapefruit Seed Extract, do I have to change the recipe? (Also thinking of throwing in the honey at the end).

    1. Yes of course — the antioxidant is optional. As for honey, it can heat the soap up due to its sugars. To keep your soap light coloured make sure to refrigerate it after pouring it into the mould. Happy soaping :)

  32. I made soap twice with this recipe and it came out perfect both times. I appreciate the detailed instructions that provide everything needed to make this soap. I used almond fragrance for the first batch and lavender/lemon for the second.

    1. Thanks so much Mirta! You don’t have to refigerate your soap but beware that it might not turn out as creamy white as in the photos. It might even get a gel circle in the centre. Not a biggie as far as functionality (it’s still very usable soap), it just won’t look as nice if it discolours.

      1. 5 stars
        I made this recipe 4 days ago and it turned out great. When I first poured it in the mold I matched the color with some goat milk soap that I made a couple months ago. The color was slightly lighter than the older soap from the beginning but it seems to be getting lighter each day. I just cut it for the 4 week cure and am quite pleased. Thank you so much.

  33. Hi Tanya I love the way go around explaining things. I am a big fan of urs. I had one question though, can I used cow or buffalo’s milk instead of goat’s milk.
    thanks

  34. Hi there, I love this site. Have just made my first batch of lemongrass soap and it has turned out quite brittle and crumbly. Am I able to reheat and repour? Thanks.

    1. Brittle and crumbly doesn’t sound right — check to see if the soaps are lye-heavy (with a PH test) before rebatching. You might have mis-measured the ingredients. It’s happened to us all!

  35. I’m following your posts and thank you for sharing with us what you create. I love soap with goat milk and I think I will try as soon as possible this way to make it. I have tried several times to put the goat milk to the trace, up to a maximum half of the amount of liquid, and the result is quite pleasing. The advantage of this method is that milk should not be frozen, but just brought to room temperature. Thank you again.

  36. Tanya, Love your instructions on how to make soap. Do you have a receipe to make Goats Milk soap without lye?

  37. Thanks so much for the recipe ! My first time to your site. Very detailed, easy to follow directions. You don’t get all scientific with us. I used to make soap. Back in the hippie days. LOL ! My how things have changed ! This will be my first time trying again. The thing I want the most is lather. Have you any suggestions to make that happen ? Thanks again.

  38. I have been making goats milk soap for years and it’s always the light brown color. I am thrilled to give this recipe a try. Thank you.

  39. Hi Tanya, I tried making Goats milk soap a few days ago, and it turned to mush, none of the other recipes say to put it in the freeer, I have sodium lactate, i think that is what it is called, should I use that instead of putting in the fridge. I really enjoy your videos, and all that you do. I just want my cold process soap to turn out. LoL any advice is good.
    Thanks
    Joyce

    1. You don’t put your soap in the freezer Joyce — you put it in the fridge to cool. If your soap turned to mush it could be a couple of things: the recipe isn’t good (check a recipe’s values in the SoapCalc before using it), you haven’t waited long enough before cutting it (don’t unmould for 3-4 days with softer soaps), or your soap false-traced meaning the oils cooled and hardened in the pan before they could be bonded with lye. I suggest you use my recipe instead and follow all the steps to the T. You mention substituting ingredients in a previous recipe in a Facebook comment — please don’t do that. It’s the surest way to fail when making soap.

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