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Tutorial: Goat’s Milk, Honey and Avocado Oil Soap

Goat's Milk, Avocado Oil, Honey
Cut bars of Honey & Goat’s Milk Soap with Avocado Oil

Everybody loves a goat’s milk soap. With all the good press goat’s milk has been getting lately, I figured it was time to venture into a few goat’s milk soaps. Milk soaps aren’t new to me, so I was quietly confident nothing would go wrong.

However, then I had to try and source some goat’s milk. My preference was for fresh, not powdered, so I headed to a large supermarket an hour from home in the hope they would have goat’s milk when the shops close to me did not.

An hour of searching later, we found some goat milk – so I bought every single carton in the shop. Just in case. Obviously the hope is to find farm fresh goat’s milk eventually, but in the meantime, supermarket bought works.

Goat's Milk Soap Tutorial

Luxury Goat’s Milk, Honey, and Avocado Oil Soap

This recipe has been resized to fit a 10 inch Bramble Berry silicone mould. I made a large batch (5 x 8 inch moulds, or 4kg of base oils), but I’ve resized this recipe down to fit a 10 inch silicone mould, which is 1000g (35 oz) of base oils, or 1.4l (50 oz) of soap batter.

Soap Formula Used

  • 300g (10.6 oz) Olive Oil
  • 200g (7 oz) Rice Bran Oil
  • 200g (7 oz) Coconut Oil
  • 150g (5.3 oz) Sunflower Oil
  • 70g (2.5 oz) Macadamia Oil
  • 50g (1.7 oz) Castor Oil
  • 30g (1.05 oz) Avocado Oil
  • 320g (11.3 oz) Goat’s Milk – frozen into cubes
  • 134g (4.72 oz) Sodium Hydroxide

Extra Additives

  • 15g (0.5 oz) Honey
  • 30g (1 oz) warm water

PREP WORK

Working really slowly, dissolve your lye in your frozen goat’s milk, a spoonful at a time. Use an ice bath to stop the milk heating up and getting “scorched”. A little yellowing is okay – by the end of mine I had a butter yellow mix and a slight ammonia smell, but nothing I was concerned about.

Weigh out your oils.

Dilute your honey in your warm water.

Frozen Goat's Milk
Frozen goat’s milk cubes! Use an ice tray, silicone is awesome! 😉

Give your milk/lye solution a really good mix to make sure everything is dissolved well.

Goat's Milk and Lye Solution
Goat’s milk lye solution prepped
Avocado Oil
Avocado Oil!

GETTING STARTED

Working at room temperature, pour your lye mixture into your oils. You can pour through a sieve if you’re worried about undissolved lye. It’s okay if your lye mix looks a teensy bit lumpy – the fats in the goat’s milk will saponify a little in the beginning.

Stick blend to light trace and add your honey/water mixture.

THE FINISH

Pour into moulds and texture your top lightly if that’s what you like.

A lot of people will attempt to prevent goat’s milk soap from gelling, but my freezer was full of food and I had no room for soap. Instead, I put the moulds into my soaping cupboard and left them at room temperature to gel. It’s cold here in Tasmania at the moment, so my soaping room wasn’t any more than 14C (57F) so I wasn’t terribly concerned about overheating.

As always, if you allow your milk soaps to gel, they will be a more caramel coloured soap. This is the look I was going for. If you want a whiter soap, use a little titanium dioxide in the recipe and freeze your soap for 24 hours post-pouring to prevent gel.

Goat's Milk Soap
Creamy raw goat’s milk soap in the molds!

Goat's Milk, Avocado Oil, Honey

The Goat’s Milk, Honey, and Avocado Oil recipe is an original formula created by Veronica Foale. It is palm-free, and uses a 6% superfat (plus a little extra from the goat’s milk).

Feel free to adjust or share as needed!

Note: I used Sunflower Oil at 15%, which is higher than a lot of recommended rates, but I adore the creamy lather of sunflower oil. As long as your oil was bought fresh from somewhere with high oil turnover rate, it should be fine. Sunflower Oil is a staple in most Australia grocery stores, so it is an inexpensive way to add creamy lather to a soap.

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58 Responses

  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I love your addition to Modern Soapmaking. You definitely present a nice cottage or natural farm feel to the soapmaking blog.

      1. Hello, I was wondering if you use regular Sunflower oil or the High Oleic Sunflower oil. Do you feel a difference in the soap using one over the other? Thank you

    1. Hi, this is my first time making soap. Just want to ask why you use many kind of oil?my hometown in indonesia is very hot, any suggestion for the recipe? Another things, i dont think avocado oil available here.

  2. Great tutorial Veronica, lovely looking soap and I think that most soapmakers and end users love the rustic look and the creamy lather that goat milk and honey bring to a hand made soap. This is definitely on my to do list, this week in fact!

  3. I love sunflower oil too Veronica! Gives a gorgeous silky lather. I’ve not had trouble with DOS at 15%,and I have a couple of 4 year old bars here with nary an orange spot in sight to prove it 🙂

    1. It would depend – I like Sweet Almond Oil as a substitute – they’ve got slightly different fatty acid profiles, but they’re both really nice oils. Otherwise, you can increase your olive oil. Run it through soap calc if you’re doing any substitutions.

  4. It is quite warm here right now, so I am wondering…if I put the soap in the freezer do I need to cover it? I am new to soapmaking and I put a loaf in the freezer before and once I brought it out it was watery on top once thawing. This left a sort of freezer burn marking on top of the soap.

    1. Sometimes you can get water spots from the freezer, but I think what you were seeing was the condensation which forms as the soap thaws out. You can run a fan on it while it thaws to dry the condensation as it forms, which can help.

  5. I love working with goats milk and adding aloe is awesome.
    What do you think about adding the milk to the oils before mixing work the lye solution? I’ve always added the milk in frozen cubes but just started melting the oils and then adding the milk and blending then adding the lye solution.
    Thanks

  6. Hi,
    I have made this recipe and left my soap in the mold for 48 hours. It was hard enough to remove from the mold so I cut a bar and realized the soap is really soft. Will it harden up over time? I don’t know if there was an overheating issue… But can the soap still be saved?

      1. I am using a pastry cutter. I am new to soaping but I’ve made a few successful hard bars of soap and haven’t had a problem with my soap being soft. Humidity may be a problem; is putting it in the freezer okay? Or should I just leave it out? Thank you for responding!

        1. If you’ve successfully gotten it out of the mould, then putting it into the freezer isn’t necessary. I find wire cutters are easier on softer soaps to begin with – but I promise the soap does harden up after a 5 week cure into a glorious bubbly creamy bar.

          And I’ve had a bar in my shower for 6 weeks now, being used regularly by five of us, so it also lasts well.

          1. I think I panicked a little because it was a little sticky after I cut it.. So I didn’t know what to do. Thank you again for your advice! I’m sure they will come out great

  7. I’m super excited to have stumbled across your blog/site … I am curious if I can make this without lye? Ta

  8. Hi Veronica,
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe. I’m still researching and learning and have yet to make my first soap. After much research I’ve decided that HP is the way to go for me so I was wondering if this recipe would work with HP? Thanks for your input 🙂

      1. HELP PLEASE I would also love to try this the HP method, what do u suggest holding back after the cook to add as my super fat? I also think I want to add SL after the cook, what do you think? I’ll be using your method of water for our solution then adding the goats milk after cook along with the powder AND honey. Do you think this would be ok? Do u for see any issues?

  9. Hi,
    I really like the idea of adding milk to soap but I’ve hardly ever given it a trail. The oils and butter that are easily available and affordable in my location includes PKO, Palm and shea butter. And I never run out out of castor even though it doen’t come cheap. You know anyway I can work with above listed, with milk of course?

    1. Have a play around with Soap Calc. If you can get hold of olive oil too, you should find it works well. I don’t use palm, so I’m not able to recommend a recipe using it 🙂

  10. I am not sure what I am doing wrong but when it comes to making milk based soaps they just do not come out right for me.. Is there any tips/tricks to working with milk in soapmaking? I run recipes thru a lye calculated and don’t have a problem with my other soaps.. I can’t seem to figure it out

  11. Hello Amanda,
    I just ran the numbers through the soap calc and mms and both are showing lye as 5.2 but you have it at 4.72. And the total amount of liquid will it be 11.3 or do we add the water and honey as well? I want to try this recipe but am confused about the lye and water numbers to use. Help please.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Anjali,

      I’ve just double checked and I’m still getting lye at 134g or 4.72 oz – I am using Soapmaker 3 however, which could have slightly different sap values. As always, use the calculator you’re most comfortable with. And remember I ran mine at a 6% SF – soap calc defaults to 5%, which could be the issue.

      The water and honey are extra to the original liquid amount you use to dissolve your lye. I didn’t use any water discount in this, but I did account for the water and honey as part of the recipe. You can always discount the liquid amount if you like, but I try to give full liquid in recipes, just to make it easier if people are just starting out.

      Hope that helps!

      V

    2. Wait, no. You just made me triple check the recipe and I seem to have added an accidental 100g of olive oil somehow. I must have typo’d it. THANK YOU. And a timely reminder for everyone to run things through soap calc! I thought I’d triple checked this, but apparently not. Typos slip through.

      Am very sorry.

  12. Dear Veronica,
    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I am pretty new to soaping, just starting out, this would be my 3rd recipe . Am very excited, and very thankful for teachers like you…really appreciate all the work you put in!

  13. Hi Veronica , I just found you today and just in time! I’ve had a lot of success making goats milk soap but yesterday I tried a very large batch with honey and home made almond milk and froze it form24 hours. When I Took it out today all the center was soft and dark brown , it didn’t fully go through the gel phase but the majority was soft and dark. Do you think it’s still fine and May just need more time to cure? I ran a ph test on it and it read very high unlike most of my fresh soaps, at ph12..( most of my soaps test at 8-9 right away)… Thanks! Oh looking forward to trying some of your recipes too!

    1. Hi Liz,

      It sounds like it did a partial gel. Freezing it can slow down saponification, so I’d leave it at room temperature for 24 hours and see how it goes. What kind of mould was it in? It might be okay with time, but it’s hard to know without seeing it.

      V

  14. Hi Veronica:

    I tried a similar recipe and my soap was a little crumbly. All my recent recipes with honey tend to end up like this. I have successfully made cp soaps in the past using hone with no issues. I don’t know what am doing wrong now. Please can you help? I have been soaping for about 1 year. Thank you

    1. Are you using a different brand of honey? Maybe there are some extra ingredients in there. I’m not certain though, it just sounds like if you’ve used honey in the past with no dramas, then maybe the current honey is at fault.

  15. Just made this soap. Everything went smooth although collecting the oils was a challenge. Now I get to wait…..lol?

  16. Hello,
    I made this soap today and had an issue. It simply would not trace! I doubled it, as my mold was larger. I made the mistake of not double checking it with a lye calculator. I ran it through a lye calculator while waiting for it to trace (yes, I was using a stick blender). I’ve never had an issue with trace, so I was pretty confused and frustrated after it didn’t trace after about an hour. So, the lye calculator indicated that I was shy about 100g of lye. I tried looking up whether I could add it after or not and didn’t find anything. So, after hemming and hawing, I poured some of the “soap” into a container and added the lye and stirred it up. I then added it all back to the main batch. Using the stick blender and stirring, Finally, it started to trace! However, after it finally got to trace, and I poured it into the mold, I saw some grainy bits on the bottom of my pot. Did the lye not dissolve? And, what issues will that cause with the soap? What did I do wrong? This is my first milk soap (yup, frozen fresh goats milk) and I was surprised to say the least that I had issues with trace of all things. Thanks for any Help and advice for next time!!!

  17. I made this recipe. The soap is wonderful but is extremely soft and does not last long. Looking at the values in the lye calculator, the iodine value was off the chart (high) and hardness was at the low end. Will the addition of sodium lactate help make this soap last longer?

  18. Hi
    I am new to this. Could sodium lactate be used to ensure hardening? Also could this be used in guest soap molds as wel as other decorative molds instead of the loaf mold?
    Thanks!

    1. I would like to know the answer to this as well as I’m only able to get the concentrated goats milk or powder right now. I’m looking into a local supplier of goats milk but finding it difficult where I live 🙁

    1. Babassu Oil (which I personally love) or Palm Kernal Oil are substitutes for coconut oil and both tend to be a little more mild on the skin. Be sure to rerun your recipe through SoapCalc because your Lye amount will be different.

  19. Hi,

    Im Yash from India. I stumbled to yor page last night and it kept me up all night. This is so interesting. I really appreciate what you’ll are doing here.

    I have a few questions pleaee help me out:

    1)I want to do this recipe with camel milk. Will that be possible and will it be better than goat milk ?

    2) what can i add and in what quantity To increase the shelf life to 6-12 months in this recipe ?

    3)I have read that by this recipe the end product is soft and might take a resting period of 5 weeks. What can we add to this recipe to create a more firm saop more quickly and in what quantity ?

  20. Fresh goat’s milk is hard to find where I live. Can I use canned goat’s milk from the grocery store without causing any problems to the final product?

  21. Pretty New to Soaping and I have Never Made a Milk Soap (so thank you for this recipe) Normally when I make a cold process soap I put my soap (when all finished) on a hot pad for about 20 – 30 mins? Would I still do that with a milk recipe? Thanks You ~ Just found your site today! Thank You!!!

    1. Hey, Debra,
      And welcome! Milk soaps rarely need additional heat as the sugars in the milk act as a catalyst to speed trace and produce a strong heat phase. You can read more about catalysts and controlling them here: Controlling Trace in Cold Process Soap.

      You actually probably need to be cautious of overheating with recipes containing sugars, like this one. Here’s a good read to help you troubleshoot if things start to go sideways: Overheating Soap.

      Hope that helps!

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