How to Make Soap with Milk

Make homemade soap from milk using this basic recipe from soapmaker Martha Enriquez of Pine Lane Soaps.

by Dani Yokhna
Homemade soap
Photo by Stephanie Staton

Martha Enriquez, of Pine Lane Soaps in Batavia, Ohio, uses this basic soap recipe for her goat’s milk soap. Whenever you make soap at home, follow safety guidelines: Wear long sleeves, an apron and safety goggles, and work in a well-ventilated room. Only use your equipment for soap-making and not for food preparation, and avoid using any equipment made from aluminum.

Yield: 4 pounds


  • 2 12-quart stainless-steel pots
  • spoon for stirring
  • soap mold (You can purchase these from a soap-making supply store or website or use other items found around the house, such as candy molds, drawer organizers and Styrofoam egg cartons.)
  • thermometer that ranges 80 to 160 degrees F


  • 96 fluid ounces oil (olive, coconut, palm or any combination)
  • 32 fluid ounces goat’s milk, frozen
  • 10 ounces lye
  • 1 to 2 ounces essential oils (your choice)

Photos courtesy Pine Lane Soaps

Homemade soap: Step 1Step 1: In a stainless-steel pot, heat oils on the stove to 100 degrees F.
Homemade soap: Step 2Step 2: In a separate stainless-steel pot, slowly add lye to frozen milk and heat until it reaches 100 degrees F. (If the mixture exceeds 100 degrees F, allow it to cool or put it in an ice bath.)
Homemade soap: Step 3Step 3: Once both the oils and milk-lye mixture reach 100 degrees F, very slowly add the milk-lye mixture to the oils. Whisk the mixture quickly until it reaches a thickness similar to pudding, aka trace. This can take up to 30 minutes. Once trace is achieved, add essential oils and stir well.
Homemade soap: Step 4Step 4: Pour soap into mold, and let it harden for 24 hours.
Homemade soap: Step 5

Step 5: Remove soap from mold and allow to cure for four weeks in a well-ventilated location with low humidity.

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