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Goat Milk, Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter Soap

Course: DIY, homestead & diy, Natural Home, Personal Care, Soapmaking


Tools You'll Need:

  • Safety goggles
  • Neoprene gloves I use latex from the cleaning section at Walmart
  • Crock pot at least a 4 qt in size
  • Stick blender
  • Plastic or glass bowl for mixing the lye
  • Metal spoon for mixing the lye
  • Silicone spatula/scraper for stirring the soap in the crock pot, and to use when molding your soap
  • Soap mold large enough to hold 33.25 oz of soap click here to calculate the volume of your soap mold
  • Freezer paper to line your soap mold if not using a silicone mold
  • pH Testing Strips optional

Ingredients to make the soap:

  • Coconut oil 76 degree, 30 oz
  • Shea butter 3.25 oz
  • Frozen goat milk 8-12 oz (I use 10oz)*
  • Sodium hydroxide aka 100% lye, 5.64 oz


  • Gather all of your tools and supplies to your work area. Line your mold with freezer paper if you aren't using a silicone mold.
  • Measure both oils and melt them in your crock pot on low. When your oils are melted, turn your crock pot off.
  • Next put on your safety goggles and plastic gloves and mix your lye into your frozen goat milk, stirring gently until the goat milk/lye mixture is completely liquid. This step takes 5-10 minutes for the frozen milk chunks to melt, so it's best to start with smaller chunks so the mixture doesn't cool completely. (NOTE: ALWAYS add your lye to your water, not your water to your lye, or you might have a lye volcano on your hands, and you definitely don't want that. I always mix my lye and goat milk outdoors because of the fumes. If you do this also, and if you have outdoor pets, make sure not to spill any of your dry lye, or leave your lye mixture unattended. My cat and dog seem to always want to know what I'm doing, so I tend to lock up the dog and relocate the cat when I'm mixing lye.)
  • Once mixed and the milk is completely melted, bring your lye mixture into the house and wait about 5 minutes (remember, don't leave the mixture unattended if you have indoor animals). Use this time to set up a pan of water with a splash or two of vinegar in it (vinegar is said to neutralize lye). This is where you will put any tools used previously to soak, while you are working on your soap. Instead of using a pan from my kitchen, I use a small-sized plastic cat litter box that I bought for making soap. If I don't have any dirty dishes in the sink, I sometimes use that, and sometimes I don't use vinegar. Either way, I always wash my soapmaking dishes with my gloves on so I don't suffer any lye burns on my hands.
  • Next, stir your lye mixture into your oils.
  • Use your stick blender to begin mixing, turning it on and off so as not to burn your motor out. It should not take long to trace this recipe, probably less than 10-15 minutes.
  • Identify "trace". This is when your soap is the consistency of pudding, and when you can draw a line with your stick blender and see it in the soap. (Make sure to turn OFF your stick blender before you draw your line!)
  • Once at trace, turn off and remove your stick blender and turn your crock pot on low and cover. You are watching for your soap to slowly bubble up the sides of the crock pot, and it will appear dryer on the sides than in the middle. Stir occasionally to aid your soap in cooking evenly, and watch for your soap to take on the look of waxy mashed potatoes.
  • Begin testing the pH of your soap with the test strips. If you don't have them, you can do the "zap test" on your tongue (I don't use this method, myself, but many people do.) Depending on your crock pot and your recipe, the cook times vary, so make sure to stay close by during the cooking--you don't want your soap to get too hot and escape your crock pot, especially if your soap is still caustic.
  • Once your soap's pH reads less than 10 (or doesn't zap you), the soap is no longer caustic. You can, at this point, take a small bit of your soap and try to wash your hands with it. If there are bubbles, even if there aren't many, it is definitely done and ready to put into your mold. (If you are using additives, make sure to allow your soap to cool for a few minutes and add them before molding.) You can keep cooking it until the pH is lower (I usually do), but there's always a risk of your soap becoming dry or flaky when you do that.
  • Scoop about 1/3 of your soap out into your mold and bang the mold a few times on the counter to let out air bubbles (be careful if you are using a cylinder or column mold that has two separate pieces, because it can squirt out the sides!). Add your second and third portions of the soap, doing the same each time you add more soap. Smooth the top of your soap, if desired, and set aside to cool in the mold. Clean up all of your tools and your work area.
  • After 12 hours, unmold your soap and slice into the sizes and shapes you prefer. (Or if you are me, 5 hours, because I'm impatient. Just make sure it's cool and completely hardened.) Your soap is ready to use now, but the longer you wait, the harder your bar will be, and the longer it will last.


*If you would like to use a vegan (or other) alternative to goat milk, you certainly can! Here's a link that will give you some choices: https://letstalkaboutsoap.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/soapy-vegan-alternatives-to-goats-milk/