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Faye's Mechanics Goat Milk Soap

The best kept secret just might be in your cupboard!

The best kept secret just might be in your cupboard!

Faye emailed me asking for assistance with a goat milk soap for mechanics. She asked for a little help particularly with additives. It can be tricky knowing how much to use of the scrubby additives.

Scrubbing grains: Luffa is a soft, yet long and strong, abrasive. It is best to add no more than 2 teaspoons per 1 lb batch. The 1 oz jar will easily take care of a 5 lb fat batch.

Pumice is small and very hard. While it is dense enough to scratch away the tough, dry skin, it can easily be used at too high of a rate. It is best to limit pumice to no more than 2 teaspoons per 1 lb fat batch.

Clays can be added for a very gentle abrasive. Clays can also help remove grease and viscous oils from the skin. Sometimes clay is added for color and other times it is added for cleaning assistance. Up to 2 tablespoons can be used in a 1 lb fat batch.

Plant parts like lavender flowers, rolled oats, peppermint leaves and other soft plant materials can still be abrasive. It is best to grind very fine to use as a facial soap. A general body soap can handle a more coarse grind/cut on these types of botanicals. I suggest starting with 2 teaspoons of material to a 1 lb fat batch, adding more as desired.

Seeds are another option. Seeds are generally not used on the face because they are very abrasive. Seeds can be ground more finely to make a soft, facial soap. When seeds are ground like this we call the resulting product a meal. Nuts are considered seeds too. I would use low fat or de-fatted nuts for making meals instead of full fat nuts which can cause a problem with softer soaps and too much excess fat in the finished bar. Whole seeds that are soft (Vanilla Bean Seeds) can be used at a higher rate than seeds which are larger and have a greater abrasive power. Start with 1 teaspoon per lb of fat and adjust from there.

So join me in the kitchen to help Faye find the perfect soap!

First, we started with Coconut Oil. Coconut Oil is great oil that makes a nice firm bar with lots of lather. And when I say lots of lather, I mean LOTS of lather. We will want this especially since we will be using additives that will damper the sudsing ability of the soap.

Second, we used Sunflower Oil. Sunflower Oil leaves a conditioning feel to the skin. After all, we condition our hair so why not condition our skin too?! Conditioned skin is often able to retain moisture better and is certainly softer, too! However, Sunflower Oil can cause a very soft soap.

Next we used Palm Oil. Palm Oil creates a nice, firm bar. Perfect for this recipe!

We also used Castor Oil. Castor Oil is great at boosting lather in a soap recipe. Think soft and creamy lather that is every child’s dream!

Next we used Stearic Acid. Stearic Acid helps form a harder bar. This will help because we have added Sunflower to our formulation which makes for a very soft bar.

Now that we have covered our soap formulation, let head to the kitchen and make some soap! This is perfect for any man who spends some time out in the garage or wood-shop and needs just a little bit of help to clean up.

Coconut Oil
Sunflower Oil
Palm Oil
Castor Oil
Stearic Acid
Goat’s Milk
Sodium Hydroxide
Orange Essential Oil
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil
Ground Pumice
Poppy Seeds
French Green Clay
Microwave Safe Container


Recipe in Grams
124 grams Coconut Oil
177 grams Sunflower Oil
117 grams Palm Oil
21 grams Castor Oil
14 grams Stearic Acid
118 mL Goat’s Milk
59 mL Water
64 grams Sodium Hydroxide
9 mL Orange Essential Oil
2 mL Tea Tree Essential Oil
3 mL Lavender Essential Oil
1 tsp Ground Pumice
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
1 tsp French Green Clay
Recipe in Ounces
4.37 oz Coconut Oil
6.25 oz Sunflower Oil
4.12 oz Palm Oil
0.75 oz Castor Oil
0.5 oz Stearic Acid
4 oz Goat’s Milk
2 oz Water
2.27 oz Sodium Hydroxide
9 mL Orange Essential Oil
2 mL Tea Tree Essential Oil
3 mL Lavender Essential Oil
1 tsp Ground Pumice
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
1 tsp French Green Clay
Recipe in Percentages
27% Coconut Oil
39% Sunflower Oil
26% Palm Oil
5% Castor Oil
3% Stearic Acid
Q.S. Goat’s Milk
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide
Q.S. Orange Essential Oil
Q.S. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Q.S. Lavender Essential Oil
Q.S. Ground Pumice
Q.S. Poppy Seeds
Q.S. French Green Clay

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until liquid. Add the Sodium Hydroxide to the water to form a lye solution. Allow the oils and the lye to cool to a lower temperature. We do not want to have the soap overheat and volcano. Mix the oils and lye solution and blend until trace is achieved. Add the botanical and milk at this point. Stir well. Pour into a mold and allow to sit for 24 hours. Cut the soap. Allow the soap to cure. Longer curing time will result in a harder bar. Enjoy!

Note: Milk soaps can get very hot. Please plan for this by soaping at a little bit of a lower temperature and/or pouring into a shallow mold. We recommend soaping somewhere between 110° F and 130°F. Adjust due to the weather and temperature of your work room. In summer, soap on the lower end of that spectrum. Shallow molds also help by allowing the excess heat to dump into the air. This will prevent the milk sugars from interrupting the saponification reaction.

I hope everyone has a great time with this recipe! For those of you who like to use botanicals or other scrubby additives, which ones are your favorites? I want to know!

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