I started making soap this past fall, and since then I’ve enjoyed researching recipes, ingredients and techniques. I love experimenting, and when my first soaping mishap turned out to be fixable, I realized making a mistake wasn’t that big of deal – so why not try some new things? After taking a break over the holidays, I decided that one of my first crafting tasks for 2013 would be a new soap recipe. I wanted to experiment with ingredients I’ve never used before, so I worked on creating a milk-based soap.
Milk soaps are pretty common and many soapers choose to use goat’s milk. I, being the impulsive late night soaper that I am, decided to get this recipe going at about 11pm when stores were no longer open. Needless to say, I didn’t have any goat’s milk on hand. (Now that I’m using milk in soap recipes, that will be a new staple in my pantry). But what did I have? Yup, a big gallon of regular cow’s milk. After reading up on milk soap recipes quite a bit, I determined that my good ‘ol cow’s milk would do the trick. (For more information on using milk in soaps, click here.)
The rest of my recipe was inspired by, you guessed it, the contents of my pantry. I thought walnuts and honey sounded good, so why not throw those in? I usually have a number of different oils on hand since I’ve gotten into soap making, but you can always change up these oils according to what you have available. To learn about the properties of different oils and how to create recipes, use Tiffany’s instructions here.
This recipe doesn’t use any fragrance or essential oils but the honey and walnut combination makes it smell amazing. The milk base makes for an extra moisturizing soap that’s perfect for the winter or for anyone with dry skin.
What ingredients in your pantry could be inspiration for a soap recipe?
Honey-Walnut Milk Soap
Makes about 16 4 ounce bars of soap
For the full cold process soap making instructions, check out Tiffany’s beginner’s soap making tutorial.
5 oz. canola oil
15 oz. coconut oil
15 oz. olive oil
5 oz. safflower oil
5 oz. sunflower oil
12.6 oz. milk, frozen to a slushy state
6.4 oz. lye
When making soap with milk, it’s imperative that your milk is at a frozen slushy state when you mix it with the lye, otherwise the milk will burn. When creating your lye solution, very slowly mix the lye, a small amount at a time, into the frozen milk slush. Complete the rest of the recipe as you normally would.
Add 3 tablespoons of honey right before mixture reaches trace. Mix in 3 ounces of finely ground walnuts at trace.
As always, remember to let your soaps cure for 4-6 weeks before using or gifting!