I hesitate to even call this recipe “simple” because liquid soap is a bit more complicated to make than bar soap. Simple instructions and few ingredients make this recipe a winner; but those instructions don’t involve grating a bar of soap and adding water. About 2 years into my bar soap making I came across this recipe. I have made it several times and *most* times it has come out perfectly. A couple of times I had difficulties with it separating, although it seemed to still work like soap. I have never found another recipe like this one before so I wanted to share it with you.
Some basics of Liquid Soap making
There are a couple of differences between liquid and bar soaps. Potassium Hydroxide (potash or KOH) is used for making Liquid soaps while Sodium Hydroxide (lye) is used for bar soap. The process for making liquid soap is more like a hot-process bar soap. It is cooked for a long period of time, going through several different phases. When complete, a translucent gel is the final product. The gel is then reconstituted to the desired consistency. A translucent soap is what most people are looking for in a liquid and it is almost impossible to get a milk soap to be translucent. It is also almost impossible to cook a milk soap for an extended period of time without it burning and having a scorched odor. At the very least, the soap will be an unpleasing brown color and may have “floaties” in it due to the sugars and proteins in the milk.
There are a couple of differences between liquid and bar soaps. Liquid soaps are made using Potassium Hydroxide (potash or KOH) instead of Sodium Hydroxide (lye) which is used for bar soap. The process for making liquid soap is more like a hot-process bar soap being cooked for a long period of time and going through several different phases. When complete, a translucent gel is the final product. The gel is then reconstituted to the desired consistency. A translucent soap is what most people are looking for in a liquid and it is almost impossible to get a milk soap to be translucent. It is also almost impossible to cook a milk soap for an extended period of time without it burning and having a scorched odor. At the very least, the soap will be an unpleasing brown color and may have “floaties” in it due to the sugars and proteins in the milk.
I don’t care if my liquid soap is translucent or not, but I do like the properties of goat milk soap and this recipe is made like a cold-process bar soap and mixes up easily. You will use the same tools as you would for bar soap making including a stick blender and your designated utensils and bowls. I had to order my KOH, as I could not find a local outlet for it. You can find it at many online soap making sites, and even Amazon.
My liquid goat milk soap recipe
I have run the following ingredients through a lye calculator to make sure they are correct. If you are looking to create your own recipe, make sure you select the correct lye on this calculator.
In a double boiler, melt together:
7.2 oz. coconut oil
3.6 oz. sustainable palm oil
1.2 oz. grapeseed oil
While your oils are melting, mix 4.6 oz. of very cold to slightly slushy goat milk with 2.6 oz. of KOH.
When the KOH is dissolved into your milk, very slowly and carefully combine your oils and your milk.
Stir to combine. Use your stick blender to pulse the mixture in quick bursts to combine the oil and milk. If you are familiar with bar soap making, you will notice that it will take a bit longer for this soap to come to trace. Keep pulsing your stick blender until the soap traces back on itself like a thin pudding. Pour the mixture into a lidded container to cure for about 2 weeks. I usually use a mason jar and leave it on top of my fridge.
After 2 weeks, thin your soap with distilled water to the desired consistency. The instructions that came with the recipe said that a stick blender can be used for this step, but I felt that it bubbled too much and made a mess. I have found it’s best to add some water, stir a bit, then let it set before mixing some more. If you want to add essential or fragrance oils, do so at this time now.
I would love to see your liquid soap, so if you make some, drop me a line!
63 thoughts on “Simple Liquid Goat Milk Soap Recipe”
After 2 weeks my soap separated & the darker bottom half was solid. I mixed the soap & added water until it was smooth and pourable. It is in pump bottles and solid again!
Sometimes I have issues with this soap separating after a few weeks. Normally it never actually gets solid though. I wonder what it could be? Did you use the oils exactly as stated?
Would you be able to use this liquid soap as a shampoo? Or do you have a goat milk shampoo recipe?
I have never used this as a shampoo, it doesn’t have quite the same consistency as I would like. Shampoo is not something that I have experimented with yet – maybe soon!
Made liquid goat milk soap today. Followed the process that I used for CP goat milk soap (slushy, combined with lye with pot in ice). Was taking a horrific long time to trace. I left it alone for a few minutes, found it had separated, SB again – several times over the next half hour. Then it became like a dough. I am familiar with making liquid soap, but the nagging question was do I do the 1-3 hour cook or not. I followed this recipe and did not. Anyway as I kept SBing, I noticed that the pot was getting warmer, then it finally stopped separating. I put the pot cover on with weight, hoping that all will be ok when I check on it tomorrow. My recipe was also different (coconut, castor, olive)
I would love to know your results! I have not seen many liquid soap recipes made with goat milk- it seems to be pretty tricky. I have had many tries not work out very well!
Cmiiw, in this recipe you replace all water with all goat milk right?
No, in this recipe, I make it exactly as stated. So where it says water, I used distilled water. This dilutes it enough to use it in a dispenser.
Thanks for looking!
So you did not cook the base as you normally do for liquid soap? And because of not reaching the high heat the goat milk base didn’t turn the brown gravy color?
Correct. This is made like a cold-process soap to keep the mixture at a very low temperature so the milk sugars don’t scorch.
So , do you use pasteurized or not pasteurized goat milk?
Good question! I use non-pasteurized for making soap. Between the chemical reaction that the lye creates, and the fact that the final product is dried and cured, I don’t believe it is necessary. I do however use pasteurized milk when making lotion, since this product is liquid and kept at room temperature.
Do you have to add a preservative to the liquid soap? what is the shelf life of the liquid soap?
No preservatives are needed for soap! I actually have some liquid soap from this exact batch that i saved for an experiment. It has been in a lidded container for a year and is just fine!
So this is totally self stable- Dumb question- Why is lotion not shelf stable- is it because doesnt go thru the chemical reactions soap does?
Hi Candy! Anything that has water in it (or in this case milk), can grow bacteria if left at room temperature without a preservative. You can make milk lotion without the preservative, but you would need to keep it in the refrigerator and use it within a couple weeks. Just like milk. The preservative keeps the bacteria from growing. In bar soap, the lye kills any bacteria and any residual liquid is evaporated out when it’s cured. With liquid soap, again the lye kills the bacteria. I have kept liquid soap on my shelf for a year as an experiment. It was perfectly fine.
The PH in soap is too high to allow for bacterial growth where as lotions, creams, and anything else that has a lower PH needs a preservative.
Just tried your recipe, I’m at the two week waiting period. Do you have a picture of it sitting in a jar on your fridge? Also how much water do you need to add to it?
Thanks for the recipe.
I don’t actually have a picture of it. It basically looks like the creamy soap in my pictures on here, sometimes with a little separation. It seems to go through periods of separation and creamy, but normally turns out all together in a few weeks.
Hi there do you need to add glycerin if not why?
The recipe does not call for glycerin- I’ve actually never used glycerin in my soap recipes as that is the basic end result when you mix lye with fat. If there is a reason to add it to this recipe, I’d like to know! Or if someone has added it, please comment here.
I made once the dark brown liquid soap, nothing like this and did not smell like milk soap. Would you be kind to let me know what the pH is for this liquid soap?
Thank you for sharing your experience.
I’m sorry I do not have a PH meter. There are many types of liquid soap out there, but none like this.
Hello, I have attempted to make this recipe. The paste separated in my mason jar within an hour after putting it in. Does this indicate I didn’t mix it long enough? Also do I mix the paste at all during the waiting period or wait until I add distilled water?
I have had this happen in the past. I usually keep stirring each day until it comes together. This recipe can be finicky! But I have not found a better one for goat milk.
Have you had the chance to experiment with making a liquid goat’s milk shampoo? 🙂
I wish I could say that I have, but unfortunately no. I have some recipes saved so maybe someday I’ll get to it!
Good morning, did you use refined or fractionated coconut oil
I use refined coconut oil
So my waiting period is over. And even though my jar soap is an orangish- brown, when I add water, it turns into a beautiful creamy color. BTW- I used sunflower instead of grape seed oil. (It’s what I had)
Thank you SO much for the recipe. I make and sell my own goats milk cold process soap, but was looking for a way to expand my company’s goat milk offerings. I don’t want to play with lotions, etc due to raw milk and preservatives. This is great. I’ll be testing it as straight soap as well as in scrubs.
I’m so happy it worked out for you! I have not tried any scrubs yet, maybe I will. Thanks.
What is the waiting time after the two weeks?
I let it sit for about 4 weeks total before using. It will change consistency and color during that time. I also mix it frequently.
I filled the recipe. I noticed it was getting real dark. When I took the stick mixer out and washed it. The metal part got grey on everything. It must have ate the finish off. Not sure if this will be bad for my soap? I think mixer is ruined. Have you had issues with this?
I have never had issues with my hand mixer going bad but I could see that happening. The lye is very strong. I would think if your soap doesn’t have any metal in it, it should be ok. When it gets dark it is just getting hot and the milk turns color. As it cures it will lighten up a bit.
Hello! So I am wanting to make liquid soap with the ingredients I use for my bar soap. Olive oil(22oz), coconut oil(8oz), & African raw Shea butter(4oz). I am hoping that when you add the water to make it more liquidy, I can substitute the water for more chilled goat milk. I use my fresh raw goat milk from my goats. Is this possible? I use the Hot Process for my bar soap. Is that also a possibility to use it for the liquid soap? I have finally got good at making my hard bars but I have been asked about making the liquid as well. 🙂
Using raw goat milk is perfect to add to your soaps when you are making them. Once the lye reacts with the oils and liquids, the soap becomes shelf stable. However with this liquid soap, you can’t use milk to dilute the paste after the soap has cured. Milk is a perishable food product and is not shelf stable to use in this circumstance. Make sure to use distilled or boiled water when you are diluting this so no bacteria will grow.
what preservatives do you use in the liquid soap making
I do not use a preservative. All supplies are boiled to sterilize, the milk is pasteurized, the water is distilled, and the lye solution would kill any other bacteria. No preservative needed!
I followed your receipt to a T. I did have some issues getting it to the right consistency. Honestly I still haven’t gotten it to the right consistency. I’m hoping you may be able to help. I did wait 3 weeks instead of the 2 before adding the distilled water. I hand mixed the distilled water but every time I got it to the right consistency while mixing, once it would sit or put it in containers it would solidify. It wasn’t hard and is still usable but it is more like a soap butter instead of liquid. Should I have kept adding distilled water until it didn’t solidify? Don’t wait 3 weeks but for sure only 2? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
Honestly this is a recipe that sometimes just does this to me. I don’t think 2 weeks is a hard time frame, 3 would certainly work. If it seems to thick, I would add more distilled water to get it to the desired consistency. some of the batches that I have done turn out perfect the first time, and others tend to separate or need more water as they sit. Go ahead and experiment!
Really dumb question… do you add your EOs at trace like you would for a CP bar soap? And how much EO for this amount of soap?
Yes, I basically follow all the steps of CP soap, except adding the distilled water later. When i add EOs to this, I only use about half what would normally be added to regular CP soap. It seems very strong to me otherwise.
What could I use instead of sustainable palm oil
Palm Oil has some of the same characteristics as lard or tallow. I like to use lard in the place of palm in a lot of recipes. Make sure to run the recipe through a lye calculator to get the correct amounts of oils and lye. Many people don’t like to have lye in their soap though, so you can use Shea or Cocoa butter although I personally have issues if I use more than 10 percent of butters in my recipes. they tend to burn and setup very fast for me. Lard is my favorite and makes a very nice hard, stable, lathering bar.
Hi! I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but have made cooked versions of liquid goats milk soap and I can’t stand the brown color. I’ve been told that using olive oil pomace instead of regular olive oil will toiled a lighter soap. Have you ever tried this?
I have never used Pomace before so can’t comment on that. but I definitely agree that the cooked versions are nasty looking. And nasty smelling! I don’t know if different oils would get this any lighter in color, just as goat milk bar soap is never a true white because of the milk fat and sugar instead of water.
What lye concentration did you use for this soap? When I enter this into my soap calculator most of my ingredients measure the same except the amount of goat milk. Wondering what I am doing differently and how adding more more would change the results.
I use SoapCalc for my lye calculator. Make sure to change the Lye type to KOH for liquid soap. I don’t believe that I changed any of the percentages on the calculator but used the default. Water as percent of oil weight = 38%. Super Fat=8%. Lye concentration = 35.967%. If total oil weight = 12 ounces, your liquid should be 4.56 ounces. I rounded to 4.6.
I honestly have never deviated from this as the recipe itself sometimes comes out differently without any changes from me. I always makes soap, but sometimes separates or is a consistency that I can’t get quite right. That’s why I say that most times it comes out perfectly.
I ordered some foaming soap containers and this worked so nicely in those. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Valerie, That’s great to know! I have never tried this before but definitely will do so in the future.
I made this yesterday and put mix into a lidded Mason jar on top of fridge. Went to mix around a little today and it’s pretty hard to move, is this normal and should I keep mixing around everyday until I add distilled water at 2 weeks?
It should be a thick paste, like a firm pudding. If it seems harder you could mix a little water with it right now. Just gently mix.
What is the weight of the goat milk and also the KOH? I’ve never done soap by ounces before….only weights. New to soap making. Thanks!
The ounces are the weight on a scale, not a liquid measure. My scale can be set to ounces or pounds and ounces, so be sure that your scale can go to ounces.
I am at my 4 week waiting period. My soap is a caramel color….do I use as is or add more distilled water. Can this be used in a foaming hand soap container or only a pump container?
I was hoping to add a photo but didn’t see how I could.
Thanks for any help.
You will want to slowly mix in water until you have the desired consistency that you want. If it seems too thick for your pump container, keep adding water. I have successfully used it in a foaming container, it just needs to be thin.
Will the ammonia-like smell disapate? I mixed ingredients per your recipe, ensuring all product stayed cold and placed it in a container for curing. It’s only been a few hours and I wanted to see if the smell was there, like my first batch that I accidentally burned, and it was. Thanks!
I think that must be the chemical reaction with the like that you are smelling. Yes it will dissipate while it is curing.
Turned out beautiful, my past is so white. Can’t wait to try it out.
I’m so glad it turned out for you!
I have powder goatmilk. I plan to use your recipe. Should I mix my powder goatmilk with the Distilled water after 2 weeks?
I have never used powered goat milk, but my instinct says to mix the powder in before you add the lye just like a regular cold process soap. The lye would take care of any bacteria that may be in the powdered milk. After it has cured for a couple of weeks, you only want to put distilled water in it.