Milk n' Honey Soap featured image

Milk and Honey Hot Process Soap

Suffer from itchy, dry, irritated skin?  Want to have a brighter, healthier complexion?  Soap made with milk and honey is so luxurious and soft, leaving your skin feeling silky smooth and glowing. 

Rich is fatty acids, milk soaps provide intense hydration that will not strip away your skin’s natural oils and is gentle enough not to irritate minor cuts, scrapes or burns.  Combined with honey, which is naturally antibacterial and packed full of antioxidants, this soap will soothe your skin and leave your complexion glowing.

Milk soap can be made with any kind of milk, From almond milk to zebra milk.  My personal favorite is coconut milk, but I do love to use goats milk as well.

Making soap with milk is not for the novice soap maker

Since adding lye to liquid starts a chemical reaction the creates a lot of heat, it is very easy to curdle the milk.  This is NOT the end of the world and a curdled milk/lye solution can still be used to make soap.  It just may smell a bit off for about 24 to 48 hours.  After that it will be fine.  Additionally depending in the type of milk you choose,  the high fat content may require more water or more lye and if your not careful, the lye solution may end up resembling yellow cottage cheese.

Care should always be taken when working with lye

Always wear gloves and goggles.  I would also recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt, a lye will burn your skin on contact.  Since lye is toxic any utensils used for soap making should never be used for food making!


2 oz Castor Oil
2 oz Cocoa butter
15 oz Coconut Oil
15 oz Olive oil

6 oz Coconut milk
7 oz Distilled water
5.00 oz Lye

2 tb Honey


Protective Gear – Goggles and Rubber or Latex Gloves
A double boiler or glass bowl/large jar and a pot with about 2″ of water for heating oils
Crock Pot (that is NOT used for food) – this is used in the hot process method
Heat Proof Measuring Cup
Wooden or Silicon Mixing Spoon (NOT used for food)
Ice tray
Digital Scale (for measuring lye)
2 Instant Read Thermometers
Immersion Blender
Soap Molds
Safety GearEquipmentIMG_3370


Milk solution;

Measure 6 oz of coconut milk and 6 oz of distilled water, combine and pour into ice tray.  Freeze overnight.

First Combine Your Oils;

Normally I would prepare the lye solution first, however due to the low temperature used for milk (even coconut milk) I combine and heat the oils first.

Heating OilsIn a large heat proof glass jar combine castor oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and olive oil.  Place in a pot with 2″ of water to form a double boiler and heat over medium/low heat stirring consistently until melted.


Turn the crock pot to warm and pour in the melted oil solution.  place the cover on the crock pot.

Frozen Milk for making SoapIn the heat proof measuring cup and the frozen coconut milk/water cubes and then add 1 oz of distilled water.  Wearing the gloves and goggles measure out 5 oz of lye using a digital scale and an old, washed and thoroughly dried, plastic or glass container.  I use an old sour cream tub.

Carefully pour the lye into the water/frozen coconut water, do not breath in the fumes from the chemical reaction.  I usually place the liquid in my sink and open the kitchen window, but going outside is another good option.  Stir as you pour in the lye.

Always add the lye granules to the liquid, NEVER the other way!

Stir until all the lye is absorbed and the solution is turned back to a cloudy white color.  If the coconut milk curdles, it is still usable!  Just keep stirring.  Place one of the instant read thermometers into the lye solution and note the reading.

Using the other instant read thermometer, measure the temperature of the oil in the crock pot.  They should be pretty close.  Wait until the lye solution has cooled to within 10° F of the oil solution, and then, still wearing the gloves & goggles, slowly, pour the lye solution into the oil, stirring consistently.

Once the lye solution has been added to the oil, continue to stir with the spatula or spoon for 5 minutes, after this you can move to the immersion blender.  Use the blender in short bursts to avoid, excess bubbles or splashing, until trace occurs.

IMG_3373Trace looks like a slightly thickened custard, not instant pudding but a cooked custard. It will support a drop, or your stir marks for several seconds.

Once your soap mixture has reached trace, cover, turn your crock pot to low and let it cook for 1 hour.  During that time I stir at the 1/2 hour point.  I do this with soaps made with milk.  I have found that it helps to keep the fat from separating!
Crock pot method for making soapHot Process Soap after half hour of cookingHot Process Soap Cooked and Stirred

While the soap is cooking;

Preparing Soap MoldPrepare your mold.  You can use Silicon baking molds (although you wouldn’t use them for baking after making soap), Loaf pans or wooden soap molds.  This recipe will fill a 3 LB mold.  I usually line my wooden or non-silicon molds with non-stick wax or parchment paper.

When your soap has only a few more minutes left to cook.  Place the 2 tb of honey into a small measuring cup or container and heat, either in the microwave or in a double boiler slowly until it is an easily pour-able liquid.

After one hour;

Hot process soap ready to be added to a moldTurn off the crock pot and mix your soap thoroughly.  Take care when adding the honey or it will scorch.  I usually pour the soap into my mold.  Then form a crease done the center and pour the honey into the crease.  I take the spoon or spatula and stir in the honey as best I can inside the mold.  This often leaves the honey towards the top to the loaf, but it is worth not having scorched honey!  It also makes for a very pretty and marbled looking bar.

Using an extra piece of parchment paper smooth the top of my mold, by placing it on top of the soap and pressing gently with one hand across the top.

allow your mold(s) in a dry place to open air dry 12 hours.  After 12 hours the molds will have cooled and set enough to remove the soap loaf from the mold.  Allow the soap to dry for another 12 hours before cutting.  Although saponification is still occurring, the soap is will be safe to use in another 24 hours.  The soap will be soft.  It is best if you allow your soap 3-6 weeks to set in open air, this way the saponification process will have time to complete and you’ll have much better soap.

The Cleanup;

Set all your soap making utensils together in one area.  You can use distilled white vinegar to neutralize the Lye.  To clean your crock pot tub, Immersion blender and spoon, wait about 48 hours you can simply rinse all the utensils used with your freshly made soap, after all it is soap!!