Natural soap making : Calendula and Goat’s Milk

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Goat’s milk is a deceptive ingredient. It looks and smells horrid when you mix it with the lye but it makes a beautiful creamy soap that is super mild. I’ve added a dash of chamomile and lavender essential oils here as both are safe to use on sensitive skin.

natural soap making

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  • 300 g (12 oz) coconut oil
  • 50 g (2 oz ) cocoa butter
  • 600 g (24 oz) olive oil
  • 50 g (2 oz) avocado oil
  • 165 g (6 oz) spring or distilled water
  • 165 g (6 oz) full-fat goat’s milk
  • 142 g (5½ oz) sodium hydroxide
  • A handful of calendula petals


  • 2.5 ml (½ tsp) Roman camomile
  • 2.5 ml (½ tsp) lavender
  • Superfatted at 5%

1 – Weigh the coconut oil and cocoa butter, chop into small chunks and put in a plastic bucket. Weigh and add the olive and avocado oils. Measure out the essential oils and blend them together.

2 –Put on your rubber gloves and goggles. Weigh the water in a plastic bucket and the goat’s milk in a jug and mix together in the bucket. Weigh the sodium hydroxide in a jug.

3 – In a well-ventilated area and wearing gloves, mask and goggles, pour the sodium hydroxide into the water and milk mixture and stir with a long-handled, stainless steel spoon until dissolved. The goat’s milk may curdle and turn yellow. It will also throw off fumes that smell of ammonia but continue stirring and keep your mask on. When the mixture is as even as you can get it, set aside. Remove mask.

4 – Pour the caustic solution into the oils. Stir manually until the fats and oils have dissolved and then bring the soap to a light trace using a stick blender. Add the essential oil blend and stir thoroughly.

5 – Sprinkle in the calendula petals – the amount you use is not critical, just enough to make the soap look pretty. Mix in thoroughly with a spoon and pour into a prepared 1½ kg (3 lb) mould.

6 – Leave the soap to set for approximately 48 hours or until it has reached a ‘hard cheese’ consistency. Turn out of the mould and cut into bars. Cure the bars for four to six weeks before use.

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