Easy Buttermilk Soap Recipe
Making milk soap takes a certain amount of finesse, this recipe is my adaptation for making milk soaps easily, and without the stress of burning the milk.
If You Need A Soap Making Tutorial
This is a Buttermilk Soap Recipe, I have previously written several soap making tutorials and I did not want this to turn into another tutorial, but instead a recipe with tips to be successful. If you would like basic soap making instructions please check out the Learn To Make Bar Soap From Scratch tutorial.
How To Make Milk Soap
Making milk soaps are a little harder than making soaps with only water. Milk is high in lactose which is a type of sugar, adding sugar to the soap batter with lye in it, causes the temperature of the soap to rise, and can cause milk to burn or scorch. Many successful milk soap makers have learned to add the milk in such a way that it slows the heating process.
Most Milk Soap Makers
When I learned to make milk soap I was taught what worked for most milk soap makers. The method that they used was to add the lye to the milk, to keep the milk from scorching the milk was frozen in ice cube trays, then added to the soap bucket, and the powdered lye is slowly sprinkled on top till the cubes melt, and the lye is fully incorporated. This method of using frozen milk lowers the overall temperature of the lye water and can help prevent burning and scorching of the milk.
Freezing the milk does not prevent all the adverse reactions to mixing milk with lye, another thing that happens is that when you mix milk with lye ammonia fumes are created, and the soap will have a strong ammonia smell while it is being made, and possibly after in the finished soap.
Another way to prevent excess scorching of milk soaps, is to keep the soap from going through its gel stage, what is gel stage?
How do I explain the gel stage, gel stage is when the soap has become hot and has taken on a transparent gel-like consistency, it usually occurs after it has been in the mold for awhile. Gel stage is part of the saponification process, all good soaps go through a gel stage.
The longer soap stays in the gel phase the milder it becomes, gel stage should thoroughly incorporate the lye into the soap, at least to the point that you have done your calculations correctly, gel stage will not fix an excess lye problem.
You can make soap without going through the gel phase, but it will be better, harder & less harsh if it does go through the gel stage.
What My Recipe Does
Because of the scorching and the ammonia fumes, I never enjoyed making soap with milk, until I learned this technique. Instead of mixing the lye with milk, I mix the lye with water and add the milk after the oils have been mixed with the lye water. My method prevents scorching the milk, does not create ammonia fumes, and can still go through gel stage, making a better bar of soap.
What You Do Differently
When all your oils and fats are weighed and melted add them to the lye water, mix briefly then add the milk in this case buttermilk, now mix as you would any soap recipe. The goal is to get the milk into the soap batter as quickly as possible after the oils and fats have been added, then proceed as you would with any other soap batch.
Soap Making Warning
Making soap can be hazardous to your and your family’s health, and safety. Lye is caustic and can burn skin, damage eyes, and fumes can get into lungs causing damage. Do not make this or any other soap recipe without first learning and applying soap making safety precautions. This recipe does not incorporate safety instructions, but this tutorial does, Learn To Make Bar Soap From Scratch.
Buttermilk Soap 8% Super Fat
- 12oz Olive Oil
- 8oz Lard
- 2oz Coconut Oil
- 4oz Buttermilk
- 4oz Distilled Water
- 2.7ozs Lye (sodium hydroxide)
- Prepare mold line with plastic wrap, vaseline on the inside of the mold helps the plastic wrap to adhere to sides of mold
- Weigh water and put it into a – gallon plastic bucket with a lid
- Weigh lye and add it to the weighed water in the plastic bucket, mix well to dissolve, do not breath fumes and cover
- Weigh coconut oil & lard into a small pot, put pot on stove on low to melt
- Weigh olive oil set aside
- Weigh buttermilk, set aside
- When the fats (coconut and lard) are melted, mix the lye water one last time to make sure the lye has dissolved
- Add the melted fats, and oils to the lye water, stir and add the buttermilk
- Blend with immersion blender till the soap batter reaches trace
- Pour traced soap batter into mold, put inside cold oven, turn on oven light
- Leave in the oven overnight, remove soap from the mold and cut into bars
- Place the soap bars on a tray to cure in an undisturbed place
- Let cure for 4-8 weeks
This is an advanced soap making recipe. Be sure to read the Learn To Make Bar Soap From Scratch tutorial.
Let Me Know What You Think
I would love to hear what you think, please leave a comment below. Thank you for stopping by… 🙂