This easy DIY Milk and Honey soap can be made in just 10 minutes, and it boasts lots of great skin benefits from the goat’s milk and honey! A wonderful quick and easy homemade gift idea!
Milk and honey soap has always been one of my favorites. It smells divine, and there are loads of skin benefits from the honey – it’s moisturizing, clarifying, soothing, and also naturally antibacterial. Because of these properties, honey is fantastic for the treatment of acne and aging and for general complexion brightening. C’mon now, we all could use a little bit of anti-aging and complexion brightening, right?
I love these soaps for their sweet delicate aroma and for the great skin benefits, but what I love even more is the fact that I can whip up an entire batch of these beauties in under 10 minutes! They’ll take a little longer to firm up, but the actual “work” part is done in less than 10 minutes.
How to Make Soap: The Additives
There are as many variations of soap as there are colors in the rainbow. You can literally do almost anything. Here are the basics of additives:
All herbal material must be dried. Lavender is popular, as well as chamomile. I love lemongrass and oakmoss, though not together. Use about ¼ cup of dried plant material per batch of this size. (Find high quality dried herbs here.)
Essential oils are from plants. They come from the roots, stems, flowers or seeds. Fragrance oils can be blends of essential oils or they can be artificially produced. Be sure you know what you have. Most oils can be used at the rate of 15-20 drops or around a teaspoon per batch of this size. (Find 100% pure essential oils here.)
Natural colors are easy. Use cinnamon or cocoa powder for a brown soap, powdered chlorophyll for green, turmeric for yellow and beet root for orange. However, sometimes things change colors, like magenta beet powder turning yellowish orange. I would avoid food colors since they don’t hold up well in soap. Check out our article, 44 Ways to Color Homemade Soap Naturally, for even more ideas.
This would include aloe vera gel, oatmeal, dry milk powder, clays, cornmeal, ground coffee, salt and anything else you may want to use.
Yield 5 3.5 ounce bars
- Cover your work area with newspaper. Put your gloves and other protective wear on. Measure your water into the quart canning jar. Have a spoon ready. Measure your lye, making sure you have exactly ¼ cup. Slowly pour the lye into the water, stirring as you go. Stand back while you stir to avoid the fumes. When the water starts to clear, you can allow it to sit while you move to the next step.
- In the pint jar, add your three oils together. They should just make a pint. Heat in a microwave for about a minute, or place the jar of oils in a pan of water to heat. Check the temperature of your oils – it should be about 120° or so. Your lye should have come down by then to about 120°. Wait for both to cool somewhere between 95° and 105°. This is critical for soap making. Too low and it’ll come together quickly, but be coarse and crumbly.
- When both the lye and oils are at the right temperature, pour the oils into a mixing bowl. Slowly add the lye, stirring until it’s all mixed. Stir by hand for a full 5 minutes. It’s very important to get as much of the lye in contact with as much of the soap as possible. After about 5 minutes, you can keep stirring or you can use an immersion blender (like this). The soap mixture will lighten in color and become thick. When it looks like vanilla pudding it’s at “trace” and you’re good to go. (Watch this video to see what trace looks like.)
- Add your herbs, essential oils or other additions at this point. Stir thoroughly to combine. Pour the mixture into mold(s) and cover with plastic wrap. Set in an old towel and wrap it up. This will keep the residual heat in and start the saponification process. Saponification is the process of the base ingredients becoming soap.
- After 24 hours, check your soap. If it’s still warm or soft, allow it to sit another 12-24 hours. When it’s cold and firm, turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper or baking rack. If using a loaf pan as your mold, cut into bars at this point. Allow soap to cure for 4 weeks or so. Be sure to turn it over once a week to expose all the sides to air (which is not necessary if using a baking rack). For a DIY soap drying rack, I took an old potato chip rack and slid cardboard fabric bolts (from a fabric store) through the rungs.
- When your soap is fully cured, wrap it in wax paper or keep it in an airtight container. Hand made soap creates its own glycerin, which is a humectant, pulling moisture from the air. It should be wrapped to keep it from attracting dust and debris with the moisture.
When you’re done making soap, always clean your equipment that has been exposed to lye. You can neutralize the lye with white vinegar, then wash the equipment well as you normally would. For the rest of it, let it sit for several days. Why? Because when you first make soap, it’s all fat and lye. You’ll be washing forever and you could burn your hands on the residual lye. If you wait, it becomes soap and all it takes to clean it is a soak in hot water.
For pictures and other information on cold process soap making, check out our other homemade soap article here.
Well, what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to make soap, GO MAKE SOME!
I promise you’ll love it.
Supplies to Make DIY Milk & Honey Soap:
I didn’t take any step-by-step photos of the soap making process this time, but I did make this video! If you want a better look at the steps involved, check out my Exfoliating Coffee & Milk Soap tutorial.
DIY Milk & Honey Soap Video
I use about 1 lb (or half of the block) of soap base at a time which makes nine of these honeycomb soaps or four large 4-ounce soaps. The block of goat’s milk soap base is soft, and it cuts easily with a kitchen knife. I slice the soap base into cubes, place them inside a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup, and melt in the microwave. Melt in 20-30 second increments, stirring well after each microwave session, to ensure that the soap is completely melted. For 1 lb of soap, I generally microwave for 30 seconds, stir, microwave for another 30 seconds, stir again, and microwave a final time for 20 seconds.
When the soap is completely melted, stir in 3 tablespoons of honey and a few drops of yellow soap colorant. I also added one drop of red colorant to give my soap a more golden hue. Pour the melted soap into the honeycomb mold, and allow to sit undisturbed until cool. The cooling process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on temperature and humidity levels.
When the soap is cool and firm, carefully remove them from the silicone mold.
These DIY milk & honey soaps make a fantastic homemade gift – perfect for friends, family, teachers, coaches, and neighbors! They’re great for fundraisers and craft fairs, too!
You may also enjoy our other DIY bath & body product tutorials:
How To Make Homemade Soap
If you want to learn how to make homemade soap, be sure to check out my How To Make Homemade Soap Youtube Channel! If you’d like more detailed step by step instructions for making homemade soap, you can also get my How to Make Homemade Soap for Beginners E-course! Everything you want to know about how to make lye soap is in there!
You can also purchase my homemade lye soaps by following this link.
I have included several links for places to get lye soap supplies. The places that I use the most right now are:
Essential Depot for lye, soap molds and quality essential oils – Join their Greener Life Club for some GREAT deals, like 20% off and free Shea butter with every order.
I use Amazon for lye soap supplies like my mixing buckets, stick blender and thermometer.
Handwashing habits are formed in childhood
Handwashing habits are formed in childhood. By the time a child enters school, at 5 years old, their habits are already formed. If they didn’t learn how to properly wash their hands and make that a habit by school age, they will be one of the 4 out of 5, and they will likely bring home every bug and virus they encounter, to the rest of their family. Handwashing habits begin as soon as a child begins to use the toilet, or starts to feed herself, and should continue through adulthood.
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When my son, Ian, worked at Micky D’s they taught staff to wash their hands with soap, sudsing for as long as it took them to sing “♪Happy ♫ Birthday ♪ to me♫” Try it. It seems like a really long time while you are looking at yourself in the mirror — about 30 seconds. Just rinsing your hands under the water tap isn’t enough to remove the bad bacteria and viruses that are sitting on door knobs, and light switch plates — or even those 4 out of 5 hands that you might shake today. You need soap and water and you need to do it long enough to be effective. So don’t spare the soap, and be sure to sing more.
Curing the soap:
The longer it cures the better quality it will be. In Syria, before the civil war, a thriving cottage soap industry produced soap that was aged a minimum of 2 years with the very best soap aged up to 10 years. You can read about the facinating history of soap making in Syria in “Soaping Up”, while you wait for your soap to cure. But you don’t have to wait 10 years to get soap that’s better than store bought. After 3 weeks your soap will be safe to use, and probably kinder to your skin, and less likely to dissolve in water, than any commercial detergent bar you can buy.
Goat’s milk soap doesn’t dry your skin the way detergent bars do. If you don’t have time to make your own, Mr. Joybilee just happens to make the best goat’s milk soap in the world. Our customers tell us so. Joybilee Farm goat’s milk soap ages a minimum of 2 months before it is packaged for sale. Try some. Buy some for yourself and some for gift giving, too.
Soap base. Soap base is your raw material, and it comes in a block. There are all different kinds–some contain olive oil, some use goats’ milk, some contain aloe vera. Here are my reviews of the top six soap bases and what types of skin they are best for.
A large Pyrex bowl for melting the soap base.
A silicone mold or a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. There are a zillion different silicone molds out there. I used a simple mold designed for baking, but this floral soap mold is simply adorable. You can even make small Star Wars soaps with this mold.
Herbs and/or essential oils, which will give your soap different qualities and fragrances. Here are some combinations I like:
Homemade Lemon Soap
This Lemon soap is easy to make at home. Melt and pour glycerin soap base makes the process a breeze. The other ingredients required are just a lemon to grate zest off of and some lemon essential makes the process a breeze. The other ingredients required are just a lemon to grate zest off of and some lemon essential or fragrance oil. I personally chose to get the lemon scent from an essential oil, but if you are mostly just worried about smell then a lemon fragrance oil listed as safe for soaps will do.
See the full lemon soap recipe below.
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DIY Lemon Soap Benefits
Lemon glycerin soap is a refreshing bar to start your day off with and makes a great choice for anyone with oily skin or acne. I is not harsh at all though, so is also fine for anyone else. It just has added benefits for those skin issues. Not only is lemon soap pretty it is great for anti-aging, due to it’s high vitamin C levels. It also reduces excess oil and is great for reducing acne.
A fragrant diy lemon glycerin soap. The soap features swirls of lemon zest in the naturally tinted lemon soap.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 10 min
- Yield: 2 bars
- Place the glycerin soap and lemon zest in a microwave safe container preferably a large glass measuring cup. Microwave for 30 seconds, then check and stir with a chopstick or spoon. Remove when soap is just melted or very close to fully melted and stir.
- Allow to cool while stirring. This helps the essential oils not dissipate off to quickly while being mixed in, but don’t be to fussy about it. Some will dissipate, but much will remain and the flashpoint of lemon essential oil is lower than the melt point of the soap base so you can’t stop it completely. Fragrance oils generally are less likely to waft away, but don’t have the benefits of essential oil either.
- Pour the soap mixture into the silicone molds and set aside to cool.
- Once full cool, pop the soap bars out. Be sure to store them in an airtight container or package after to avoid loosing the lemon scent.