Homemade Milk Soap

November 2014
DIY

You knew milk was full of nutritional goodness, but did you know it’s also good for your skin? In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs even bathed in milk to keep their skin smooth and firm. Luckily, we don’t need to fill the tub to reap the benefits.


Our crafter extraordinaire and Ruban Cassette blogger Elisabeth Simard has squeezed all the goodness of milk into a bar of soap that you can make right at home. Having soft, radiant skin has never been so simple—and affordable! She even has a few ideas for some crafty wrappings, so you can turn your soap into the perfect homemade gift.

Milk, Honey and Walnut Soap

What you need

  • Approx. 450 grams of glycerine soap base
  • 2 tbsp Natrel Fine-Filtered 2% Milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp finely ground walnuts
  • Heat-resistant bowl
  • Pot of boiling water
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mould
  • Knife and cutting board
  1.  


    Chop soap base into large pieces and place in bowl.

  2.  


    To melt soap base, create a double boiler by resting bowl on pot of boiling water. Stir often until soap base is entirely melted or has reached a temperature of 120°F. It’s important not to overheat the base, or it will have an unpleasant smell.

  3.  


    Stirring delicately, add the milk, honey and walnuts. The ingredients need to be incorporated quickly so that the mixture doesn’t solidify before everything is mixed in.

  4.  


    Slowly pour mixture into mould, then tap mould on counter to release any air bubbles.

  5.  


    Let cool at room temperature for 50 minutes or so.

  6.  


    Release soap from mould by pressing lightly with thumbs. If necessary, place in freezer for about 5 minutes before turning out of mould. Don’t leave mixture in freezer for more than five minutes, as this could alter the texture of the soap.

  7.  


    The soap should still be soft, but pliable. This is when you cut it into nice big chunks. (If your moulds are of the desired size and shape, you can skip this step.)

  8.  


    Leave the soap out for at least 24 hours before wrapping or using.

Notes

  • Before starting, ensure the equipment and work surface are squeaky clean—soap base dirties easily.

  • There are many different varieties of soap base. You’ll find them in craft stores.

  • You can use all kinds of different moulds! This recipe was made in a bread pan, but you can use cookie or small cake moulds. To avoid sticking, lightly oil the mould before pouring in the mixture.

  • With homemade soap, the possibility of ingredients is endless! The trick is to maintain the basic ratio of soap base to other ingredients. Otherwise the soap may not be firm.

  • Four Ways to Wrap your Homemade Soap

    Now that you’ve made your very own soap, it’s time to wrap it up! Elisabeth has some simple, unique ideas for decorating your homemade soap.
    1.  


      Pull out your fabric scraps for a pretty, multicoloured wrapping with a fun texture. Cut a square of fabric that’s just big enough to cover the whole soap. Wrap around the soap, then tie together with hemp twine or a second scrap of fabric.

    2.  


      Use paper doilies and different-coloured cardboard to create this colourful, one-of-a-kind wrapping. Cut the cardboard and doilies so that the cardboard is no more than half the length of the soap. The soap will be visible through the wrapping. Wrap the soap in cardboard and secure with double-sided tape.

    3.  


      A bar of soap in a kraft-paper envelope? Adorable. Cut out a square or rectangle of kraft paper and decorate it with a pattern or illustration. For example, you can make a polka dot pattern using the eraser on the end of a pencil. Fold the paper to make an envelope and secure with double-sided tape. Slip the soap into the envelope, then tie up with washi tape. If you like, you can also decorate the envelope with a cute label indicating the name of the soap.

    4.  


      For an all-natural, rustic look, try combining wax paper and hemp twine. Cut out a rectangle of wax paper and wrap lengthwise around the soap. Secure with a small piece of double-sided tape, then decorate with hemp or butcher’s twine tied around the width of the soap.