01 of 09
Make Soap With Coconut Milk
Lots of soap makers use milk in their soaps. Like Cleopatra's famed milk-baths, milk in soap provides extra moisturizing qualities and a creaminess that can't be matched with just oils. Most soapers use goat's milk, which makes a lovely soap. But this batch uses canned coconut milk. It gives the expected extra moisturizing qualities but also something extra -- super bubbly lather. It's extra creamy and extra bubbly.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Preparing the Coconut Milk
Freeze the milk in an ice cube tray. This makes the cubes easy to measure out later.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Make the Lye-Milk Solution
After measuring out the lye, add it slowly to a bit of chilled (but not frozen) milk, then add the rest of the measured milk to the pitcher in frozen cubes. As it starts to heat up, the cubes will melt. Keep stirring gently.
The lye will turn the milk a light amber-orange color. It also will (briefly) give off a nasty ammonia-ish smell. This is normal and will go away quickly.
You'll notice that the solution starts to thicken. This is the fat in the milk actually making "soap" with the... lye in the lye solution. But there's not enough fat in the milk to make a whole lot of difference --- just enough to thicken up the solution.
Since you want to avoid scorching the milk as much as possible, let the lye cool down to about 90 F.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Measure Out the Oils
Since this is just a small batch of soap, you can use a large pyrex pitcher to measure the oils. Melt the oils in the microwave for a minute or two. Mix in the liquid oils and you're ready to go. As with the lye, keep the oils around 90 F.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Add the Lye Solution to the Oils
Slowly add the lye solution to the oils, making sure to scrape all of it out of the pitcher.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
Mix the Soap
Mix the oils and lye as you would with any other batch. However, because you're working with lower temperatures and a thickened lye solution, mix the soap very well -- get it to a really thick trace before you pour it. If you don't, it's possible to get what's called "false trace" - and your soap will separate or develop pockets of lye in it.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Pour It Into the Mold
Pour the soap into the mold; scrape the sides of the pitcher with a rubber spatula if necessary. Knock the mold on the counter to help any trapped air bubbles to rise to the top. Cover the soap with a light cloth and set it aside to do its magic.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Unmold and Enjoy
After the soap has cooled, you can unmold and slice it. While the soap will be safe to use in just a few days, this milk soap benefits from a cure time of four to six weeks.