Goat milk soap failed...what went wrong?

Wanted to make goat milk soap for my daughter's acne.....a first time try at soap making :-(

Used a recipe I saw on Martha's show.... goat milk 12oz + lye 3oz - coconut oil 5oz+ olive oil 4.25 oz and finally veg.shortening 5oz (also added 0.7 oz of tea tree oil which wasn't in the original recipe).

Everything looked like it was going right until the next morning.... the center of the molds had hardened and was creamy in color but the top was covered with a layer of liquid white fat and the bottom was a brownish gelatin....

I decided to remelt everything but it's now like a brown mash potato mixture....

Do I need to pitch the whole thing and start over?

What do I need to do different?


Sounds to me like the soap seperated.

I ran the oil amounts through SoapCalc to check the recipe and came up with the following:

Coconut Oil - 5 oz
Olive Oil - 4.25 oz
Crisco* - 5 oz.
Fat total equals 14.25 oz.
* used Crisco since vegetable shortening is not a selection on a lye calculator. Crisco is mostly made up of palm oil and soybean oil.

I left the water at full (38%) and the lye discount at 5%.

This resulted in the water (or milk) amount to be 5.415 oz. and the lye amount to be 2.071 oz.

This looks to be quite a bit different from the milk and lye amounts in the recipe you listed above.

I looked up the recipe online and the vegetable shortening should have been 12 oz and not 5 oz.

If you made the soap with only 5 oz of vegetable oil then the lye amount will be far too high and you should throw the soap out.

If you did use 12 oz of vegetable oil and the above is just a misprint, then I would guess that you didn't bring the soap to a full trace. I would test the cooked soap you mixed up to make sure it isn't lye heavy before attempting to use it.

Too me, the recipe seems to use an awful lot of liquid but the recipe does say that it uses the maximum percentage possible of goat's milk. I would think this would make a very soft bar.

I also noticed that the recipe says to cure the soap for 2 weeks...I'm afraid I can't agree with that. Handmade cold process soap should always cure for at least 4 weeks.


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Thank you!
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much Cathy for your time and explanation. It was a typo, I did use 12oz. of Crisco not 5. After I re-melted it and it turned into mash potato, I poured (scooped) it into a box and left it in my garage thinking I would surely have to pitch it but the next day, it had harden enough to be cut. It looks very ugly (in shape not really in color) and it was very crumbly, not sure why and not sure it will be use-able... I made a little ball with the pieces that had crumbled off and tested it. I love the feel of that soap though, it's very creamy and already healed my extremely dry hands. I can't wait to try another batch and hopefully it won't turn into a disaster ;-)


Since you did use the correct amount of oil then I'm guessing that you didn't quite bring the mix to a full trace.

Make sure it is fully traced before you pour it. It should be like a pudding that hasn't quite set.

Good luck,

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