After making a few milk-based soaps, even considering some spectacular failures and the extra work involved, I have come to the conclusion that I really enjoy making milk soap.
Earlier this week, I made a yogurt-based soap using a recipe in Anne L. Watson’s Milk Soapmaking. The yogurt feels great, but I tried to control the heat (possibly unnecessarily) by putting it in the freezer, and it partially gelled, leaving an oval ring in the middle of each bar. I am not sure what to do with it now. I might cut it up and incorporate it other soaps. It did turn out a pretty yellow color naturally just because I added some lemon zest. It might be nice as a confetti in another soap. My point (and I do have one) is that I really enjoyed making the soap. Today I made another batch of my chocolate milk soap, and I enjoyed making that, too.
I think one of the reasons I enjoy making milk-based soap is that it’s just a bit more challenging. The milk really seems to behave better with the lye if it’s frozen first. Adding the lye slowly also helps. I usually add a bit of lye, stir it completely, and then add a bit more, repeating these steps until all the lye is dissolved. It can take 15 minutes or more, but while I’m doing it, I feel so relaxed and peaceful, but also focused. I find this extra step in making soap enjoyable, particularly when the results are good. I’m looking forward to trying new milk-based soaps and refining the technique of making milk soaps.