glass of cow's milk with handmade soaps made with milk

Handmade Soaps Made With Milk - What Are the Different Types?

Handmade soaps made with milk are all the rage these days. Many milks used for making soap are common ingredients one might find in any kitchen and others are more unusual.

But what are the different types of milk that can be used in soap making? Let's take a look at some of the most popular types of milk soap so you can decide which one is right for you if you want to buy handmade soap that was made with milk as one of its ingredients.

What are the most common types of milk used for making handmade soaps?

Handmade soap made with cow's milk

Soap made with cow's milk is perhaps the most common type of milk soap available on the market today. Cow's milk soap is made by combining milk from cows with other ingredients like oils, lye, and water.

The milkfat in cow's milk contains important fatty acids that help to moisturize and nourish the skin. Cow's milk soap also has a high percentage of cream, which gives it a rich, creamy lather that is both gentle and cleansing.

Yogurt and buttermilk are just a few of the forms of cow's milk that soap makers use in making cow's milk soaps. As with all milk soaps, they may be made as hot process handmade soaps, cold process handmade soaps, or glycerin soaps.

glass of milk which may be used for making handmade soaps with milk

Handmade soap made with goat's milk

Goat's milk soap is another popular type of milk soap. Soap made with goat's milk is made in much the same way as cow's milk soap, but with goat's milk instead of cow's milk. Goat's milk contains more fat than cow's milk, which gives it a slightly richer lather.

Are there melt and pour soap bars made with goat's milk?

lavender goat's milk glycerin soap may be a nice handmade glycerin soap with which to start if you are looking to buy a goat's milk soap for yourself or as  a gift for someone special. The ingredients that a soapmaker would use in his or her soap recipes to make this type of goat's milk soap would include melt and pour soap bases, with at least one soap base containing goat's milk.

lavender goat's milk soap by JDNatlady's Creations

The soap bars would be scented with the soothing smell of lavender essential oil, lavender fragrance oil, or both.  If you are buying a gift and shipping it directly to the recipient, a few goat milk bath bombs might be a fun addition to send along with the soap gift so the person could use the soap in the shower and the bath bombs in the tub.

Can milk soaps contain essential oils like lemon essential oil?

Handmade soap made with milk can be scented with essential oils other than lavender essential oil. Lemon essential oil is one potential addition as it helps accentuate the cleaning and moisturizing properties of handmade soap.

lemon essential oil in bottle next to whole lemons

Moreover, using lemon essential oil in handmade soap provides an uplifting scent which some people find particularly helpful when used for bathing as it invigorates and refreshes the user. For these reasons, some handmade soap makers choose to incorporate lemon essential oil into their signature milk soap recipes. 

pitcher of milk and handmade soap made with milk

Handmade soap made with sheep's milk

Sheep's milk soap is another type of milk soap that is becoming increasingly popular. Sheep's milk contains even more fat than goat's or cow's milk, which gives it an exceptionally rich and creamy lather.

Is plant-based milk used to make handmade soaps?

Handmade soap made with coconut milk

Coconut milk is a type of milk that is derived from the fruit of the coconut palm. It is a plant-based milk that is high in saturated fat, which gives it a creamy texture. Coconut milk is also a natural moisturizer which makes coconut milk a good choice for soapmaking

coconut milk as a handmade soap ingredient shown inside an opened coconut with a whole brown dried coconut next to it

Can a coconut milk containing soap bar contain coconut oil?

Coconut oil may be used along with other oils in coconut milk soap recipes. The soap might even have additives such as coconut shell powder or coffee grounds for exfoliation.

Some soapmakers will use a recipe that contains coconut oil as the only oil instead of a combination of oils.  The soap recipes for this type of soap would use coconut milk or a combination of coconut milk and water along with sodium hydroxide to make the lye solution.

coconut oil in glass bottle with coconuts and handmade soap

The typical soap recipes and soapmaking techniques used to make soaps with just coconut oil may be a little more difficult for new soapmakers so you will typically only find this type of soap being offered by an experienced soapmaker due to the skill level needed to make this type of soap.

These soaps will typically be made in small batches and may be made in a mold with multiple cavities so as to produce individual soap bars instead of a soap loaf that has to be cut into soap bars.

Handmade soap made with other plant-based milk

Although coconut milk may be the more well-known plant-based milk, oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, and cashew milk are used by some soap makers as an ingredient for making handmade soaps. Generally, each of these types of milk produces a handmade soap with a creamy lather that is gentle and moisturizing for the skin.

What are other unusual types of animal milk used for making handmade soaps?

donkey in a meadow

Other types of milk may not be as common in the USA, but they are sometimes used by soap makers. Donkey milk and camel milk are two that come to mind.

close up of camel

I heard that people make soap from breast milk, is that true?

Some people make soap using breast milk because they believe that it makes a soap that is mild and may be used by both the mom and her baby. Whether or not you believe that breast milk has special properties for soapmaking, there is no doubt that it is a natural moisturizer that can help to keep the skin soft and healthy.


No matter which type of handmade soap made with milk you choose, you can be sure that you're getting a high-quality product made with an ingredient that will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and healthy. So go ahead and treat yourself to some luxury handmade soap made with goat's milk or another type of milk today - your skin will thank you for it!


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