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  1. This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing. What type of fragrance/essential oils do you recommend to help the soap have a scent?

    1. I like to buy fragrance oils from Nurture Soap, the fragrances are lovely and they last in the bar of soap. I have used essential oils but the fragrance just seems to fade, they are also very expensive. I have read that some people anchor the fragrance of essential oils in their soap by mixing it with a little clay or arrowroot powder. I have not tried that though!

  2. I ama first time soap maker and I am excited to use this recipe. Where do you find your Sodium Hydroxide and do you mix it with water or just leave it in powder form?

    1. If this is your first time making soap, I urge you to read the instructions thoroughly, and there is even a video to go with this post. The sodium hydroxide is linked in the ingredient list, I buy it from Nurture Soap. I have a beginner soap recipe that you might consider starting with. beginner soap recipe Milk soap is a bit trickier to make and the sodium hydroxide must be mixed with frozen milk so that it doesn’t burn. I hope that helps!

  3. Thank you for sharing!
    I’m just wondering if there is any substitute for immersion blender for this process? Something cheaper than immersion blender to be specific

    1. Hi there, an immersion blender is pretty vital to most soap recipes. There are some recipes that contain ingredients that really accelerate trace (the slightly thick consistency we are going for), also temperature can affect trace. You can use a whisk for recipes like those, but you need to have a pretty good understanding of soapmaking, temperature, and trace. Some fragrance oils and other ingredients like pine tar can accelerate trace and allow you to use a whisk or stir briskly. However, if you are making the average soap recipe like this milk and tallow recipe, or my beginner soap recipe, you will find that a stick or immersion blender is very helpful otherwise you may be stirring for hours and hours. They really are not terribly expensive as far as equipment goes. This one is on sale now: and this one is also under $20: (both are my affiliate links) Hope that helps!

    2. Keep your eyes open for sales; I got my Amzon basics immersion blender with attachments for 9.99 in Prime day. That being said, our foremothers didn’t have blenders; you can use a wooden or silicone spoon.

  4. Love your post! I have made pure tallow soap. I find that the essential oils fragrance fades rather quickly. (Maybe because I did not wrap them in wax paper after they are cured soon enough.) Then I am left with a tallow smell. My husband doesn’t mind it but I do. Does your recipe with the added olive oil, coconut oil and Shea butter have a less tallow smell overall? I am hoping it does. I would like to try it and try this other brand of essential oils you recommend.

    1. Hey there! Do you source your tallow somewhere or do you render it yourself? I render my own and I purify it until it doesn’t smell beefy. I do like adding the other oils just for the different benefits that each brings to the soap. One of the last batches I made with the milk did have an off smell but I think it was because I let the milk get too hot maybe. Maybe swap out the milk for water. One think I just learned was to add kaolin clay to the soap to ground or anchor the fragrance in the soap and the scent lasts longer. It really does work! You mix 1 tsp of clay with one TBS of water and add that in right before trace. The ratio is 1 tsp clay per pound of oils. Also, always be sure to mix with water or alcohol to account for the added water that the clay will absorb. Hope that makes sense!

    1. I would run the amount through a lye calculator first, lard and tallow have very similar properties but they are not exact. The Sage has a great lye calculator.

  5. Can you omit the fragrance oils entirely? I’m basically allergic to life and don’t need it to smell pretty. Can I add coffee grounds ti make it scrubby? I’ve seen soap with coffee grounds in it and judging by the vast amount of coffee I consume it’s a safe ingredient for me haha.

    1. Unscented is Fine; it usually has a neutral ‘clean’ scent.
      Coffee grounds, or other items, are fine, make sure to dry them out first. use is approx. 1 tbsp. per pound of oils.

    1. Hi! Because of the process of saponification and the change in the ph, the milk does not spoil so the soap lasts a long time after curing!

  6. Could I opt to leave the olive oil, coconut oil, and Shae butter out? Maybe use a small amount of beeswax?

    1. 1) You need at least a little coconut oil to give the soap some lather
      2) any changes to the amounts and types of oil you need to un through a soap calculator – I like and but there are others
      3) Beeswax also has to go into the calculator; the percentage needs to be low

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this incredible soap recipe. Using cow’s milk and tallow in cold process soap sounds like a luxurious treat for the skin. Your dedication to crafting quality products is inspiring.

    1. According to the milk soap book I refer to, she says you can use breastmilk for soaping. It does have a higher sugar content so the risk of it scalding is there just like with cow’s milk, so be sure to freeze it before adding the sodium hydroxide.

  8. I am excited to try this recipe, quick question- Can I used pasteurized store bought cows milk? I don’t have access to a farm with cows 🤭 city girl…. Thanks

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