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The Modern Way to Make Milk Soap!

Milk Soapmaking

The Smart Guide to Making Milk Soap From Cow Milk, Goat Milk, Buttermilk, Cream, Coconut Milk, or Any Other Animal or Plant Milk

Book cover graphic

By Anne L. Watson

Do you love the feel of milk soaps but shy away from the cost? Are you looking for a special kind of gift you can make yourself? Or do you already make soap and want to try something new?

Anne L. Watson’s Smart Soapmaking was the first book based on modern techniques that eliminate the drudgery and guesswork from home soapmaking. Now, by popular demand, she continues her soapmaking revolution with the first practical, comprehensive book on making milk soap from scratch.

Experience the rich, soothing, luxurious feel of milk soap you’ve made yourself. Your skin will thank you for it.

Anne L. Watson is the first author to have introduced modern techniques of home soapmaking and lotionmaking to book readers. She has made soap under the company name Soap Tree, and before her retirement from professional life, she was a historic preservation architecture consultant. Anne and her husband, Aaron Shepard, live in Bellingham, Washington.

Shepard Publications

Paperback ~ 2009

Ebook ~ 2013

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Book cover: Milk Soapmaking

Reviews and Comments

“Beautiful in its simplicity. . . . A definitive book for experienced as well as beginning milk soapers.”—Rebekah Bailey, The Original Soap Dish, South Whitley, Indiana

“An easy to read and understand book that will take the mystery out of milk‑based soapmaking and debunk some of the myths surrounding it. It contains some great basic formulas to get you started making milk soaps of any kind, and fuel to let your imagination run wild when you are ready to formulate your own creations. A good source of information for new soapmakers, and also suitable for more experienced soapmakers who want to start making milk soaps but thought it would be too difficult.”—Amanda Guilfoyle, Bodelicious Bath & Body Products, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

“As always, Anne is up to her usual excellence. This book demystifies milk soapmaking so everyone can have the luxury of a truly decadent bar of soap easily. LOVE this book!!!”—Susan Kennedy, Oregon Trail Soaps, Rogue River, Oregon

“Milk soaps are wonderful, and there’s so little guidance available. . . . It’s about time a good book came out.”—Carol Schatz, Dragon’s Pearls Naturals, Calera, Alabama

“If you have an interest in milk soaps, this is the book for you. . . . Debunks much of the popular wisdom that may have discouraged some soapmakers.”—Kevin M. Dunn, Author, Caveman Chemistry and Scientific Soapmaking (forthcoming)

“As uber-soapmaker Anne L. Watson demonstrates, milk soaps made properly are [rightfully] well-known for a quality of luxurious buttery softness that is undeniable. . . . Anne once again acquits herself ably as a scholar of the suds and a natural communicator.”—Wishing Willow (blog)

“Enthusiastically recommended.”—Midwest Book Review, Feb. 2009, “Reviewer’s Choice”

“Full of information that milk soapers, whether novice or experienced, could use to make better milk soaps. Anne writes in a conversational style that made me feel as though I were sitting down with her in her kitchen. . . . Anne details what seems to be everything there is to know about the subject. Rather than simply offering her opinions and favorite practices, Anne did extensive testing and experimenting, learning how to make the best milk soap bars that could be made. Soapmakers will be impressed with the amount and quality of Anne’s research and observations. . . . That leaves the question: Can a neophyte made good cold‑process milk soap? I now say yes, with the caveat they have Milk Soapmaking in hand.”—Beth Byrne, Saponifier Magazine, Sept.–Oct. 2010



(Stories You Hear about Milk Soapmaking)

(What It Is and What Goes Into It)

(Gathering the Equipment You Need)

(And How to Choose Between Them)

Recipe: Anne’s Cool Milk Soap

Recipe: Anne’s Warm Milk Soap

(From Prep to Cleanup and Beyond)

(Different Milk Soaps You Can Try)

Recipe: Yogurt Parfait Soap

Recipe: Apricot Cream Soap

Recipe: Milk White Soap

Recipe: Buttermilk Castile Soap

Recipe: Cinnamon Oatmeal Soap

Recipe: Sour Cream Soap

Recipe: Deena’s Avocado Cream Soap

Recipe: Marge’s Chocolate Silk Soap

Recipe: Milly’s Milk Soap

Recipe: AHA! Buttermilk Soap

Recipe: Milk-and-Honey Facial Soap

Recipe: Non-Veggie Milk Soap

Recipe: Longer-Lasting Milk Soap

Recipe: Laurie’s Silk and Milk Soap

Recipe: Ruth’s Butter Soap

(Vegans Do It Too!)

(How to Choose and Use a Mold)

(How to Keep It Light)

(Frequently Asked Questions)


Sample Text

Since my book Smart Soapmaking was published, I’ve been asked again and again if it covers milk soapmaking. It doesn’t. Milk soapmaking is a subject unto itself. It uses different materials, of course, but besides that, it needs a different approach. Too much material to cram into one book, I felt.

Also, milk soaps weren’t my specialty at that time. I’d made a few, and they were fine soaps. In fact, several people who received bars of my whipping cream soap as gifts began to nag me to go back into the soap business. But I didn’t consider myself an expert.

Time changes things. As I started trying to answer questions from soapmakers about milk soap, I was drawn farther and farther into the subject. I learned about the different types of milk, what to expect from them, and how to handle each one.

I made hundreds of bars of soap from dozens of different recipes. I experimented with scent and color to see what happens when they’re used with milk. Then there were non‑dairy milks to consider—would any of them make good soap? On a spreadsheet, I kept a log of my experiments—what went into each batch, and what came out.

When I got unexpected results, I asked materials vendors and chemists—what’s going on here? And they were kind enough to tell me, so a few more puzzle pieces snapped into place. Then I set up a testing program, giving and sending out soap sets identified only by number to testers who rated them for lather, feel, and general attractiveness.

In the end, I decided to write another book. Otherwise, I really would have had to go back into the soap business.

Anne’s Soap and Lotion Books

Book cover: Smart Soapmaking Book cover: Milk Soapmaking Book cover: Smart Lotionmaking Book cover: Castile Soapmaking Book cover: Cool Soapmaking Book cover: Smart Soapmaking Around the Year

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