Trust me, I never would've thought I'd be writing a post about this! Before giving birth I thought nursing was just something I would have to do, in fact I had planned on pumping most of the milk for the baby so I would have to nurse as little as possible. But here we are, nursing is nice and now I'm even making soap of the milk!
The reason why anyone would make mother's milk soap is that there's an argument that mother's milk is good externally, not only internally. It can be used by kids and adults and it's said to help with diaper rash and other small skin issues.
There are two ways of making any kind of soap. The first is making it from scratch using lye. I was planning on making the soap this way, as I'm one of these "if I'm doing something I'm doing it the right way" kind of people. But then I read about the topic and several sources argument that mother's milk soap shouldn't be done this way as lye causes a strong chemical reaction (necessary for making soap) and many of the benefits of the milk would get destroyed during this process.
So I decided to go with the other method, using ready made soap mass. That mass is then melted and the mother's milk is mixed to that. This way is super easy and safe and all it requires is some soap mass, a mold and mother's milk. I wanted more elements on the soap though, so I also got some soap colors, dried flowers and scented oils.
I got my little sister and niece excited about soap making too and so last Saturday we had a little "Brunch and Soap" afternoon.
I had pumped 80ml of milk that day and added 100ml of frozen milk to that, so I had 180ml of milk in total. I mixed that with about 800g of soap mass. I had read that as long as you have more soap mass than milk, it will set but I would recommend using a lot more soap mass than milk as even with the ratio I used, the soap was still a bit soft after 24 hours.
You can use any type of soap mass you like, we used shea butter soap mass and triple butter soap mass which was a mixture of mango, shea and cocoa butter.
The largest, and in fact the only challenge in making soap is melting the mass. At times only part of the soap mass melted and then again if it got too hot it formed bubbles on the surface. The soap also sets super fast. That's why I recommend that you use pumped un-chilled milk as it's still a bit warm. Then you put the milk, scented oils, flowers and colors in a bowl. Once everything else is ready, you just add the melted soap mass, mix it up and pour it quickly in to a mold before it sets.
A few tips, based on my experience:
- Flowers lose their colors easily when mixed in and start looking brown. That's why I recommend putting the flowers on top of the soaps while they're setting, instead of mixing them in.
- I read that you can get rid of the bubbles by spraying some alcohol on the surface of the soap. I didn't test this, so can't vouch for it but it's worth a shot.
- You can make soaps of several colors quite easily. We did this by first putting soap mass of one color on the bottom of the mold, then once that had set a little, we added some mass in another color. This way each layer can have a different scent too.
- You can use almost anything as a mold. Silicone molds of all kinds work, but you can use almost anything else too, like the bottom of a yogurt cup.
- The soap is left to set in room temperature. After 24 hours, I moved them to small freezer bags and put them in the freezer. I don't know how long they'll stay good but I figured longer in the freezer for sure.