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Milk-Based Soaps by Casey Makela

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Milk-Based Soaps by Casey Makela

Milk-Based Soaps by Casey Makela

Storey Publishing

The Bottom Line

If you want to learn more about making soaps with milks - and why soaps with milks are beneficial for your skin, this is a great book. It's o.k. as a basic soap-making book. But as a "first" book on soapmaking, even if making soaps with milk is really what you want to do, this isn't a good choice. It's just too dated and complicated. Get it for the milk information...skip the rest.
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  • Good information about why soaps made with milk are beneficial
  • Very good information & instructions on how to make milk soaps
  • Good basic soap making information


  • Doesn't mention coconut or soy milks
  • A little dated in some procedures (like no stick blenders!)
  • Recipes all have vegetable shortening as their primary oil


  • Great information about making soaps with all kinds of milk.
  • Fairly easy to follow instructions - though a bit intimidating in places.
  • A few idiosyncracies like the disparity of mixing temperatures.
  • An interesting final chapter on labeling and selling your soaps.

Guide Review - Milk-Based Soaps by Casey Makela

Published about the same time, from the same publisher, and in very much the same style as "The Soapmaker's Companion" by Susan Miller Cavitch is "Making Milk-Based Soaps" by Casey Makela. While Cavitch's book is much more "comprehensive" about soapmaking, she only spends 2 1/2 pages on making soaps with milk. In the years since they were published, making soaps with milks has only grown in popularity - as the benefits of milk-based soaps have become more widely known, and even as new "milks" like coconut and soy milk have become more widely available.

So if you really want a book that gives good information about making soaps with milks this book goes into the benefits of milk and how-to of making soap with milk better than most other books out there. She discusses the proteins, vitamins and ash in the milk - and the differences in milks. (Did you know that reindeer milk has almost 5 times the fat of cow and goat's milk?)

The rest of the book is pretty straightforward and basic. It's pretty dated in its tools and equipment used - no stick blenders! There is some good discussion on molds and other soap ingredients...and some interesting recipes. But she uses far too high a percentage of vegetable shortening (eg. Crisco) in her recipes for my taste. Luckily, most of them can translate easily to recipes you formulate yourself.

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