A lovely Coconut Milk Soap Recipe With Lime & Coconut Oil

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Making cold process soap is a lot of fun, especially the part where you can experiment with different ingredients. But have you experimented with using coconut milk instead of water before? This coconut milk soap recipe is exactly that, walking you through the different steps needed to use milk instead of water.

As this is a coconut soap recipe it also includes a fair amount of coconut oil and makes an absolutely wonderful soap that I just adore. While I’m using coconut milk, you can use pretty much any milk you can think of!

For a harder coconut soap also try my 2 layered coconut oil soap. Again, this is what I love about soap making, the ability to be totally experimental. We’re practically scientists at this point!

lime and coconut milk soap

Milk Can Make An Amazing Coconut Oil Soap!

So here’s the lowdown. Using milk over water offers your soaps a creamier, silkier texture that you just couldn’t achieve without using fancier, more expensive ingredients. I love how it makes my skin feel. I come out as soft as a baby’s bottom all over! If I have coconut milk soap in my house, I always prioritize it because it’s that good.

Not only that but if this recipe isn’t to your liking that’s totally fine. You can use milk as a substitute for water in practically any soap recipe you’ve used before.

Do you prefer my recent pretty pink clay soap recipe? Just swap out the water for milk and you’re done (although you’ll still need to freeze the milk first and consider whether or not to gel, we’ll come to that later).

Fun Tropical Fragrance

I love the smell of lime essential oil. It’s so zesty and yummy… Don’t worry, I’m not eating it, I promise. This, combined with the very subtle hint of coconut that comes through from the coconut milk and makes this soap smell heavenly.

It actually reminds me of a tropical getaway. It brings me back to sipping cocktails on the beach or by the pool while on vacation in the Carribean. It’s exactly what I need now that the weather has turned and mid-winter fast approaches.

Full Of Skin Loving Ingredients

While the milk does its job of making this soap super creamy, the other ingredients are amazing for your skin too! If you’ve ever made coconut oil soap before, you’ll know it absolutely amazing at rehydrating dry skin.

Shea butter does this as well, while simultaneously packed full of vitamins that your skin craves. From your head to your toes, it really is a gorgeous soap!

making coconut milk soap

Important Notes

As I’ve already said, coconut milk (and any milk, for that matter) offers your soap a super creamy texture. However, with coconut milk specifically, you can expect lots of lovely bubbles that are also extremely creamy. Also, just to clarify, I’m using coconut milk from a fridge bottle, not a can. Coconut milk in a can tends to have higher fat content and is a lot thicker and more difficult to work with.

But let’s discuss the specifics of using milk over H2O for your lye solution. It’s important to freeze your milk before you use it. Why? Because if we don’t, that milk is gonna burn almost immediately. Freezing allows time for your lye crystals to fully dissolve before this can happen.

You can either freeze it completely or get it to a slushy like consistency. Both are fine, or you could even use half and half.

Great substitutions for coconut milk are cow’s or goat’s milk (goat’s milk, in particular, gives your soap an even creamier consistency).

But basically, any milk is worth experimenting with. I can imagine the high-fat content of camel’s milk being heavenly in a soap, although it is expensive and more difficult to get hold of.

This sounds absolutely crazy, and I’m not sure I’d want to try this, but I’ve even seen people talking about using human breast milk in their soaps!

Out of the box, I know, but if that’s your thing then absolutely go for it. I guess you’re going that extra mile to add a ‘personal touch’ to your soaps.

A quick note on fragrance. While I do personally like the subtle hint of coconut, for many it may be too subtle. If you are one of those, I would recommend a good quality, cp soap safe coconut fragrance oil. Normally I wouldn’t recommend one, but 5-10g of fragrance oil to go along with the 20g lime essential oil shouldn’t hurt nor cause too much trouble.

Watch How To Make Basic Cold Process Soap

Before you make this soap, take a few minutes to watch the video below for the basic method. For more detailed information see how to make cold process soap at home.

my best lime and coconut milk soap

Coconut Milk Soap Recipe With Coconut Oil & Lime

Here's an absolutely wonderful coconut milk soap recipe that I just adore. I'm using lime, coconut oil & real coconut milk, but you can use pretty much any milk.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 Bars (approx)
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Author: Angela Wills

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  • If you’ve not made soap before, take a look at my full cold process tutorial here.
    Make sure you are making the soap in a well-ventilated area. Put on your gloves and eye protection, your mask, apron, and long rubber gloves.
    I always find it best to then prepare and weigh all of the ingredients before starting so we can add them efficiently later on.
    soapmaking PPE
  • First up, we need to freeze enough coconut milk. To do this, simply weigh out the amount of milk you’ll need and then pour it into an ice cube tray.
    Then, put it into the freezer. This should take about 3-4 hours to freeze, although I like to do it the day before so I don’t have to wait around before I can get started.
    Once your coconut milk has frozen, weigh out your essential oils now into a glass container and set it to one side. This is so we can add them quickly later when we need to.
    Weigh out your sodium hydroxide crystals. In a separate container made of glass, empty out your frozen coconut milk cubes. Make sure to get all of the cubes as we need exact measurements.
    Now, Slowly pour your sodium hydroxide crystals into your frozen coconut milk. Give it a stir so that the crystals coat the cubes.
    This will result in a chemical reaction, and the mixture will begin to increase in temperature and release noxious fumes.
    You should immediately notice the frozen milk starts to melt as the chemical reaction begins. Place it to one side, preferably somewhere well ventilated.
    147.96 grams Frozen Coconut Milk, 66.17 grams Soapmaking Lye
    how to make coconut milk soap step 2: Mix the sodium hydroxide into the frozen coconut milk
  • Weigh out the coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter into a large, glass mixing bowl. Be sure it’s one you use only for soap making.
    Pop this in a microwave and nuke in 30 second bursts until the coconut oil and shea butter melt. If you don’t have a microwave, you can use a water bath.
    200 grams Coconut Oil, 200 grams Olive Oil, 50 grams Shea Butter
    Weigh out the coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter into a large, glass mixing bowl.
  • Now we need to balance our oil and lye solution. Check the temperature of both using a laser thermometer.
    If you’ve ever made soap with ordinary lye solution before, you’ll notice that the lye solution is much cooler at this stage than it ordinarily would be. This is fine.
    You’ll want both your lye solution and your oils to be within a temperature of 90-120F, although I have mixed my lye solution at around 80F before and had good results.
    Just be sure neither are hotter than 120F or cooler than 80F. Once they are within this range, pour your lye into your oils and mix them with a spoon or spatula.
    Pour the lye into the oils
  • Now we’ve mixed, it’s time to blitz! Using an electric stick blender, blitz your batter in pulses. You don’t want to be blitzing longer than a second at a time. Then give it a little stir.
    Continue this until you achieve a light trace. Never heard of light trace before? Take a look at step 6 of our Soap Making – A Guide For Beginners post to learn all about it.
    Using a stick blender, reach a light trace
  • Now we’re at light trace go ahead and add the essential oil, then give it a good stir. You can use a couple of pulses of your stick blender to do this, but no more than 2.
    20 grams Lime Essential Oil
    Add your essential oil
  • If you’ve made soap before, you’ll know that when you add ingredients at trace that batter will rapidly begin to harden.
    This is particularly noticeable with essential oils. So once the essential oils have been added work quickly be carefully to pour or spoon the mixture into your mold.
    The longer you wait the stiffer your mixture will be, and in turn the harder it will be to get a smooth finish on top.
    Pour soap batter into your mold
  • Once your batter is in the mold, you’ll want to leave it for 24-48 hours to harden.
    In order for us not to burn the milk, many soap tutorials will tell you to put the mold into the fridge for the first 24 hours. This will also prevent gel phase.
    I like do this for a milk soap. However, beware that it can make soap take a little longer to harden. After the first 24 hours, remove from the fridge and leave for a further 24.
    If you don't put it in the fridge, I find the color of the soap is much darker. If the soap is allowed to gel, it will darken even further.
    Note the picture below. The soap on the left if the finished product of this tutorial that has been put in the fridge. The one in the middle was left out of the fridge, but not allowed to gel.
    Finally, the one on the right is a small bar of milk soap that has been gelled. Best to ignore the texture on the middle soap, I was a bit heavy-handed with the spoon; but the color is quite accurate for a non gelled, non-refrigerated milk soap.
    If you do not gel or put it in the fridge, you will achieve a darker color


Once your soap has hardened, remove from the mold and cut into even bars. Although keep in mind that your soap is still caustic at this stage and should not be used right away.
Allow your bars to cure for 4 weeks before using, and test with universal indicator strips to ensure that the soap is between 8 and 9.
Category: Soapmaking
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Intermediate

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For another coconut soap recipe, try my 2 layered coconut oil soap or the coconut and shea butter soap recipe with easy embed. I made the embed using a cute column silicone soap mold, but you can also make it without the embed to create a lovely natural soap.

Step 3: Pour into your soap mold

Soap Calculator & Formulation Guide

Select your chosen oils, along with the weight or percentage. The soap calculator will then show the total weight of lye and water required. The result can be instantly adjusted by changing your preferred superfatting level or water/lye ratio.

Discussion (22 Comments)

    • Hi Jonas,

      They aren’t necessary for making soap, however they will be necessary for making this recipe. This is because soap making requires a chemical reaction to take place, known as saponification.

      In order for this to happen properly, we need to have a balance between our oil ingredients (liquid oils, but also things like shea butter). If you leave out any of our oil ingredients, this balance is lost, and you won’t get soap. You can make changes to soap recipes, but you have to run those changes through a lye/SAP calculator to make sure your end product will be safe to use.

      Hope this helps!

    • Catriona,

      That’s great, I’m so happy for you! Has it gone through curing yet? How does it feel on the skin?

  1. Hi Angela.

    I’ve made some of your recipes and love them! I am new to soap making but loving it. I am wondering can I put the coconut lime milk soap into a loaf mold or does it have to be in Individual molds?

    • Hi Sheri,

      You could try, but it’s important to keep it as cool as possible during the SAP phase. Otherwise I’ve found that the milk can burn in places, and change color in the centre. It will probably be darker in general as well.

      Hope this helps

  2. I haven’t made your soapnyet.But I know this sounds nuts. But can I use lime juice in soap as I have abundance of fruits.thanks Jilene

    • Hi Jillene,

      Absolutely! Lots of purees can be used in soaps! Unfortunately I have no experience of doing this just yet. But you’ve peaked my curiosity so may have a go at some point soon. For now, I would take your research to the web and see what other soapmakers are getting up to with fruit juices and purees in their soaps.

  3. Hie Angela

    May I ask how safe are these ingredients especially lye for skin. I would like to make the soap for selling to my clients.4 stars

    • Hi Charlotte,

      Providing you’ve made your soap correctly and testing with PH strips after curing you should be fine. Although if you do make any amendments to the recipe, it is very important to run your amended recipe through a lye calculator to ensure you use the right amount of lye and coconut milk for saponification to take place.

  4. Hi,
    I put my sopa mix in teh frige for 24 and out for 24 and when i went to cut it the soap was super sticky and soft. Shoudl i have let it out longer without touching it?

    • Hi Stef,

      Yeah, sometimes this can happen. I find that if the soap feel a little soft in the mold, or if you’ve made a soap before and it was a little wet after 48 hours, leaves it for a little longer. I haven’t had that problem with this soap, but castile soaps can be very bad for this.

      Hope this helps!

    • Hi Patricia, For me, this was 6 soaps, but it depends on the size of the mold you are using.
      If you are using a loaf mold you probably need to double the ingredients and it should produce 12 bars, depending on how thick you cut it.
      I hope that helps.

  5. Hello Angela, When you say coconut milk, are you talking about canned coconut milk that has a high percentage fat? Or the thinner, cow’s milk consistency type coconut milk now available in pour-able containers, kept in the fridge? Thank you

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Yeah, I used a fridge bottle, as opposed to a can. Canned, as you say, is much thicker. You should have no problems using the pourable stuff you find in the dairy/fridge section of your local grocery store.


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