I’m in the middle of projects and should have plenty to share soon but in the meantime, I’m just not sure of what to share. I remembered this morning that I promised to share with you my milk bath recipe. This is a great project – it’s quick, easy and makes great gifts. I have done this project with young children who loved to make it for gifts. We use milk bath in our house for bathing and for foot soaking. My son just loves bathing in milk bath – which is a little weird but I don’t care because it’s one of the few things he does that actually cares for his skin.
I will say that the powdered milk can get pricey but if you know anyone who has some they don’t want the milk does not have to be fresh or tasty at all.
To make it –
2 cups powdered milk
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fragrance
I rarely make a small batch – often I am using an entire package of powdered milk and mixing the ingredients in a huge bowl. If you are making this for the first time, you can dump the ingredients in your ziplock bag and seal it. Then shake or knead the package until it seems mixed. The great thing is that the fragrance will be pulled to all of the powder if you let it sit for a day or two. If you want to use it right away, then take the time to really mix your fragrance in.
To use, add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup to your bath water or foot soaking tub. We don’t measure in our house since we always seem to have a steady supply of milk bath. You can also make this with non-dairy milk powders such as soy milk powder, even non-dairy creamer if you so desire but just know that you will be bathing in it and chemicals from the powder can be absorbed. If you are not worried – then use what you like.
For fragrance – I use essential oils and perfuming fragrances that are designed for skin use. As I learn more about chemicals and body care, the more I move away from unnatural fragrances. I have also used food extracts and coffee syrups just for variety. You can also use fruit peel and cocoa powder to fragrance the milk bath. Be sure to add something that will not mold if you plan on saving the milk powder. If you add something wet, store the milk bath in the fridge to let the fragrance work its way through the batch (store in a container that will not allow outside smells interfere with your creation). You can do a ton of things with this recipe especially if you plan on using it quickly.
I purchase heavy ziplock bags from San Francisco Herb to store my milk bath in to sell or giveaway but you can get them from craft supply stores. I think the ones I use are 4×6 which are not as big as they sound. They hold almost 2 cups of milk bath.
For gifts you can decorate the bags or give them away in jars. Just know that the milk bath will absorb fragrance so what ever you store it in should prevent smells from entering.
I suppose I should talk a moment about why one would use this soak vs others. When I started developing soaking products, I worked with oils and teas. I loved the oils and what they did for my skin but I hated the fact that it meant cleaning the tub after using. The film left by oils in the bath just left me feeling like it wasn’t the treat I wanted. Meanwhile, I was collecting powdered milk. Our community often got boxes of powdered milk to pass out to the elderly and poor. Since I was a soap maker, many of those packages would find their way to my house. I didn’t mind because I often did things with the powdered milk but I was getting a collection that has taken me 10 years to use up. I started looking for recipes to use up the milk without having to consume it since some of those packages were the worst tasting crap you’d ever find (I don’t know what they did to them but yuck doesn’t begin to describe it). I found a recipe for milk bath.
I was in love. The feeling of the water is silky and soft. The result for my skin was identical to using the oils. The best part – no oily film on the tub. Suddenly, the only soak I am making is milk bath. Not only do I love the feeling of using milk bath but it stores wonderfully. It doesn’t change consistency like oil can and it doesn’t go bad if kept dry. I will say it can lose its fragrance and pick-up off fragrances but more often than not, it can be lost in the back of the cupboard and be just as if I had made it that day. I do regret that I am down to my last couple of bags of powdered milk and I have learned that it might not be healthy for consumption but I can’t give it up. I may end up breaking down and buying powdered milk from the store. And just think, there was a time when the thought of powdered milk made us cry because we didn’t know what to do with it.