Dear Dr. Boli: How do you make goat’s-milk soap? Is goat’s milk unusually soapy? I have some goats and I am curious. —Sincerely, Curious in Steubenville.
Dear Madam: You are laboring under a simple though common misapprehension. Goat’s-milk soap is not soap made from goat’s milk; it is soap formulated for the purpose of cleaning goat’s milk. Goats are grubby creatures, and their eating habits are notoriously indiscriminate. You are yourself a keeper of goats, so you know their filthy habits. Most goat owners have purchased their animals to be put to use as ambulatory garbage disposals. The milk they produce must necessarily reflect the materials they ingest, and you can see the problem with that.
It is not advisable to attempt the manufacture of goat’s-milk soap at home, as it requires an arsenal of toxic chemicals whose sale and transportation across state lines are strictly regulated. Cleaning the goat’s milk with goat’s-milk soap is a messy and odoriferous procedure, resulting in the separation of the fluid into pure goat’s milk on the one hand and a sudsy sludge on the other. The goat’s milk can then be sold, either in liquid form or made into a kind of cheese, to young urban professionals for their mysterious rituals. More commonly it is drunk by young goats, who are just as grateful as we are for the purification of it. The sludge is useless, and illegal dumping of goat’s-milk sludge has become one of the leading problems facing environmental agencies in goat-infested states.
If you happen, by some misfortune, to be in possession of any quantity of goat’s-milk soap, remember that it is highly toxic. It is best to evacuate the area immediately, and then call in a team of professionals who can be trusted to detonate the soap harmlessly.