How to Make Powdered Milk at Home

With prices of dairy products soaring, a lot of people are turning to powdered milk to save some money. Dry, or powdered milk is still faring better than fresh milk, which can cost somewhere between $2.50 to $3.50 a gallon in most places, with dairy towns prices around $2 to $3.

Powdered milk can be intimidating to a lot of people, but with it saving you money and increasing convenience, it’s a rewarding solution.

In this article, we’ll be telling you all the information that you need to know to get started with powdered milk.

What Is It?

Though powdered milk does not taste as good as fresh milk, it is a more convenient to get and easier to store. Powdered milk from a prepper store’s long term food section will have a life of up to 20 years.

Its two most common forms are: Instant Non-Fat Powdered Milk and Regular Non-Fat Powdered Milk. Instant Non-Fat Powdered Milk is made with a process that results in larger flakes.

It is generally easier to mix with a spoon, or blender, because it dissolves in water easily. Regular Non-Fat Powdered Milk is considerably more difficult to mix than its instant counterpart, meaning more stirring is necessary.

It also requires chilling before it can be served. Regular, Non-Instant, milk is the economical purchase as less is used in cooking.

Why Home Dry?

Although home drying is not as common as freezing or canning, there are many benefits to doing it. The most important factor is that it is cost saving as you’re generally going to buying in bulk and you’ll be reducing food waste, as products like milk are perishable goods.

Another factor is the health benefits. The slow application of heat does not destroy the minerals, vitamins (iron, fiber, several B vitamins and some A vitamins), and other nutrients in your food.

The only things you lose in the process are water and moisture. You also don’t need to add any chemicals, additives, or preservatives to your dried foods.

Methods for Home Drying

There are three ways that milk can be turned into powder, those being: spray drying, drum drying, and freeze drying. Spray drying is the preferred method as it produces more even particles when compared to drum drying or freeze drying.

Freeze drying puts frozen foods in a vacuum. Milk freezes well but it does not have as long shelf life as dried powder milk.

Sun drying is not a good method for drying milk because it takes a long time and there is a higher risk of bacterial contamination.

Dehydrating Milk in the Dehydrator

All you’ll need to make powdered milk, is a dehydrator, fruit roll sheets, and milk. The process generally takes approximately 12 hours depending on the power output. The more trays stacked, the longer it takes.

dehydrated milk

Any milk can be used for drying, but it must be pasteurized so that there’s a reduced number of bacteria present.

Raw milk (non-pasteurized milk) should not be used for making powdered milk. For best results, use skim milk as the less fat there is, the better the milk powdered will store.


  1. Place a fruit roll insert into each dehydrator tray and slowly pour one cup of milk onto each tray. (Make sure the counter/surface is level)
  2. Set the dehydrator at 130°F – 135°
  3. Dehydrate until dry and flaky.
  4. If after 12 hours, there are some areas that are ‘goopy’, gently remove the dried milk, re-tray and dehydrate it again.
  5. After the milk is completely dry and flaky, crumble it into pieces.
  6. Place the pieces into a blender and mix until it forms a powder. (Not a necessary step, but allows for a more compact storage and makes it easier to measure).
  7. Pour powder into a jar and vacuum seal for a longer shelf life.

Dehydrator Tips

  • If it’s your first time, it is recommended that you only do 2 trays to ensure that the temperature setting works with your dehydrator.
  • Place the round tray (with fruit roll sheet) inside the dehydrator before pouring the milk to ensure no spillage.
  • Make sure the tray and the dehydrator are level so that it evenly dehydrates.
  • When the milk is done, it should feel like a thin piece of peanut brittle.

Dehydrating Milk in the Oven

If you don’t wish to use a dehydrator, there is another way to make powdered milk but it is not widely used. This is using the oven instead of a dehydrator. The direction is as followed:

  1. Place 1 to 2 gallons of milk into a double boiler (add water as needed).
  2. Simmer for several hours till most of the water has evaporated from the milk.
  3. When milk gets to a creamy consistency, pour into a large pan with sides.
  4. Place into an oven preheated at 150°F (the oven should be around 140°F to 160°F).
  5. Leave the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to get out.
  6. When milk is dry, flip out onto a dishtowel.
  7. Once cooled, grind the pieces in a blender and store.

The oven drying method has some advantages and disadvantages. A benefit is that most of us have an oven, and so there isn’t a need to invest in special equipment. This method does result in some flavor loss.

Reconstituting Powdered Milk

The ratio for reconstituting powdered milk is: 1 part milk powder to 2 parts water.

13 tsp. of dehydrated milk powder will equal to roughly one cup of reconstituted milk. When reconstituting the powder, add 1 tbsp. of hot water to your powder and mix. Continue adding ½ tsp. of hot water until it reaches your desired consistency.

Some additional conversion facts:

  • 1 Cup Milk = 1 Cup Water + 3 Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • ¾ Cup Milk = ¾ Cup Water + 2 ¼ Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • 2/3 Cup Milk = 2/3 Cup Water + 2 Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • ½ Cup Milk = ½ Cup Water + 1 ½ Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Milk = 1/3 Cup Water + 1 Tbsp. Powdered Milk
  • ¼ Cup Milk = ¼ Cup Water + ¾ Tbsp. Powdered Milk

Quick Uses for Powdered Milk

After you have made the powdered milk, there are various things you can make from there. Below, we have given you some of our favorites.

Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz. can)

  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Evaporated Milk (12 oz. can)

  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp. powdered milk

Dry Pudding Mix (24 servings)

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cup powdered milk
  • 1 ¼ cu flour
  • 1 tsp. salt

Buttermilk/Sour milk

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup powdered milk
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice OR white vinegar (add to cup of milk and let it stand for 5-10 minutes).

Cocoa / Chocolate Milk Mix

  • 2 cups dry milk powder
  • ¾ cup sugar (or substitute)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup powdered non-dairy coffee creamer (or use an additional ½ cup of powdered milk)

If storing, whisk all the ingredients together, and store in airtight containers.

If making, add three to four tbsp. of mix to 1 cup of boiling water. Mix until well incorporated.

Whipped Topping

  • ½ cup ice cold water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup powdered milk
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

You can also incorporate powdered milk into cooking recipes.

Disclosure: This post has links to 3rd party websites, so I may get a commission if you buy through those links. Survival Sullivan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclosure for more.

Potato Soup Recipe (Courtesy of The Complete Guide to Drying Foods at Home)


  • 1 ¾ cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1 ½ cup dried milk powder
  • 2 tbsp. milk powder
  • 2 tbsp. chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried onion pieces
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. seasoned salt

If storing, stir everything together and store into a tight container.

If making, mix ½ cup of soup with 1 cup of boiling water. Stir until smooth and ready to eat.

Banana Oatmeal (Courtesy of The Complete Guide to Drying Foods at Home)


  • ½ cup of dried cooked whole oats – chopped
  • ¼ cup dried banana slices
  • 2 tbsp. dry milk powder
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg and cinnamon

If storing, combine all ingredients in a sealable bag

If making, mix everything together with 1 cup of water and soak for half an hour. After that, put it over heat and simmer for roughly five to ten minutes.

Safety and Concerns

Dried foods preserve really well because bacteria, fungus or mold cannot survive where there is no moisture. So, it is imperative that you ensure that all the moisture has been removed.

Consult the recipe to see what texture or consistency the final product should be. Let the pieces cool off because assessing their dryness.


All things considered, making your own powdered milk is not only saves money, but also has numerous health benefits. The safety and concerns regarding the dehydration of milk can easily be avoided if the instructions are followed to the letter.

Now you have everything you need to get started with making powdered milk, so we’re curious to know if you ever tried and of this and how it worked out for you.

10 thoughts on “How to Make Powdered Milk at Home”

  1. Thank you very much for this article!!
    We buy only organic milk to drink. And finding organic, dried milk is pretty much impossible. I had never even though to dry my own. duh!
    I love knowing that we can still have milk even when we can’t get out to the store to get it. One of these days I am going to actually look forward to a big snowstorm! haha

    1. Whenever you need/want fresh eggs &/or organic fresh milk, find and/or visit a small “country” feed store & talk to the proprietor. They usually know who the farm owners are &/or who buys the various feeds. We raised & showed registered dairy goats for 25 years & that’s how we directed folks to find fresh supplies of eggs, milk & beef. FYI: goat milk is the closest thing to human milk & is” naturally homogenated”. Just make sure the animals are tested for TB & Brucellosis.

  2. thank you for this information! We have our own dairy goats and have been looking into drying our milk. What a great way to have milk when our girls are dry. Thanks again!

  3. Hello! I’m not sure if anyone will read this, but I could use some advice.

    My son and I both have food allergies, and I’m currently learning how to prep. I was wondering if this method could be used for a soy, rice, or coconut (we can’t have nuts, haven’t tried help or flax yet) based milk alternative? If it can, does the milk need to be homemade? Are the ratios the same? Is it safe to do so from a health point of view? I’d really appreciate any advice.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. hi. Robin. I make my soy milk directly from dry soy bean. I rinse the beans and then soak them in good water for 2 hours on the counter or overnight in the fridge.
      Cook the beans for 30 minutes (or until no more raw bean taster) in minimal amount of water. (Just enough water to cover the beans and not run dry during cooking.
      Wait till it is cool enough. drain and place beans into zip lock bags (I use snack size bags for singel serving).
      Store in freezer.
      To make drink,
      empty a bag of frozen cooked beans into blender. (I use a basic Oster model)
      Add enough water to blend. blend for a while until very fine and smooth. (I use hot water as I like my drink not ice cold.)
      Add more water to the desired consistency and taste.
      Add sugar or other ingredients to customize the taste.
      Note: you could strain it after blending for a smoother drink.
      I just blend my longer until there is no grittiness and drink it whole, to get the full nutrition and fiber benefit.
      This has been so convenient for me as I could use the frozen cooked beans directly in my healthy non-dairy breakfast smoothie.
      My son loves it. Hope this could help you and your son as well.
      Best. May

  4. Hello Teresa Fikeswhen,

    Thanks much for sharing these great ideas as I loved reading all of your recipes; although I have not yet tried making your Powdered Milk Recipes which I am going to try making it instead of buying half and half creamer as my husband uses it in his coffee. I have a quick question can I use Parchment Paper to line my trays when making the Powdered Milk in the dehydrator?

    Thanks again and I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Donna Barcus

  5. Hi,
    Is there a way to add preservation powder to conserve it for jewellery purposes? And what chemical powder or natural powder could it be? Is there somebody who knows anything about this?


  6. Benita Patrick

    Thanks a lot for sharing this great idea………please I want to know how to get skim milk for drying. Can it be gotten from a store?

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