Make Your Own Soap Without Lye (well, you’ll see what I mean)

Want to make soap but you're worried about caustic lye? Here's How to Make Soap - without lye! This Easy Homemade Soap Recipe is great for making your own homemade soap or for easy homemade gifts.

I get such satisfaction from making natural personal care products from scratch like my Nourishing Sugar Scrub, Healthy Lip Scrub, Homemade Foaming Soap, and Citrus Body Wash, but I have always been afraid of making Homemade Soap.  Now, thanks to Andrea of It Takes Time , we can all learn how to make soap — without lye!

Would you like to create an all natural product, free of harsh chemicals, that radiates your personality and taste? Consider hand-milled soap!

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Also known as melt and pour soap, this method allows you to forgo the hazards of working with caustic lye, while enjoying the creativity of soap making.  The reason being?  Well, this is why the title of the post includes “you’ll see what I mean.”  The lye work has been done for you already in making the melt and pour.

Please note that there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, a commission might be earned. It helps keep this free resource up and running and is much appreciated.

Want to make soap but you're worried about caustic lye? Here's How to Make Soap - without lye! This Easy Homemade Soap Recipe is great for making your own homemade soap or for easy homemade gifts.

Again, the mold used in the above photo is this one.

Homemade soap - without lye!

7.  Allow soap to dry for several days or more. The more liquid you use the longer it will take to cure.

8.  Once you begin using your soap, be sure to dry it thoroughly between uses to extend its life.

That’s it!  Easy as–well, melting and pouring.

These would make a fabulous gift for almost any occasion.

Note that the top photo in the post is from Andrea’s store at Just So.  Aren’t they just gorgeous?

Have you made soap using the melt and pour method?

What herbal combinations would you like to try?

Andrea Fabry - A woman dedicated to detoxifying her family for health's sake.Andrea is a former journalist and the mother of nine children ranging in age from 28 to 12. Following a toxic mold exposure, Andrea and her family discovered the wonders of natural living. Andrea is the founder and president of momsAWARE, an educational organization designed to empower others to live healthy in a toxic world. You can follow her family’s journey at It Takes Time. She is also the owner of Just SoNatural Products.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Why would you buy made soap and then re-make it??? Why not just buy natural soap? There is no other benefit, not cost effective, not any safer, so why?

    • Hi Susan. I suspect it’s simply for those who don’t wish to deal with lye (say they have small kiddos around and such) but I am sure Andrea will drop by to share – thanks!

  2. Sorry, hit enter on accident.
    When using the lye, the lye changes chemically when it saponifies. Our grandmother’s grew up with giant bars of Ivory, soap used to be made with ashes and other elements that are not caustic. That would be something better than buying soap to re-melt into more soap?? That just seems like taking powdered sugar to mix with the store frosting to make it thicker??? Why not just make the whole sha bang? Thank you

  3. Susan,
    It can actually be very creative to combine various herbs, oils and liquids. A fun art project for kids too! Many people are nervous about working directly with lye either because they lack the time or they have small children around. This is a wonderful way to be creative. Most melt and pour soaps in craft stores are laden with chemicals. The idea here is to keep the soap healthy while having fun.

    • Better to pick up a soap base or glycerin soap base then incorporate your favorite essential oils and other additives. They have bases that you can microwave then put in you molds. Then you have a real nice product for yourself or as gifts.

      • Stephanie Dayle says:

        Even glycerin is made from lye – there is no such thing as “lye free” soap. I understand this may make people “feel” like they have made soap, but they have not, and further more they have missed out on learning an very important life skill! For the time and money spent with glycerin & melt and pour methods which is described above – one could just as easily make their own real soap.

        BTW – to the blog author. Making soap with lye is completely safe for kiddos with parental supervision. I made with my mom when I was young and as soon as my kids are able they will learn how to make it. How many kids can say they know how to make soap? It’s worth it – trust me. You can’t put a price on teaching your child a life skill. :-)

  4. I just did my first batch of ‘rebatch’ soap and couldn’t be happier. I didn’t get the melt and pour, but rather ‘rebatch’ – not sure if it would make a difference. I found one with only ingredients that I wanted and made different ‘flavors’ with only the oils/botanicals I wanted. I can also control the quality of the oils.

    Why not from scratch? Well… I’ve wanted to but never made the step and am currently living with my mom so that’s a no-go. This gives me another option.
    Even soaps at the health food store usually have something in it that I don’t want.

    So far I’ve made lemon/lemon grass; Thieves/activated charcoal; lavender/lavender buds; cinnamon/star anise. I started making them to sell but we’re enjoying using them so much that I haven’t even marketed them yet, lol.

  5. I assume you are not a soaper but ALL bar soap is made from lye. If you melted any bar soap it was made from lye. Lye is NOT caustic. It is simple pot ash or wood ash. That’s how soap has been made for ever. Telling your readers that buying a bar of soap, not matter how natural it maybe, and “re-batching”, which is essentially what you did, does not have lye is not correct. Now a liquid soap is totally different. There is plenty of information about lye and lye making soap.

    • She was saying that you don’t need to use lye to make the soap, which is correct, but I get your point Debbie. Andrea was just trying to have folks be able to make a homemade soap without handling lye b/c so many of us (like me) have been petrified of it, but I am glad I don’t need to be and now I can get on w/ a new project – thanks :).

    • amelia hopper says:

      From my understanding hard soap cannot be made without lye. I am new to the soap making process but am eager to learn more. I would think if you are repurposing soap in a recipe, it obviously already has lye in it. I don’t understand if you want to avoid actually working hand to hand with lye in the natural process? And so by repurposing soap you can avoid a certain contact with lye? Please advise!

      • Robbin Dillon says:

        Soap does NOT have lye ‘in it’ – lye is an ingredient that chemically bonds with the oils to form an entirely new product: soap, and it’s by-product: glycerine…. that’s what sets real homemade soap apart from any commercially made product. Your soap depends on the blend of oils that you employ to produce the soap thats right for you!

    • Actually, lye is caustic (very much so, in fact), but not for the reasons most people think when they think of “caustic” or “chemicals.” Lye is caustic, because it is extremely alkaline (a base, as opposed to an acid). Think the “baking soda” half of the baking soda volcano science project. Making soap from lye and oil is basically the baking soda volcano with a tangible byproduct (and a usually less exciting reaction).

      The lye is the base/alkaline half of the equation, and the oils are the acid (yeah, fat is an acid, believe it or not). When the two combine, they react and form a neutral compound (known by chemists as a “salt” — that’s right, soap is a salt!).

      In my opinion, there is no more reason to be afraid of lye than there is to be afraid of the stove or a lit candle. Yes, it can harm you, but that’s what the proper precautions are for — good ventilation, gloves/protection, spill response tools (in this case, vinegar), and knowledge of proper handling (like adding the lye to the water, not the other way around). I think most people are more afraid of it, because it’s something new and unfamiliar. We often forget about the dangers of the things we’re familiar with (seriously, take a minute and think about all the things that could happen when doing things you do on a regular basis if you’re not careful, and think about what you do to prevent those things).

    • Robbin Dillon says:

      Dear Debbie – as others have mentioned, lye IS caustic – its other name is ‘caustic soda’. The aboriginal methods of soap making did employ ashes from wood fires (hard wood ashes were the best), by a method that filters water thru the ashes – producing a caustic solution of varying strength, and depending on the quality of the oils when combined with this solution, a soap of equally varying consistency. … the contributor of this ‘how-to’ offers a crafting introduction to the amazing world of REAL soap making…. but I see a LOT of confusion here in these posts…..

  6. Debbie,
    I did not mean to imply there is no lye in hand milled soap. All soap is made with lye – but I would disagree that it is not caustic. I experienced arm burns one time. Caution must be used when dealing with it. I make liquid soap using potassium hydroxide which is a form of lye as well. It too is caustic, but the molecules are larger which lends itself well to liquid soap. I love the art of soap making and would encourage everyone to try making it from scratch as it is a wonderful process. But for those who can’t for a variety of reasons, hand milling is a great option.

  7. Ameila,
    Yes, by hand milling existing soap, you bypass working with lye. Absolutely, soap has lye in it!

  8. Tina Gibson says:

    I have been making cold process soap since 2001. Lye is extremely caustic! This is why when working with it you should always wear gloves, protective eyewear & a face mask isn’t such a bad idea either. It can burn very easily & the fumes are toxic to inhale. Which is why working in a well ventilated area is a must. Purchasing premade soap from companies like Brambleberry is great for someone who wants to make soap without dealing with lye directly. Yes, all soap starts out with lye but when the chemical process is finished there is no lye IF it’s been made correctly. FYI Brambleberry has excellent quality products. If you want to make soap from scratch get a good book on it & please do not use RedDevil lye!! It is no longer pure sodium hydroxide. I believe Brambleberry sells lye. But what they sell to rebatch is nice soap.

    • Eva Salas says:

      Heck ya lye is caustic! I’m a CP soaper but recently had the pleasure of making M&P with a couple of young kids. They came over with small toys to embed. I nuked the soap and they got to add colorant, scent and best of all the toys! Such a great activity for young ‘uns and can start them thinking DIY! Soap was ready to unmold by the time they left so didn’t have to leave them. Big fun for all! Um, but not homemade soap.

  9. Thanks for all the research you do especially on oils. I am very impressed with your web site. I would like to print some of your articles but can not print the whole article and the sentences are cut off on the right side. Can you help me fix this problem? Thank you for sharing all of this info.

  10. Thank you so much for this recipe, I was looking for a fun and simple recipe to make with my 16 month old daughter. I have some dried organic tea in the house, and wanted to find a soap that I can add oils to for the winter months as we both suffer with dry skin during the winter. This is also a simple recipe that we can use to make christmas gifts out of and place the ingredients for anyone who is curious what is in it. Fortunately Ivory is one of the safest bars of soap, for those who have skin allergies or other skin problems so the reuse of soap sounds excellent to me.

  11. Debbie is clearly an angry and confused woman. She should be on menopause blog instead of a soap-making blog. Lighten up man.

    • Very funny! Thanks for making me smile, Ginger :)!

    • Hey Ginger. I just got a comment from someone saying that I offended them by saying your menopause comment made me smile. I can see how Debbie might have been having an “off” moment or an “off” day and I want to be charitable to my readers unless they are obviously being malicious. So anyhow, thanks for the encouragement but wanted to set the record straight. Hope to see you around again!

  12. Ivory Soap is one of the worst soaps someone with sensitive allergic skin.

  13. No disrespect but you all know that melt and pour soap you buy at the store and hand milled (or rebatched) soap are two different things, right? Melt and pour soap is usually full of surfectants. Or it’s originally real soap that has been boiled in alcohol to make it transparent and easily meltable.
    Hand milled or rebatch soap is made from a pure base of handmade cold process soap that is shaved down and re melted (sometimes you have to add a liquid- it’s harder to melt than melt and pour) and then re poured. Most hand milled soaps are rebatched because of a mistake the soaper made the first time. But there are some who only make hand milled soap. It’s a lot of work if you’re making the original cold process soap yourself and then hand milling it, although you can buy pre made rebatch blocks of soap (brambleberry has a rebatch and then several melt and pours)
    I hope I don’t come across as rude but I see the terms “melt and pour” and “hand milled/rebatched” interchanged so often and it’s frustrating. And then a lot of people hear “hand milled” and think of the soaps that big companies sell that machines mill up and they remove the glycerine and I feel like that gives it a bad name. In reality genuine hand milled soap made from scratch is a real treat. Some say it’s gentler on the skin and some people purposely make it for that reason. Also when you rebatch you can add other ingredients that may not have fully survived the saponification process and you can use less EOs or FOs to scent as the smell will be stronger.

    Also I think it was kinda rude how Debbie’s comment was received. She may have come across as a little rude-but you know that soapers are constantly being asked if there’s lye in their soap, can’t you make soap without any chemicals at all etc etc and maybe she was just frustrated because there are people that genuinely believe their melt and pour soaps are lye free, maybe she thought you were one of those people. But she didn’t attack you or anything and then Ginger said she should be on the menopause blog and you said thanks for making me smile which seems disrespectful to me. And saying she should be on a menopause blog is very sexist, it’s like asking every woman who’s upset if she’s on her period…I know it’s your blog and you can run it how you like but comments like that and your approval of them doesn’t make this blog look very welcoming. If she had cussed you out or personally insulted you Id understand but she didn’t, she just wasn’t overly polite but we all have days like that and it’s hard to tell exactly how people are saying things over the internet.
    Just something to think about, I do appreciate your blog but wanted to speak up. Thanks for your time!

    • I had no idea about that. I have been wanting to make soap for along time and have never done it or read much about it.So the melt and pour is full of surfactants — why is that? If it’s a real soap that is boiled in alcohol is it the boiling that produces the surfactants?

      I don’t think you sound rude. I love learning but don’t always have time to do all of it :).

      I understood how Ginger thought that Debbie was being rude but I see your point as well so I responded to Ginger. I will respond to Debbie as well.

      Thanks for your comment and I will try to be more careful :).

  14. How nice of you. Thank you for being respectful, it really means a lot!
    And yes, there are two different kinds/ways to make it. So if you buy melt and pour at say, hobby lobby it’s going to have sodium laureth sulfate in it along with other synthetics and surfectants. It isn’t real soap.
    However, you can buy melt and pour from a place like bramble berry (or other places online I’m sure) which from looking at their ingredients list is actual soap made with lye. So I wondered how they made it meltable and transpernt and I looked around and apparently you can make your own melt and pour by boiling cold process soap in alcohol (I’m sure there’s a little more to it than that but that’s the gist). So if I personally did melt and pour I would make sure the ingrdients list either says “lye”, “sodium hydroxide” or “saponified oils of” and does not say sodium laureth sulfate or anything similar. That way it’s as close to the real thing as possible!
    I personally don’t have anything against melt and pour I understand why people do it and I think it can be very aesthetically pleasing. I just don’t make it because I have the dryest skin on earth and need that superfat! haha But a lot of people begin learning with melt and pour. For me as long as they understand that melt and pour is made with lye too then I don’t care! Whatever you like doing and whatever makes you happy.

  15. Rosie Zummo says:

    I have been wanting to make soap, but I have been afraid to use the lye, and I am so glad I find your site. I can’t wait to make my soap now. Thank you, and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Rosie

  16. I love this, why everyone asks, I wanted to make soaps for gifts but currently I’m not living in a place where working with lye is not possible, so I thought that giving personalized soaps would not be possible, but with this recipe, I can still do it, I do have a question I do know that ivory isn’t natural but can I use it in this recipe, I don’t have a lot of money and really don’t have the funds to buy 4 of the good soaps I’d like to get.

  17. How many specific drops will I put? I am using peppermint, so how many will do if I will make a bar big as an ordinary soap bar?

  18. Robbin Dillon says:

    Sorry, this is soap crafting – NOT soap making….. AND , there is no lye in soap! Lye & oils are combined in an exacting balance to create a chemical reaction that produces soponification and the by product, glycerine. …. which commercial manufacturers extract to make lotions to sell back to you, because soap is drying ….. NOT! Thank you for allowing to share my knowledge, as a Tallow Chandler for many years with a Living History organization, I made sure I was well informed on the history of soap making, and the commercialization of the industry. The finest, purest soap to be had is homemade, from scratch – there are lots of online calculators to help you formulate the soap of your dreams!

    • Hi there. and thanks for commenting. I don’t think the statement was made that there is lye in soap, but that lye is typically used in making soap. Perhaps I am mistaken? Maybe I am confused. I’m not sure what you mean by NOT about the soap being drying. Thanks in advance for your explanation :).

      • Robbin Dillon says:

        There have been commercials and advertisements for years touting that ‘soap is drying to your skin’ or that ‘soap leaves behind a film’ – which is accurate for commercially produced soaps (because they’ve removed the glycerine to make body lotions to sell you because the soap is drying your skin). The by-product of soponification is glycerine – which in homemade soap is retained in the final product, thereby helping your skin to be clean & soft! The comment has been repeated in many of the postings in this thread, that there is lye ‘in’ the soap – which there is not. Do you offer a friend a slice of raw egg with sugar & flour? No, those items are combined in a balance that produces CAKE (and its by-product: calories!) – just like soapmaking….

        • HI Robbin. I just went though all of the comments (I think) and I only saw one by the post author that talked about lye being in soap – so perhaps I am missing something? Thanks!

      • Pure soap, with all of its naturally occurring glycerine, is not drying.

        Many soaps on the market have their glycerine removed, which is what makes them drying. And, as Robbin stated, they sell the extracted glycerine back to you in the form of lotions.

        So they’re essentially creating a need for a product, then selling it to you twice.

  19. I think all this back-and-forth on the issue of what this article is really about could be solved by a simple renaming of the page.

    Instead of “How to make homemade soap without lye” or “Make your own soap without lye” it would be accurate, and helpful to your readers, if it was labeled “How to hand mill soap” or “How to craft personalized soaps”

    Just my two cents.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I am not sure what that would do – in any case, my point, and the author’s, was to help those who are nervous about using lye. Does that make sense? Thanks again.

  20. I love the idea!! It sounds fun and crafty!!

  21. So to make soap we must first buy soap?

    • Hi there. Well, I see your point for sure. The post is a way to solve a problem, however, for those who would like to make soap but are concerned about the safety issues involved with using lye. I have been in that camp for a long time and when I first wanted to make soap I had a 1 year old so knew there was no way I could get it done :).

      Hope that helps!

      • hello. i think what needs to be said is this. to make soap lye must be used. when it has been mixed with the oils, water, ect. it is no longer the “pure/dangerous lye”. it has turned into glycerine through the chemical reaction that produces soponification. the reason i read this article was to find a way to make soap without lye, which is what the title is implying. now i realize that lye must still be used, but you can let someone else handle the lye part of the recipe for you and buy it in bar form to melt and create your own fragrance and shapes. (soap crafting, not making.) hope this helps. all of this has helped me. thanks for all the info. 😉

  22. It really bothers me when Soap Crafting is presented as Soap Making. You are not making soap you are simply reshaping and coloring soap. While there is nothing wrong with that as a fun craft idea, I feel it is misleading to the general public that doesn’t know about soap making. Especially when it is presented as a lye-free alternative.There is no caustic free alternative to making soap, but there are lots of fun introductory crafts so why not call it that? Also what you are describing sounds and looks more like Re-batching then Melt & Pour. M&P bases are specifically formulated to melt and re-harden as one solid unit. They look more like a commercial bar of soap and it would be impossible to spoon it into a mold because it will be too liquid at trace. Most M&P bases are also chocked full with synthetic hardening agents so you are not getting a more natural product by using a base. The look of your raw soap, your melt times and final process looks like Re-Batch. This is when cold or hot processed soap is melted down and reformed. It is crumbly, doesn’t hold color well, and absorbs water like crazy(i.e the worst kind of soap). I rebatch my leftover shavings too, but these are soapballs to give to the kids for bath times. I would never sell rebatch or give it as a gift because it is not good quality (and I know the quality of the soap that is getting rebatched). I think it is important to note that even if the soap you are rebatching is listed as natural, in the US, a cosmetic product does not need to list all of their ingredients if it is not intended for internal consumption. So you don’t really know what is in it. Soap Crafting is a fun project, a great introduction to working with soap and its great to do with kids. But there is nothing inherently more natural about it and it is not soap making.

    • HI Nuri. I am sorry you feel bothered by this. After Andrea presented the post idea to me I looked and saw other posts similar to it on the internet. I hear what you are saying but it seems my readers are mixed….some feel that it isn’t really soap making and others are thrilled to have a new option. But I do appreciate your comments very much.

      I personally would prefer to make “the real stuff” from scratch and hope to do it soon when my life calms down a bit. Thanks and hope to see you around again.

  23. I am not trying to be harsh and I am saying the following in the nicest possible way…
    I must say also that this is highly misleading. All soap is made with lye whether it’s a handcrafted cold process soap that is made with NO synthetic detergents but has a glycerin content of up to 20% when the cure has finished, and NO lye in the finished product, hot process soap which is also handcrafted and has about the same percentage of glycerine in the finished product and NO lye in the finished product, or M & P commonly know in the industry as SYNDET bars which stands for Synthetic Detergent Bars. It is by NO MEANS HOMEMADE SOAP. No, you don’t have to use lye in the making of M&P in your home but make no mistake, it started with lye. Anyone who says they can make soap with lye. lies.
    And it’s not ONLY that this bothers people who actually make “homemade” soap, your title is extremely misleading. It’s putting that little dis on soap that is handcrafted using the same type of lye your Syndet Bars are started out with in the manufacturing process.
    “How to mold pre-made soap without using lye directly” would be accurate and a more truthful statement than “how to make homemade soap without lye”. It is offensive to those of us who have spent YEARS and thousands upon thousands of dollars developing actual homemade soap formulas that are very gentle to the skin and do not have the harshness of M&P bars, or SYNDET bars.
    Wondrous things happen when a blend of fabulous oils and butters, clays, milks, botanicals, and essential oils come together with NaOH and water! It is VERY misleading to say you are making “homemade” soap. Saponifiers, Soap Artisans – people who have spent years and thousands upon thousands of dollars (yes, I am stressing that point), to make the best soap you will ever put to your skin are making “homemade” soap! Actually the appropriate word for us is not “homemade”, it is “handcrafted”.
    Therefore, that is why it is bothersome, offensive, and yes, misleading, to give your article this title. This “soap” is not soap. It is synthetic detergent bars. It is not homemade. It is made for you and you melt it and pour it into molds.
    I understand people having a problem or fear of using lye in their homes. I have had raw soap come in contact with my skin, lye solution come in contact with my skin, and lye beads fly around and I have no scars, I have had no burns. IF you know the proper precautions, use proper safety equipment, GMP, and use the knowledge that is all over the internet, it is actually not a bit more dangerous than using drain cleaner.

  24. Melt and pour soap is soap. Soap is made with lye, except in this case, someone else handled the lye. It’s a myth that lye will burn or hurt you if you get it on you. In fact, bleach and ammonia are just as dangerous and you’ve probably touched both in the past week while cleaning the bathroom or kitchen floor. I’ve gotten lye on my skin and the worst it did is itch for a little while until I rinsed it off. Everyone! Lye is not that scary, I promise! Sure, you wouldn’t want to drink it or dump it on a baby or a pet, but that goes for any cleaning product.

    • So why all the caution about working with it? I have been nervous about it for a long time.

      • Dscully, what the h…eck kind of lye were you using, that you were able to “rinse it off”? That is a WICKEDLY dangerous thing to be saying where people might see it and take it at face value.

        Lye is incredibly corrosive and it IS a dangerous chemical to work with… if you’re careless or don’t know what you’re doing. It doesn’t burn your skin on its own, true… but if you get any part if your skin wet, and the lye comes into contact with it… You’re going to be hurting. I once had to go to the hospital for silver nitrate treatment due to a patch of lye from soap-making on the back of my hand that got wet. It burned through three layers of skin like a hot iron. There’s a reason labs and places that use it post huge “USE EYE PROTECTION” signs; that’s no joke.

        Now, if it’s correctly handled/stored/disposed of, it’s not really more dangerous than any other corrosive chemical, but God. Care should be taken! Adrienne, you shouldn’t be afraid to try it, just use caution and common sense. Like everything!

      • Angelina Bowers says:

        I make my own soap, with lye, and have never had a chemical burn. Because I treat it with the respect it deserves and follow safety measures. But another thing you must watch out for is the fumes it gives off when water is added…it is VERY irritating to the lungs. You must have proper ventilation and keep your face away from the fumes. Also the lye heats up the water to a very high temperature, very quickly, that can scald you. So you dont want to be splashing any of that on you either. .

    • Don’t listen to this! Lye is dangerous if handled improperly! I have been a soap maker for 6 years! I know this for a fact. Don’t mislead people!

  25. Lye is a chemical that can burn you if you get it on your skin. But it doesn’t have to be scary. It’s like using fire. Respect it and it can be a useful tool. Use gloves, long sleeves and eye protection while handing. Use ventilation while mixing with water. If you get some on you, white vinegar will cancel the chemical reaction. Making soap from scratch requires lye, period. Rebatching and melt and pour doesnt. Craft at your own comfort level but don’t be afraid to try new things.

  26. How many bars of soap does this make? And will this recipe fill a 9″x13″ pan?

    • Melanie,
      I usually do 4 bars or more at once, but if you use 2 bars it will make 2 small bars. It might take 6 bars to use a 9X13 pan. Lots of trial and error, but fortunately you can’t go too wrong with melting and re-molding soap.

  27. You are misleading. The lay is in the melt and pour but you are not making the melt and pour. You can’t make soap without lye. Lye is all natural. It is made from ash. You should add it in your post stating that melt and pour has lye if not you are lying.

    • Hi there, Holly. This isn’t about lying (I guess I should say no pun intended), but it’s about making a homemade soap without having to work with lye. I hope that clarifies :).

  28. Hi there, Andrea. Another vote here for you to change the misleading title of this blog post. If it hadn’t been so blatantly misleading I probably would have been more drawn to look at your other posts. I know you probably get a lot of hits this way, but you’re not coming by them honestly. I think a post title that talks about re-batching soap or re-purposing soap using molds or something like that would give the true flavor of this post’s content much better. All the best.

  29. I appreciate you posting this great alternative to actually having to work with lye! Having little ones around, (one is a 4 year old with both sensory and auditory processing disorders who can get into anything he’s not supposed to) I just can’t have lye in my home. I would never feel comfortable working with it while things are how they are currently. Yes, there was lye used somewhere in the process, but you’re trying to make it possible for those of us in my situation or others who are just intimidated by the use of lye, to mold our own creations. You are simply utilizing sources that take care of the lye part for you…for those who feel misled, which I didn’t…especially when you said “you’ll see what I mean”, you could edit the title to say “how to make soap without directly working with lye” or “how to make homemade soaps while omitting direct lye contact”. Personally, I have no issue and will be using this awesome resource when I start making my own soap soon!! Thanks again!!

  30. Truth Seeker says:

    Firstly, you need to CHANGE the title for your article it’s MISLEADING, this is about MODIFYING existing soap

    • Hi again. I have addressed this in multiple comments. I think the “you’ll see what I mean” suffices to share that I am not just talking about making soap directly. There are other bloggers who did similar posts. I do not think this is an issue at al. Thanks for commenting.

  31. I think you may need to clarify that no soap can be made without lye either by sodium hydroxide or sodium potassium. The company that made the melt and pour soap base has already done this for you. As a soap maker, I have learned that making such statements confuses people, that have never made soap or that has looked into what goes into making soaps. It’s a bit misleading.
    Melt and pour soap is melted for the purpose of adding scent and herbs and shapes to the soap that you like. So really you are only personalizing a plain soap base. Don’t get me wrong I also work with melt and pour and its great, its just no lye free or made totally from scratch by you.

    • Hi there. I appreciate your comment – I did think that I made that clear in the title and in the post that the lye was already involved in the process, but I added a sentence to make it more clear. Thanks!

  32. Sandy T. says:

    I’d suggest you investigate the ingredients used to make melt and pour “soap.” There is nothing natural about it. Use real soap made with actual lye and get over the absurd fear of this necessary and useful chemical. Yes, its dangerous, but so is hot grease in the kitchen but I’ll bet you still cook bacon.

  33. Erin Gibbons says:

    As long as your kiddos out of the way and you do it properly, there is no reason to be afraid of lye. It is really rewarding to make your own soap completely from scratch. I like knowing exactly what is in mine. I’ve also been making handmade lotion for my dad that has completely healed his skin problem. Though, this is a great alternative if you have lots of littles running around. Just be sure you’re happy with the ingredients in your melt and pour soap.

  34. Store bought soaps are made with a lot of chemicals, when u use soap instead of making it on ur own u get product that looks clumpy like ur soap does.. ALL soap has lye, saying urs doesn’t is not true. Lye is safe if you use it correctly.

  35. These soap recipes are fantastic for what I need to make I am doing a bath and body stall for my younger sisters school fete and I am finding all of my recipes I needed to make but the recipe I couldn’t quiet find was soap that was natural and did not have to use lye

  36. how many bars does this recipe make??

    • It just depends on how large you make them. Do you mean regular size bars?

      • Hi, I could see fairly quickly that if I kept reading questions and replies, I would just get more and more confused ( easy to do….lol) about the whole lye deal !!!! I know different people I have saw selling soap bars at various Flea Markets, bazaar’s and some advertise “lye free ” are you and or some of the others on this site saying there is lye in ALL soaps ?
        I would love to try making soap for gifts or even to sell. What brand are you buying when you start the process. It was white ( or at least I think so ) is it Ivory soap bars ? Please let me know asap for I had no idea you had to allow a month or so for the soap to be ready to use !! Thank You

        • Hi there. I am no soap making expert at all but lye is needed for all soap. There are some brands / online shops mentioned in the post. Are you able to see those? Thanks!

  37. Thanks for the post. This IS what I was looking for. I made something similar with a friend of mine years ago and it was just a fun thing to do that was quick and fun to do. I’m not a purist. I don’t have a lot of time and I wanted to make some “gardening” soap with my son who is five and has sensory challenges.. This post reminds me of that and we will have fun. I used green limes in my other soap. Smelled good, used ‘Kirk’s’ as my base and shredded up the lime into it and it looked cool and gets the grime off.. Thank you, and sorry the ‘purists’ don’t get what you really meant.. Thank you for your efforts.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Julee. I really thought writing the title that way would show that I knew there was really lye. Hope you have fun and your Kirk’s idea is great. I have some that I might do that with!

  38. Totally ridiculous. That “natural soap” contains lye, that’s what makes it soap. fat/oil + lye = soap. All soap contains lye. Makes no sense

    • Hi there. I guess I am puzzled why so many people seem to feel the need to address this issue. The title of the post made it clear that we weren’t really sharing a lye free soap. Just that the person making the soap wouldn’t have to deal w/ the lye. Thanks and hope that makes it clear.

  39. My grandmother used to “rebatch” soap when I was a kid. She would save all of those little pieces and the end of the bar in a drawer and when she got enough would melt them all down and add what she wanted just like these. Reminds me of my childhood :-)

  40. You haven’t “made” anything if you do this. You’ve just decorated something that someone else “made”. Truly making soap is no more dangerous than cooking is. Yeah, you were probably scared to death the first time you had to pull a big old roast or turkey out of the oven. This is like ordering thanksgiving from the local deli, and because you poured the gravy in a bowl, sliced the turkey, and rewarmed the dressing, you convince yourself that you ‘made’ Thanksgiving dinner.

    • Hi there. I complete agree with you – except that it is adding things and making a nice shape. That is why the post has the title it does — suggesting that it isn’t really making soap. I think the same kind of disclaimer has been made around many Thanksgiving tables. But not mine :).

  41. I don’t understand how you call this melt and pour soap homemade. That is like buying a pie crust and pre made filling and saying its a homemade pie. There is a huge difference between melt and pour soap purchased at a store and hot/cold process soaps made from scratch.

    • Hi Candace. I’m sorry you feel this way — I tried to make it clear in the title of the post “you’ll see what I mean” that it wasn’t really homemade. Of course there’s a huge difference, but you can see from the comments that there are many people who are happy to have something that they can make without it being a bigger job. Thanks for commenting :).

  42. Do you think this method would work if i use breast milk as the liquid? Thanks!

    • I don’t see why not. I would be careful about sterility issues, however, as with any ingredient. Is there a reason you want to do this?

      • I just have some frozen breast milk that are not suitable for drinking anymore as its over 3 mths old. So, was thinking of turning them into breast milk soap for my lil boy to shower in. Just tot the milk is so full of nutrients so why not, The method calls for it to be boil along with the shaved soap therefore it would be sort of sterilised in a way i guess?

  43. Can I use gumamela in this kind of soap making ?

  44. This is me probably just being dense but I found a neat recipe for making soap and they said “white soap base” but I thought that just meant white soap so I bought a bunch of bars of Ivory. Would ivory soap work with your method or am I just stuck using that as my own soap and need to go out and find actual soap base and just try the recipe I found. I’ve never done anything with soap before so would love any tips/pointers :) thanks

    ps awesome blog!

    • Hmmmmm….I think it would work. But depends how much of the flowers, etc. that will show since it’s probably more opaque. Might be OK though. Thanks for the kind words!

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