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!

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.

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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. ;)

  7. 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.