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. 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. 😉

  2. 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.

  3. 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. .

  4. 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.

  5. 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.