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

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

Want to make soap but you're worried about having to handle caustic lye? Here's How to Make Soap - without having to handle 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!

The Story of My Desire to Make Soap……

For years, I have wanted to make my own soap.  And yet, I have never done it.

I've oogled over the craftiness of others and felt that somehow I was deficient in my thriftiness, my craftiness, my domesticality…simply because I have never made soap. 

One of my clearest memories is of a friend back in the Chicago area who made HUGE batches of olive oil soap.  This friend had enough money to buy whatever soap she wanted, but she just LOVED making soap and her soap was just gorgeous.  

I first tried this lovely soap when I was pregnant with my first child, so basically I wrote off making it because I knew that it would necessitate my working with lye in a kitchen where I would have to time things so I didn't have a busy and inquisitive infant or toddler underfoot.  Let alone the fact that during nap time I would often be napping myself!

So I basically gave up all dreams of soap-making, and they never really came to be.

I even, at a second hand store, bought the very book that my friend's soap recipe came from, and I STILL haven't made soap.

So when Andrea approached me about sharing a recipe for melt and pour soap that was easily made into “homemade soap” style, I was thrilled.

I assumed that many other busy moms out there would love the chance to be crafty without being around something caustic that might be a problem for their children's safety.

So here you go — “sort of ” Homemade Soap :).

Update 4/16: Please note – I have gotten a lot of comments from angry readers insinuating that I made this post in a deceptive manner.  I wrote the title as I did so that it wouldn't seem to be something that it wasn't so please take that into consideration before making any more accusations.  Thank you!

Now – to Andrea……

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.

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.


By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Want to make soap but you're worried about having to handle caustic lye? Here's How to Make Soap - without having to handle 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.

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. If i make a homemade soap by melt and pour does its still need a lye

  2. We can make a soap without using lye instead of using beeswax?

  3. Thanks for the article. As for the angry readers, well, they are just completely uneducated. If they had half a brain they would know that soap without lye is not technically soap. I haven’t made my own soap yet, however, I’m doing research, and I knew what your title meant.
    Ignore the haters. Maybe if they shut their mouths for a second and actually read something they may learn a thing or two.
    Keep doing your thing soap lady. Take care. 😉

  4. I’ve done a melt and pour soap with leftover organic coffee grounds in it and a little cocoa and vanilla.. Smells absolutely awesome but it is also very useful in the kitchen… The coffee takes the garlic and onion smells that don’t want to leave your skin right off your hands in one wash.. Plus it exfoliates..

  5. Got in my mind I could make homemade soaps as gifts. Can I use shea butter in recipe and will it lather?

  6. Lorie Neighbors says:

    I need some advice! I made this soap over the weekend–followed your directions precisely. Made 2 batches–one with just lavender essential oil and some dried lavender buds that I sprinkled in the bottom of the loaf pan before pouring the soap in–and one colored with some turmeric powder and scented with grapefruit eo. Both batches, after slicing into pieces the next day, were flakier than I had hoped. Definitely NOT like the original bars of soap I used (which was Trader Joe’s Oatmeal & Honey Soap, btw). Now I’m seeing in your photos that yours are a tad flaky as well. And yet, the handmade soaps I’ve purchased aren’t flaky at all. Is this typical of “rebatching”? If you add more water to the crockpot, would that help? Or is less water better?

    Also, I’m thinking of rebatching these soaps I made and starting over. Is that recommended?

    One thing I am going to do is buy some cute little silicone molds. I think they would look better. I really wanted them to be awesome, but I’m a bit underwhelmed. I could use some advice!! Thanks. I appreciate your tutorial.

  7. It’s not that serious. It’s her article and her recipe. She can name her title any way she like. I’m new to soaping and didn’t get offended and if you did get offended. Ummmmm!!! So what! Who cares! Soap goes on!! Some of you all are taking this too personal. Pump your breaks folks. Keep Soaping lady!!!

  8. um so when your finished is the soap going to lather /produce foam

  9. Can beeswax be incorporated? I have excess wax from my hives this year and would lov3 to use the lye less recipe but worried I may ruin it if I add the honeycomb

  10. Kelly Rodolph says:

    I make lots of different types of melt and pour soaps. They still have lye in the base but you just aren’t handling it directly and I’ve made lots of beautiful soaps with this method. They are still handmade and look wonderful, the only difference is that all of the butters and oils and lye are already there. It makes it easier, safer, but exactly the same, only difference maybe would be that you could decide what oils you wanted, like extra moisturizing or extra lathering. Melt and pour makes it easier for us homemakers with young children. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, Kelly! Hope to see you around again and thanks for the encouragement!

    • There is no lye in the base. The base was made with lye, but the base does not contain lye unless the base was made horribly wrong (too much lye and not enough fats) in which case it will burn your skin when you use it. Saponification is a chemical reaction that turns lye and fat into soap. The lye isn’t there anymore. The fats aren’t there anymore either, unless you added a bit extra for superfatting. The fudge factor in the title isn’t the “without lye”, it’s the “make soap”. M&P is “without lye”, but technically not “making soap” since you’re really “decorating” existing soap (which the author explains in the article).

  11. goodness! i thought people were only mean to me for no reason! your title was not deceptive. i know nothing about concocting soap, and i knew what you meant. your article was great, plus you taught me a valuable lesson about not incredible hulking out on people, because that’s probably their desire! i am going to attempt to create some soaps, probably using the olive oil melt and pour base. i have some organic handmade soaps that i love, and it seems like an easy way to make a few bucks! going to start simple and see how it goes! thanks for sharing!

  12. Loftus Family Farm says:

    Thank you for posting the recipe! Very helpful to a new beginner learning how to craft soap.

  13. Reading the comments was a little annoying cause I think anyone with any interest in soap making get that it involves lye they just have no interest in handling it. My question is had anybody on this blog ever did the melt and pour method with black soap?

  14. Do you think Fractionated coconut oil could be used as the liquid or even melted normal coconut oil? I already buy bars of natural soap to make my washing powder, but didn’t think of using it to make my own soaps.

  15. Christie says:

    I was so excited to stumble across this recipe online. I have a very small space to work with and multiple ingredients is not ideal! Getting a recipe like this for homemade or semi homemade soap, that can save both time and money for a full time working mom who is health contentious and trying to pinch pennies is both ideal and greatly appreciated 🙂 Thank you

  16. Thank you so much for this great and very helpful article. I did not want to have to handle lye around my little ones.The perfect step by step tutorial. Thanks again!

  17. Hello! I saw people here being upset, also I got your point. Maybe you were not bad intentionaly, but maybe the title should be something like: ”How to make your own soap without working with lye yourslef…” (something like that….) (otherwise people misunderstand and they get upset because they have different expectations…) Other than that, the recipe is good and easy to use! I make my own soap with lye, but I think this is also a good way to fix some failed soaps 🙂

    • Thanks, Angela. I think maybe it’s the folks coming from Pinterest. I’m working on redoing all kinds of images and haven’t gotten to all of them :). Great idea on the failed soaps.

  18. hello, I have a question, doesn’t the “natural soap base” have Lye in it?…if so, then is it really “making soap without lye? Just because you didn’t place lye in it yourself doesn’t mean it is “without lye”
    Common Name: Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerin (kosher, of vegetable origin), Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent), Sorbitol (moisturizer), Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), Oat protein (conditioner), Titanium Dioxide
    Botanical Name: Cocos Nucifera Oil, Elaeis Guineensis Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius Oil, Glycerin, Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, Sobitan Oleate, Avena Sativa Protein Extract, Titanium Dioxide” is the ingredients from the company Brambleberry you listed. “Sodium Hydroxide”, or “Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent)” is lye, is it not? I am not trying to be mean, it is just I am just very tired of people not being truthful

    • Hello there. We wrote the title the way we did to make that point – that the soap base used lye, but you didn’t have to use it to make the product in your home. So we weren’t being misleading at all. Hope that helps. It’s an easy way to do a crafty project w/ soap without having to use lye.

      • I think that the title is a great idea, especially as there’s not any soap making classes in my area. I desire to make my own soap for shampoo bar (still not sure what to do to achieve that), however I like the castile soap recipe and think it “might” be a good start. I’m so sick and tired of chemicals that I cannot recognize or read names of on commercial products.
        Thank you so much.

    • Did you even read the article in its entirety or just a few sentences here and there then leav a ridiculous and embarrassing comment to the author?! You hate when people lie, WE hate people who leave stupid and uneducated comments.

    • Saponification is a chemical process that turns fats+lye into soap. Lye is an ingredient in the soap, but it does not exist in the soap anymore. If it did, it would burn you when you tried to wash with it.

  19. Cas Smith says:

    Can a person use castile bar soap as the “base soap”?? Thank you!!

    • I think it should work – hope it goes well!

    • Kaliha E Brooks says:

      Yes you can. I have done that. The amount of lather depends on the amount of castile soap you use. I used a cheese grader, my soap was more of a cream though. My mother loved it; add sugar ir Epsom salt for exfoliating affect.

  20. Cindy Sandberg says:

    I really do not understand the superior and condescending attitudes of the ” it’s not REALLY soap making ” crowd. I think everyone understands that this is a shortcut method of achieving a CUSTOMIZED batch of soap without really “making” soap from scratch. What’s the big deal? I for one, am happy to have the option of combining a natural soap base-yes there are plenty out there that are organic/ natural/no icky stuff- with other natural ingredients that are good for my skin needs and scented naturally with scents that I enjoy! I see no reason to act all judgy toward someone who is happy to do that, or the person sharing with others how to do that. I make my own pie crust… If someone else wants to buy the refrigerated kind, I COULDNT CARE LESS…. nor am I offended or threatened in any way if they happen to say they “made” the pie! Thanks for a good starter recipe! Going to go “make” some citrus/ coconut milk soap now:)

    • Thanks so much, Cindy :). I was a little shocked too, particularly since I gave a hint in the title that it wasn’t really making soap. Thanks and I would love to try your soap!

      • Cindy Sandberg says:

        Well, it’s done and it smells amazing! Started with organic castille soap base, added coconut milk as the liquid, some pink sea salt and used lemon, orange, grapefruit and clary-sage essential oils. Can’t wait to use it!

    • Amanda Murray says:

      Totally agree with Cindy. This is great. Having a lot oc young children around crying, laughing, running etc. I want something like this to let them make a mess and be totally fine getting it all over thier bodies. (We should ake it near the pool or at the beach) lol I too will start with Casitle Soap as it is the cheapest and easiet for me to find. Thank you o much for this!!!!!!! I cannot wait to get messy and creative. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      “Update 4/16: Please note – I have gotten a lot of comments from angry readers insinuating that I made this post in a deceptive manner. I wrote the title as I did so that it wouldn’t seem to be something that it wasn’t so please take that into consideration before making any more accusations. Thank you!”
      Hope you see this

    • It’s more like buying an undecorated cake at the store, decorating it and calling it baking. The person who buys a frozen pie crust is still doing the baking, but with M&P you are not doing the soapmaking (saponification).

      The motivations of people who want to do M&P soap for themselves are different from the motivations of people who want to make homemade soap for themselves. One is decorative and the other is functional. If you want to make your own soap then finding articles about rebatching existing soap would be really frustrating. But yeah, if you want to “really” make your own soap you need to use lye.