Let's Make Some Soap: A Simple Recipe for Lye Soap



Photo by Unsplash/Aurélia Dubois

Making a batch of homemade lye soap doesn't have to be complicated. I like making a simple lard-based soap to keep on hand. Homemade soap is reliably rich and full of natural glycerin that is stripped from commercial soaps. It is a good cleanser and gentle on your skin. I have friends who like to use it on skin affected by poison ivy and bug bites. Another friend likes to soap up before hunting to clear his skin of colognes or body odors that can be smelled by deer.

Safety First! 

Caution should be taken through the entire process, because lye is a strong, caustic chemical that can quickly eat through skin and many other materials. I don't want to scare you, but please be careful whenever you handle lye! Everything that you choose to use in making lye soap must be labeled as such, and from that point on ONLY used for lye soap. Anything that has contained lye must never be used for food purposes ever again.

There are several things that must be on hand to make a batch of lye soap. You should have a glass jar for dissolving the lye in, a kitchen thermometer, a 2-quart (or bigger) bowl for mixing the soap, a scale for measuring the ingredients in ounces, a plastic or wooden stirrer for stirring the soap, and a mold for pouring the soap into. The mold can be any plastic container big enough for the batch; I like to use a plastic Velveeta storage container, it is a long rectangle that when unmolded the soap can be sliced into nice size bars. Lard, lye and vinegar are also necessary. Lye can sometimes be hard to find, I have been able to buy it at a local hardware store. Vinegar should be kept close through the entire process, as it is an acid that can quickly neutralize the alkaline lye.

soap equipment

11/5/2017 2:02:20 PM

Dry herbs shouldn't affect it but any liquid may interfere with the hardening of the soap you might adjust the the water so you add the fragrance after it cools just guessing but that is what I would try, could be wrong.

5/26/2016 11:46:59 PM

Adding castor oil to the mix alleviates pain from arthritis.

5/26/2016 11:46:21 PM

Adding castor oil to the mix alleviates pain from arthritis.

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