Homemade Lye soap is one of the great soap recipes, fantastic for people with sensitive skin and it’s an excellent cleanser for people suffering from acne.
All of our homemade soap recipes contain varying degrees of Lye but here we will concentrate on three simple no thrills recipes. These will allow you to experiment on your soapmaking without breaking the bank! All three recipes are for 1lb batches.
Making Homemade Lye Soap
Use the Cold Process Method shown below with one of these three recipes. Each will give you brilliant white soap that’s great on its own, but also perfect for adding simple colors and toppings.
Lard Soap Recipe
A brilliant white soap with large creamy bubbles. It will have a slight fatty smell, so you might want to add essential oils.
Tallow Soap Recipe
This soap is made from Tallow (dripping), it makes a hard soap and is quick to reach the ‘trace stage’.
This is a softer homemade Lye soap and will take longer to reach the ‘trace stage’ (around 30 minutes).
Quick Cold Process Steps:
- Prepare a box made from cardboard, plastic, wood or glass and line it with plastic wrap or waxed paper. This will become your soap mold.
- Melt the fats in a pan. Stir a little to make sure it’s all melted entirely. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool a little.
- When it’s cooled to around 130° F (54C) begin to stir it.
- Ware your eye protection and gloves to slowly pour the water into a mixing bowl and carefully add the lye into the water, stirring constantly.
- Continue stirring until the lye has dissolved. Cover with a light cloth and leave to cool to around 130° F (54C).
- Pour the lye/water mixture into the oils in a thin stream. The key to a good soap mixture it constant, slow stirring.
- When you’ve poured all the lye into the fats, you should find that the soap starts to thicken. Trickle some of the mixture off the back of a spoon, this should leave a trace line (commonly referred to as the ‘trace stage’)
- Add any optional coloring and essential oils and stir.Pour your homemade lye soap into a plastic-lined box or mold. Cover the top with a lid or card, then wrap it in a towel and allow it to set for a couple of hours in a nice warm area. The soap should still be soft enough to cut into bars with a table knife. Don’t use anything that will be sharp enough to cut through the plastic lining and continue to handle with gloves for the first 48 hours.
- Once you’ve cut your bars, leave the soap to set for a further week before you remove it from the mold. You will then need to leave your soap in a dry placed to cure for around a month before it’s ready for use.
Do you have your own homemade lye soap recipe? What ingredients do you use?