Okay…I have to be honest…
I planned this blog post because one of the top search results that get’s people to my blog is “how to make soap without lye.” I have no idea why. I haven’t posted an article about making soap without lye, but keywords and Google searches can be complex and result in unexpected results. So I wanted to address this as people are searching for this.
When it come to DIY and soapmaking there are two popular types of soap that you can make.
It is important to know that lye is called sodium hydroxide.
Cold Process Soap – The cold process soap method of making soap uses lye as part of the process. The resulting soap is comprised of salts of the fatty acids, natural glycerin and un-saponified oils (superfat). No lye is left in the final product after the curing period.
When you make cold process soap you do have to work with lye.
Soap has been traditionally made by this process (or similar processes, including hot process). Even soap you buy at the grocery store was made with lye. Read the label. Does it say saponified oils of …? Or does it say sodium tallowate?
Saponified oils are oils that have been turned to soap by lye.
Sodium tallowate is tallow (rendered beef fat) that has been turned to soap by lye. Sodium tallowate is the salts of the tallow fatty acids.
Melt and Pour Soap (MP Soap) – This method of making soap uses a pre-made soap base. You melt down the soap blocks, add color and fragrance and mold the soap. This process of making this soap usually included lye. The lye is used as a processing agent and is not in the final product. The soap is mixed with chemicals that make it re-meltable (such as Propylene Glycol). I think this is the type of soap instructions that people are looking for when they search how to make soap without lye. When working with MP soap you are using a soap base that has already been formed, so you don’t have to work with lye (sodium hydroxide).
Melt and pour is great for kids to craft with or for people who don’t want to work with lye.
My favorite soap to make is cold process soap! You’ll find all kinds of blog posts and recipes on this blog.
I have two MP soap tutorials.
So if you want to make soap without having to handle lye, make melt and pour soap. I’m not the best resource for MP soap tutorials. Check out Soapqueen.com for that.
Happy Lye-Free Soaping!