Making soap at home can be a great way to save money. However, many recipes call for using lye in soap making. Lye is not a very safe chemical to have around. This is a guide about making soap without lye.
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I make laundry soap for myself and both daughters-in-law. We all really like it and it is so easy. One batch makes 2 gallons of soap and this is how I do it.
I grate 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap into some amount (like a gallon) of water on the stove with my cheese grater. You could probably use any bar soap, but I like Fels Naptha.
When the bar soap is all melted I add 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of borax. Stir that until it is dissolved. Pour in a 2 gallon bucket and add hot water from stove top until the bucket is filled. You will need some stirring room though. After you stir it, let it sit for 24 hours.
It will have a look of "chicken fat" on top. Stir that up really well and pour into jugs. Shake well each time and use 1/2 cup per load. I also use vinegar as my fabric softener, too. There is no static and the clothes are soft with a clean smell. Your soap will look like "egg drop soup" with the eggs whites in it. That is normal just shake bottle before use. I hope you like this, we sure do and it costs almost nothing to make.
Source: I Googled on the internet "homemade laundry soap" and I found this one.
By Rita from Bethany, MO
It's easy to make no lye soap bars with soap crafter's melt and pour glycerin soap base that you can purchase at almost any craft store. You can use items like clean dry yogurt cups, juice boxes, cream cheese containers, etc. as the molds. Add your favorite essential oil, strength as desired, for scent too. One pound of glycerin base will yield about 5 bars of soap if you are pouring 3 ounces of melted glycerin base into each mold.
Of course, you'll want to place one of them out right away to use so don't bother wrapping that one ;-)
Source: Trial and error and a combination of recipes.
To find great soap recipes, simply go to the library and get some amazing books on the subject. You can also search Google using "melt and pour soap recipes" and find more recipes than you might ever need.
I have made some and they are amazing to keep and to give. This time I used the best book I have ever gotten. It's called "300 Handcrafted Soaps" by Marie Browning. The recipes are easy and fun.
By Sandi from Salem, OR
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Here are questions related to Making Soap Without Lye.
I am looking for hand soap recipes that do not require lye.
By EL from Phoenix, AZ
By tricia minter01/13/2010
You can go to about.com and get recipes. Also sign up for their newsletters. You can chose the ones you want to receive. They send out lots of info on soaps. The ones you want are the melt and pour soaps. They don't require lye. You can find products needed online or at your fave crafts store. The oils can be found at health stores such as Nature's Outlet or GNC.
I was reading information about making soap products someone had posted on ThriftyFun. Is it possible to make nice soap i.e., glycerin without using lye? As I have never tried to make soap, I wondered if it there was a way to do this. Many thanks. Helen xx
By Helen from U.K
By kathleen williams03/23/2010
Making Soap without using Lye.
One of the questions commonly asked during soap making discussion is "can I make soap without having to use lye". The answer is a simple YES and NO. NO your can't make soap from oils and fats without lye but YES you can make soap quite easily using melt and pour glycerine soap or soap noodles.
Lye is absolutely necessary to convert oils and fats to soap. During this process many companies extract the glycerine and resell it to crafters wanting to make what is called Melt and Pour soaps. Other companies take soap made with lye and shave it into noodles so that it can be melted or rebatched into soap bars by crafters. In other words crafters and hobbyists who want to safely make soap can simply skip the step where lye is used and still enjoy the soapmaking process. Another advantage to melt and pour soapmaking is that you get a more consistant product. There is less risk of creating a bad batch of soap. Purists would call this cheating but if you want to have fun making soap and do not want to deal with the dangers then it is just a smart choice.
Here are some basic instructions on making soap using either glycerine melt and pour soap base or soap noodles.
Step 1: Place the amount of soap base that you wish to process into a double boiler. A crock pot on low will also work. Melt the base covered over a low heat so that moisture does not escape and so that the soap base does not get too hot. Gently stir the glycerine soap base or soap noodles but try not to whip air into the mix. In other words stir as little as possible.
Step 2: Gently stir in your additives including colorant, herbs, fragrances, vitamins, cocoa butter, aloe vera, etc.. It is best to purchase these items from companies who make them for soap. Especially the colorants and fragrances. Add these items one at a time starting with colors, then moisturizers or vitamins and then finally fragrances. Stir gently.
TIP - when using solid additives like cocoa butter you will want to melt those separately and then pour them into your soap.
Step 3: Pour your mixture into molds. You can use just anything you wish as a mold as long as you can get the soap back out.
Step 4: After your soap has hardened unmold it. Your freshly made soap can be used immediately. good luck.
Does anyone know how to make cream soap without lye? Especially whipped soap that I have seen on freshwhipped.com.
To you people asking about lye and 'ancient' methods: You need* sodium or potassium hydroxides (lye or 'pot ash') to properly sapon-ify the base oils, plain and simple. There are some plants that contain diluted salts that 'foam' when added to water and agitated but it's not 'soap' in the concentration us modern people have come to accept.
** Please, enough with the 'hurrr, ancient people didn't have lye powder around so lye isn't needed'. At first they didn't know what 'magic' allowed this to happen. Once the ancients realized that the muds and water near their sacrificial zones would froth and clothes were cleaner when washed there, it didn't take long for them to realize it was something in the location, the combination between the wood and the flesh of those burnt offerings that was causing it.
in hindsight, we know that plant or wood ashes , when soaked with water, will leech out a strong alkali solution. once discovered and pre-industrialized, they would take this solution and boil it down until the water evaporated and the white crystals (now called 'lye') were collected and stored. Lye powder is very stable and easy to store compared to a 'lye' solution, so long as you never get it wet. ;-) It will degrade over time and with exposure to moisture in the air.
I have heard that a solution of a LOT of baking soda and a little water will get a relatively high ph and when mixed with a smaller amount of olive oil and heated will create a mildly foaming 'soap', but you're not breaking down enough oils to create those saponins
I have buddies that make their own 'lye' by soaking hardwood ashes from their smokers in a 5 gallon bucket of water. you keep adding ashes and wait until the PH reaches the desired level. You can either use that solution for cooking (pretzels and bagels especially) or you can boil it down and harvest the crystals.
This isn't much different than making your own salt petre from hay & urine.
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I would like to try making my own soap, but am a little concerned of any fumes given off when using lye since I have asthma. Is it necessary to use lye in soapmaking? Are there recipes out there for making soap without lye?
Terry Lynn from Toronto, Ontario
I have been having a hard time finding a recipe for soap without lye, is it possible? f you have a recipe for soap without lye it would be MUCH appreciated! Thank you! Jenna from Spring, Texas
By Susie Zoerner, Bay Minette, AL
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