How to Make Lye Soaps

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Aged lye soap can be very good when used as a complexion bar. This is a page about how to make lye soaps.


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My sister got this at a church circle meeting during the 70's. It's called Grammaw's Lye Soap. I call it the best complexion bar ever.


Mix ingredients in a glass or plastic bowl. Stir with wooden or plastic spoon. (Lye will react to metal of any kind) Stir constantly until it's the consistency of cake batter. Pour into a box lined with waxed paper. The box in which soap is placed to set up should be on several layers of folded newspaper sections and should be about the size that will fit 2 six packs of cola drinks. Cover with a heavy towel. Allow to set for 24 hours or untill solid. Use rubber gloves to cut into bars. Let it age for about 2 weeks before using. Lye will be very caustic during the mixing and setting process so this should be kept out of the reach of pets and small children. After it ages, it is wonderful for complexion problems and for dry skin. All bar soaps have lye in them so there is nothing to fear. I used it for years until I got too trifling to make it. It costs just pennies a bar.

By MartyD from Houston,TX

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December 3, 20070 found this helpful
Top Comment

thank you for posting this recipe my friend had made it years ago and was trying to tell me how to make it on the phone today but couldnt remember all ingredients it was strange to see it posted...i love homemade soap and have been wanting to make it so often...i will give this a try

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February 7, 2011

This first recipe is the old fashioned lye soap. It is very caustic at the beginning, so pets and children should be kept away. I don't know where you live, but it's better to do the whole operation outside because it is pretty vile smelling. You might want to wait until spring or summer.


Find a box about the size for 12 cans of soda or vegetables. Place it either in the garage or outside on the patio. Put several sections of newspaper under the box since there will be some drainage as the soap sets, then place some newspaper inside the box and line it with wax paper. I always clip this in place with clothespins.

Grammaw's Lye Soap



Mix ingredients in a plastic or glass container. Stir till it reaches consistency of cake batter with a wooden or plastic spoon. The lye will react to metal. Pour in your prepared box and cover with an old heavy towel. Allow to set for 24 hours. Use rubber gloves to cut into bars. Age for 2 weeks before using.

Castille Soap



Use the same method as Lye Soap to set.

Cold Cream Soap:

Thoroughly mix 2 ounces facial cold cream into one of the above soap recipes just before pouring it to mold. You can also mix 1 ounce each of powdered milk and honey to any soap before pouring it to mold.

Have fun and be careful with the lye. I always tie a bandana around my face like a bank robber in the old cowboy movies, because that is one vile smelling concoction! It is worth the trouble though and is good for the skin. You can wash a baby's bottom and clear up diaper rash with it.

By Marty

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