How to Make Homemade Soap Without Using Lye

Are you wondering how to make homemade soap?

Many people are reluctant to even attempt to make their own soap because they are concerned about the caustic properties of lye, which is used in many homemade soap recipes.

However, you can make perfectly good soap without lye by using melt and pour soap base instead. This can be obtained from any craft store and is available in many different forms, such as clear, colored and white soap bases, and also soap bases which contain various ingredients such as shea butter, glycerin and milk.

As part of how to make homemade soap, you will need coloring and fragrance, and you may also want to add herbs, such as lavender, chamomile or sage, or flower petals and dried fruit peel.

There are many beautiful decorative soap molds that can also be purchased at your local craft store, or you can make your own by using small scallop shells, silicone cake cases or ice cube forms, and even small candle molds. The choice is up to you and will depend on how large you want your soaps to be.

Once you are ready to make your soap, assemble your ingredients - soap base, colorings, fragrances and additives. Have your soap molds ready - it helps to line them up on a cookie sheet covered with crumpled aluminum foil if you are using individual molds.

For your first attempt at how to make homemade soap, you may want to break off only enough melt and pour soap base to make a few soaps. Follow the directions on the package carefully; break off the desired number of blocks, place in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for the recommended amount of time. Add your fragrance and other additives, pour into your soap molds and allow to set. Be careful when adding fragrance - less is more! It's easy to add more fragrance and impossible to remove it! Use fragrance sparingly.

There are other methods for how to make homemade soap without using lye. You simply use a good quality plain soap, such as Ivory soap, and repurpose it to make your own soap base.

For this method of how to make homemade soap, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • About 2 cups of coarsely grated Ivory hand soap
  • Dried herbs or flowers, such as lavender or chamomile, finely ground (use a coffee grinder that you use solely for this purpose)
  • Essential oils for fragrance and a drop or two of food coloring, if used, to tint your soap.

Here are the instructions for how to make homemade soap this way:

  • Place the herbs and water into a saucepan and add no more than two or three drops of essential oils - you can add more later if you wish. Bring to a boil and pour over the grated Ivory soap in a large glass mixing bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon until soap flakes are melted and add the food coloring at this point. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then press into your soap molds.

  • Leave to dry for three or four days in a cool place before turning out of the molds.

You can make many different kinds of soap simply by varying the ingredients you add to the basic mix. Oatmeal is gentle to sensitive skin and will softly exfoliate and relieve dry or itchy skin.

Here's how to make homemade soap which contains oatmeal. To make oatmeal soap, simply replace the herbs and essential oils with three or four tablespoons of oatmeal processed in your coffee grinder; just make sure that you don't grind the oatmeal too finely - you just want to break up most of the flakes, not turn them into flour.

Another option for how to make homemade soap is to use the hand milled soap making technique using rebatch soap base, almond oil and milk. You will need a long narrow pan or tube to place the soap mix in until it is cooled.

You will need:

  • 1 lb rebatch soap base
  • 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
  • 1 tablespoon of essential oils or fragrance
  • 2 tablespoons of milk


  • Grate the soap base and place in a double boiler or a pan suspended over a pan of simmering water. Using the same method, heat the sweet almond oil and milk until very warm.

  • Add a few shreds of soap base and stir with a wooden spoon until they have melted. Continue in this manner until you have used up all the soap and it is all completely melted.

  • Add the desired amount of essential oils or fragrance and pour into your mold. Put a piece of waxed paper over the top and press the mixture down until all the air bubbles are gone. Once the soap 'tube' is cool, remove from mold, slice into bars, and it's ready to use.

While these soaps are not made from scratch using lye, you still need to take caution; use eye protection, gloves and an apron - the essential oils can be an irritant if they come into contact with your skin, and the hot soap mixture can burn.

Once your soaps are set, you can add decorative ribbon or raffia and they are ready to be given as unique gifts.

Do you now have a better idea of how to make homemade soap?

For more ideas and tips on how to make homemade soap, do check out the other related articles and pages on this website.

Read More: More Homemade Soap Recipes | More on Making Homemade Soap | Homemade Lye Soap | Full Body Care Tips | Cleaners and Cleaning Products | Other Home Improvement Ideas plus Homemade Solutions and Remedies | Home Page | Site Search

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