Ways & How

How to make lye soap

How to make lye soap

Soap making can be done through both the cold and hot processes. Lye has been the main soap ingredient for decades. Saponification happens when lye is combined with fat or oil and heated up. Glycerin is the by-product that the saponification or the chemical reaction produces. This process is a lot quicker than the cold process where it takes 18 hours for the chemical reaction to occur. How to make lye soap is a time-specific process. Lye is a substance found in ash. But when making soap, soap makers prefer to have them ready for use. It’s not common to find lye anymore in local outlets due to its dangerous nature, but it can still be ordered online without any limits. Lye is a good combination in the art of soap making.  It makes the process quicker. Making lye soaps this way will be ideal as gifts or souvenirs. Make your own soap in a few hours by following these steps:

  1. Make soap molds based on the look that you anticipate. Any non-reactive container will do. You can also improvise soap molds using cardboard shoe boxes lined with a plastic garbage bag.


  2. Remember that lye can be damaging to your skin and eyes. Always use gloves and goggles while making soaps. Protecting yourself by wearing protective gear is basic in soap making.

  3. Fill the plastic dish pan with ice cold water. Avoid breathing the fumes of the lye. The place where you make your soaps must be well-ventilated.

  4. Constant stirring in slow motions with a wooden paddle is necessary when adding the lye into the cold water. Do this with caution. If you happen to be hit with splashes, wash the affected area at once thoroughly with lots of running water. Start to heat the mixture when you've observed that the lye has already reacted chemically with the water. Put a cover on the pot and wait until the temperature reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

  5. The lard must be melted in a bowl or pan that is non-reactive. It must be cooled to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Pour the lye water with the utmost care into the lard following a thin but continuous flow. It will not be perfect without stirring continually forming an S-motion. Stirring must continue until the consistency will be similar to that of pudding. The transfer should be done only when the mixture is ready. You can check this by dropping some of the soap into some water. If it does not sink, it’s ready for mold pouring. You may be able to reach the correct consistency after stirring for 45 minutes.

  7. Finally, pour the soap mixture into the molds prepared beforehand. Do the same method you used when pouring the lye mixture. Soak a sponge in a ten per cent vinegar content solution and use this for cleaning up any drips.

  8. Allow three to five hours of curing time. Slice the hardened soap mixture into bars without removing it from the molds.

  9. The sliced bars must stay in the molds to cure for about 7 days. They must then be wrapped with muslin after the curing period. Allow them to settle for a minimum of three weeks before using.

How to make lye soap is not something that children can participate with. It must be an adult activity, and full caution must be exercised. Unprocessed lye can burn your skin and your eyes. Never let any accidents happen by protecting yourself. Wear protective goggles and clothing while preparing it. Vinegar can slow down the burns on the skin along with plenty of water. Never place your lye stock near the dining area. Lye is toxic when taken internally.


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