Why You Should Make Soaps Without Lye (The Complete Tutorial)

  • By: Soap Crowd
  • Time to read: 13 min.
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We have gathered some good pieces of information on how to make soaps without lye. Following is the step-by-step guide to having a trouble-free soapmaking experience!

melt and pour soap without lye

Soap making is a great activity and an opportunity to be creative. Many people start on the soap-making venture for business. You can gift customized versions to your friends too.

However, handling lye at home is certainly a clumsy thing. You must be afraid of the harms of alkalis such as sodium and potassium hydroxide. You become concerned a bit more if kids are around.

Though you can't have a real soap without lye, there are ways that negate the idea of using lye. This is called the melt and pour method. No matter how naïve you feel about yourself, you can be an expert in soap-making with time.

In this blog, we are going to discuss in detail homemade soaps without lye. Also, you will get to know about the ingredients and supplies added to soap. So, read on to know more.

Soap vs. detergent

The substance formed when fats and oils are combined with bases is known as soaps. More simply, they are the products that protect us from bacteria and different toxins. We clean our clothes kitchen utensils with the aid of soaps.

The so-called "Natural soap" by the soap brands is just marketing. The fact is these products contain artificial substances. We have grown up calling them soaps which in reality are detergents. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the compound used in detergents. Though these products do not harm you, they lack organic substances. We can differentiate between the two by checking the labels on the wrapper. If the word "soap" is there, then it is soap. Words like "beauty bars" indicate detergents.

Can you make soaps without lye?

Like most people, you may have questions in your mind, "How can soaps be made without lye?". Then here is your answer. They can be. And sometimes cannot if we bring the principles of science in our mind.

Bar Soap is made by a mixture of oils and liquids. The lye is a chief component and helps in changing oil into soap. You can end up with the same initial materials if you skip lye. When making soaps from the beginning, we must add the lye. You cannot create soaps without lye. It serves an important role in soap-making.

Two common ways of soap-making are the hot and cold processes. Another method that we are going to explain in this blog is the melt and pour method. You can have a gratifying soap-making experience without handling lye.

Why should you use soaps without lye?

Synthetically made soaps can harm your skin because of the presence of chemicals. You can be a victim of skin disorders and different allergies.

The lye solution used to make soaps is destructive for the skin. In children, it may be a cause of integumentary diseases.

Making soap at home requires you to deal with everything with care. You must follow proper guidelines to save yourself from the harmful effects of lye.

Make soaps without lye with the melt and pour method.

The melt and pour method, also known as the soap casting method, has proven to be a high-yielding method. It is ideal for people who have are new to soap-making. The soap base here is composed of lye, just like the other soap bases. Luckily, you won't have to deal with soap lye. The troublesome process is already taken care of by the manufacturer.

You can make soaps without lye easily with this method. Just three to four steps and you have your soap bar in your hand.

Firstly, buy a soap base. Now cut the bar into smaller parts and melt them using a stove. Continue until it changes its solid form and a liquid appears. Use a silicone mold and pour the mixture into it.

Let the liquid cool down. Wait until you can see a hardened substance and take it out of the mold. Jeez, The soap is ready!

melt and pour soap method

Common melt and pour soap base ingredients

The components of soap are variable and differ with every manufacturer. Mostly you will see the following ingredients in soap bases:

1- Oils and butter

Argan oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and olive oil are common constituents in soap making. You can look for ingredients on the corner deck with their original names or the terminology used worldwide. Chemical terms like sodium palmate or sodium cocoate, but you need not be confused. These are the INCI names. Science gives INCI names to oils when they are saponified.

2- Sodium hydroxide or soap lye

Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) is commonly used in soap bases and is the chemical name for lye. Seeing lye written on a soap base might surprise you. But the truth is you don't have to care about that stuff because lye is wholly transformed into soap during saponification.

3- Popular ingredients in bases for soaps without lye:

There is a list related to ingredients added in soaps without lye. You can customize the soaps with your favorite colors as well.

Following are some of the frequently used soap bases:

  • Hemp
  • Beer or ale
  • Shea butter
  • Honey
  • Goat's milk
  • Palm-free
  • Kosher
  • Vegan

Suspension soap base

Those who obsess over crafty soaps can purchase suspension soap bases. This type of base helps in even spreading the additives in soap. You can use dried herbs, lavender, and oatmeal as additives. It gives a classy look to the bar soap.

The added components will neither sink nor float. Instead, they will bring a layered look to the soap. However, these kinds of soap bases are not compulsory.

You can have the suspension effects by taking some steps during the soap-making process. For example, avoid heating the base too much. This will create a better-layered look. And you can also do this by instantly taking the soap out of the mold.

soap without lye with melt and pour method

Advantages of the melt and pour method

It is a great way to have a homemade natural soap. It works well for the people who have just started soap-making. Now let's dive into the benefits of this method.

1. Cheap and simple

A big perk of this method is that you need only a soap base. All the remaining ingredients must be present at your home. The constituents used are also not very expensive.

2. No special equipment is needed

Using the melt and pour soap method, you can easily make your soap without special tools. The spoons, spatulas, and containers in your kitchen will work.

3. Quick process

The other procedures, like the hot and cold process, take a long time and are a kind of hassle. This soap recipe takes much less time, about half an hour.

4. Instantly ready for use

You can immediately take the soap out of the soap mold and use it. No waitings. On the other hand, cold process soap takes over one month to cure.

5. You can customize your homemade soap

This cool way of making soap allows you to create numerous looks, and you can customize them in your way. That is not the case with other methods.

Disadvantages of the melt and pour method

The downside of the melt and pour soap method is that you depend on the premade base. The manufacturer often changes the components of the pour soap base as they like. So if you start the process with a specific base at first, you can be short of it later because the manufacturers are not making it.

Are soaps without lye 100% natural?

Most of the handmade soap bases you will come across are not natural. It is because they contain a great number of synthetic substances, such as trimethyl glycol and dodecyl alcohol. These additional chemicals help in creating an even texture of soaps.

Some manufacturers create pure soaps. They are rich in nutrients and are beneficial for the skin. The food and administration authority of the United States has not made special rules on the word natural. So every substance having an alternate natural compound is deemed organic.

Undoubtedly, we will prefer a natural product over a synthetic one. Let's say you are into organic products and care about your skin health. Then, we have got a list of soaps bases for you to help you create 100 % natural soaps.

They are:

  • Not associated with genetically modified organisms.
  • Non-animal tested.
  • SLS or SLES- free, no detergent or parabens.
  • Made with pure and organic substances

Can you make soaps without saponification?

Saponification is the procedure in which a lipid converts into alcohol or soaps with the aid of an alkali. So can you skip this step while making the soap? And is the conversion of alkali crucial?

The answer is NO.

All soaps are made in one way or the other by using soap lye. If you are to make a soap bar, you have to begin with fatty acid and ALKALI and pass them through the saponification process.

Can you make soap without chemicals?

By now, you have a good idea about the soap composition. Soap lye is an essential ingredient of the original soap recipe. No matter how many natural things you add in soap, lye will still be present and giving it an artificial touch. But don't become disappointed. You can win at your soap game if you choose a good recipe and use fine materials in the melt and pour base.

If you are concerned about chemicals in your homemade soap, then bring all the things around you in your mind. You are surrounded by things made of chemicals. And no matter how organic and pure food or things you buy, they are somehow associated with chemicals. Keep in mind that you can learn to handle lye by following proper instructions. But we don't encourage you to do it by yourself.

Things you will need to make homemade soaps without lye

This step of choosing the tools is no hassle. You simply have to go to your kitchen and pick up utensils like bowls and pots. One thing that must be ensured is that all the crockery you will use should be hygienic. On the other side, the cold process soap uses special utensils for soap making.

1. Kitchen tools

You can easily find the following tools in your kitchen.

  • Spoons and cups for measurement.
  • Container and chafing dish.
  • Butter knife and cutting board.
  • Silicon dough scraper and spoon for stirring.

2. Soap molds

Soap mold is the utensil you use to pour the liquid soap into. Following are a few kinds of soap molds you might want to know about.

Silicon soap mold

Firstly, we have silicon molds, which are trendy for they can pop up the soap effectively. You can pick up your favorite ones and make soap varieties. However, you can use regular molds or molds with designs.

Another advantage of these molds is that they are relatively cheaper. If you don't have one, you can buy it from any mart that contains cooking accessories.

Plastic soap mold

All your wishes for having fun soap shapes can be fulfilled with plastic soap mold. You will see some hard plastic molds inscribed with stylish words. Furthermore, they look attractive too. Another great feature of this mold is you don't need to take the soap out. It will pervert by itself.

pouring melted soap without lye into mold

Loaf molds or baking pans

The large-sized bar soap with edged corners can be best made with the loaf mold. You can also use baking pans with silicon material for this purpose. They work by putting the liquid into the mold, and it will be converted into separate soap bars after the cooling process ends.

Box lined with freezer paper.

If you have just started your soap-making journey, it is wiser to use a box lined with freezer paper. It serves the same purpose as other molds and can save you money.

It is time to use the leftover shoe boxes in your storeroom. Just tape the freezer paper on the inner side of the box. And keep the glassy side of the paper upwards. Put the liquid soap into a mold which will convert into rectangular bars after hardening. However, you must avoid using tin foil or rice paper as they are not feasible.

Spritz bottle with rubbing alcohol

This tool is not a compulsion but helps create a refined look for soap bars. Just spray the rubbing alcohol on the substance in the mold. It will take out all the air inside and leave a surfaced look in the soap. Instead of using a huge bottle with large spurts, use smaller sprays with minute nozzles.

All these bottles are readily available at the cooking accessories shop. You can also get them from the utensils corridor. People often buy travel-size jars for long journeys, and this size is enough for spraying purposes.

What extra things can I add to my melt and pour soaps without lye?

You can add a bunch of things to your melt and pour soap as ingredients. You have a big list of materials, and you can choose whatever you like.

Here are some examples:

  • Plant seeds
  • Powdered extracts
  • The gel of aloe vera
  • Honey
  • Essential oils
  • Dried herbs

The good part is that you add your favorite additives to the soap and can bring variations in the process. Our suggestion is to start with relatively inexpensive ingredients. This simple tip will save you a lot for your dollar. Let's say you become uninterested later in the ingredient you add. Spending less now can benefit your future soap-making.

Being a little stingy while spending on these ingredients will help extend your profits and allow you to purchase the best things to be put into your natural soap.

So you think you have to purchase kinds of materials for soap? No, you need not. Begin with small and then gradually step up your melt-and-pour game. The simplest combinations you can make at home with the kitchen tools are things like orange peels, desiccated lemons slices, various condiments, and decafs.

Things to avoid in soaps without lye

Now you must know the things that are to be avoided in soaps without lye. These are:

1. Fresh herbs or fresh flower petals

There is no use in putting these ingredients in soap. They have a tendency to spoil and crumble when added to soaps.

2. Fresh fruits and veggies

Using fresh ingredients in your soaps is not encouraged. They can interfere with the actual soap forming process and are destroyed after a short while. We have seen combinations in which fresh cucumbers are used. It's better to know information about these beforehand rather than end up in a big loss.

Remember that everything that cannot be saved longer in the kitchen can be readily withered after some time in soaps.

3. Oils butter or beeswax

These ingredients interfere with the forming of soap froth. When the oils are mixed, the liquid becomes resistant to other oils after heating. Hence, we don't recommend using these as additives in soaps.

4. Crayons

Having crayons for your melt and pour soap base is not a good idea. Just to make things colorful, you should not ruin the product and your skin. You can add a bunch of other things instead. Also, it interferes with the soap lathering process.

Does melt and pour soap need to pickle?

Cure time or pickle time is the duration that soaps need to be able to use. The soap will be devoid of any moisture and take proper form. Generally, a cold process soap take one or two months as a cure time.

Melt-and-pour soaps don't require to pickle and are capable of usage instantly. The base goes through multiple processes already. While using the soap casting method, you just wait for 4 to 12 hours, and it is ready.

How to store melt and pour soaps without lye?

These types of soaps should be put into translucent containers or plastic containers. You cannot place them in boxes and drape papers. And it is not encouraged to leave them uncovered.

Ensuring proper storage is the key step towards right soaping. Because when the soap is not stored effectively, air and moisture will make their way into the soap. And when you wash with the same soap, a process called "sweating of soap" will occur. The excess glycerin is added while the formation process comes out on the surface. However, it has no potential negative effects. But it can ruin the texture of the soap.

Where to get the supplies for making homemade soaps without lye?

All the tools needed to make homemade soap are present at nearby marts such as Hobby Lobby. Art stores also contain some fragrance oils and a wide variety of soap molds.

The soap essentials and your favorite things are available at these popular brands, such as:

  • Bulk apothecary
  • Amazon
  • Wholesale supplies plus

From the aromatic oils and herbs to loaf molds, everything necessary for your soap-making is available there. The regular-use tools used in the kitchen are accessible at any grocery store.

Bars of soaps without lye from a batch

It is estimated that one pound of the base can produce 4 mid-size bars of soap. And you can have 8 guest soap bars if you utilize 1 pound of soap base.

Usually, you will find 2 pounds of the base at most stores. So, it means you will create a total of 8 soap bars of average size.

Some soap-makers supply 5-pound packages of the base. If you consider that one, you can have 20 medium-sized soap bars.


Here we want to conclude our tutorial about making soaps without lye. And we hope that you will be creative and make something amazing with the melt and pour soap-making method. Make use of beautiful additives and cherish your homemade soap journey. You are here because you have just started on this venture. Difficulty at the very beginning is normal, but gradually you will learn the whole process.

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