How to make natural soap without lye

Updated November 21, 2016

Lye is a controversial ingredient in soap that, while required to convert fats and oils to soap, is not necessary for those making natural soap at home. If you want to make homemade soap without having to use lye as an ingredient, it is as simple as purchasing soap bases such as glycerine from speciality and craft stores. These soap bases can be easily transformed into homemade soaps with your choice of fragrance and colour.

Add a small amount of water to a double boiler, and bring it to a boil.

Add your desired amount of soap base to the top section of the double boiler. It takes several chunks of soap base to make one bar of natural, homemade soap.

Cover the double boiler, and melt the soap base over low heat. Stir it gently and infrequently, so as not to introduce air into the mixture.

Mix in your desired additives once the soap base has melted. Add fragrance to your soap with several drops of your favourite essential oil. advises stirring the essential oil into the mixture until it is no longer cloudy. Add several drops of food colouring to your soap if desired, as well as any moisturisers or vitamins. Stir gently and thoroughly.

Spray some soap moulds with cooking spray to prevent the soap from sticking. If desired, add dried flowers or herbs into the empty moulds to decorate the soaps.

Pour the soap base mixture into the soap moulds. Allow the soap to cool and harden completely, which takes approximately three hours.

Remove the soap from the moulds once it has hardened.


It is helpful to melt solid additives, such as cocoa butter, prior to adding them into your soap mixture.


Exercise caution when working with a hot double boiler.

Things You'll Need

  • Double boiler
  • Glycerine soap base
  • Essential oil
  • Wooden spoon
  • Soap moulds
  • Additives (food colouring, moisturisers, vitamins - optional)
  • Cooking spray
  • Dried herbs or flowers (optional)
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