How to make Soap (Includes Without Lye )

How to make Soap (Includes without Lye )

Are you interested in Making soap how about this post on how to make soap includes without lye no idea what Im talking about don’t worry we will get there!

If you are then read on to find out how to make soap an AWESOME EASY guide to making your FIRST own gorgeous handmade soap.


It’s NOT complicated don’t be – if you can follow a recipe and cook you CAN make soap!

So to get started we will talk about TWO different ways to make soap and also how to scent soap and decorate soap!

One way to make soap includes without using lye another way includes using lye which I will explain further on.

(If this post contains affiliate links please see our full disclosure policy although I have to say I tried really hard to make it interesting and even I struggled to write it so if you really must read it you can find it here)

Lets start on How to make Soap:

What is All natural soap

Manufactured soap is highly processed and does not necessarily contain natural ingredients so if you want to go down the more natural route then making your own Soap can be easy to do and the great thing about it is once you get the hang of it all you will then end up with wonderful gifts especially for friends and family at Christmas time.

It is very easy to make wonderful homemade lovely scented soap using essential oils which is great if you have any skin conditions.

So you have TWO options:

  • Cold processed soap –  this basically involves heating and combine oils with a lye solution ( acidic solution ) to undertake the chemical process called SAPONIFICATION
  • Melt and pour soap  – involve melting premade glycerin soap base and adding perfume and colourants to it to create your own soap this is much easier than making cold processed soap and if you’re starting out it would be a good beginning- this is how I started out both processes can get quite addictive so BEWARE you could end up with a years supply of soap to use!

☑️ Best How to make Soap Books for Cold Process and Melt & Pour Soap 

Best Soap Making Books
Process Rating Beginners  Advanced
Best Melt and Pour Soap Making Book  5 star rated ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best Book for Beginners Melt and Pour SoapMaking Best Book for Advanced  Melt and Pour Soapmaking
Best Cold Process Soap Making Book  5 star rated ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best Book for Beginners SoapMaking Best Book for Advanced Soapmaking

What are the ingredients for How to make soap

Ingredients in How to make soap include:

  • Oils
  • Lye
  • Natural or synthetic colourants
  • Fragrances – natural or synthetic
  • Extras can include fruit juices, milk, herbs, and flower extracts.
  • Melt and Pour soap base

If you are in a hurry or (just curious to find out):

1.Essential oil Desk reference                    2.Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide 3.The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy                   ☑️ Compare TOP 3 Resources

What is Saponification

Saponification is a chemical reaction that occurs when you mix oil with lye ( sodium hydroxide solution ) until it reaches what is called TRACE. 

This is the point the reaction gets going and you need to add your soap batter to a mould to leave it to harden and complete the saponification reaction.

The products of saponification are glycerin and soap.

Saponification can take up to 48 hours to complete depending on the temperature.

The reaction is exothermic meaning it produces heat believe it or not but you will feel the heat through the mould. You can speed it up by wrapping it in a towel especially in cold climates.

Formulating your own soap

If you want to make up your own soap recipe  you will need a lye calculator this will tell you how much oils, water and sodium hydroxide to use here are some calculators I have used:

  • SoapCalc – is a good calculator for beginners and experienced soapers with help hints and tips
  • Brambleberry Calc – can superfat up to 10% (adding extra fat that won’t end be part of the saponification process ) and includes liquid soap
  • Majestic Mountain Sage Lye calc -this calculator includes sodium lactate ( which will increase soap hardening) and also calculates in different metrics.

I have used all three and my favourite one from the list above is the Soapcal. It’s easy to use and gives consistent results for your soap.

Start of following recipes till your ready to branch out on your own though.

How to make soap without Lye

If you make soap without Lye then you are going to be using Melt and Pour soap so, therefore, buying a premade base. 

You can’t make soap without lye but when you buy a premade base for melt and pour soap you can as the name suggests melt it and then mix in colours once it’s melted and fragrances and add it to a mould.

This is how I made my first handmade soaps and quickly moved on to Cold process soaps.

☑️ Best 5-star Melt & Pour Bases

Here are some great 5-star melt and pour Bases.

If you are in a hurry or (just curious to find out):

How do you make Melt and Pour Soap step by step

Melt and Pour soap is much easier to make than Cold Process soap and you don’t need to worry about nasty chemicals.

In fact, you can even make Melt and Pour soap with your kids.

What is Melt and Pour soap base made of?

Melt and Pour Soap base is made of ready-made soap base which includes fatty acids, glycerin, and other natural ingredients.

Basically, it is made the same way as Cold Process soap using oils and lye ( alkali solution of sodium hydroxide and water) with added Glycerin to it and allowed to cure for four weeks.

So you end up with a base you can melt pour and use straight away because it’s already been through the saponification process which I will talk about in a bit.

Adding extra Glycerin is what allows you to work with Melt and Pour soap bases but it can also cause Glycerin dew on the finished soap this can be prevented by using plastic wrap.

It is extremely easy to use.

And there is NO lye so it’s a way to make soap without lye.

To add Decoration and make the soap scented:

You just cut up the soap base and melt it then add your own choice of scents and colourings and pour into a mould to set. It doesn’t need long to set either and can be ready to use the next day.

If you are wondering how much fragrance do you add to melt and pour soap generally it’s about 0.3 oz. of scent per pound of soap.

Essential oils and synthetic fragrances can be used in your Melt and Pour soap base.

Mica’s and colour blocks are best to use with Melt and Pour soap bases.

If you are looking for Mica’s then you can find a fabulous selection at Amazon here are the 5 start review Mica.


A Quick lesson on Making Melt and Pour Soap Base

  • First, you need to dissolve your colour blocks or Mica’s about 1/16th teaspoon of powder in a teaspoon in some Isopropyl Alcohol 99% you can purchase it here by clicking on this link.
  • Cut up your soap base into chunks and melt it either in the microwave in short bursts or on the stove top they start melting at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Stir in your colourant to your melted soap base then add your chosen fragrance
  • Make sure you still well to incorporate the colourant and fragrance
  • Fill your moulds and then spray the top with the same alcohol you added your colour powder to this prevents bubbles forming on the top of your soap
  • Leave the soap to harden and set preferably overnight and de-mould now its ready to use- All you are doing with this step is leaving it to harden. Melt and Pour soap does NOT need to cure.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap to prevent Glycerin dew – You MUST not wrap Cold Process soap in plastic wrap.

Firstly you buy the base that you would like to use lots of different companies sell different types of bases.

They will have different oils in them so it’s a personal preference try a few different ones to see what you like.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate SLS is added to manufactured soaps and shampoo’s to make them lather better. Melt and Pour soap bases can contain SLS so if you want a more natural product buy Melt and Pour soap bases without SLS.

Here are just a few of the different kinds of ones you can buy depending using various different base oils. These bases have 5-star reviews my personal favourite is from Earth secrets or Saponify.

You are also going to need moulds and to buy your scents but make sure these scents are safe to be used on your skin.

PLANT THERAPY has lovely high quality Essential oils and you can also buy Fragrance oils here.

Bulk carrier oils can be bought in your local supermarket if you are buying things like olive oil, or nut oils.

If you want to add some extra oils to melt and pour soaps, for instance, Shea butter it is possible but you need to add them with caution.

The best guide is to only add about a teaspoon per pound of your Melt and Pour soap base. If you add too much you can affect how the soap base works and your soap may not turn out nice.

What is Lye for soap making

Lye is a sodium hydroxide solution of sodium hydroxide crystals combined with water.

The important thing when making lye is that you add sodium hydroxide to water not the other way round. You will need to weigh your sodium hydroxide and water to make sure you have the right quantities to combine with the oils.

Weighing out is more accurate than using a measuring jug.

What is cold process soap and How do you make Cold Process Soap

Cold Process soap is made from oils and a lye solution ( water with sodium hydroxide) in a certain combination which will cause a process is called Saponification to occur. This turns the oils into soap with most of the reaction happening within the first 24 hours.

How long should Cold Process Soap cure

Once you have poured the soap into the moulds and left it for 24- 48 hours you then take it back out the moulds and leave it to cure for at least four weeks.

How to Hard your Soaps faster

If you add Stearic acid at 0.5% of your total oil content it can be used as a hardening agent and will speed up trace- Trace is what happens when saponification starts and when you stop mixing the lye and oil mixture and add it to the moulds.

Sodium Lactate is a liquid salt you can add to cooled lye water it will help to harden your soap more quickly and make it easier to unmold from the moulds. To be honest I have never needed to use it to harden my soaps as I tend to use oils that are solid at room temperature as a majority constituent to my own soap recipes.

☑️ Best 5-star Soap Making Ingredients for Cold Process soap

Essential Oils and Carrier Oils  can be purchased from Plant therapy they have a great reputation for cost and quality of essential oils

Fragrance oils can be purchased from Amazon – make sure they are skin safe.

Don’t forget you will also need a mould for your soap and I have found that a wooden mould with a silicone liner is the best for making great looking and easy to handle soap.

If you want too – check out these great moulds here.

One of the best places to buy your lye supplies is from Essential depot they sell high-quality ingredients made in the USA and at really competitive prices.

Should you use Natural or Synthetic Ingredients

Really its a personal choice natural ingredients are a bit more expensive with essential oils being the highest cost. You can colour your soaps with clays and micas again natural ingredients.

Synthetic fragrances are cheaper and tend to last longer in soaps so you may want to go with this option plus you can have things like chocolate or mango just pulled that out of the air not sure if you can get mango but hey.

Once you start making soap it becomes addictive and you will find you end up giving away lots as gifts to friends and family.

If you’re struggling with ideas for presents how about some homemade soap which you can personalise with scents and colours.

You could try a Soap making kit to try it out to begin with see if it’s something you would continue.

If your curious or ( in a hurry )

☑️ This Specific Soap Making kit has everything you need to make your own Cold process soap

How do you make Castille soap

Castile soap is a specific type of soap made with Olive oil as the main ingredients for the oil portion.

So if you want to give Castille soap a go you can buy olive oil in the supermarket DONT go with an extra virgin it’s the cheapest of the cheap you want ( not blended though) 

☑️ PROTIP if you want to make castile soap especially if it’s going to be your go-to base make sure you invest in a stick blender because you may find you will be stirring your batter for anything up to an hour even with a stick blender it can take a good 15 minutes to reach trace.

What is Trace when you make Cold Process soap

Trace is what it says when you mix your soap mixture until you can see a trace when you pull the stirrer out and let the batter drop onto the surface. You see the drops of liquid outlined on the surface.

☑️ PROTIP when you start seeing trace you can continue till its heavy trace and if you want to get to this stage you will need to be quick! The batter will start solidifying so it will be hard to add your fragrances and colours. Aim for a light trace so as soon as you start seeing the outline of the stick blender on the surface when you pull it out that trace. This will give you more time if you want to colour only some of the batter.

☑️ Best Pre-made Soaps if you really DONT want to make your own.

You’d be missing out though!

If you need inspiration about what you can do with cold process soaps here are some options that you can buy and enjoy then consider trying to make!

☑️ Bubblebloomco Peppermint Artisan Handmade Soap
☑️ GlowBodyandSoul Cotton Candy Soap Handmade Cold Process Soap
☑️SeedGeeks Simply Oatmeal Handcrafted Soap
☑️ TheKirkEstate
3 Small Bars, cold process soap
☑️ TipsyGoatSoapCompany
Lavender Cedarwood All Natural Cold Process Soap



☑️ Best Soap Making Courses

  • If you are looking for ebooks and books and want to try out a freebie course have a look at thenerdyfarmwife she has a lovely FREE mini email course on staring soap making for absolute beginners – try it out it won’t cost you a penny.
  • Soap queen is great for plenty of FREE resources including videos

☑️ Best Soap Making Supplies In the USA


☑️ Best Soap Making Supplies In the UK

  • If you are in the UK then this is where I get my oils and sodium hydroxide for making cold processed soap. They have always been competitive with their prices and their products have been excellent.
  • Essential oils in the UK, I highly recommend Amphora-aromatics Amphora essential oils have a fantastic range of essential oils at a great price and if you can apply for their wholesale account you will save money as long as each order is more than £50. The essential oils are top quality and you can get bulk sizes as well.
  • For unusual products and educational content for making natural skincare as well as soap making resources then I recommend Aromantic.


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Word of caution if you embark on soap making as a hobby BEWARE it’s very addictive.

You will end up struggling to know what to do with all your soap – a kilo of soap goes a long way!!

I make up 3 kilo’s at a time and that can do a year that also giving it to the family too!

It is lovely on our skin to use and you can feel safe in the knowledge it’s pure and safe without nasty chemicals.

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