Easy Recipe to Make Bars of Lye Soap

Is soap really that easy to make?

The answer is yes, it’s easy, but it does take time.

The first time I made lye soap, I was so nervous, but like any recipe, the more you use it, the more familiar and comfortable you become. This is one reason I would suggest picking a recipe and sticking with it a few times to master the process before trying a more difficult one.

Now, if you are a person who would like a visual on a process like this, then follow the YouTube tutorial above. The video is for the same recipe so you shouldn’t see any difference besides the type of essential oil you can change up for each batch.

Let’s begin.

Supplies needed for lye soap:

  • newspaper or paper towels
  • plastic dish tub ( the 12-quart size works well) or a Pyrex glass dish 9×11.
  • clear plastic food wrap
  • parchment paper or muslin cloth
  • large kitchen knife
  • 1 large (12 cups or larger), 1 medium (6 cups or larger), and 1 small non-aluminum bowls
  • glass pitcher (1 quart or larger)
  • immersion blender
  • 2 mixing spoons (plastic or wood)
  • Some type of scale that can measure to the 10th of an ounce
  • disposable latex or nitrile gloves
  • eye protection (goggles, safety glasses, or sunglasses)

Never use supplies made with aluminum; they will react with the lye.

Next, let’s look at the ingredients. Most of these ingredients you can purchase at a grocery store or online for a broader selection. The lye can sometimes be found in as a cleaning supply in hardware stores or grocery stores. I purchase mine online.

Speaking of lye, you should not get careless or lazy when you work with it. Wear your gloves and eye protection as directed. It’s also a good idea to wear a long sleeve shirt and full-length pants. Avoid making soap when you have small children and or pets around. If, for whatever reason, you get lye on your skin, rinse immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.


Once you have your supplies and ingredients you are ready to start!

Easy Lye Bar Soap

  1. Take newspaper or old rags and cover your work surface.
  2. Place your medium-sized bowl on your scale and zero it out. Next, measure the olive oil in the medium bowl and then dump it into the larger bowl. Repeat with the grapeseed oil and refrigerated milk.
  3. Blend using an immersion blender (or spoon.)
  • Use the medium bowl, zero out your scale again and weigh the coconut oil, then add it to the larger bowl.
  • Now, put on your eye protection and gloves. Place the small bowl on the scale and weigh out your lye. Set aside.
  • Place the glass pitcher on the scale and measure your water.
  • In this next step, you want to be in a vented area. I take my lye and water out on the front porch, so I don’t breathe in the fumes. Very carefully add the lye to the water and use a clean spoon to stir gently. Stir until the lye starts to turn clear.
  • Once your water runs almost clear, pour the lye solution into the larger bowl of oils and milk.
  • Using your immersion blender, you will blend… and blend… and blend until the mixture is a thick pudding.
blending the lye, oils, and milk
  • At this point, add your essential oils to the soap and blend them in.
Adding essential oils to the lye soap mixture.
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  • Prepare your glass pan or plastic tub.
preparing the glass pan and parchment paper
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  • Pour your thickened mixture into our prepared tub or pan. Smooth out to your desired consistency being sure to press down the corners, so you get a proper fill. You will notice my batch has turned a darker brown. This is because I’ve added a full Tablespoon of organic cocoa powder. You can also add oatmeal. These two are optional.
dumping soap mixture in pan
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  • Lay a sheet of plastic wrap so it is touching the top of the soap.
laying clear wrap over soap
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  • Once your clear wrap is on, set aside for 8-24 hours. You want your soap firm and it set before cutting it.
letting soap mixture cool before cutting it into bars
  • You will notice your mixture change colors, and it cools and hardens. This is perfectly normal. Once it is solid enough, take a sharp knife and cut the soap into cubes or use a soap cutter. You are the artist at this point.
cutting soap into cubes
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  • As to the cleanup. It is very important to hand wash all of your bowls, utensils, the immersion blender, and anything else you’ve used while still wearing your gloves. This is to protect you from any lye that has been left behind. Then discard your gloves and any newspaper or rags you’ve used.
  • Once the soap has set, place a layer of paper towels on your work surface. Remove the plastic wrap, parchment paper, and place them on paper towels. Roll it all up and discard it.
  • When your bars are cut, place them, standing up on their short ends in the same container. Here you will let them set until hard; 3-6 weeks, depending on your climate.

To further your experience and share your, now, ability to make soap, you can create your own labels and give them away as gifts. Simply print your labels and tape them together at the back of the lye soap.

That’s it. You are a Soap Maker Extraordinaire!!

Enjoy your new skill and let me know how it turns out.

If you are interested in learning how to make your own dishwasher detergent follow THIS LINK.

-Heather Earles

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