26 August 2016

How To Make Glycerin Soap Without Lye

How to make soap without lye. Lye is necessary to make soap, but you can still make soap at home without using lye by using glycerin or melt and pour soap.

If you are new to soap making, glycerin or melt and pour soap is the easiest type of soap to make at home. It is also called melt-and-pour soap because you simply melt the soap base and pour it into a mold.

You can make a basic bar of soap, or you can customize the soap with things like color, scent, and additives to make a fun bar of soap. You can get so creative with this kind of soap, so have some fun with the different melt and pour soap additives!

Learn how to make soap without lye with this easy step by step tutorial.


When my kids were little, I didn't want to make soap with lye. Our house was small, so I didn't have a lot of room to store oils and lye. I also didn't want to worry about getting interrupted by the kids or having them walk in while I was using lye.

I'd read horror stories about kids grabbing lye off of the counter or getting it spilled on them. It was just better not to deal with the lye at all.

Then I discovered melt and pour or glycerin soap. You just cut it up, customize it, and pour it to make a bar of soap. I learned how to make soap without lye so I could make beautiful soap without having chemicals in the home.

I've been using glycerin soap for about 15 years now. It can make a great bar of soap for your hands or body.

I will be the first to admit that traditional homemade soap using lye is more moisturizing and hard (to help it last longer).

But glycerin soap is a great alternative and works just fine. It's cheaper to make if you're just making a few bars, easy, and takes a lot less time to make.


Before you learn how to make soap without lye, you'll need a few things: 



Measure one pound soap base by weight.


Use a knife to cut soap into small chunks and place in glass bowl or double boiler.  


Microwave on high for one minute and stir with wooden spoon. Heat at 30-second intervals until melted. If using a double boiler, heat until melted.


Add color and additives and let cool slightly.  


When a skin forms on top of the soap, add essential oil or fragrance oil. The scent can burn off too if the soap is too hot.

You can also use a laser thermometer to make sure the soap temperature is under 175 degrees before you add your scent.


Pour into mold. Spray with rubbing alcohol to remove air bubbles. 


Let cool completely before unmolding. If glycerin soap does not release easily, put the mold in the freezer for 10 minutes and try again.

And now you know how to make glycerin soap without lye!


Most craft stores sell soap colorant, but you can also use food coloring. If you do use food coloring, use only a few drops because it can stain your skin or surfaces. Add color one drop at a time and stir until you reach the shade you want.

I've found that food coloring tends to separate and cause spots in my melt and pour soap. If you are selling the bars or giving them away, I recommend investing in actual liquid soap colorants.

You can also use mica powder to color your soaps. A little goes a long way, so you don't need to use a lot for each batch.

Use only fragrance oils or essential oils specifically labeled for soap. Some oils are made for candles and are not safe to use on the skin.


I buy my essential oils from Simply Earth or Mountain Rose Herbs.

Use up to two teaspoons of oil per pound of soap. Adding more oil will not make your soap smell any better, but it may irritate your skin.


You can add a number of items to your soap depending on your skin type. Here are some popular glycerin soap additives and their amounts per pound of glycerin soap:

  • Add 1/2 ounce by weight ground oatmeal for an exfoliating bar.
  • Add 1 tablespoon coffee grounds and up to 2 tablespoons cornmeal for a gardener's soap.
  • To mask human scent for fishing or hunting, add 1/2 tablespoon anise oil.
  • For a deep-cleaning facial bar, add up to 1 tablespoon French clay.


You can use different shaped molds to get a unique bar of soap. I really prefer using silicone molds because the soap releases easier.

These are the rectangle molds that I have.  You can also use a fun mold like this owl mold or this mermaid mold.


Now that you know how to make glycerin soap without lye, you can try these recipes:

Now you know how to make glycerin soap without lye!