Lye is a dangerous, corrosive substance traditionally used in making commercial body soap. The recent surge in green living and all natural health has brought lye-free soap into the spotlight. Making soap without lye at home is simple and inexpensive. You can also personalize the soaps you make at home with food coloring and essential oils for fragrance. To make soap without lye, you will need the following: a glycerin block (available at a local craft store), food coloring, essential oils, double broiler, cheese grater, small saucepan, cocoa butter, soap molds, large knife, and a large spoon. Please read all the directions thoroughly before beginning.
To begin, cut the glycerin block with a large knife so it will melt faster. Add the glycerin to the double boiler, and heat on the medium- high setting until all the glycerin is melted. Do not let it burn or boil. If your blocks are smaller, consider grating the glycerin with your cheese grater and melting it in the microwave instead of on the stove top.
Stir in the food coloring of your choice to the melted lye-free soap. You could also add any additional decorations to the lye-free soap at this point. Flower petals, sequins, or glitter are a few examples of these decorations. Only add these decorative ingredients if the soap will not be used. All natural additions to your lye-free soap are also an option, if you have specific skin needs. Sugar is an excellent exfoliator, lemon juice can help fade dark spots, and oats are moisturizing. Also add the essential oils for fragrance at this step. It is important to consider aromatherapy practices when choosing a fragrance. Citrus and rosemary scents are very uplifting, while lavender or chamomile would be more soothing and relaxing.
While you are embellishing your lye- free soap, melt the cocoa butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. The cocoa butter will serve as a moisturizer in your homemade soap, so the amount added is up to you. If your skin is very dry, add more. You could also use aloe vera as an addition, for sun burnt or sensitive skin. The aloe vera would also need to be melted on medium heat in a small saucepan. Add whichever moisturizer you have melted to the lye-free soap, and stir the mixture thoroughly so there are no lumps. Be sure all the ingredients are well blended.
Pour the mixture into the soap molds and let them cool on a flat surface for four hours. If the soap is sticking to the sides of the molds after this time, put them in the freezer for ten to fifteen minutes. The lye-free soap should come out of the molds easily.