Homemade Soap with Lye Just Like Grandma Made

Soap: Such a wonderful thing but the soap you buy is not so wonderful

I was a Dove soap user for years. Here are the ingredients: Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate Or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate Or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

I don’t know what most of those ingredients are so I’ll just show you one: Tetrasodium Etidronate (better known as EDTA), is classified as a high human health priority and expected to be toxic or harmful. Please don’t get me started on Titanium Dioxide but you can read this article if you’re curious.

Yeah, I’ll say no to that. I don’t even want to take the time to read up on all the other ingredients so I’ll teach you make soap the way my grandmother did it minus the lard. This soap is sudsy and very gentle with nourishing oil for your skin. It’s the only bath soap we use.

Grandma’s Soap Recipe


40 oz – Almond or Olive oil

10 oz – Coconut oil

16 oz – Water

6.9 oz by weight – Household lye (found cheapest at your local hardware store)

Optional – 1 oz Essential oil for smell (I use nothing because I like it natural)


No children in the kitchen, use rubber gloves when handling lye and immediately wash with soap and water if you get any on your skin. It will also burn clothing so wear something old. Now get over your fear because it’s super simple if you follow these precautions.

You will need:

Immersion blender (I love my Breville blender but you can stir with a wooden spoon, it just takes longer), large cooking pot, 2 – wire cooling racks, 2 – silicone cupcake pans, large glass measuring cup (needs to hold at least 8 cups), kitchen scale & a piece of parchment paper


Combine oils in large pot. Fill the measuring cup with 16 oz (2 cups) water. Place parchment paper on scale and weigh (between 6.8 & 6.10 oz). Carefully poor the lye into the water (this is were the lye will burn if you touch or splatter it. Be careful). Mix the bubbling lye well with a metal spoon then carefully poor into oil. Add essential oil if you choose to use. Use immersion blender until ingredients thicken and turn white (saponification or chemical reaction has taken place and the lye is now soap and will no longer burn).

Place cupcake holders on wire racks. I use a small measuring cup to transfer soap into the cupcake pans and fill them as high as they can take. If you have leftover poor into a plastic dish. Leave soap in the pans and on the rack over night so it can harden. The following morning, remove soap from pans and place on racks to cure. Curing will take 4 to 6 weeks depending on dryness in the air. You want your soap good and hard.

  1. Ingredients
  2. measuring lye
  3. lye bubbling in water
  4. blending the oil with lye
  5. filled cupcake pans

*My friend Connie at Connie’s Random Thoughts (fiction writing blog) receives credit for the soap recipe. She invited me to her home and showed me how to make it. Connie grates a cake of cured soap, adds water so it devolves and uses as shampoo. It’s too oily for my hair but it may work for you.

I’ll be posting my lotion recipe next because I make the lotion when making my soap about every 2 months.


5 thoughts on “Homemade Soap with Lye Just Like Grandma Made

  1. Laura Randazzo

    I really need to try this because I’ve always bought Bath n Body Works hand soap and just recently the skin on the palm of my hands is literally peeling off and they have a reddish color to them but it doesn’t hurt. I use Oil O’Lay (sp?) in the shower. I feel bad for when I sent you, I believe a couple of their hand soaps but it was because of what they were called and what the label looked like. I think one was called Vampire Blood and the other had a wolf on it. I’m afraid to look at the ingredients in their hand soap. Thank you again for sharing something that’s good for us and I’m really sorry for sending you that hand soap. 😟

  2. Laura Randazzo

    NICE!! That’s a great idea and I did mainly get them for you because of the design on the bottle and the name of the soap. Always thinking, my friend 💜

  3. Melissa Musinski

    I’m going to try this soap soon the Coconut oil has to be melted so I need to wait till cool but not harden back up?

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