Making Soap Without Lye

If all this talk about caustics and lye concerns you, for example if you have small children at home, before you toss this book aside and pick up another hobby, hold on. It's true that all soap contains lye. However, you can avoid the lye challenge altogether by using home soapmaking techniques that use premade soap.

For example, you could try the soap-casting technique, in which meltable premade glycerin soap is melted, scented, tinted, and shaped. Or you purchase premade cold-process soap and re-form it, usually by grating and melting — or “milling” — making additions, and letting it harden.

Soapmaking techniques that do not require the use of lye are wonderful, creative ways to make soap at home. If you have young children, you may feel freer to make soap without the presence of potentially hazardous caustic substances. However, there are multitudes of home soapmakers who do make lye soap and have small children at home.

It is crucial that you always protect yourself and those around you when you're working with caustics. Be sure to let your family know what you're doing and what not to touch. Always wear your goggles and gloves.

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