You often hear older people talk about good old fashioned lye soap, for good reason! It was an excellent laundry and cleaning aid! The truth is, all soap is made with lye, there just is no way to make soap without it. The difference however, between good facial soap and good lye soap for cleaning, is the amount of lye used.
In some of my past posts I’ve told you how to make your own homemade cleaners and laundry soap. Today I’m going to tell you how to make a good strong lye soap that is used in my laundry soap and for washing floors, dishes etc.
Rather than using the luxury oils that I use to make my other soaps, this one is simply coconut oil, lye and water, lard can also be used.
I also like to add some essential oil, such as lemongrass for it’s fresh, clean scent.
You can also use this to make dish soap as well, I will share that recipe later on!
Here is the recipe for plain lye soap
33 oz of coconut oil, or lard
5.9 oz lye (sodium hydroxide)
12 oz water
1/2 ounce essential oil
Wearing gloves, long sleeves and protective eye wear, pour your lye into your cold water, NEVER the other way around, as it can, for lack of a better word, explode!
Let the solution cool to around 100 degrees, as it gets extremely hot. While this is cooling , melt your coconut oil, and let it cool to around the same temperature. Once these are around 100 degrees or so, slowly pour the lye solution into the oil and stir. I stir by hand at first and then use my stick blender. This makes the process much faster. You will notice the mixture is rather opaque at first, but as you mix, it gets thicker, and that’s when you add your essential oils. Eventually, and it shouldn’t take long your mixture will be the consistency of pudding. That’s what you want! Then it’s time to pour into a mold.
Any plastic mold will do, the plastic shoe boxes you can get at Walmart are ideal!
After putting your soap in the mold you will place something over the top to protect it, I use an old roaster cover, and then a towel on top of that. You want to keep it warm. Let it stay that way for 12 to 24 hours and then unmold and slice into bars.
I like to shred mine in my food processor that I got for Christmas, it sure beats doing it with a hand grater, but that works as well. I noticed that after the soap was finished the lemongrass oil had turned it slightly yellow, but that is fine.
From this point I let it cure in a bucket to dry out, that way when I go to pulverize it in the food processor it will be more the consistency of regular laundry soap. Pulverized soap will dissolve easier than it will in the shredded form. Here is a bucket that I did previously.
Here it is after it’s been pulverized.
Like I mentioned before this is a great all purpose soap, it takes only 1/4 cup in a bucket of hot water to wash walls and mop floors. It’s all natural, no chemicals, just pure soap.
Clean up is a breeze, I just put my food processor parts in the sink with other dishes and boom! Instant dish soap!
I’m glad I could share this with you today, it’s just another way to be frugal, and have less commercial chemicals in our homes!
Until next time, many blessings to you!