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Making Soap Without Lye

On Plastic Pumpkin Farm we have a herd of Oberhasli goats. Their breeding season starts at the end of August and runs through January. During this time our bucks get well…bucky. Which means, among other things, they smell quite pungent. This scent transfers easily and lingers through most hand washing soaps. My solution- make Buck Off Soap.

Someday I’d like to try making soap with lye. In the meantime a store brought soap base with added essential oils is fast and easy and it actually gets rid of strong scents- I also use it after handling onions, garlic, etc.

Here’s what you need to make soap:

A bain marie. I highly recommend you dedicate a bain marie (aka double boiler) for non food purposes only. Once the base melts it gets into every crevice and you don’t want your food tasting like soap. Check out yard sales and thrift stores and save yourself some cash.

Soap base. I’ve used the goat milk base available from my local hardware/general store.

A knife or grater to cut base into small pieces to melt. You’ll also need a knife to cut a large brick into smaller bars.

Essential oil of your choosing. I used Lavender but any will do, be sure it is an essential oil and not an extract or flavoring.

Soap molds. You can buy bar molds or make some out of a carton (i.e. milk, oj) or some plastic PVC pipe cut to length with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band on the end. have these ready BEFORE you start melting the soap base.

Optional additions: I added lavender buds to several bars. You can add anything you want-dried flowers, oatmeal, ground almonds, even a small toy for a child.

A freezer helps to loosen bars from the mold but you can also use petroleum jelly. And don’t forget the stove!

Once you have the soap base grated and melting your almost done. It’s actually a very fast process.

If you are interested in soap made with lye check out this post at Homemade Alaska