No Lye = No Soap

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Jasmine Soap

Over the years that I have been making soap, there have always been questions customers have for me about my products. Today I am addressing the most frequent question I receive about my SOAP!

“Do you use LYE to make your soap?” My Answer is YES!

Yes, I use LYE to make my soap BUT the soap no longer contains Lye once it has combined with the oils and cured!

Without LYE, also known as Sodium Hydroxide, you cannot have soap!! Even glycerin bars, melt & pour bars, liquid soap…….ALL SOAP requires either Sodium Hydroxide(LYE for bar soap) or Potassium Hydroxide(LYE for Liquid soap) to make it soap. You see, Sodium Hydroxide is a chemical that is harmful ALONE! When you combine it with the right ratio of oils & water, it binds to the molecular structure of each producing a COMPLETELY different element, SOAP!

The end result is no longer, Lye, Oils OR water, but a combination of all to produce the soap!

The Babylonians were the ones who invented soap at 2800 B.C. when the mixing of animal fats & ashes produced a cleansing product used for utensils & skin conditions. Even today, Lye CAN be made from ashes, rock and hay in a large wooden barrel. Now, Lye is produced commercially so it can be calibrated for modern recipes using exact measurements, thus refined for exactness. It is still a caustic substance that can harm you if touched!

Do not approach Lye lightly. ALL precautions MUST be taken when handling it and making soap. The Saponification of the Lye & Oils, (chemical reaction that creates soap) happens over time.

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here you see me mixing the Lye with the water. I am wearing protective eye wear, long gloves and an apron. I am also mixing on a newspaper lined table in my work station AWAY from children, pets and distractions! This is the MOST important!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

After the Lye has come to the 100-98 degree temperature, I then mix it with the oils of the same temperature. It immediately starts swirling in the pan, showing me that the two are combining.

The oils & Lye start combining!

The oils & Lye start combining!

I then stir and “mix” with my immersion blender. This helps speed things along. You CAN use just a spatula or spoon to stir, but it does take much longer, as I have tried this method, before learning about the immersion blender 🙂

"Pudding" like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

“Pudding” like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

Then after it has produced a “pudding-like” texture, I pour it into wooden molds lined with freezer paper for easy removal once it is set.

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

It sits, covered, for 24-48 hours before being cut. It still MAY contain some traces of Lye in the water molecules left in the soap, so I handle WITH my gloves on!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

They then are exposed to air for 4 weeks minimum, being rotated every day for even drying. They are then ready to use, OR the best option would be to let them dry/cure longer!

**Why CURE soap?**

There is a reason for “curing” the soap. This is to allow the traces of lye that may remain in the left over water found in the soap to evaporate. The longer the soap sits, the better! It will harden up nicely and last much, much longer!

Did you know that the longer it sits, the better it gets?

Soap is not going to “go bad”, it will actually get BETTER! For example, there is one bar from last year that I found in my toiletry bag used for travelling. When I used it recently on an overnight outing, it lathered up MORE than before and was VERY hard! Even though I used it frequently for a few days, it looked as though I had not used it at all!! This just goes to show that the longer it sits, the longer it lasts 🙂

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

*So the take away from this post is:

~Without Lye you do not have soap of ANY type!

~4 weeks minimum is needed before soap is ready to use.

~The longer it sits the better it gets!

~Keep soap well drained & dry in-between uses so it lasts longer! *************************************************************************

I will be covering different questions that are frequently sent to me about my products!

♦Do you have any questions about my products that you want answered?

♦Do you understand the basics of soap making and how LYE is on every soap?

Please leave your comments below!


We have reached 337 Fans on Facebook! The giveaway of one of my New soaps is a go! Two winners if we reach 375!

How would you like to “Win” one of my newest soaps? You get to choose a 6 oz. bar of either Organic Oatmeal Honey, Organic Clay Tea Tree, Organic Spring Blossom, Orgaic Exfoliating Almond, or the newest Organic Walnut Apricot!!

Here’s what you need to do to gain entries into the giveaway drawing!!:

Mandatory entry: Follow this blog via google friend connect (on my sidebar) and leave a comment letting me know. (1 entry)

Extra entries are not required, but will give you a better chance. You can do any, all or none, just please leave a comment for each extra entry letting me know what you did so they will be counted Also, include your e-mail or it will not be counted. You can put your e-mail as youremail(at)gmail(dot)com if you wish to avoid spammers.

Ways to get extra entries:

1–“Like” Honey Bee Holistics on Facebook and leave me a comment there as a post on the wall.

2–Share the giveaway on Facebook and tag it with @Honey Bee Holistics, leave a comment here with your FB name and a copy of your FB post.

3–Blog about the giveaway. Please leave a comment with your blog post link.

4–Make a treasury on Etsy including one of my products.

5–Visit my website and fill out the “form” on my About page.

If we can get to 375 “Likes” by the end of the giveaway, there will be two winners. AND If we make it to 425, I’ll add an Organic Lotion to each of the prize(s)!

The Giveaway starts now and will run until Saturday, April 30th. The winner(s) will be announced on May 1st.


Review of my next new soap……Organic Oatmeal Honey!

So it is raining outside, as it has been off an on for a few weeks now! I pop out every so often when it gets down to a sprinkle to enjoy some fresh air! Sometimes there is sunshine!! It will be nice when the sun makes more visits, I miss it! Don’t get me wrong, I am quite pale and I don’t like the sun THAT much cause I burn so easily!

So I have added a new product so I can tolerate the sun better…..Organic Sunscreen! It is made with my healing Organic Calendula Lotion with added titanium dioxide & zinc oxide. These are natural minerals that help reflect the sun from your skin. I tried it on my face too, and it rubs in quite well!

Plus it is Organic and is free of parabens and chemicals! It works better if applied to dry skin, then re-applied every hour or so. It has not been tested by the FDA or anything, but I know that the percent of titanium & zinc is compared to a 25-30SPF.

Available for sale on my website & Etsy shop!

So now for the Organic Oatmeal Honey Soap!! It is made with skin loving Organic Castor Oil, Local Beeswax & Local Honey to name a few ingredients! It is very moisturizing and contains Organic Ground Oatmeal for a gentle exfoliation! I had to make a new batch recently because it was so popular!! Sorry I don’t have any pics as I was making it because it sets up so fast I have to pour it QUICK! No chance to take pics. Available now at my website:
AND My Etsy Shop:

Next to be reviewed…….My newest creation, Organic Walnut Apricot soap!!