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Soap Made With LYE

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The simple truth is YOU CANNOT HAVE SOAP WITHOUT THE USE OF LYE!!!

Now I know that there are some that would claim their soap was not made with lye.  But you cannot get soap without it.  Unless, of course, you are referring to a DETERGENT bar.  These are two very different products.  

So just what is soap and how is it made?  When fats (oils and butters) are mixed with a lye solution (water or other liquid and lye - either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide or a combination of both) there is a chemical process that these ingredients go through called "saponification".  It is through this chemical process that the fats and lye solution go through that SOAP is created.  Without any of the ingredients and without the saponification process you cannot and will not have SOAP.  I won't go into the fine details of making soap, but it takes precise calculations and measurements of all the ingredients and then they must go through the saponification process completely so that there is not any active "lye" in the final product.  

The most popular methods of making soap are Cold Process (CP) and Hot Process (HP).  With CP soap there is a "curing" time that the soap goes through.  This is both so that the soap will become more mild with age as well as to allow time for the excess liquid to evaporate and the bars to harden.  With HP soap it is cooked completely through the saponification process and is ready to use as soon as it is unmolded and cut (generally within 24 hours of manufacture).  Some soap makers will still allow a "cure" time even for their HP soaps.  This is only to allow it time to harden by evaporation of the excess liquid.

So when you are out and about, shopping at a farmer's market, craft fair, at the mall, or wherever you may see soaps....if you are told their soaps are made WITHOUT lye, they aren't being 100% honest with you and you are perhaps actually purchasing a detergent bar (read our article about "Types of Soap" article for more information).

The Soap Hut uses the HP method of making soap.  We make our soaps in small batches which also allows us more flexibility to customize any of our recipes for our customer's individual needs and desires.  Your soap should not burn or sting or cause any skin irritation (except in the case where you may be allergic to a specific ingredient).  

 

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