Monday, November 2, 2009

Homemade Lye Crisco Soap

Good morning, it is a beautiful sunny day. I am sitting here in my fleece Frosty the Snowman PJ's trying to fight off an oncoming head cold. It started last night when my sinuses started aching a bit. I couldn't get out of bed this AM to bring Zach to the bus,so I knew that something was brewing ( Rick brought him out,both of us do it every morning). My sinuses hurt when I touch my face and a have a sinus headache. My head also feels a bit "light" and I have a small fever. Once I do this post, I am going to chug some cold medicine and go lay down!
As I mentioned in my post on Saturday, I made some lye Crisco soap. This is my second batch of it. I had made some soap with My Dear Friend Michelle back in Sept ( see "Homemade Lye Soap" post)but I had seen this recipe on Little House in the Suburbs( and it seemed so quick and easy that I had to try it.
It worked so well and went so smoothly that I had to try it again. My first batch, I used "Christmas Forest"scent with green coloring,but I don't think I used enough scent. This time, I used "Fresh Snow"and I think I got it where I like it.The only thing I realized was that I didn't have any white coloring. When the lye and Crisco were combined,they created a rather medium pinkish color. I figured it would just have to work.However, when I checked it this morning,the soap is a nice white hue.
Here is the recipe. A Pringles can was used for the mold and this batch fills the can halfway,making about 6 bars.

Homemade Lye Crisco Soap
(with thanks to Little House in the Suburbs)

1 lb Crisco or lard
2 oz lye (I used lye flakes)
6 oz water

Melt the Crisco or lard in a saucepan over medium low heat. While this is melting,pour 6 oz of water into a bowl,then pour the lye slowly into the water. Gently stir to dissolve. Once the Crisco or lard is melted,remove it from the heat. Wait until you can touch the sides of both the saucepan and the bowl without burning yourself. Pour the lye water into the melted Crisco/lard. While an immersion blender is recommended, I do not own one,so I used a hand mixer with a whisk attachment. It took me about 15 minutes at low speed to bring the mixture to trace ( when drops stay visible on the surface of the mixture). At this point,add your scent and coloring. Pour into a pringles can ( I used a canner funnel),and tap the can a few times on the counter to let the soap settle. Let sit for a couple of days,cut,then let cure for at least a week or two.
A couple points: If you do use a hand blender,you need to be very careful.Make sure you have the attachment in the mixture BEFORE you turn it on,and that it's off before you take it out of them mixture. Lye is very caustic and will BURN you if it comes in contact with skin. I cannot vouch for using beaters,so I don't' know if that will splatter too much even on low speed. I can only vouch for a whisk attachment. I ran it on low speed and had no splattering.It worked great.
The other thing is once the lye activates with the water,it will smoke slightly from the heat it causes. The fumes will make you SICK if you inhale them enough so I opened some windows in the work area,put a handkerchief over my nose,and made sure I stayed a good distance from the fumes.
People say to use a digital scale to measure, but I used a regular old food scale we don't use for the lye. I use a regular measuring cup for the water. I use two wooden spoons, one for mixing the lye and water,and the other for scraping the soap mixture into the mold. I keep these with my soap supplies. Anything I use to make soap gets washed very very well right after I am done.


  1. You are so clever to make this yourself! I've never tried making my own soap, as I have a friend who does it already

  2. if you add a couple tablespoons of castor oil to the receipe it will give u a nice lather to your soap for your bath

  3. I also melt my crisco in my microwave in a large plastic bowl, and I use a plastic pitcher to mix my lye and water both were bought at dollar store. Always lye to water not water to lye. I take mine outside to mix to have fresh air for the fumes.I use a plastic spoon to stir and i have an immersion blender that I picked up at a garage sale and it makes quick work of getting to trace. No splatter although I start out on low speed

  4. I found on a site called Suzy Homefaker a nice recipe with Crisco....whip the Crisco in a bowl and add cooled down water /lye mix and slowly keep whipping and it makes a terrific whipped cream looking soap