Homemade Lye Soap

Pat Campbell Recipe

By Pat Campbell fillemup

Prep Time:
Cook Time:

Run across this recipe while trying to clean out some old handwritten recipes and trying to decide what to keep. I have never made soap myself, but have watched my grannie make it years ago. Am going to try this when it cools off some outside, dont think I want to mix it up in house.The recipe calls for pure white, salt free lard. Can you still buy (lard in grocery store)? My grannie done laundry, in old wringer type washer and tubs, she was very proud of them. She also washed her hair with lye soap and had beautiful long, shiny hair. Remember a few times had mouth washed with lye soap.


5 lb
pure white, salt free lard
2 pt
1 can(s)
1/2 box
1/2 c

Directions Step-By-Step

Melt and strain lard through colander. Dissolve lye in water in crock. Do not handle lye or inhale vapor. Stir lye and water until thoroughly dissolved, Being sure to stir lye into the water, and not dumping water onto lye in the crock.
Add warm melted lard to lye water. Stir evenly and constantly till somewhat thickened. Then add borax and ammonia. Stir slowly for 5 minutes till well mixed and thick, like honey.
This may be left in crock to harden or poured into wooden box lined with cloth, (such as linen or cheesecloth). When solid, cut into cakes or bars as desired.
Since I have not made soap myself, wonder if possible to add scented oils. My grannie washed her hair with lavender scented lye soap. Just wondering if anyone out in Just A Pinch Kingdom knows.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Soaps
Hashtags: #borax, #ammonia, #lard, #lye

You May Also Like:



Pat Campbell fillemup
Feb 17, 2014
Hi Mary Ann Hanson!! Such good memories, sometimes the memories make me wish we could go back to that time and place, when the world was not as complicated as it is now, the pace of life was more leisurely, not as fast paced as this day and age. I could go on and on about the "good ole days" (and that was the good ole days) I am trying to slow things down, like getting back to the country way of things. I could talk all day, but don't have the time now.:) Peace and good things be with you, Pat Campbell
Mary Ann Hanson DeaconGrandma
Feb 16, 2014
Pat, Just found this recipe. Something picqued my interest in lye soap so I looked and found this. My Grandmother and mother used to save bacon fat or the drippings from things that had been cooked in lard. It was all strained in a coffee can. It was kept in a cool place so it would not go rancid. After getting enough, they would put that collected fat in a large pot and add water and cook. After a few minutes of boiling, they would turn off the heat and let it cool. There was clean white fat on top that would solidify. This is what they used for making soap. I am not saying that is what you should do. I am just sharing what they did. I remember watching soapmaking on many occasions. My grandmother made soap into her 80's and I remember using it to do wash when I was a young bride. It sure cleaned clothes!
Rhonda Hodges hubbysluv
Apr 1, 2013
I am a soapmaker, first i will tell you that when you make soap, you should always use a digital scale...back in times when they made the lye themselves, if is was lye heavy, it burned the skin. Secondly, with the cans of lye you buy today, it has added chemicals in it...when you go to make this recipe, make sure it is pure lye. i buy mine in 55 pound packages because i make 8-10 pounds at a time. using the shortening or lard in your soaps will not make the soap greasy, all soap that is made contains oil (sunflower, soybean, olive) i have a triple butter recipe for soap that i make, and it contains real cow butter, shea butter and cocoa butter, wonderful on the skin and hair. I just wanted to explain how it is made, so that you dont end up with a heavy lye soap and someone ends up getting burned because of it. soaping is a wonderful past time and you can make as many pounds as you like, and there are many soap calculators to make sure you use what is safe for you and your family. plus i might add,,,once you do it,,it is very addicting! i have been making soap now for about 7-8 years. also when making your water for the lye, add a few ice cubes to the water as the lye heats the water up very fast and you will get a scent from the lye when added to the water,,,try not to breathe that in, i make soap in my kitchen but i dont allow anyone in there when i am soaping because of the lye, you can also have some white vinegar set aside that is a little lye hits the skin, the vinegar will neutralize the lye and help with the lye burn. i dont want you to think i am trying to be negative about it, because it is fun to do and always use gloves anytime you are handling the lye. hope these tips help you out in your adventure!
ginger skaggs mamagin
Jan 24, 2013
Go to your local library and check out the Foxfire books. I think it will be in volume 1 or 2. Can't remember exactly. It will give you instructions.These books are from the Appalachian Mountain area and are from remembrances of actual people that have been recorded so the history won't be lost.
Jan 24, 2013
hello, i want to make soap. i just want to use lye, lard and coconut oil. i cant find a recipe with just these ingredients.
can you make me one? i don't want but about 7 to 10 bars.
thank you for your help. i have spent hours on the internet
trying to find a recipe. if you cant get one with coconut, just
lye and lard will do. thank you