Do we use sodium hydroxide (lye) in our soaps?

Sodium hydroxide, or lye, is necessary to make cold process soap. All real soap is made using lye, otherwise it is a just a manufactured detergent for your skin. Without lye, there is no true soap.


Lye reacts with the fats (the goat milk, oils and butters in the ingredients) in a chemical process called saponification. All the lye is used up in this process and the oils saponify, or become soap and glycerin. The soap is then cured for several weeks to several months (depending on the oils used) and you have a beautiful bar of soap!


So, yes, lye is used in the soap making process as one of the ingredients but no lye remains after the saponification process. There is no lye in a finished bar of soap.