I'm brand new. What am I doing wrong?

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New Member
Aug 5, 2007
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I'm trying to make a basic lard/lye soap. The recipe I've tried twice is 2 1/2 liters water, 1 can of lye (whatever that is, wish I had ounces) and 5 1/2 lbs of lard. I let them both settle to between 85-95 degrees and mix them both till smooth and streaking. ...days later, it's still just like greasy lard. I make it in a ceramic-coated pot with a plastic spoon. Can someone please tell me what I might be doing wrong?
can of lye may be 12ozs - 18ozs so if your not sure what your putting in, your measurements may be off.
:) I don't mean to offend, but making soap like that is dangerous! :( If you need a good basic lard recipe, I will give you one. :) The ingredients will be very specific, down to the last gram or fraction of an ounce. Don't start your soapmaking journey with the possibility of hurting yourself or others. We are using very caustic materials which can cause very serious symptoms if not mixed correctly. Safety is of utmost importance to the soapmaker! You should never add your water to the lye, but rather, add your lye slowly into the water. This is one of the first basic "laws" of safe and responsible soapmaking. We will be glad to assist you, as there are many very knowledgeable soapiers on the forum.

Paul.... :wink:
Thank you Paul... I didnt know what was going on... thats why I was trying to find out about the container that was used of lye.. was it pure lye? was it drano? etc..

are you using the proper untencils.. proper gear so you wont burn yourself etc...
Actually, I "did" add the lye to the water. Sorry if I said it backward before. 100% pure lye. It was either 16 or 18 ounces. The only thing not "specific" in the recipe was the exact amount of lye, just a "can" or "jar" of lye. ...but this is the type of soap I want to make. Old timy lye/lard soap. Any help would be apprecciated.
ok.. usually it means 12ozs.. thats how they USE to make the containers back then before they changed them to 18ozs..

you should check this website for a lard recipe.. it will give you the exact amounts.

Please be careful.


scroll down to "recipes using animal fats"

and you should find one there.
Here is a very basic, but decent lard soap recipe. Can you go to Wal Mart and get a 31 ounce jar of coconut oil? If you can;

Lard 70%
Coconut Oil 30%

For a 32 ounce batch:

Lard...............22.4 ounces
Coconut Oil..... 9.6 ounces
lye ............... 4.68 ounces
water..............12.16 ounces

This is with a 5% superfat at a 28% lye concentration. A safe and decent batch of basic soap. If you could add a bit of olive oil and a tad bit of canola, all found at Wal Mart, this would be a much better soap. I use this online lye calculator;


This is a GREAT site! You can learn about the properties of oils, the "synergy" of combining oils/fats to create a great bar of soap.

Hope this helps!

Paul.... :wink:

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