The third ingredient of our 3 ingredient soap is NaOH, also known as ‘lye’. This is an ALL soaps that are actually real SOAPS!

Here is how it works. You see the way Soap works is by grabbing a hold of dirt and attaching to it, so it can be washed away. If Soap grew on trees it would not last long enough to make it to your bathtub. It would wash away as it was growing. So, Soap does not appear in nature by growing on trees. As a matter of fact, Soap does not appear in nature at all in the form of Soap. BUT – Soap can be created by combining TWO things that DO appear in nature. FATS + NaOH (yes, NaOH appears in nature – more on that soon)

So, bear with me here, this is how we do it…

What goes IN the bucket …

  1. FATS (from Goat Milk & Organic Oils)
  2. NaOH

What comes OUT of the bucket (and creates our Be Life Goat Milk Soap)

  1. SOAP – This is called “Saponified Oil” This is the thing that grabs a hold of the dirt from your skin and carries it down the drain.
  2. GLYCERIN – This is the part of the FAT that is leftover after the SOAP is formed. Glycerin is VERY moisturizing and is commonly used in lotions. We LEAVE the GLYCERIN IN OUR SOAPS. This basically means you have LOTION in your Soap. How cool is that?
  3. ORGANIC Oils – These are ORGANIC Oils that have NOT turned to SOAP – captured inside the bar of soap. This means when you wash, you are putting an organic moisturizer on at the same time 🙂
  4. GOAT MILK – The amazing properties of the BE LIFE GOAT MILK goes IN the bucket and comes OUT into your SOAP!
  5. NaOH NOT HERE! The NaOH is NOT in the SOAP!!!

I will say it again – What does NOT Come OUT of the bucket?

THE NaOH! .. You see, the NaOH that went IN the bucket, is NO LONGER NaOH when it comes OUT of the bucket, because now it has married itself with the FATS and has TRANSFORMED into something ENTIRELY DIFFERENT – The SOAP.

Is this making sense?

Ok, So a note on NaOH in nature. NaOH is formed in nature from wood ashes and rain water. NaOH is also a chemical. Actually, EVERYTHING is by definition, ‘a chemical’ – and just because it occurs in nature does not make it safe or unsafe. So, I am not going to try to convince you that NaOH is ‘safe’ because it is a naturally occurring chemical. Rather, I want to educate you, the same way I educated myself, on the history of NaOH in soap making.

Turns out folks discovered how to make soap in 2800 B.C. Yep – the way WE MAKE SOAP was discovered by a Babylonian in 2800 B.C. 😉

They gathered their NaOH (lye) from hardwood ashes & rainwater, mixed it with FATS and ‘wala’ SOAP was made!

I sure would like to thank that Babylonian 😉

So, ever since 2800 B.C. this is the way (the only way) SOAP has been made.

By definition of what SOAP is – the ONLY way Soap can be made is with NaOH (or a comparable strong alkali) Remember SOAP does not occur laying around in nature. It would melt away. So it must be created somehow.

Now if you Google ‘Soap without Lye’ you will find, some folks say they can do it.

BUT, it is one of two things …

  1. It is NOT soap, meaning it is a DETERGENT – This is crazily common in soaps on the shelves of stores. ( This is a great article on it – What is Real Soap? )
  2. Somebody else already used the NaOH to make the soap BASE (as in melt and pour soaps – which is common in DIY soap making)

This can get confusing FAST. Especially with the nature of Soap Labeling.

You see, we ‘Soap-Makers’ can list our ingredients in two ways.

  1. What goes IN the bucket
  2. What comes OUT of the bucket.
So, if you see a REAL SOAP that does not list NaOH (or Sodium Hydroxide/Lye) as an ingredient – that is why. They are listing what came OUT. Some do this to avoid having to list the ‘NaOH’ because – let’s face it. – Those of us obsessed with everything ‘Natural’ tend to freak out over little letters and big letters all smushed up together like a … dare I say – c.h.e.m.i.c.a.l. !!!! (even though we all now know everything, by definition, IS in fact a chemical – right? Right 😉 )
But you get me on this – right?
We debated on how to list our ingredients. To list what went IN or list what came OUT? We opted to list what goes IN the bucket. Because, well aren’t your ‘Ingredients’ what you put IN the bowl in a recipe???  It made sense to us too.
One more thing on the NaOH – we do not get ours from burning a hardwood fire and then letting rain water seep over the ashes. It is SO important that the NaOH be very PURE and CLEAN that we opted to purchase FOOD GRADE NaOH to create our soap. (BTW – Bagels & those big, soft pretzels are made with FOOD GRADE NaOH)

Here is hoping you have a better understanding of how our Be Life Goat Milk Soaps are made! Check them out for yourself at our online store!

ps – It is kinda neat to get to apply my Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry to a Farm-made / self-made business. It has sure come in handy with Soap Making 🙂 … and especially thankful to my mom, who happens to have a PhD in Biochemistry. She helps me remember what I forgot 🙂

Live Life * Love Life * BE Life – Be Life Farm