Very Simple Soap
Olive Oil 600g
At trace add 1 tsp vanilla
Umm, just incase this doesn't make sense like this; here's a quick direction for blender. I set a glass
(Vision ware) pan on the stove, turn on the fan and open the window, pour the water in then with a long
handled spoon, pour lye into water while stirring. (When you buy lye, squeeze the container to make sure
it isn't crunchy which means there will be hard lumps that make it difficult to use.) Then, while the lye is
cooling, I measure and pour oils into blender. In this case with the shortening, use another pan (even
microwave) to melt to liquid state. Add all your oils to the blender, stir for a few seconds to mix, then
carefully pour in the lye water, place lid on tight, pulse for 30 secs. Watch the top of the mix when you
turn it off. You will know it is ready if there is a burp bubble or you can dip a spoon in mix and pour it
back in while watching for a trail of the liquid to be visible on the surface. If it doesn't, keep pulsing for
10 to 15 second intervals until it does. Add the vanilla and pour into mold. Cover and wrap in a towel and
place in a warm area for 15 hours. (Top of refrigerator works great, I use my closet) Remove soap and
cut bars, place in an area where they can dry for at least 3 weeks. I use those picnic wicker plates to
stack them on so all surfaces are exposed.
Here is a recipe that is also very simple and uses lard
16 oz lard or beef tallow
2.2 oz lye
3/4 cup water (6 fluid oz)
No matter what recipe you use for soap, the bars need to dry for at least three weeks before using.
This helps to harden the bars and prevent lye burns.
The absolutely wonderful thing about making soap is the smallest additions (from the pantry) can
really enhance your enjoyment. The biggest one is milk. From dried milk, 2 % out of the fridge and goat
milk from a can or fresh if possible does amazing things to your soap. It nearly doubles the volume and
adds a smoothing creamy quality to the bars. Used at the beginning in place of or in addition to the water
before adding lye. After milk, I believe that adding coconut oil to the food storage for use in cooking too
but it really makes a difference to soap. It hardens the soap so it lasts longer and makes the bubbles
very creamy; too much though will tend to dry out sensitive skin. (I buy coconut oil at Wal-Mart Opps,
maybe I need to add another note here. The cheaper the grade of oil the better the soap it will make, so
don't use that expensing virgin olive oil in your recipe, get the heavier stuff. Besides Canola oil and
sunflower oil there is also caster oil that is wonderful in soap. Most of the recipes that I have seen for
shampoo soap use caster oil. All soap can be used for shampoo but the caster has tremendous
moisturizing qualities. Ok, back to the food storage, a 1/2 tsp of honey added at trace adds wonderful
emollient properties, be not too much or the bars will be too soft. Vitamin E oil is another lovely thing to
add at trace (I just use a few capsules and squeeze them out) also ground oats (whole rolled oats,
just run through the blender) add texture and exfoliate properties; dried flower petals, cornmeal, bran
and wheat germ all add texture to your bars. If you have any interest in colors there are several common
spices you can use. Cayenne pepper gives a salmon color, Cinnamon powder will turn it beige, cocoa powder
is of course brown, curry powder is a peachy/yellow, paprika is just peach, and turmeric is a golden
So I will make the first recipe today and hit it hard tomorrow with the extras. If you have something
specific in mind please let me know soon. I was thinking of a shampoo bar (with powdered egg!!) and a
couple of ones scented with lavender, spearmint, and maybe a chamomile tea one... so. I kind of make
them then write down what I put in on the recipe then I will email the recipe to you and mail the bars
next week. Hopefully by Wednesday, let me know if this is soon enough or not. When you get them, they
will need to be set out to dry for as long as possible. Love, Paula
Egg Shampoo Soap
Powdered Milk mixed with rainwater 300 ml
Sweet Almond Oil 56g
Castor Oil 100g
Coconut Oil 190g
Olive Oil 300g
Palm Oil 190g
At trace I added:
1/2 tsp Mayan Gold perfume
1/2 tsp Spearmint Essential Oil
1/2 tsp oatmeal
1 tsp honey
2 eggs (the powdered equivalent, stirred into the afore mentioned honey)
Canned Goat Milk Soap
Canned Goat Milk 274ml
Coconut Oil 190g
Olive Oil 250g
Palm Oil 190g
At trace I added:
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp tea tree oil
1 tsp lavender essential oil
2 vitamin oil capsules (snip and squeeze)
Aquarius Blender Soap
Garden herbal tea 154ml
Canned goat milk 85ml
2 o/o cow milk 30ml
Total 269 ml
Sweet Almond Oil 56g
Cocoa Butter 87g
Coconut Oil 192g
Olive Oil 191g
Palm Oil 191g
Rosewood essential oil 1 tsp
Cinnamon 1/4 tsp
Oatmeal 1/4 tsp
Vitamin E capsules 2
This last recipe is based on one given to me by a soap supply store in Canada called Aquarius. They
had tested the relationship between oils (saponification charts) and this makes a beautiful bar of facial
soap. I use this one all the time and just play with the scents and extras for what suits me. A good bar
of soap should feel slightly oily to the touch.
On occasion I add coffee (hotel packages) because it gives the bar a deodorant quality.
Hot water, cold water, hard water: homemade soap is good for washing if you are able to wash in hot
water. It isn't good for washing dishes or clothes in cold water, though, because it doesn't dissolve
easily, even if you make it into soap flakes. If you use it to wash dishes in hard water, it leaves a ring
around the sink. Hard water contains calcium, magnesium, and iron, which, with soap, form compounds, or
"curds," that resemble sticky gum. Use borax or washing soda to soften hard water before adding soap.
Make sure the soap is dissolved before you add clothes or dishes. Otherwise you risk having little
particles of undisclosed soap left among your clothes. A really good had rinse will easily get rid of those
particles, but automatic washers aren't built to handle that. You’ll have to agitate the water to dissolve
the flakes into solution and produce suds. Use water as hot as your hands can stand- or hotter. Great-
grandmother literally boiled her clothes with homemade soap in a big iron pot over a fire in the backyard
on washday. But then, practically everything her family wore was cotton.
Soap jelly: you can solve the dissolving difficulty by heating, or adding hot water to, a concentrated soap
mixture, stirring it into solution, and then cooling. The old-timers called this dissolved soap "soap jelly"
and made it ahead. They used it in washing machines and for washing dishes because soap jelly easily
melts in hot water and makes thick suds. To make soap jelly, you cut 1 lb hard soap into fine shavings and
add 1 gal water. Boil about 10 minutes and then cool. Keep soap jelly covered to prevent drying out. A
reader told me an even easier way. She puts homemade soap bars into a few gallon glass jars and pours
hot water over. Every day or so she drains off the liquid into a plastic pail, and that liquid is soap jelly.
Buying lye. You can buy lye from the cleaning agents section of a regular supermarket. If they don't
carry it, ask. They can order it for you. It may be called sodium hydroxide or caustic soda. Store lye is
sold in cans, usually containing about 13 oz, under several different brand names. Note the sodium
hydroxide content. It should be 94-98 percent. Lye for soap is different from the lye used for drain
openers, which has nitrates and other additives. There is usually a soap recipe on the lye can. Most lye
companies will send you further information on soap making upon request.
Making lye. Use ashes from hardwoods, if possible, such as oak, walnut, or fruit wood, since they make a
stronger better lye. Pine, fir, and other evergreens are soft woods. Put the wood ashes in a barrel with a
small opening near the base to let the water "leach" through. Set the barrel so that you can put a
container under the hole. If your wooden tub or barrel doesn't have a hole, bore one with a drill on the
side near the bottom of the barrel. Before putting in your ashes put several clean rocks or bricks inside
the container by the hole and then add a generous layer of straw, if you have it- hay or grass, if you
don't. Then you can add your ashes. You can just let them accumulate until you want lye or until your
container is full. The most efficient way of proceeding is to then add soft water to your barrel until
water begins to run from the tap. Then plug the tap hole with a cork plug or something, and let it soak a
few days. If you have extra ashes, you can add more ashes and water as the first layer settles in the
barrel from the wetting. In 3 days, open the plug and have a wooden tub, crock or glass container ready
to catch the trickle of lye water emerging from the opening. If an egg or a potato floats that a piece
about the size of a quarter is exposed on the surface, the lye is about right for soap making. If it sinks
the lye water needs to be leached another time through fresh ashes or boiled down until the
concentration is strong enough. If your lye isn't' strong enough, you'll make soft soap as the pioneers
did. Excess lye makes a coarse, flinty soap that will crumble when shaved and burn you when used. Soap
should have a smooth, velvety texture that curls when shaved. If any free lye is present, the soap
"bites" when touched with the tongue.
Tallow must be pure, clean and fresh (or frozen) to obtain soap with a clean, wholesome odor. "Toilet"
soap meant soap using fat from butchering rather than drippings; it was a whiter, better-quality soap.
"Saddle soap" meant an all-mutton or beef tallow soap. Such soap is valuable as a cleaner and preserver
Six pounds of fat and 1 can of lye will make about 9 lbs of soap. Mutton or goat tallow is the hardest of
all animal fats, having the highest melting point. Used alone, mutton or goat fat makes a hard, dry soap
unless you add extra water or mix the hard fat with a softer one like lard, goose grease, or chicken fat.
Beef tallow is next in hardness and also should be mixed with a softer fat. One pound of untrimmed beef
fat will get you 1 cup of tallow. Lard makes fine soap, giving you 2 cups fat for every pound of meat,
although it may be a little soft. Poultry fat is too soft when used alone, so it should be mixed with
harder fat. Meat frying, crackling, meat trimmings and other refuse fat must be first clarified and
desalted. You can use any animal or vegetable fat, even salad oil, but not mineral oil. Tallow alone
produces a hard soap without much lather, Adding vegetable oils improves the texture. The best
vegetable oil by far is coconut oil which produces a fine sudsing soap similar to a shaving soap.
Store your fat in a cool, dry place while you accumulate enough for soap making. Render fat from
butchering or fatty trimmings from cutting up. Grind the fat or cut it into pieces. Put into a large kettle
on the top of the stove or in a large pan in the oven. Add about 1 qt. water for each 10 lbs of fat. Use a
moderate temperature and stir occasionally. When the fat is liquefied and the solids are brown and
settling, carefully strain the fat. You may want to do this more than once. Your soap will be as white as
your fat is. If you fat is not pure enough, you may end up with yellow soap with an unpleasant odor. If you
do not want to strain the fat, scrape the sediment off its bottom, pour off the liquid and repeat as
To clarify drippings and remove salt, put the leftover cooking grease into a kettle with an equal
amount of water. Use a large pot so it won't be likely to boil over. Bring to a boil, stir and add 1 qt. cold
water for each 1 gal of drippings. Stir to break up any lumps. When the water boils, let it set and settle.
Then cool and skim fat from surface with skimmer, or refrigerate and clean the cake of fat or strain.
Repeat these procedures until you are satisfied with the condition of your grease.
To remove rancidity boil the sour or rancid fat in a mixture of 5 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Cool and
skim fat or refrigerate and remove fat cake. Remelt the fat; for each gallon of fat, add 1 qt cold water.
Stir slightly. Cool and skim fat or remove fat cake. Repeat as necessary. Fat that is rancid is fine for
soap making but not for eating ever again.
Water is a basic ingredient of sop making you need pure water, free of chemicals that can
combine with the lye. Don't use hard water unless you neutralize the chemicals in it with washing soda.
Hard water means water with minerals dissolved in it. Rainwater isn't hard, but almost all water from
spring, wells or rivers is in varying degrees. Measure the water into enameled wooden or crockery
container that are easily handled.
Perfumes like oil of sassafras, oil of lavender, and oil of lemon may be added to soap.
Borax quickens the sudsing action of soap because it helps to hold down homemade soap's
tendency to curd in the hard water and it's a natural fabric softener.
Soap making is a chemical process. When lye and fat are brought together under the right
conditions, they react to make soap, with is an alkali salt of fatty acids and glycerin. The process is
called saponification. It may take several weeks for complete saponification to take place. This is one
reason that aging is so important in soap making. Soon after it is made, soap actually contains some free
lye, but the longer it ages, the less likely it is to contain any free lye. Soap made from lard or soap that
has been boiled requires longer aging before it becomes hard and ready for use.
The true candle- a pillar of wax or a taper with a wick inserted- came into use during the Middle Ages.
Then, as now, the finest candles were beeswax. Humble household did not use beeswax; if they stayed up
past sunset they made do with candles of tallow, a fat rendered from beef or mutton.
Tallow candles had their drawbacks, however. They smoked, and they smelled of animal fat. Whenever
possible, other substances were used. In the east, a vegetable wax was rendered from berries called
Pioneer alum/tallow candles. Five lbs of alum was dissolved in 10 gallon of water and boiled until
dissolved. Then they added 20 lbs of tallow and boiled on lour more. Then the mixture was stirred well
and skimmed to take the waste off the top. When the wax was cool, it was strained through thick muslin
into molds, or candles were made by the dipping method.
Candles can be a by-product of butchering, made from deer, goat, or beef tallow. Or of beekeeping,
and from beeswax.
Tallow, save your firm, clean hunks of fat from butchering about 2 lbs of tallow for each
dozen candles you plan to make. Render out the tallow as you do in lard making. Then skim your candle
tallow off the top. A tallow candle 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 inches in length burns approximately 3
hours. If 1 in wide and 6 inches long it burns 8hours. If 2 inches wide and 9 inches long it burns 48 hours.
Different kinds of candle wax have different melting pints. A "harder" wax or fat has a higher melting
point. Candles with low melting points tend to lose their shape and droop in hot weather. Bacon grease is
harder than cooking oil, sheep fat is harder, cow harder yet and deer, goat and elk fats that shouldn't
be used for making soap are best of all for candle making because they have the highest melting points.
Beeswax melts at 145 o degrees F.
You can make your own if you are a spinner, you can loosely spin hemp, tow, cotton, or milkweed "silk" for
wicks. Or just twist the material together tightly as best you can. A wick too narrow for the diameter of
your candle will not be strong enough and will let the flame get drowned in the melting wax. A wick that
is too thick will smoke. To improve the final action, soak your wicking of cotton, hemp, tow or milkweed
silk in limewater and saltpeter; limewater alone; vinegar; or saltpeter alone. Then dry.
Rush light go way, way back. They are made by dipping a dry and fibrous long plant into a can
of melted fat (a firm one like mutton or deer would be best) cool and dip again, repeat. This will create a
floppy candle that will give a useful candle-type light.
Making dipped candles
Lay sheet of paper under the candle rods and all over where you expect to be working in order to
protect your floors. You need a tall container since your can't make an 8 in candle from a 6 inch
container. A 2 inch in diameter would be sufficient, use metal if possible. Melt wax in a double-boiler-
type arrangement with your tube that holds the wax being in a pan of water. Tie a wick to a stick and
dip into melted tallow. Let harden and then dip again. Continue in this way until your candle is big enough
to suit you. You can make more that 1 candle at a time by tying several wicks to a stick and dipping them
all at once. Don't store candles in the refrigerator or freezer, they crack and become brittle. Store in a
dry, cool dark place.