Mom would melt the fat in the coffee can (which would ultimately be discarded) on the stove inside, then pour it through a fine strainer into an old metal refrigerator meat pan and mix with the lye. See: http://www.certified-lye.com/lye-soap.html to learn how much LYE to FAT. Every fat is different.
- INSPIRING FRUGAL SOAP LADY & her OZARK MOMMY MEMORIES !
- SOAP MAKING DAY IN THE OZARKS
- (FOUND ONLINE) My mother used to make soap out of leftover fat drippings and lye. She got a booklet from the federal government on how to do it and experimented a bit before getting the proportions right--I think ultimately she used one 3-lb. coffee can full of strained fat (mostly bacon fat, some beef fat) per can of lye.
This she'd do outside on a day when the wind was blowing so the fumes would stay outside and blow away from her.
When it was sufficiently stirred, per the recipe from the government, she would pour it into a cut-off cardboard box bottom lined with rags (at this point the soap would have the consistency and appearance of buttercream frosting). If the lye made holes in the rags, it didn't matter. When it was a bit harder, she would cut it and then allow it to cure completely for a few days, so that it would be as hard as any store-bought soap. Since it retained a very faint aroma of bacon fat, occasionally she would add some cheap cologne that had been given to us as a gift (from someone who was recycling unwanted gifts herself!), but I did not think that this was ever terribly successful. Meaning there was a light bacon aroma in the stuff. However, as today nobody much eats bacon, and chicken fat is everywhere and it has no aroma, you'll be ok.
We used bacon soap for everything for a number of years, including laundry--put a couple bars of soap into a large plastic container (we used ice cream cartons) and pour boiling water over them, let it sit for a few days, pour more boiling water over it every now again, and you get a colloidal type of substance--neither liquid nor solid--that can then be used very effectively to rub on spots, collars, sleeves, and also just to be dumped into the washing machine. It got clothes nice and clean. No aroma of bacon grease on the clothes, by the way, though if you were concerned about that you could add fabric softener to the wash or put the fabric softener sheets (cut in half, since they work just as well) in the dryer. As you can see, this was very, very frugal in all ways except
that it took a lot of time.
BTW, it's very important to strain the fat--you want pure fat, with no bits of meat or brown stuff. The brown stuff, incidentally, is what makes homemade soup wonderful (unless you're a vegetarian, which I do respect). More frugality! As I feed cats the cheapest meat of all, chicken, I usually have thirty quarts of it stored on ice, coffee cans, yogurt 32 oz cylinders full and have a Craigs List ad up in my village saying 'take my fat please!, FREE to soapmaker..' but the truth is huile du poulet must be combined with other fats that are 'harder,' see:
SOAP MAKER EMILY BAEHR
and her PENNY PINCHER website.
THE FRUGAL SOAPER on RE-USING STORE SOAP!
What can one do with those little slivers of melted soap that you've
saved? Used soap, all kinds ---from all stores.
The answer is, one can put the soap in a crock pot with a little milk
and rebatch it and pour it into molds with some Essential oils.
Or, another form of recycling I use for soap bits and pieces. I make
scrub sacks with them. Into a piece [nice big square say 5x5] of
cheesecloth I lay my scraps, add a very generous handful [maybe 2
handfuls, I have small hands] of oatmeal [regular not quick oats] then a
tablespoon or so of lavender or chamomile flowers. Gather the ends and
tie off. That oatmeal feels divine. You can recycle your cheesecloth for
later scrub sacks too.
Rebatching may not work with corporate soaps, because those are
petroleum product based. However, scraps of homemade soaps can
DEFINITELY be rebatched this way. Use 9 oz of cold milk to 24-32 oz of
grated soap. Yes, you should grate those slivers, or at least, break
them into smaller pieces before attempting to melt them. Use leftover
juice cans or tuna/cat food type cans to remold the soap in. Always
allow rebatched soap to dry for three weeks before using it, or the soap
will just dissolve in the shower.
FOR CORPORATE SOAPS
Save the old slivers from your house (and others, if people will part
with them) and put them into a small canning or jelly jar. when the jar
is filled nearly to the top and the soap is crammed in there pretty
well, cover the soap pieces with water. Let sit on the counter for a day
or so. Every day or so, smash the pieces together and gently stir the
mass until it becomes one glob of soap. Use a braun handblender to whir
it up, then pour into molds, make soapballs OR put it into decorative
molds. Allow to dry to firmness.
OZARK SOAP. Recipe from AlyceMae.
"Save every bit of FAT from cooking, such as bacon grease, boiled chicken stock
you fridge chicken soup, skim off the top layer which gets like soap, then you reuse
the broth for soups that HAVE NO FAT! I give it like jellied consommee to my pets.
Then there's the fat poured off hamburgers etc. BE SURE you do not put
garlic on burgers while you cook. Drain the blood/fat while cooking. Add ONIONS
and garlic and seasoning salts near the end. Or they can be added after you put
the burgers on a plate! The oil must remain pure tallow, unscented with these
powerful aromatics. Fridge it, lift fat layer off, leaving blood and juice for soups or pets
When one attains a large amount of fat, boil it in equal and up to double
the amount of water. I canít tell you how long I boiled -- I'd guestimate
that just when it felt right. I tend to cook and do things like that
rather loosely. This should be done in the winter time. After boiling I
covered the kettle and set it on the porch overnight. All the impurities
and water sink to the bottom and the cleaned fat hardens at the top.
This is what you take off and measure according to the recipe. You can
find basic soap recipes just about anywhere from homesteading books to
lye cans. Now that I live alone I have very little cooking fat to save
but I still have relatives who butcher and they usually give me lard or
tallow. It is better to use a mixture of fats to get a better lather.
Here is one of the recipes I make the most. A soft soap dissolves easier
in the washing machine, although you can grate bar soap and that is not
too bad. If you want to scent bar soap use an essential oil most scents
are lost in the chemical process of the soap curing. When I first
started I thought how great it would be to have the water mint tea and
have all the soap minty. Didnít work. Always use glass or stainless
steel pots. Be very careful of the lye it is very caustic. Keep away
from children and use rubber gloves. Making soap can be a good school or
science project for older children.
6 lb. fat Melt and cool
1 box lye. at this point, mix and add
1/2 cup Borax
2 1/2 pints cold water
Mix ingredients together add Borax.
Stir until a little thicker than honey.
Pour into 6 gal. crock, fill crock with cold water.
Stir every day for 2 weeks and its ready to use.
Alyce Mae says "I used to post my own recipe for making a milk-based soap. But, the
people who do this for their livelihood stood to lose. Please don't ask
for recipe, it's a little like asking how much money you have
in your checking account!You need to read and research and develop
your own recipe. It did take me a few months and work with a chemist
to come up with my formula, and tho the recipe is easy, only a few
ingredients, and you can make a soap, the technique is tricky and can
be dangerous. The saponification chart can be sent as an attachment, but
can't be cut and pasted, as it's a working formula. That is, you plug
in the ounces of whichever fats you want to use, and the table will
calculate the amount of lye needed. "
Method: I CAN tell you the method, to keep some of the danger out.
Basically, you add lye to a liquid. The reaction causes the mass to
heat up, and the caustic heat will burn skin, fumes can burn eyes, and
small children should not be left unsupervised around a lye process.
The easiest way is to put the liquid you choose into a plastic bucket in
your sink. Fill the sink with ice and water and gradually (S L O W L Y)
stir in the amount of (premeasured) lye you are to use. Stir until you
can't feel the lye crystals any more, that is, most of it is dissolved.
Check the bucket temp frequently using a meat or candy thermometer (That
you ONLY use for this process). When it starts to decrease down from the
180 - 210 mark, you can start with your other ingredients, the fats,
etc. Feel the ice water bath often, and you may have to change it out
once or twice. If the ice isn't melting rapidly, your milk or water was
too cold, and the lye isn't doing it's thing. Change to a warmer water
bath to start the process again. Sometimes old lye needs a kick like
ON LYE: If you buy from the store, ONLY use Red Devil, (if there is
another brand, I'm unaware of it). Drano and the like have other
chemicals and won't work. (Online lye factory may work better) Mail order.
My best soaps turn out when my lye/liquid and the fats are all about the
same temperature when I combine them.
Keep a big jug of vinegar by the sink, and if any splashes occur, douse
it with vinegar promptly.20 Some folk make up a small portion of the
batch and whir it in a blender and readd to the rest to hasten
saponification. You certainly can stir by hand, but be prepared to not
leave the mix at this critical point. I use a drill motor with a
paddle on it, but I usually make up several gallons at a time.
Depending on which oils and fats you use, also will determine when the
lye starts to sieze up in the liquid. This is where you need to
research. Hog fat is traditional, but people shy against animal
products. Canola oil is good, olive oil is expensive but better, etc. At
trace (when it's getting thick), you can also add extra oil such as
cocoa butter to superfat it. That only means you've added more fat than
the lye can take on, so your finished soap has extra oils in it.
Moisturizing bars usually have been superfatted.
When you're finished with the project, take your bucket and stirring
equipment, anything that touched lye and rinse where nothing can get to
it. Rinse again with a vinegar solution in your sink. Realize that those
who make soap often may have to replace drains and piping occasionally!
If your wastewater goes into a septic system, look at adding extra
enzymes and bacteria back occasionally to the septic tank because
soapmaking may kill off 'the good guys'. I admit I've gotten pretty
casual about my soapmaking, and if I 'test' a lye burn on my skin, can
usually predict how good the soap will turn out and about when it can be
unmolded. A hot solution will take longer to cure out than one that
didn't have that 'oomph'.But, it (the hotter) will usually make the
harder, better soap. But, NOT to do this until you've made your own soap
for a long time. Hope this generic stuff has been of some help! martha \
this is a homesteading skill that i feel is important to know.
I hope this encourages you to try your hand at soap making. Two or
three bars cost over 2$ at the supermarket. Two bars cost 99c.
at the Dollar store. If you save yourself a hundred dollars a year
in soap purchases, and put it into VIETNAM OIL STOCKs, you
will make thousands!
ODE to ANITA the Reseda FAT COLLECTOR
Do stop by for fat for soap
I've got it by the bucket
hoping you come by some morn
and from my fridge you PLUCK IT!
I'd love to have a produce drawer
for salad greens to feed my face!
Instead these cans of lumpy white?
take up all the salad's space!?
How can a Valley lady diet
if she cannot have her greens?
Guess I'll stay the fattest
diabetic that Reseda's ever seen!
THE OHIO SOAP MAKER'S ILLUSTRATED WEBSITE
(Imagine that you have a 4$ a month site like it one day to sell your own. )
THIS JUST IN, HOW TO MAKE HOUSEHOLD CLEANSERS, LAUNDRY SOAP
from Laura at Yahoo Frugal list.
ALL PURPOSE WINDOW CLEANER
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid soap
2 cups water
mix well in spray bottle
ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
1/2 tsp washing soda
2 tsp Borax
1/2 tsp liquid soap
2 cups hot water
mix well in spray bottle
HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap, grated
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
3 pints water
Put all ingrediants in a large saucepan and heat until dissolved.
Stir gently over medium heat until it thickens like honey. Sometimes,
it won't get that thick, that's ok, it will still work. Remove from
heatIn a 2 gallon container, put in one quart of hot water, add
soap mixture, mix, fill container with cold water. Mix well until
blended. Set aside for 24 hours. It will turn to gel and may look as though
it's seperated, don't worry, it still works Stir well before using
if it is separated. Use 1/2 cup for each load. Adjust accordingly
for small loads or dirty loads.
1 cup Fels Naptha soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
light load, 1 Tablespoon
heavy/dirty load, 2 Tablespoons
Just so you know, you will not get alot of suds with either of these.
Clothes do get clean and will have no smell I add baking soda and
vinegar to all my laundy whether I use the store bought or homemade
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