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119 Posts
basic recipe is an oil or fat, lye and water question is how basic or primitive would you like to go with your soap making. You can make your lye by running water through hard wood ashes and straw and youcan render any fat that you have available or would you rather purchase lye and purchase your oil .

Basic procedure is to heat your oil and then mix the lye mixture into the water and when the two are of about equal temperatures combine and begin stirring until saponificatio occurs.
There are oodles of recipes out there . The most basic i use is two cups oil or fat , heated to 130 deg. F mix the water with a tblsp lye and let it heat. When the oils and lye mixture are at 120 deg F mix then stir until it saponifies or begins thickening then pour into a mold . Unmold after 24 hours and let it rest in a ventilated area for 3-4 weeks turning every couple days.

Most important thing is temp when mixing , do not use metal bowls to mix the soap in and stir until saponification.

YourAdministrator, eh?
8,000 Posts
Where can I go to pick up a bunch of quality fat? Would a bucket of lard be good enough?
When you are cooking your meals, take the liquid fat from the pan and pour it into a glass container (bowl works fine). You can use pork, beef and turkey fat equally.

A good choice for lots of fat quickly is to make your hamburger from "regular" where there is extra fat in it (nice and juicy) - and just drain the fats off into a bowl. Same applies to bacon. Same applies to a Thanksgiving turkey.

You can make your own lye using a wood stove and old hardwood pallets. Softwoods can work in a pinch - but - hardwood seems to be the better choice.

Another thing that I heard (had not tried personally) is to take the soap out of the molds ( cardboard milk containers work great ) after they have set and use cheese-cloth for the "curing" time.

For more information - see the Wikiedia

57 Posts
most soaps are made by weight. here is one by volume that is so easy to make.

Goat Milk Soap

This is a wonderful quick recipe that is done by measurement not
weight. I use an 8 cup class measuring cup to make this in and because
I just don't have the time to stir and stir and stir to trace, I did
go out and buy a stick blender (about $14.00)

The problem with milk based soaps is the milk will curdle if it isn't
cold enough which is why it is frozen. It it is not cold enough, when
the lye is added to the milk, the milk boils. If the soap turns yellow
that is a natural Characteristic of the sugars in the milk tha thave
cooked. Of course the trick is to get a white bar!

You can substitute any oil (see Oil Characteristics below recipe) for
what you have on hand. Olive oil, canola oil, or combination of oils.
If you want to add fragrance it is done at trace as is any coloring
(now you can use a piece of crayon for a quick color additive).

Vinegar Neutralizes Lye! always wear protective glasses, gloves, long
sleeves, and cover your work area. Liquids can splash no matter how
careful you are!

Goat Milk Soap
(by measurements, not weight)
1 cup lard, melted
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup goat (or other) milk (or water)
1/4 cup Red Devil lye granules (not flakes or crystals from other
1/4 cup water
Dissolve the lye in the water.
Ingredients near 110 to 120 degrees F.
Add the lye/water to the fat. Stir in the milk.
Tracing time about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Leave in molds 2 days
Place in freezer 3 hours to help remove soap from molds
Remove soap from molds (or cut if in a large mold)
Age 3 weeks.

by Elaine C. White

Oil Characteristics

Almond-- gives fairly good lather and is good to condition the skin
Apricot kernel---same as almond
Borage--same as almond
Canola--same as almond
Castor oil--same as almond but speeds up trace
Cocoa butter--Gives a hard bar fairly good lather and is good for skin
conditioning and speeds tace slightly
Coconut oil--Gives a hard bar, good cleansing qualities, fluffy
lather, and speeds trace slightly
Corn oil--Same as almond
Cottonseed--Fairly good lather
Hazelnut--Fair lather and good skin conditioning properties
Hemp seed--same as hazelnut
Jojoba--same as hazelnut
Kukui nut--same as hazelnut
Lanolin--Give a hard bar that has fair lather is fair to good for skin
conditioning if not allergic and speeds trace slightly
Lard--Gives a hard bar that has fairly good lather good for skin and
speeds trace slightly
Macadamia nut--same as hazelnut
Neem oil--same as hazelnut with healing properties
Olive--same as hazelnut and gives a fairly hard bar
Palm Kernel--Give a hard bar with good cleansing properties, fluffy
lather and speeds trace slightly
Palm oil--Give a hard bar with fair lather and speeds trace slightly
Peanut--fair lather with good skin conditioning
Safflower--same as hazelnut
Sesame--same as hazelnut
Shea butter--Gives a hard bar with fair lather and good skin
conditioning and speeds trace slightly
Soybean--same as hazelnut
Soybean (Crisco type)--fair lather and skin conditioning
Sunflower--same as hazelnut
Tallow--gives hard bar with fair lather and good skin conditioning and
speeds trace slightly
Wheat germ--same as hazelnut
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