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Posted: 2/12/2006 6:06:59 PM EDT
Just curious.

Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:11:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 6:12:48 PM EDT by California_Kid]
Pretty well. My mom and I used to make it when I was a kid. Most recent was about 15 years ago when I made my own solo. I used 100% pig fat from pork and bacon drippins, and plain old lye. I can't find the recipe but it was pretty simple.

Basically you render the fat and clean it out by boiling it with water and letting it settle out a few times to get rid of salts and crud. You mix up the right amount of lye with the right amount of water for the amount of fat you have, get them to the right temperature, and stir them for a while until the saponification is well under way. I used a hand mixer to keep it stirred up. You pour it into a mold, which can be a glass baking dish or whatever, let it set for a while, and cut into bars.

It has to cure for a few weeks before it's ready to use. Mine has an excess of lye, so it's too harsh for bathing but really good at cleaning tough grease. It smells good too.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:13:55 PM EDT
I used to help my Grandmother make lye soap. I don't remember how but it is great for poison ivy.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:14:15 PM EDT
I remember making soap out of lard and lye in HS Chemistry. Worked pretty well.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:15:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:17:44 PM EDT
Waqlmart has coconut oil, helps out a lot.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:21:35 PM EDT
I also made soap in HS chem. We used coconut oil and lye with just a pan as a mould. It came out ugly looking so most of the students were gonna throw it away. I was kind of curious about how well it would work so I tried it out on a whim, it turned out to be the best soap that I've ever used. Too bad for all of the others who threw it out.

BTW, the fight club soap recipe was hilarious.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:23:54 PM EDT
A woman I knew in Kodiak used to make her own lye soap.

She used it for bathing and shampoo. Lye soap in her hair!

It astonished me, too. She had shiny, beautiful hair.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:25:50 PM EDT
I may give this a shot sometime.

What is so great about coconut oil vs. lard, human fat, vegetable oil...
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:31:50 PM EDT
"His name was Robert Paulson."
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:31:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:45:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By piccolo:

A woman I knew in Kodiak used to make her own lye soap.

She used it for bathing and shampoo. Lye soap in her hair!...

That works if you have soft (i.e. good) tap water. In SoCal and much of the Southwestern US the water is so hard (calcium salts) that the scum that forms from regular soap (i.e. sodium stearate and similar substances) makes it useless as shampoo.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:47:27 PM EDT
I tried it once.

It made my hands sting.

So I tried using the same bar again about 3 years later, and it made my hands sting. When I tried pouring vinegar over my hands, it fizzed a little.

I think I failed.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:49:13 PM EDT
Done it a few times. Anyone have a good source for the lye? Couldn't find any in the Home Despot, etc.

My girlfriend cooked up a batch with peppermint oil and ground himalayan mint from the garden. Came out really nice. Gotta be careful with the peppermint oil though, a little goes a long way.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:50:51 PM EDT
yea. made a couple batches. it worked well.
lye, water oil or fat and you get nice white soap.

call up lehmans and get them to send you their soap making instruction book and a small jug of lye.
then have fun.

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