|How to make Pure Soap|
It is well known that many commercial soaps contain animal fats and a lye made from caustic soda which can be an irritant. Vegans and other health-conscious people wish to avoid using these soaps. The following is for ecobiters who may like to make their own soap without using animal fats or caustic soda.
A pure soap were once made in Ireland by McClintons and Colleen soaps from coconut oil and wood-ash. The exact process of manufacture was a closely kept family secret.
Here is a recipe that we have tried without using animal fats or caustic soda.
First make a natural lye using one part of white wood-ash to six parts of water.
Boil for half an hour and allow to cool.
Place 2 kg (4 1/2 lb) of coconut oil into a metal pot. Add 1 kg (2lb 4 oz) of the lye.
Place the pot on the stove. Stir well and boil for one hour.
Take the pot off the stove and skim off scum which has floated to the surface.
The clean liquid remaining is then poured into a pan and allowed to harden.
When cold and hard it is cut into blocks of convenient size.
There is no need to add coloring agents, perfumes or other chemicals. Soap should be used for cleaning purposes only and these substances serve no useful purpose. Soap is simply a detergent which combines with and floats dirt and grease off the skin, thus allowing them to be washed away with water.
Try making your own soap. You may need to experiment a little using various proportions of wood-ash and vegetable oil in order to obtain the kind of soap you want.
Editor's note: I make my natural wood ash Lye by filling a container with 6 large cups of water. I then add 1 cup of the Wood Ash. This will give you the 6:1 ratio and usually weighs around 1kg as per the recipe (You may have to experiment with the cup or small jug size).
Post an article or comment on your soap making experiences and ideas to share.
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