Today's Quote


“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tightwad Tip for Soap

I was looking through my soapmaking book and she had a recipe that called for "waste fat". That set off a little light bulb in my head. With the hot process method that I used you could just use 48 oz. of "waste fat" that you have rendered to clean. That would save you money in oil for making soap. So I am saving all of my waste fat (hamburger grease, fat trimmings, excess bacon grease, oil from frying etc.)and when I get enough I think I will make a batch of soap and see how it turns out. According to the author of the book, soap and candlemakers in colonial times would travel from house to house collecting waste grease and then in exchange would give soap to the households that contributed. This is a great way to use something that would otherwise be a waste product, although my dogs usually end up with the excess "fats". They can give up just a little, after all 48 oz. really isn't that much. Now of course the properties of the soap will vary greatly from batch to batch depending on the fats, but all soap cleans. So given that little fact if the bar isn't really that great to use for bathing it would at least be good for laundry or household cleaning or bathing the dogs. So outside the cost of the lye, you could essentially make your soap for free. Now that is a tightwad tip that I can definitely live with. Blessings, Kat

7 comments:

Kelly said...

Tony wants to try the soap recipe from GNOWFGLINS, but not sure where we can get the materials in this tiny town. We've never made hard soap before, but it's another thing to add to the list of needed skills.

Kat said...

Well, like I said in this post you can simply use waste fat for your fat. I used olive, peanut and lard in my recipe that is in one of the soap posts. The lye is tough to find. I have heard that tractor supply has lye. Also check your small local hardware stores. Red Devil no longer makes lye (100% sodium hydroxide). So it is another brand can't remember right now. Just make sure that whatever you get it is 100% sodium hydroxide.

Kat said...

I checked out that soap recipe and I would adjust those oils. According to my book and the latherings group a soap with 50% coconut oil is actually very drying to the skin. Olive oil gives a hard bar so you don't need a hardener. Trust me, my bars are hard even though goat milk softens the soap hardness. All you need for soap is lye, oil and water. Anything else is extra. You can sub the water with goat milk. Hope that helps, Kat

Kelly said...

The book says coconut oil would be drying for skin? That's not been my experience, though I haven't really used it topically. When I get it on my hands I just rub it in. When I drink it in the morning with warm water, it makes my lips very slippery and soft.

Kat said...

Kelly, here are a few discussions about the lauric acid in coconut oil. Apparently some people are more affected by its properties than others. http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=371673
http://www.supersoapmaking.com/coconut-oil-soap-making.html
http://soapnuts.com/indexoils.html
http://www.soapcalc.net/info/soapqualities.asp
Anyway, hope that helps. It may be that the chemical reaction changes the properties of the oil. While the pure oil is conditioning it may not be once it goes through the chemical transformation into soap. Blessings, Kat

Kelly said...

Thanks for the link, Kat. Didn't think about a chemical reaction, just assumed the reason it was in the soap was to moisturize. I'll read up on it before making any.

Kat said...

You are very welcome. Happy soapmaking! Blessings, Kat