Grandpappy's Homemade Soap

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Grandpappy's Homemade Soap Recipe Introduction During hard times sooner or later everyone runs out of soap. To make soap you only need three things: 1. rainwater, 2. cold ashes from any hardwood fire, and 3. animal fat from almost any type of animal, such as beef, pork, goat, sheep, bear, beaver, raccoon, opossum, groundhog, etc. All soap consists of the above three ingredients in one form or another, and that includes bath soap, dish soap, laundry soap, and hair shampoo. Soap is not difficult
Grandpappy s Homemade Soap Recipe Introduction During hard times sooner or later everyone runs out of soap. To make soap you only need three things: 1.rainwater, 2.cold ashes from any hardwood fire,and 3.animal fat from almost any type of animal, such as beef, pork, goat, sheep, bear, beaver, raccoon, opossum, groundhog, etc. All soap consists of the above three ingredients in one form or another, and that includes bath soap, dish soap, laundry soap, and hair shampoo. Soap is not difficult to make and it does not require any special equipment. And soap can be made from things that exist in large quantities in nature, and which are typically discarded as being of little value (rainwater, campfire ashes, and animal fat). Therefore, a person who knows how to make good soap could provide his or her family with a small but steady income during hard times by making and selling soap. Soap requires no financial investment in raw materials, and therefore it does not require the advance purchase and storage of inventory before the hard times occur. Soap is a perfect consumer product for the following five reasons: 1.Soap is a legal product. 2.Everyone everywhere uses soap. 3.Soap is completely used up in a short period of time. 4.When people run out of soap they want to buy more. 5.Soap is relatively low in price so almost everyone can afford it. In my opinion, soap is one of the basic necessities of life for the following five reasons: 1.Personal hygiene: Good health is maintained by washing your hands before eating and by taking a bath on a regular basis. 2.Laundry: If your clothes get really filthy then they will collect lots of germs and those germs will eventually attack your body and you will get sick. During hard times families with small babies quickly revert back to cloth baby diapers that require a really good cleaning before being reapplied to the baby s bottom. 3.Dish washing: If your eating utensils are not clean then it won t be long before you get sick from the microscopic organisms that collect and grow on your dishes.4.Wound care and other medical situations: Even small wounds can get infected and become life threatening if they are not properly cleaned with soap at the earliest possible opportunity. 5.Disease control: Soap is extremely valuable in preventing the spread of diseases because you can wash the bed sheets, clothes, and eating utensils of the sick person, and you can also give the sick person a daily bath or cleaning to help neutralize any germs on the sick person s body. In developed countries most people take soap for granted until they don t have any, just like they take water, canning salt, socks, and shoes for granted. When their soap is all gone people suddenly realize how important it really was. Regardless of how much soap you may have stored for an emergency situation, it will eventually be used up. At that time it would be useful if you knew how to make really good soap from rainwater, campfire ashes, and animal fat. There are three major differences between homemade soap and commercial quality soap: 1.Homemade soap does not lather or produce soap bubbles. However, soap bubbles are only for visual appeal. Bubbles donot increase the cleaning power of soap. (Note: It is possible to add bubbles to homemade soap and that procedure will be explained below.) 2.Soap made from campfire ashes will not be as hard as soap made from commercial quality lye crystals. 3.Homemade soap has an oilier texture than commercial quality soap. However, homemade soap will still yield very acceptable results for most routine cleaning chores because it will surround and cling to the dirt particles, regardless of their size, and allow them to be more easily washed away. (Note: Soap making lye crystals have been withdrawn from the market because they were being used to make illegal drugs. Therefore, if you have an existing soap recipe it will probably be of limited value because you can no longer purchase lye crystals at your local grocery store or hardware store. However, if you follow the instructions below you can still make good soap using lye water made the old fashioned way.) Basic Soap Making Equipment Stainless Steel Pot Glass Measuring Cup Food Tray Mold ThermometerTo make soap you will need: A cook pot made of stainless steel, or cast iron, or enamelware, or heat-tempered glass, or a clay- fired cooking pot. Aluminum and tin and Teflon coated pots are not acceptable because the soap making lye will adversely react with these materials. The cook pot should be at least twice the size of the batch of soap you intend to make. Generally, a one-gallon or four-quart cook pot will be more than adequate as a soap making pot. (Note: You may use the same pot for soap making and cooking. Just wash the pot when you are finished making soap. Some soap recipes suggest having a special pot just for soap making but this is not necessary, in my opinion. You are just making soap in the pot, and it will be the same soap you use later to wash the pot after you cook a meal.) A long spoon made of stainless steel or wood. If necessary, an old wood broom handle or a big stick may be used to stir the soap if nothing else is available. A glass measuring cup. You can use a plastic measuring cup but the concentrated brown lye water may permanently discolor the inside of the measuring cup. (Note: If you don t have a measuring cup, then use approximately 2.5 times the amount of melted grease as concentrated brown lye water.) Some type of mold to pour the soap mixture into so it can harden into a bar of soap. For example, you could make a soap mold out of a large empty kitchen matchbox by lining it with plastic food wrap. Or you could use the small black plastic serving trays that contain frozen dinner meals, such as a single serving lasagna meal. The soap mold container should be at least 1 to 1.5 inches deep. Athermom et er is optional because soap was made for centuries before the thermometer was invented. If you wish to use a thermometer, then select a cooking or meat or candy thermometer that will show temperatures from a minimum of 70\u00baF to at least 140\u00baF. An instant-read thermometer works exceptionally well. Almost anyone can make good soap if he or she has a little patience and is willing to begin on a small scale in order to gain practice and experience. Grandpappy s Homemade Soap Recipe Yields two large eleven-ounce bars of soap or a total of 22 ounces of soap by weight. This is equivalent to approximately four normal bars of store bought soap. 3/4 cup of concentrated brown lye water. Normal strength brown lye water can be made by pouring rainwater through the cold ashes of any hardwood fire. Detailed instructions for making concentrated brown lye water are at the end of this article.Two cups of melted grease. Any type of animal fat may be melted into grease, such as beef, pork, lamb, goat, bear, beaver, opossum, raccoon, groundhog, etc. Only use the fat because lean meat will not make soap. Dono t use any lean meat. Ordinary vegetable oil or grease may be used instead, but vegetable oil or grease has more valuable uses than making soap. Detailed instructions for melting animal fat into grease are at the end of this article. Beef tallow is a hard fat and it makes a hard soap that cleans really well. Pork lard is a soft fat and it may be used in a ratio of up to 75% with a hard fat. A mixture of half-tallow and half-lard is usually recommended to achieve a good all-purpose soap. (Note: If you do not have access to animal fat, then you can ask the employees in the fresh meat section of your local grocery store if they have any beef fat or pork fat for sale.) (Note: You should reduce the above quantities by one-half when you first attempt to make soap. This will give you the opportunity to gain confidence and experience on a small scale. You may use the above quantities, or any multiple thereof, for future soap making efforts depending on how much soap you wish to make in one batch.) The Six Soap Making Steps STEP ONE: Mix the concentrated brown lye water and the grease, stir thoroughly, and give the chemical reaction between 30 minutes to 3 hours to gradually take place. Be patient. This is the most important step in making soap. The concentrated brown lye water (or lye crystals) used in soap making can hurt you. Be careful when handling the lye. Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from the lye. If some lye solution gets on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water. Lye is caustic and it will permanentlydisfig ure Formica counter tops, kitchen tables, and other nice furniture, even if you wipe it off the surface immediately. Be careful when handling lye and do not let it splash or spill or bubble over onto your kitchen furniture or onto your floor. Concentrated brown lye water is normally used at room temperature unless the room is unusually cool or cold (below 75ºF). If necessary, heat the concentrated brown lye water to between 80ºF to 130ºF in a separate cook pot. The temperature is not critical as long as it is not too hot. The purpose of using warm lye water is to help maintain a warm soap mixing temperature inside the soap mixing pot. Put the grease into a separate small melting pot and then put the pot on the stove over very low heat. Do not heat the grease to the smoking point. If you see smoke then you are burning the grease. Melt all the grease and then allow it to cool back down to 90ºF for pork lard, or to 130ºF for beef tallow, or to 110ºF for a combination of tallow and lard. Do not allow the grease to harden while it is waiting to be added to the soap mixture. The grease must be melted when it is added to the soap mixture, and it should be relatively warm. The temperature doesno t have to be exact, but the grease must be warm and fully melted.
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