Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grease Soap

I have read, more than once, that people used to save their grease left over from cooking and then use that to make soap. I've been making soap for about 33 years and until last week, I never tried to do that! I kept a container in the freezer, and every time I had some grease (chicken, pork, or whatever) I put it in the container. On soap making day, I had accumulated 75.65 ounces of grease. Well, that's how much was left after I purified it. I put it all in a big kettle, added maybe a quart of water and boiled it so the impurities would settle to the bottom. Then I took the floating resultant fat off the top and weighed it.

Next, I went to the MMS lye calculator and plugged in that value. I listed the fat as "lard" because I had no idea how much of each kind of fat I had. The blessed calculator then tells you how much soft water and how much lye to use, and the procedure to follow. My intention here is not to give you a soap-making lesson, but rather to encourage you to try this. Here is a picture of one of the bars of soap. I just washed my hands with it, and it is very nice and doesn't smell funny or anything! It bubbles nicely and doesn't seem to be drying. I am very pleased.



Here you are looking down into the cardboard box where I am letting the soap bars cure/dry. Instructions usually suggest you wait 6 weeks before using soap. It depends on the soap. This does not seem to have any "free" lye in it. It did not sting my hands. But of course, be careful!



If you feel intimidated by soap making, please don't. There are some lovely how-to videos on www.youtube.com, that will be very helpful. Once you understand the process, which is NOT complicated, and the safety precautions to take, it is very easy and has become one of those things I can do if I know I'm going to be in the kitchen anyway, and so I make it while I'm cooking other things. Many posts ago I mentioned doing things "in my sleep." Within a few batches, you'll be making soap in your sleep too!

Just last week, my daughter and I made a batch of facial soap for her. It is 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 olive oil. Very nice soap!

I buy my lye through eBay.

The reason I started making soap all those years ago was because money was tight, and our children seemed to delight in letting bars of soap disintegrate in the bath water. That was more expense than I could handle, and I felt that if I made my own, and it is SO much cheaper, then that would help the budget. I was right. :)

15 comments:

  1. Yolanda,
    Pink Monkey Soap is made with recycled oil. I have made it that way for a few years now. I get my oil from cafe's in 5 gallon buckets. Of course I make a lot of soap. The soap seems to suds up better and moisturize your skin better than fresh oils. I rarely use fresh oils now.
    My Pink Monkey Soap blog is even called recycled oil lye soap. http://recycledoillyesoap.blogspot.com/
    The chemist I talk to says the soap is probably more sudsy and moisturizing because the oils are already broken down.
    I buy my lye by the case through a grocery store.
    Have a great day.

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  2. I made soap once a very long time ago and haven't thought about it in a long while. It only had 3 ingredients olive oil, lye, and something else that I can't remember. I used Red Devil for the lye. It worked well. Thanks for the post. I enjoyed it.

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  3. I used to be able to buy Red Devil lye at the grocery store. I don't know when they stopped selling it like that, but because it is a "hazardous material", the last time I bought some, I had to sign a hazmat form, declaring what I was buying it for! I bought it online.

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  4. They are saying that lye is used in meth labs. I don't know anything about that. But that may be why stores aren't carrying it. I suppose the average person no longer knows the dangers of handling lye also. I believe they use to use ashes instead of lye...it would be interesting to research.

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  5. The old fashioned way of making lye was to let water seep through a barrel of wood ashes. I have no idea about the meth. Yikes!

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  6. Using recycled oils is a wonderful idea! Do you remember the ebay buyers name? I'm wondering if I can find the lye locally somewhere - surely there's a chemical supplier in the Sacramento area...

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  7. It's been a while back when I bought the lye, and I don't remember the eBay seller, but if I were to do it today, I'd just google for sodium hydroxide, or, "lye" and pick the cheapest source with the lowest overall cost. I do wish internet sellers would all figure their shipping into their cost structures and not add it on. It is so nice when they do that.

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  8. Check out www.essentialdepot.com . their Lye is free of impurities and is great for both soap making or food use! If you use the discount code "ship30" you can receive an additional 30% off shipping.

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  9. I'm going to do this tomorrow. :) It will be my first ever soap! I've been saving my grease in the fridge for a while now. It's mostly from bacon, some sausage, and a small amount of olive oil. I plan to add some coconut oil as well. I was able to find 100% pure sodium hydroxide at a local hardware store cheaper than I could find online, I was very excited about that!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that's good! Please stop back and let me know how you like it!

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  10. I would like to understand something. I am reading on the net that you can use old or recycle cooking oil to make soap. I would like to know what appropriate oil to choose in the lye calculator if persons use one oil or mixture of oils for their deep frying and the person never told what was used as You just know you were able to get recycled oil.

    Suppose a person use just soybean for their deep frying, would the soap come out soft since I read that oils like soybean, canola and sunflower should not be used over a certain % if you want to have a hard bar?

    Can the recycle oil be mixed with fresh vegetable or animal oil to achieve desired results?

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, indeed. Mixing the recycled oil with new oil would be fine!

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  11. Loves2spin, can you answer the other questions I have asked?

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    Replies
    1. You can go to the following website to calculate your recipe:

      https://www.thesage.com/calcs/LyeCalc.html

      Then you will have a hard bar.

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