how to make soap from wood ashes (lye water and tallow/lard)

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  1. see my other soap rebatching / recycling video here

  2. What is the pH of your hose water ? I generally use rain water when making lye but was wondering if the water source makes a difference ..? Do you have any ideas on this ..

  3. Hey! I made your soap. Amazingly, it actually works! It even seems to clean better than normal soap; cuts right through grease and oil.

    Great Macgyver skill but I think I'll stick with normal soap to wash myself, at least until the apocalypse. Mine came out brown in colour though. Not sure if I burnt it, or there are impurities, or the lye was too high concentration. But it's definitely soap and not ash mixed with fat 😀

    Thanks for the vid(s)..

  4. I'm guessing that your soap probably didn't harden. Wood ash produces potassium hydroxide which will work well for soft or liquid soaps. To make hard soap or bars you need sodium hydroxide. Also, a quicker, more efficient method of extracting the potassium hydroxide from the ashes is to use a container with holes at the bottom with the holes covered with a cloth. A couple of layers of an old tube sock will work well for this. Pack your ashes in the container over the fabric and pour hot water into the top. The hot water will dissolve the potassium hydroxide out of the ashes and drip out the bottom into whatever collection vessel you have on hand. Don't use aluminum. Once the liquid has been collected you can pour it back through the ashes again if you like to try to collect more of the potassium hydroxide. This collected liquid is usually called the Mother Liquor and may be concentrated by boiling or evaporating. If you evaporate it until only the solid remains you have fairly concentrated potassium hydroxide. You should use caution though as potassium hydroxide is caustic and will cause skin and eye injuries or "burns".

  5. When I used a barrel stove to heat my shop I'd get a five gallon bucket of ashes out of it every two days. I didn't think anyone wanted it so I dumped it onto the burn pile where I burned excess materials (Pine and too large to fit pieces of stump burl) that I didn't want to put in my stove. Nice to see someone isn't wasting it.

  6. Is that kpop I hear in the back ground after you've reduced the mixture? I thought I had another link up in the background playing haha

  7. I made soap with my granny. We did it outside and it was the best. She'd always clarify her lard twice and it helped with the smell. It was an all day job and she did it in a cast iron pot…the really big ones.

  8. Thank you. Now I will be able to maintain my hygiene after the zombie apocalypse and clean the ones I want to keep as pets.

  9. Q&A ???
    On the far dose it had to be store bought? Or can we use homemade lar, like from pork lamb elk beef, bear meat Etc.

  10. Nice vid. I think that maybe your problem with the stiffening was with the oils in the mesquite but not sure because I never used it. But it did work!

  11. I make cold process soap as well as hot process soap. I use essential oil for fragrance and if I color my soap I use mica that is made of ground rocks. There are no additives in my soap. I do not use lard. The em3ll is off putting, I use Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil in my soap.

  12. If you do this again, it'd be interesting if you had some test strips to check the pH of the lye-water solution directly after you finish the soak, then after the heating, etc. Cool vid.

  13. After letting clean white ash soak for two weeks in a glass gallon jar, with occasional stirs, I siphoned off the clear liquid and tested a drop on a piece of aluminum foil. Tiny bubbles. The liquid smelled like soap, and was a great cleaning agent just the way it was. It sure did the trick getting the grime off my hands after working on the car. It was nice today to see the rest of the process. Thanks.

  14. In communist Romania, all the way to the early 90's, as in probably most of Eastern Europe at the time, a lot of everyday items were really hard to find in stores, soap among them. My grand parents used to make their own, to use for washing clothes, this sort of things. Store bought soap was only for washing hands, and it was used carefully, not to waste any. The method they used was similar to this, but done in large quantities, probably around 20-40 kg at a time. A batch was made to last for about a year. You never know when this sort of skill will come in handy.

  15. I learned in last grade of school how to make soap out of human fat due to "education" program by polish government. Godamn pricks. Schools full of corportated cunts and this made me abandon education.

  16. This soap is so good! Cuts straight through grimy bike grease and oil. Leave you hands squeaky clean. Doesn't dry your skin out either. Cant get over how well it works!

  17. It's funny how everyone romanticizes the old times now but it was a hard life and there's a reason we progressed to modern times because people were sick of that hard life and wanted to get as far away from it as possible…and now modern people want to go back to it, lol. Humans are never satisfied.

  18. I honestly think that only people who have made soap themselves are going to understand the emotional rollercoaster that last 10'ish minutes of this video represents. From "No way that is going to trace" to "OMG more lye water! YES!" to, "too thin" to "Holy Shit there it is!".

  19. A question I have is how does the chlorine and ammonia in the water affect or change the chemical change when adding the water to the ashes?

  20. How is it possible that the ancients (stumbled) on to this?
    It's specific! It didn't just happen accidentally and someone took note.
    What would cause a person to direct their thoughts towards this as a way to wash dirt and sweat from the human body or from plant-fiber clothing?

    So, I'm thinking it was one of the things "the watchers" taught man how to do.
    You know who they are right?… They were the fathers of the "Nephilim", the hybrids of mankind and the renegade, "Bene Elohim" who came to this dimension as illegal aliens and screwed everything up; causing the most high Parental Force to rid the earth of all traces of them in order to rescue the only pure human specimens left, Noah and his family; (not sure about those daughter's in-law though.)

    Surely they showed man how to do this.
    "The Ebers papyrus (Egypt, 1550 BC) reveals that the ancient Egyptians mixed animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to produce a soap-like substance. The Celts made their soap from animal fat and plant ashes and they named the product saipo, from which the word soap is derived." (

    I'm not trollin' ya; it's "word".

  21. At 4:25. If you aren't sure whether Maskeet (not sure how to spell that) is not quite right, couldn't you do a pH test and if it is basic (alkaline) around 10 – 11 pH it will be fine?

  22. Thank god we have Supermarkets and Walmart’s !!! This process of home made soap 🧼 is not my style because I don’t have the patience !!! 👍👍👍❤️❤️❤️🥰🥰🥰😊😊😊

  23. if you knew what crap they put in everything from food to cleaning material you would all use this old soap recipe

  24. You needed to use less water to soak the ashes in and then should have strained it through a thick filter far more slowly. A nice armful of clean straw is a great thing to use for this slow straining method. I'm in England and have been doing historical re-enactment events for decades. Blessed be the soap makers.

  25. Thanks for this.
    As a brewer I would like to see what the specific gravity of the lye water should be. Instead of floating a potato or egg, use a hydrometer.
    Also, when would the essential oils be added?

  26. My Nana made her own soap over a fire in the backyard. She preferred sheep tallow, said it made for a finer textured soap and smelled better. She would always add salt to 'sweeten' the soap so it wouldn't go off and add sawdust, sometimes fine sand, to some batches to make her ''scouring soap'' which she used to scrub her iron griddle, pots and pans as well as on the men's work clothes as Grandad, and my uncles were builders and often came home with creosote on their hands, clothes and boots.

  27. We made soap like this growing up too. I was allergic to so many things my mom did this as a means of keeping me healthy. It was my job to take the sheep fat and render it. It took a few days to get it nice and white. I don't know what mom used to make it lemon scented, but she boiled lavender for soap too. My aunts (her sisters) loved it when mom made soap as most of us have eczema and this soap didn't irritate it. She also made a lotion using goose grease, I can't remember the recipe for it though and mom is now gone. She was raised by her Native grandmother and I wish I could tell her thank you for giving my mom so much knowledge.

  28. As a note of trivia, the chemistry behind this process means that there's a ratio of fat:lye of 3:1. You're right to keep the temperature down. Again the chemistry behind this states the fat/lye reaction is "exothermic": gives off heat, your pot will be a lot hotter than what it should be from just he gas flame. Also the lard (pork) is nice, but suet (beef) is better for a harder soap. The scale runs down through suet–> lard–> chicken fat–> olive oils –> other vegetable oils–> coconut oil. Any combination of oils works too to give a variation to lather/bubble size to the finished soap. A further note of trivia regarding your concern about the density of the lye water: perhaps take it to the point where the egg is half way out of the water. Simply adding more of what you had for this video will work since you're still driving off the excess water, the POH remains to combine with the fats, which increased your stir time as you saw. Temperature on the hardening of the soap is important: if it cools too fast as it hardens it'll separate–especially if your using olive/vegetable oils. A warm area/slow cool is better. If it insists on separating while hardening, you can stir it up to recombine it. If you want a "soft soap" like today's modern stuff, add a tablespoon of fruit pectin to it before you pour it out of the kettle.

  29. I've heard of this before, but didn't know the details. Doing a lot of barbecuing with hardwoods, I thought about making this or similarly derived products. Thanks for the video.

  30. Pretty cool video I read years ago that all the soaps , shampoos, and toothpastes have ingredients to make them ?”foam” up to appear like they are working harder and without those ingredients the products would work just as well it was all a marketing thing created by mostly television commercials to make them look like they are attacking the dirt and oils our skin naturally has A friend of mine has been making her own soaps for years and I’ve been giving those out to family for Christmas presents for years all the women swear buy it now I know she uses oatmeal and all natural ingredients but not much more about her process

  31. My grandmas both had pigs and we were do full of soap in our house,I can still remeber it's nice and nostalgic scent.

  32. I use stainless steel and enameled pots and wooden spoons. I keep them separate and never use them for anything but soap. After a few times it will eat the wooden spoons. Lol. I don't stir it as fast as you do. If you happen to splash the lye water on you, use vinegar to cut it not water. I will put my soap to bed for 24 hrs. I cover it well so it stays warm longer. When it sets up, we'll cut it into bars. Good video, thanks for sharing!

  33. Very good teacher good narrator a lot of patience thank you
    Isn’t that cool making something to clean out of old dirty ashes.
    I wonder how that came about lol

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