We recently hosted a soapmaking class at our temporary residence in Denver. Our friend Arthur from the Denver Urban Homesteading Group shows us how to make soap using lye, lard and coconut oil with some essential oil scents and turmeric spice for color.
WARNING: Arthur has been doing this for many years. He was nervous about being on camera and in front of a small “class” so forgot to put on eye protection and gloves. Please ALWAYS wear eye protection and gloves. Lye is very caustic and can burn your skin or cause blindness if it gets into your eyes. Humans have been working with lye made from ashes and mixed with animal fat for hundreds or thousands of years, but I’m sure more than a few of them were injured in the process. Let’s use modern tools like safety glasses and rubber gloves to our advantage.
Making soap with lye and lard turned out to be a heck of a lot easier than I thought it would be. It was certainly easier than my cheesemaking adventures, and I quickly decided to try my own batch of soap (seen in this video on my other site). But I have to admit we had the benefit of store-bought lye, store-bought lard, electric scales, an electric mixer…
If I had to make my own lye by dripping water through wood ashes, collect my own lard from butchering animals, saving bacon grease and rendering the fat… I suppose it wouldn’t seem so easy.
Making Homemade Soap with Lye and Lard: