Thursday, July 26, 2012

Homemade Lye for Making Soap

A lot of self sufficient people make soap, both laundry and bar soap.  Homemade laundry soap will save you some bucks every month, but bar soap?  Well, depends on the recipe and ingredients!  Of course, the good thing is that you know exactly what is in your soaps. 

Unless you're using melt and pour for your bar soaps, you have to use lye, which is sodium hydroxide OR potassium hydroxide to make bar soap.  Recipes are different for each product - it's not interchangeable. 
Most soapmakers today buy their lye.  A long time ago they made their lye from wood ash.

"Lye made from wood ash is potassium hydroxide, not sodium hydroxide -- there's 10 times as much potassium as sodium in wood ash."  (Copied from the link below.)

For the brave of heart, here's a couple great links on how to make lye:

http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_ashlye.html

http://www.lifeunplugged.net/everythingelse/make-lye-from-wood-ash.aspx

And this one has the soap recipe to go with it:
http://www.frontierfreedom.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=105


This stuff just appeals to the inner scientist in me.  Bill would just give me 'the look'.

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