How to Make Old Fashioned Homemade Soap (Part 2 of 3), by Grandpappy

How to Make Special Types of Soap using Grandpappy’s Homemade Soap Recipe:

All-Purpose Soap and Bath Soap:
Use 50% beef tallow and 50% pork lard in Grandpappy’s Homemade Soap Recipe.

Facial Soap:
Use 25% beef tallow and 75% pork lard in Grandpappy’s Homemade Soap Recipe to make a soft facial soap.

Laundry Soap:
Use 100% beef tallow in Grandpappy’s Homemade Soap Recipe.

Soap Flakes:
To make soap flakes, rub a bar of hard soap made from 100% beef tallow (or any other hard fat) over a vegetable or cheese grater (shredder).

Soap Powder:
To make soap powder, dry the above soap flakes for 10 to 12 minutes in a 160¬?F oven and then pulverize the dry soap flakes.
Liquid Dish Soap or Laundry Soap or Hair Shampoo:
Add one-pound of soap flakes to one-gallon of boiling rainwater and boil for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir frequently. Then turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Pour the liquid soap mixture into a storage container with a lid. The lid will prevent the mixture from drying out. This liquid soap mixture dissolves very quickly in hot water and it makes dish washing and clothes washing much easier. This procedure will also make a good hair shampoo if the original bar of soap was an all-purpose soap that contained an average amount of lye.
Saddle Leather Soap:
Old fashioned “saddle leather soap” is made by using five-parts beef (or bear) tallow and one-part pork lard in Grandpappy’s Homemade Soap Recipe.
Floating Soap:
Either of the following two methods will yield a bar of soap that floats on top of water:
Method 1: Just before Step Four, fold the soap mixture over onto itself several times and stir really well each time in order to add lots of air bubbles into the soap mixture. Then immediately pour the soap mixture into the soap molds.
Method 2: After all the grease and lye has been added in Step One, and the original mixture has been stirred for at least 15 minutes, then add one-teaspoon of ordinary baking soda to the soap mixture and stir really well.
Soap that Lathers and Makes Soap Bubbles:
At the very beginning of Step One, replace one-fourth of the grease with either olive oil or coconut oil. (Note: In my opinion, olive oil and coconut oil both have better uses than making soap bubbles.)
Other Soap Additives:
Kerosene (“coal oil”), ammonia, vinegar, Borax, sugar, milk, honey, and several other chemicals that are occasionally recommended as soap recipe additives provide minimal or no benefit, and may even have a minor negative impact. My suggestion is to not use any of them. However, if you wish to experiment with additives such as oatmeal or salt or Vitamin E, then I suggest you do so with a small batch of soap, and then verify for yourself that the advertised benefits actually materialize in the soap that you make, and that they don’t introduce other problems into the soap making process.

Volume or Weight:
Grandpappy’s Homemade Soap Recipe is based on volume (cups). As of August 2007, most other good soap making recipes are based on weight because of the variation in the weight to volume ratio of the different types of animal fats and vegetable oils that can be used to make soap. These other recipes are based on a very precise concentration of lye water made from commercial lye crystals. If you are working with two variables, and you can hold one variable constant, then it is not too difficult to predict the amount of the second variable that needs to be used. However, commercial lye crystals are no longer available, so it is not possible to easily control the lye variable as a constant in the soap recipe. For this reason I decided to use the easier method of measuring volumes (cups) of lye and grease instead of the more precise scientific method of using weights. When you are working with brown lye water made from campfire ashes, your lye water will be whatever strength it happens to be on the day you make it. If you use Grandpappy’s Homemade Soap Recipe then you will be very close to the correct ratio of water, lye, and grease that is required to make good soap. However, since there will be variations in the strength of your brown lye water, and variations in the type of animal fat you use, you may need to make minor adjustments towards the end of Step One depending on what you actually see in your soap making pot at that time. These minor adjustments are discussed as Problem One and Problem Two at the end of Step One in the recipe.

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