Friday, November 26, 2010


I have made some yogurt that was edible, some that was not so good, and some cheese that is SALTY.

Now I have found a recipe for making our own soap. Is this a good idea? It sounds so simple, does it actually work?

It uses caustic soda, water, animal fat and olive oil, and says just mix and leave to dry. I could do that.... I think.


  1. caustic soda??!! must be in miniscule quantities!

  2. That's a cruel lye. <grin>

    Actually Melissa, you need a fair amount of alkali to break down the triglycerides (in the process known as saponification). Sodium hydroxide is convenient these days; potash (potassium hydroxide) used to be used (and in fact gives a much softer soap).

    Just remember Barbs that your body and that of your furkids are also made up of those same fatty acids, so take all due precaution (I had an acquaintance who survived an industrial accident with hot sodium hydroxide - it literally converted his arm to soap).

    So make sure you are wearing arm and body protection as well as good gloves and eye protection, carefully add the lye/water mixture to the fat (and not the other way around), and have plenty of strong vinegar on hand to immediately wash down any problems you might have.

    And remember it takes 3 to 5 days for the soap to set, but needs 6 weeks or so for it to cure properly (and finish the saponification process). Until then it is likely to still be caustic (as it will be if you use too much lye).

  3. Thanks, I will proceed with due caution.

    First I need a big bowl to do it in, and the garage sale did not offer one, so we just have to wait for the next.

  4. Barbs, my sister in Adelaide is making her own soap. Shall I get some recipes?

  5. I would love any recipe that she is willing to share! It is so much easier to go with something that I know will work, rather than a basic recipe off a site. Thank you so much! I really appreciate the offer