How to make gentle hand or face soap:
- 9 Lb - Tallow
- 12 oz. - Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
- 3 cups - Water (preferably deionized)
- 2 Cups - Lemon Juice
- 0.25 oz. - Fragrance
- Wooden Spoon
- Ventilated work area
- Molds/glass baking dishes
- Adult supervision is required! Wear protective eaquipment, ie. gloves, and safety glasses. Cover exposed skinto avoid accidental exposure to the lye. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN!
- If you get lye on your skin, immediately wash it with lots of cold water. Read and understand the Material Safety Data Sheet before using.
- Cooking oils are sensitive to air and light, and soap made from cooking oils will spoil in a few weeks unless it is refrigerated.
- Volatile fragrance oils or even dried herbs or spices may be added to the soap to scent it. Fragrance is optional.
- If you are using a pure fat, such as coconut oil or olive oil, you can skip to step 5. Coconut oil yeilds a soft, quick lathering soap. Olive oil and other vegtable cooking oils yield a soft soap that never hardens.
- Render the tallow by cutting it into chuncks, placing it into the large pot, covering it, and heating on medium heat until it is melted. Stir occassionally.
- Cool the fat to below the boiling point of water. Add a volume of water equal to that of fat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let it sit overnight.
- Remove the fat from the pot. Discard non-fat gunk (scrape it off of the bottom of the fat) and any liquid.
- Measure 2.75 kg (6.05 Lbs) rendered fat. Cut the fat into tennis ball size chunks and place the pieces into a large bowl.
- Set up all of your materials. Ventilate the area (or work outside), put on safety equipment, and open all containers.
- Pour the water into a large glass or ceramic bowl (not metal). Carefully pour the lye (sodium hydroxide) into the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon.
- The reaction between water and lye gives off an exothermic heat and vapors that you should avoid breathing. The spoon will be somewhat degraded by the lye.
- Once the lye is dissolved by the water, start adding the chuncks of fat a bit at a time. Keep stirring until the fat is melted. If necessary, add heat (put on a lower burner ventilation).
- Stir in the lemon juice and fragrance oil (optional). Once the soap is well-mixed, pour it into molds. If you use glass baking dishes for molds, you can cut the bars after it has become fimer (not hard).
- The soap will harden in approximately an hour.
- You may wrap the finished soap in clean cotton rags. It can be stored for 3 - 6 months in a cool, well ventillated location.
- Wear gloves when washing your equipment, as their may be some unreacted lye remaining. Wash in very hot water to help melt away the residue.