Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

There's No Lye and That's No Lie!

Attempting to live a more organic and natural life style, I have been researching how to make our own soap. The process doesn't look too difficult and I've already got my tallow made for the pioneer recipe of soap I was going to try making first. I got really motivated to get going on this after reading the book "What's In This Stuff?" and seeing all of the chemical effects that may be tied to using conventional cleaners and preservative laden foods. (More on the book during a different post.)

My tallow was actually finished before Christmas and looks to be quite satisfactory, but I've never done this before so I can't be completely sure. It was made from strained meat fats which I have saved after cooking turkey, hamburger, bacon, chicken,... Any meat really. I saved those fats in a covered bucket in the fridge until it was ready to be made into tallow. The fats were chopped up into small pieces and boiled together with water and it now sits in the fridge waiting to be made into soap.

Attempting to keep the costs of the project down, I was going to make my own lye. All that's needed to make lye are wood ashes and water. How do I know? We had an incident at church a few years ago and a fun song was written to rib our pastor and elders about it after the fact. (I'll tell you that story at a later date.)

I live in the woods, so I have plenty of wood laying around to burn. Since we live mostly among pine trees there are many pine branches that we have gathered over that last couple of years. I am assuming that may be why the lye didn't turn out. After doing some research I found out that soft wood such as pine should NOT be used to make lye. I wish I had known that before I wasted my time.

After my attempt to make my own lye failed miserably, I decided that I would just buy some from a store to get my project on track.

I went to town planning to buy some lye. First I looked at hubby's regional large retail store. No luck. I trudged back to the van through the slushy melting snow in the parking lot thinking I'd find some on my next stop for sure. My next stop was a large national chain store in town. There was none to be found there either. I checked the craft department, cleaning supplies, and plumbing. My third stop was a locally owned hardware store who also didn't carry it. Off I went to check the organic store that I know of in town. I was sure I'd find it this time. Wonderful scents assailed my nostrils as I wandered around the store. Nope, none there. Grrr! I also checked the local grocery store in town. It was suggested by one of the many people I asked that I try a feed store in town, but I didn't bother. I may make a phone call later. I was too annoyed to continue my search.

All I want to do is make some stinking soap for Pete's sake! It's not like that activity is illegal or anything. All those stupid meth manufacturers have made people afraid to even sell things that can be used to make meth. That really throws a monkey wrench into the ability of the rest of us to be able to get our hands on lye that is not mixed into a drain cleaner. Somehow I don't think it would be advisable to use drain cleaner in an organic soap....

I was filled in on how to make meth by several experts when I sat on a jury once (yet another thing I'll share sometime), but I just don't understand why someone would want to make something like that. It could really ruin a person's life in more ways than one. (Crafter's lives too though I'm sure that kind of thing isn't taken into consideration when those decisions were made.)

After all of my attempts to hunt down lye failed, I tried to console myself with some shopping at Goodwill. Apparently everyone else had the same idea. I didn't find anything to buy today, though there was an interesting looking organic cookbook for 49 cents.

Back to the drawing board. I'll get that soap made yet! Maybe I'll see if I can scrounge some hard wood ash from someone who has a wood burning stove or fireplace. I suppose I'll have to ask around. Failing that I guess I could try to check the craft stores in Wausau next time I head down that way. SIGH!

Thank you for stopping by. Please leave me a message. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Cindy
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