MAKING LYE SOAP THE ARKANSAS WAY
Preparing raw animal fat: Chop into cubes and cover with an equal volume of water. Boil it until it melts. If you find many small particles that will not melt, remove them with a strainer and discard. Cool and skim fat from the top or allow the fat to solidify and remove.
Preparing rancid fat: Boil rancid fat in a solution of one part vinegar to five parts water. Cool and skim off the fat or allow it to solidify and remove. Re-melt fat and add one quart of cold water per gallon of hot fat. Stir, cool and skim off the fat.
Preparing meat drippings: Bring to a boil equal parts of drippings and water. Remove from the heat and cool. Add one quart of cold water per gallon of hot fat. Skim fat off top, allow to solidify and remove. Salt and other impurities sink to the bottom of the pan.
Along the way, someone perfected a "cold method" of making lye soap. This is the recipe:
Mix 2 1/2 pints water and 1 can lye.
Stir until lye is thoroughly dissolved.
Add this mixture to:
6 pounds of bacon drippings which have been strained and melted.
If desired, add perfume or 1/2 cup borax to sweeten.
Stir together for about 20 minutes. When mixture begins to thicken like gravy, let it stand for a few minutes. Pour into a flat shallow enameled pan to harden overnight. Score and cut into bars.
I've made lye soap before and it takes practice to perfect the method. I caution you, if you intend to try and make this soap, use protection against the lye. It is toxic and can burn.