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Making Soap from wood ashes

Discussion in 'Survival (Preps & Homestead)' started by damoc, Oct 9, 2011.



  1. damoc

    damoc Seeker Seeker

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    made a small batch of soap from wood ashes just to see if i could I am always telling people
    how they can make lye and soap from wood ashes but had not tried it.

    ive made a good deal of soap using exact measurements,recipee and purchased lye before
    but this was something different and i learned a few things.

    I learned that you need lots of ash to make even a small batch of soap

    softwood ashes will work but just not as well as hardwood ashes

    its probably better to have a little to much lye than not enough if your guestimating

    i know the floating egg theory but did not have enough lye in this vid to float an egg lol

    if i was to concentrate the lye solution a little before settling i think i would have had cleaner looking soap

    if you dont have a thermometer its better to just add more water to the mix and evaporate it down untill it saponifies.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
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  2. argentos

    argentos Former Boat Owner Gold Chaser

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    I made some of that stuff when I was a teenager, just for fun. A lot of hard graft for not much nasty-looking soap in my case, but at least I know it works. :biggrin:
     
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  3. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,HUMmmmmmm usefull information BUT a lot of work and effort for very little soap!:yes:

    I have a case or two of bar soap I have had for over 20 years in my preps! :yes::36_1_11:

    I value them even MORE now:hahaha: after watching the clip!:yes::36_3_13:

    the DUCK :2:
     
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  4. damoc

    damoc Seeker Seeker

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    lol yep it was a lot of hard work for not much soap

    but it would have been close to as much work for much greater quantities as well

    just need to save up the wood ashes.

    lol in my preps ive got about 10 cans of lye thats enough soap making material
    for about 10-20 years
     
  5. Thornapple

    Thornapple Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    A couple of links:

    http://www.suite101.com/pages/article_old.cfm/arkansas/77779


    Here's a PDF you can save off or print out for you BOB docs, that was called "May 1997 Soap Making Traditional Methods Lye Rain Water Wood Ash"
    http://journeytoforever.org/bflpics/TraditionalSoapMaking.pdf
     
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  6. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,Seems to me :stupido2: being FUNKEY and DIRTY after TSHTF will be the:hahaha: NEW NORMAL!:yes::yes:

    Having a BATH a LUXURY! :bath::yes:

    The first two years at the DUCK NEST we did with out runing water :yes::ahhhhh: For several years after THAT from Nov. to march/april it was too cold out in the GREEN HOUSE BATH most of the time.:vollkommenauf:

    Most years with the JAN. thaw I could run a hot bath during the day when temp was high enough!:yes::23_30_104: it was a TREAT!:yes:

    Now I can fire up the HOT TUB and PONDER all I want :36_1_11: but I had to build it and hook up a boiler!:yes:

    I gained a lot of RESPECT for the ones who came here in covered wagons and managed to survive and toughed it out with no help! :36_3_13::yes:

    Living like a Mountan Man is realy hard :yes: and FUNKEY too! :yes::haha:

    the DUCK :2:
     
  7. argentos

    argentos Former Boat Owner Gold Chaser

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    How many years do you go between haircuts, Duck? :bear_original:
     
  8. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,argentos,HUMmmmmmmmmm WELlllllllll last time I got a haircut was about 6 or 7 (?) years ago after thet busted me for growing 10 pot plants for:hahaha: madisanal purposes :yes: I figured IF I had to go befor a judge I should clean up my act! :yes::haha:

    For some reason (?) my hair does not grow fast or long -- just bairly touches my sholders and has been getting thiner and less there as I get older.:yes:

    Also went from salt and peper to GRAY and now BLOND don't know why? :stupido2:

    It's just me and the dog and 7 cats and they don't care what I look like as long as I feed them!:yes::36_1_11:

    the DUCK :2:
     
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  9. Unca Walt

    Unca Walt Midas Member Midas Member

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    Damoc,

    Boy lordy! Did you ever bring back memories!

    That's pretty much how we made soap when I was a kid back in the Olden Days (back before air was invented). It was most ricky-tick the kids' job to make the soap.

    HOWEVER! I gots a little help for you:

    1. (you know this already, but I gotta say it) Hardwood ashes only. Wasting yer time with softwood.

    2. Instead of having holes in the bottom of your pot, use a barrel. Drill ONE hole about 2" from the bottom of the right size to be able to close it up with a cork.

    3. Put in yer coupla inches of rock, and the hay. FILL the whole dang barrel with hardwood or fruitwood ash. Add rainwater... until it begins to come out the hole. Then plug the hole. Let it sit a day, and add more ash. (You can see how you were nowhere near having strong enough lye in your excellent demo movie.) At the end of THREE days, you unplug it, and you have really good lye pouring out of the barrel.

    4. We'd never waste an egg. Drop a potato in it. If it floats, yer in!

    5. Just barely melt the fat. Should be able to put your finger in it without discomfort. Pour the lye into the lard. IIRC, it will get warm all by itself (bear with me, this was sixty fargin years ago). Stir constantly -- we had a humongumous wooden spoon with a hole in it to stir with.

    6. Instead of busting yer buns boiling for hours and hours to reduce the liquid, just add some salt to the liquid <-- makes the soap "cake up". Not only that, but the best soap is never heated more that body temp.
    Get that mix in your molds PRONTO!! It will harden in minutes.

    WAY back inna Olden Days, solid soap was the measure of well-to-do folks, since salt was dang hard to come by 'way back in the hills. Po' folks had liquid soap.

    Hope this helps for Attempt Number Two. ;):D:s11:
     
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