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Lard Makes Gentle, Moisturizing Soap

Lard and lye. That's what people used to make soap out of.

If you thought you had to throw out those bacon drippings, STOP!!

For one thing, if the bacon was from a pasture raised pig, it's super nutritious and you should save it for cooking. It's high in fat soluble vitamins and it's anti-inflammatory.

But cooking is not the only thing you can do with lard. If you have been wanting to cut out chemicals from your family's routine, this is the perfect opportunity.

Make soap with it.

Home made soap has zero chemicals. It retains its glycerin and it is naturally moisturizing. You can add special ingredients for therapeutic effects such as essential oils, herbs, or clay.

Instead of causing problems, home made soap heals problems. That is said with 5 years of a thriving soap business and thousands of happy customers under my belt.

There are lots of exotic oils you could make soap out of, but being exotic does not make them better. Lard soap is very gentle, and at the same time very powerful. It makes a hard, long lasting bar.

Here is a simple recipe for a 2.5 pound batch.

Milk & Lard Soap:

30 oz lard

3.9 oz lye (NaOH)

10 oz milk frozen in an ice cube tray

1 oz essential oil of your choice (optional)

The process of making soap is not complicated, but because lye is caustic, it must be done cautiously. If you want to learn how to make soap from someone who has 13 years of experience, sign up for my farmstead soap making class. There are also lots of good resources online.

  • Have a 2.5 pound soap mold ready.

  • Heat the lard till it's about 100F in a 3 quart pot.

  • Measure your essential oil and have it ready.

  • Put the frozen milk in a 2 quart stainless steel bowl. Sprinkle with an ounce of water.

  • Please do not allow small kids in the room while handling the lye, and make sure that older kids know that it is dangerous and to not goof around. Put on safety glasses and dish washing gloves (to keep you safe from accidental lye splashes). Measure the lye into a wide mouth jar or cup. Begin sprinkling the lye on the frozen milk, just a little at a time, and stir between sprinkles with a stainless steel slotted spoon. Do not inhale lye dust or the fumes. You will notice that the milk begins to melt as it reacts with the lye. Continue to sprinkle and stir until all of the lye has been added. The milk should be pretty much melted around the time that the lye is used up.

  • If you get lye on your skin, you will notice that it will feel irritated and, if you don't wash it off, begin to burn. Simply wash with lots of water, then apply some vinegar. The acid of vinegar counteracts the alkalinity of lye. Make sure you don't get lye in your eyes.

  • Now pour the lye/milk into the melted lard and scrape the bowl with a silicone spatula to get it all. Using an immersion blender, blend it in 10 second bursts (this way you will not overheat the blender by using it continuously). Make sure that the blender does not rise above the surface of the soap mixture while it's running, or it could spray raw soap everywhere!

  • Blend for about 10 minutes. Be patient. You will know it's ready when it begins to thicken slightly and look like warm pudding. It's ready when you dribble it from the end of the blender and you see "traces" of the dribbles linger on the surface of the mixture. This is call coming to trace. Once it is definitely tracing, add the essential oil and blend thoroughly.

  • Pour the soap mixture into your mold, and scrape with the spatula to get it all.

  • Now set it in a safe place on a towel and let it sit overnight. The towel is in case it leaks, but that won't happen if you did everything correctly. It will heat up as the lye reacts with the lard in the mold. This is called gel phase.

  • The next morning, turn out the hardened soap loaf onto a cutting board and cut it up with a long, straight knife. This size vatch will make 8 to 10 bars. Don't be alarmed by the smell! That's the smell of uncured soap. That smell will go away soon and it will smell fresh and sweet, like the essential oil you added.

  • The hardest part is waiting for it to cure before you use it. Wait at least a week. This will ensure that there is no longer active lye. I won't sell soap that is less than 4 weeks old, because soap gets better and harder as it ages.

Once you have experienced how healthy and clean your skin feels from using home made soap, you will never go back to the chemical stuff!!

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