Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lard Soap. Recipe.


The recipe that I used for the soap I made came from a Readers Digest book titled Back To Basics. A Practical Guide To Old-Fashioned Self Sufficiency.

The recipe was simply called *the single cake method* and used 3 ingredients:
125ml of cold water. 
2 tablespoons of caustic soda.
250ml of melted beef fat or vegetable oil.

Slowly add the caustic soda to the water. Bring the caustic mix and the oil/fat to body temp and mix together in a glass bowl until the consistency of sour cream.  Pour into mold and age as normal.  Or words to that effect! 

It said not to use hard water.  Said that New Zealand Tblspoons are heaped.

I melted my lard in a glass jar in the microwave.  You need to watch this as it did melt and get hot quicker than I thought it would.  I mixed the CS and water in an old Powerade container and mixed both lots in a sm honey bucket that I had. When the containers holding the caustic soda and water mix and the melted lard felt slightly warm I added them together.   Nothing fancy but could have been done better and I will use a different stirrer next time.  The grapeving stick wasn't the greatest idea.   If I decide to make a big lot I will probably see about getting a thermometer that will be used just for the CS.  I have one that I could use for the fat but didn't use it this time.

There is a lot of scarey stories about the dangers of soapmaking.  The Caustic Soda can burn but as with anything using common sense will stop a lot of accidents.  To make soap you need Caustic Soda, there is no getting away from that.  Read your recipes, have everything you need ready, wear comfortable safety gear, take care but enjoy the challenge of doing something not everybody does.

This recipe made me 4 cakes of soap.
The mold I used was 9 inches by 3and a half inches
The soap is just over a 1/2 inch thick.

I bought my Caustic Soda from our local rural store.  2 kilo for $20.  They had 500gm containers for around $7.  Our hardware store didn't have any when I asked but did get some 500gm lots in afterwards and they were cheaper .  Our IGA used to sell CS but doesn't anymore.  It seems to be harder to get now though so I will get another bottle to put away.  Ready to make soap for when all the zombies come!


  1. You want your zombies clean? Or, are you going to throw soap at them? just kidding.

    How much would you say all this cost? Can you break down the cost to make a batch or bar? I assume you have caustic soda left over.

    If I am not mistaken, I have the Back to Basics book on my bookshelf.

  2. Hi Linda. Page 338 in my book.

    My lard was free and I used 2 Tbs CS from a $20 - 2 kilo pack. I have heaps left over! But no idea how much 1 Tbs cost.

    Soap is pretty cheap to buy but I wasn't doing it as a cost thing but as a fun new thing to try so have no idea how much a *proper* batch would cost out.

    And I'm sure nobody wants Zombies that are smelly attacking them!


  3. I'm very impressed with your soap making Barb...I read your last post about rendering the pork fat down...we don't use soap in our house haven't for years now...We use Enviro care its expensive but we are very happy with it...The caustic soda has always put me off making/using soap...I personally wouldn't want it on my skin...Sherrie from Simpleliving :)
    P.S Who are the zombies are they the family lol:)

  4. Nice small batch of soap. Thanks for sharing

  5. I made your recipe using lard [ pig fat] I was confused with the name "Lard soap" using beef dripping. I had rendered down some pork rinds, so decided to try the lard. It was a bit soft to start but after 3 weeks it has hardened up well. It has a nice lather, and makes a nice amount.Thanks again.

  6. I just had a try with pig lard, waiting for it to hard out. Pretty easy actually!

  7. Oh right, do I get rid of the layer of water on top or does it have to stay on till it hardens out?