Making Homemade Lye Soap - Ingredients and Directions
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Here are some homemade lye soap recipes that you can try.
Remember, when working with lye, you want to take every safety precaution necessary to prevent injury or illness. Lye is a very harsh chemical, so you should never ingest it and if it comes into contact with the skin, you should rinse it off immediately using vinegar.
When working with lye, make sure you have a pair of heavy rubber gloves that are chemical resistant to cover your hands and forearms, a chemical resistant rubber safety apron, and safety goggles, and make sure you work in a well ventilated area. You will also want to wear a safety mask to keep from breathing the fumes. Never let children or pets near the lye and never leave it uncovered or unattended when in use. If you do spill lye, clean it up immediately because pure lye can be corrosive.
Start with a clean working surface and gather your materials and supplies (including your safety equipment and vinegar to clean off any lye spills). For this homemade lye soap recipe, you will need the following ingredients: 12 ounces lye crystals, 21 ounces water (ice cold, distilled), and 5 pounds vegetable shortening or lard.
Prepare your soap mold by lining a cardboard box, plastic container or other container with wax paper. Put your water in a large mixing bowl and slowly add the lye, stirring constantly until well blended (all the lye has melted). Cover the bowl and let the mixture cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large pan, melt your vegetable shortening or lard completely then remove from heat and let cool to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. At 95 degrees F, start stirring the oil. Slowly add the lye mixture to the melted shortening, stirring constantly, until completed mixed. When all the lye has been added, your mixture should be the same consistency as a thick pudding.
Pour the soap into your mold and cover for a couple of hours. Take a sharp knife and cut your soap into bars, making sure you don't cut through your plastic lining. For the first 48 hours, you should not handle the soap without the aid of chemical resistant gloves. Let your bars remain in the mold for at least another week to ensure it sets completely. Store your homemade lye soap bars for one month before using.
Another great homemade lye soap recipe uses the following ingredients: one can of red devil lye, 5 pounds lard, and 21 1/2 ounces of softened, cold water (you can start with the water partially frozen).
Using the same safety equipment mentioned above, slowly add your red devil lye to the water until all the lye is dissolved. Cover and let cool to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt lard completely and let cool to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
When lard is cooled, slowly add lye mixture, stirring until the soap is a pudding consistency. Pour into your prepared mold and let set for a couple of hours. Cut into bars as described above and then let the bars set completely. Store the homemade lye soap for at least one month before using.
With the proper equipment and precautions, you can enjoy preparing your own homemade lye soap with ingredients that can be found at your local grocery store. Have fun and stay safe!
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