Warsh Or Wash?

I suppose it depends on where you live. I hear it both ways within my family- but whichever way you say it, doing it is better with hand-made soap.

Day one of soap making is “Crock Pot Cardio”. This is where I melt the fat away into rendered tallow. A bum-load of raw tallow goes into the crock pot in itty-bitty chunks, I put on a 1980’s Richard Simmons Sweating to the Oldies VSH tape, and the tallow dances itself down to a nice clarified liquid. If you’re unfamiliar with soap making, it’s goes like this: Mix some fat with some water and lye, and presto- you’ve got soap. Obviously, that’s the one sentence version, but the process does all start with fat. The main fat I’m working with on this batch is tallow. Tallow is beef fat, and Mr. Scott snags it from the local butcher. However, since the tallow comes from the butcher with some fibrous membrane, and scraps of muscle and blood, it has to be rendered (melted down) to remove all of those non-desirable bits ’n’ pieces. After a good eight to ten hours in the ol’ crock pot on low, I can strain and cool it until it’s hard. Then I scrape off any residual sediment (and repeat the whole process if there is more than just a bit of sediment), and we’re ready to start soap making! Tallow is very, very good for the skin, making tallow soap kind and gentle. It takes a lot longer to make tallow soap because the tallow has to first be rendered, but it’s sooooo worth it in the end.

Day two is just a matter of gathering all the tools of the soap-making trade: Crock pot, various containers, safety gear, tallow, other fats, water, lye and some essential oil (lavender and palmarosa for this batch, and some lavender buds for decoration).

Chop up the solid fats and melt them down in the crock pot. I used tallow and coconut oil. Add the liquid oil (in this case, sweet almond oil). Mix the lye into the water (not the other way around or you’ll make the evening news- and not in a good way) and pour into the fats. Cook for an hour on low. Test to make sure your lye is used up/neutralized, add the scent and box dat soap!

When it cools, unbox it, cut it up and use it. Now, what I’ve typed here is not a working instructional at all, just a brief walk-through. There is a ton of instructional small print that must be read and followed if you want successful soap. Next up is pure Castile soap. Then I can make laundry soap, shampoo, liquid soap and tons of other chemical free cleaning products. Castile soap has only three ingredients: Olive oil, lye and water. It’s a very old and pure soap recipe.