|The housekeeper who endeavors to waste no food may find that she
has saved some fat which is not suitable for food. Such fat can be
utilized in soap-making. By using "modern lye" soap-making is not
the laborious task as was the preparation of soft soap in colonial
The fat for soap-making need not necessarily be decolorized. It
should, however, be tried out (if it is meat fat) and clarified
before using in the preparation of soap.
Soap made at home differs somewhat from that made at a factory. When
fat and lye are combined chemically, soap and glycerin are formed. A
commercial soap-maker extracts the glycerin from soap, the
housekeeper does not.
Homemade soap, however, usually proves very satisfactory. When the
time consumed in making it is not needed for other duties or
obligations, it is a saving to make soap at home.
1 can Babbit's lye
1 quart cold water
6 pounds clarified fat
2 tablespoonfuls ammonia
Turn the lye into a granite kettle, slowly add the cold water,
stirring with a stick or a wooden spoon. Work most carefully to
avoid getting the lye or the lye solution on the hands. When the
water is added to the lye, the mixture becomes very hot. Let it
stand until it is cool.
Put the fat into a large kettle or dish pan. Heat it until it melts.
Then remove it from the fire. Let it cool sufficiently to bear the
hands in it. Slowly add the lye solution, stirring constantly. Add
the ammonia and continue stirring until the mixture becomes about
the consistency of thick cream. Then turn the soap into a wooden box
lined with paper or into a granite dripping pan. When the soap
becomes firm, cut into pieces of suitable size.
The materials above will make about 8 1/2 pounds of soap.
If desired one small cake of soap may be prepared.
The following recipe may be used:
1 teaspoonful lye
4 teaspoonfuls cold water
2 tablespoonfuls fat
1/8 teaspoonful ammonia
Proceed as directed for the large quantity. Pour the mixture into
one cup of a granite muffin pan or into a small pasteboard box.