Introduction: Homemade Soap From Bacon

Picture of Homemade Soap From Bacon

I've been saving bacon grease in glass jars for as long as I've been cooking bacon. can't pour it down the drain, we have a septic system, and it just doesn't seem right to throw it in the trash. I figured one day it could be used as biodiesel, but I don't own a diesel. when I found the King of Random's instructable:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Fight-Club-Soap-Bacon-Drain-Cleaner-Soap

I knew I had found the purpose for my stockpile.
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Step 1: Materials

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Not much required to get started. For my first attempt all I needed was some 100% lye, which I sourced from some Roebic brand drain cleaner from the hardware store, some distilled water and of course a jar of bacon grease. A kitchen scale is a must and a heat source, I used a portable electric stove to keep out of the kitchen.

Step 2: Prep Work

Picture of Prep Work

To keep things simple for my first run, I wanted to use the same amounts as in the 'able I was referencing.
70 grams bacon lard
26 grams distilled water
9 grams 100% lye

I added bacon fat from the jar to a container on the scale until I had 70 grams worth. Then I heated on low heat to melt the fat and mixed with water to clean any impurities from the fat. You can see from the photo how the layer of fat floats on top of the water. This is now ready to spend the night in the fridge.

Step 3: Mix It Up

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Your layer of lard should have firmed up overnight. scoop up the lard and put on low heat. while the lard is melting weight out the water and lye. Be sure you read the warning label on the lye, which is extremely hazardous.
Mix the water and lye until clear and then add to the melted lard.

I followed the 5 minute stir initially followed by, 5 minute stand, 2 minute stir pattern for approximately 35 minutes. At this point the mixture was thicker, but runny enough to glob off my stirring tool, so I figured it was good enough to pour into my mold.

Step 4: Starting to Look Like Soap

Picture of Starting to Look Like Soap

I used a small dish that came with some bubble blowers as my mold. Its made of thin plastic so I let my mix cool a bit before pouring into my make shift mold. To cure I used a shop light, so I didn't have to hijack the oven. This seemed to work fine. After 24 hours, the tongue test definitely felt like a 9 volt jolt. After a couple weeks, it taste like soap.

Step 5: Wash Up

Picture of Wash Up

The soap works great. It lathers up well and seems to be holding up like the store bought variety.
With my confidence up, its time to go full scale. Using the ingredient calculator at:
http://www.soapcalc.net/calc/soapcalcwp.asp
I can weigh out all the bacon grease on hand and calculate the water and lye required for a bigger batch. Its time to get serious, move outside to a bigger heat source and use up decades worth of bacon grease. Wish me luck.

Comments

ThomasP5 (author)2015-01-10

If you are interested in making soap you should checkout http://epic-soap.com/

Woodlander (author)2014-12-02

hasn't the stored fat gone rancid?

DivideWorks (author)Woodlander2014-12-02

Good question. The test bar I made was from a recently filled jar. I haven't gotten to the big batch yet, but the stored jars look the same.
The following link suggest that the rendered fat will store fine for years as long as there is no moisture, although I cant say I was as meticulous. The article states even rancid fat can make good soap? Now you've got me wondering. http://www.preparednesspro.com/rendering-and-preserving-lard

sandystarr28 (author)2014-10-06

what does it smell like? does it smell like bacon or just soap? my mom's lye soap was a bit harsh on the skin but I'm not sure if she used bacon grease or something else. I know she didn't use store bought lye. ..she started with water that was leaches from ashes. I am glad that you put up this 'ible. not many people know how to make soap anymore

DivideWorks (author)sandystarr282014-10-07

smells like soap. the bacon smell is mostly gone by the time you skim the lard off the top and completely gone after mixing. I added 7 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to give it a fresh scent. The amount of lye is dependent on the amount and type of fat used. too much lye and it won't all react with the fat making the soap harsh. If unsure, error on the side of too much fat.

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