Step 2: Gather the Other Materials
1. Rendered fat - about 1 liter of it if you want to make about two dozen small bars/shapes of soap
2. Bacon Molds - I used candy molds of bacon and eggs, I couldn't find molds of just bacon. The molds I used were ok - not great, but certainly recognizable as bacon. Ultimately it would be nice to cast some high quality molds of a couple of good looking bacon slices to use for projects. I bought the molds from an ebay seller who sells lots of plastic candy molds (search for "bacon" in the search bar and you'll find them).
3. Household Lye - which is sodium hydroxide and the main ingredient in drain cleaner. It's what turns the fat into soap. This is done through a process called saponification, I'll explain more about this process later. You basically just want 100% pure lye - no additives, no Draino stuff, just good old fashioned lye. Lye used to be used for all kinds of things but it's getting harder to find these days as hardware stores become more reluctant to selling it. I got mine an old time hardware store, but if yours doesn't have it you can order lye online from any soap making supply company. Check out the wikipedia article for some background info on this magical powder.
4. Non-metallic bowls and utensils - you don't want to bring the lye into contact with metals, so find a plastic or glass mixing bowl to do your soap mixing in and some wooden or plastic spoons to stir it with.
5. Measuring cup - you need this to measure how much fat and water you have so you can mix in the correct amount of lye.
6. Bacon Bits - these bacon bits were bought at the supermarket and are ironically vegan. No bacon here, but they do have some nice bacon aroma which I thought would flavor the soap nicely and act as an exfoliant on skin.
7. Safety goggles and gloves - the lye can cause some pretty nasty chemical burns if you get it on your skin, so handle it with care and wear the appropriate coverings. It's not super volatile, you just don't want to touch it. If you do happen to get some on you, you can neutralize the chemical burn with an acid - like vinegar. I learned this from fight club - but it's actually true.
8. Dye or food coloring - I used just regular red and yellow food coloring to dye my soap in order to make a more realistic slice of bacon. Substitute any food safe dye here to get the colors that you want.
9. Saran Wrap - you will need some to cover the soap as it cures.
10. Scale to measure the lye (not pictured here) - you will need some kind of accurate way to measure the lye. I did weighed my lye using a digital scale, but volumetric conversions can work if you want to use measuring spoons to get around this.
11. Power mixer (not pictured here) - this really helped speed up the mixing process and I would recommend it it if your soap mixture isn't thickening as your mix it.
Once you have assembled these items your ready to get started on thinking about your recipe.