Step 3: Background and Recipe


To make soap out of the bacon fat it's useful to understand a little bit about whats going on. To make soap you need just three ingredients - some kind of pure fat, water, and lye. The lye chemically turns the fat into soap through a process called saponification. Thats when the triglyceride molecules in the fat bond with the sodium hydroxide molecules (lye) and form 1 new soap molecule and a glycerin molecule. You can check out James Hershberger's chemical explanation of saponification to learn more.

Having the right amount of lye is important. Too much lye and you will have extra left over in your soap when the chemical process is complete - this will mean your soap will have lye in it when it's done curing and it could burn your skin. Too little lye and your soap will have some actual fat left in it and instead of cleaning you, it will just grease you up. Most soap makers add too much fat to their soaps on purpose (a process called superfatting) because having a little extra fat in soap actually makes it feel quite nice.


The soap recipe I used was taken from Walton Feed's soap making page. I used a modified version of the basic hand soap recipe that had some small changes made to it based on the information on the useful lye to fat ratio table. I modified the original recipe because I wanted to superfat my soap.

I had 32 ounces of pure lard so I started from there. In order to get a desired excess fat of 5 percent in my finished soap the table called for multiplying the amount of fat I was using by 0.132 in order to figure out how much lye I should use. 32 ounces x 0.132 = 4.224 (roughly 4.2 ounces of lye). Most of the recipes I saw for basic soap used approximately 1/2 water as much water as fat in their recipes. Some call for slightly less water and some call for slightly more. I used 2 cups of water to my 4 cups of fat and it worked out well.

The basic bacon soap recipe is:

4 cups of liquid bacon fat
2 cups cool water
4.2 ounces of lye
3/4 container of bacon bits for exfoliant
15 drops of red food dye for bacon colorings

You can use this basic recipe as is or you can modify it in lots of ways - many of which are covered on Walton Feed's general instructions page. You can superfat your soap to whatever percentage of remaining fat you like, you can add in fragrances and you can add in special kinds of fats like coconut oil and olive oil to make the soap produce more bubbles than it does when using just straight lard (fat from pigs) or tallow (fat from cows).

Since I wanted my bacon soap to be as pure as possible, I just stuck with the basic recipe.
<p>Didn't see anyone asking this crucial question so I'll ask... You mention not getting metal anywhere near it because of Lye reacting to it but your hand mixer has a metal blade on it. I have one just like it. Is there a point in the mixing process where introducing metal to the mix is ok?</p>
<p>Stainless steel is actually fine for working with lye... I use stainless steel and certain types of plastics (PP#5). I also use pyrex for mixing sometimes but don't let lye sit in it for long because it will sometimes &quot;etch&quot; the glass.</p>
<p>Excellent, good to know. Thanks for the info.</p>
Just wanted to say that I love your idea and stumbled upon it while I render the tallow from 7 rib eye roast fat caps. I had a bunch after a catering job I did and thought it would be fun to make steak soap!
I just made a batch myself. my first with bacon grease. I use a lye calculator to formulate how much oils, lye and water to use. I don't have the link handy or I'd share. it smelled very bacony while I was making it but the bacon scent has faded. I added a little liquid smoke to it as well. it made beautiful soap. one thing I need to add, when mixing the lye and water, make sure you're in a well ventilated room. those fumes will hurt you as well. after about 10 minutes the fumes will stop and it'll begin to cool down.
<p>I found these directions from 1833 on how to make soap. <br><a href="http://www.epic-soap.com/how-to-make-organic-soap-1833/" rel="nofollow">http://www.epic-soap.com/how-to-make-organic-soap-...</a></p>
I have to say, this made me really really sad... All that wasted bacon...<br><br>may have to try this sometime though! I just don't know when I'll have enough bacon to waste to do it. Would it also work to buy a tub of lard and use that?
It's not wasted!<br>It's a perfectly good excuse to cook and eat enormous amounts of bacon!
<p>I second that, Archive!</p>
@ thecheatscalc -- You don't have to waste bacon when you do it... just save up the grease from a few breakfasts. My grandma had a grease can that she poured grease into. When it is full then you can turn it into soap. I am totally going to try this recipe!
Wasted bacon. Unless somebody washes your mouth out with it?
meh i guess if your gonna wase bacon like that this IS one of the better ways
this is weird. In my country only poor people do this... with extra fat from pigs... and some detergent... but is low quality soap... and too strong for skin... but nice that u like to work
<p>If its so weird why are you here</p>
Not sure if it is a different recipe where you're from. This soap is not necessarily too strong for the skin, we use it in the bath all the time. It is also great for relieving itching due to poison ivy!
You can also put your tongue very near the soap, or on the soap. If it tingles like a 9 volt battery, it needs to cure longer.
<p>Hahahaha thats funny.</p>
<p>Good Job, But , I use my bacon fat in seasoning green beans or making country gravy. I would just use old fashion lard instead.</p>
All your links are still dead.
Bacon soap is wonderful and I use mine in many ways,washing floors,washing walls,washing hands ,making laundry detergent. I collect bacon fat from our town community brunches. <br>
This how I make my soap and it comes out pretty good http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-make-soap.html<a href="http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-make-soap.html" rel="nofollow">http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-make-soap.html</a>
The link listed above is dead, but it's a really great article by a chemical engineer, and it's got lots about safety: http://waltonfeed.com/blog/show/article_id/175
Thank you so much for posting this! The question for me is if the soap had a strong bacon smell to it? I would like to use bacon fat for soap, for utilitarian/allergy purposes but wonder if it has an overt smell that might be masked by a fragrance. I.e. I want to make regular allergen-free soap (except for the fragrance).
My grandparents always used old bacon grease to make their lye soap, and it did not have any real bacon scent after saponification. The scent of this particular soap is most likely all due to the bacon bits. You can also add fragrance oils to plan lye soap to give it a more &quot;soapy&quot; scent. The plain soap is pretty neutral.
I see this is an older thread, so im not sure if your still doing this or not...<br><br>BUT To marble your soap use a toothpick. I think a longer, plastic implement might be better, like a plastic fork with 2 tines removed. Lay down a thin layer of red, then a thin layer of white and have a friend drag the fork though the soap longways. Dont lift the fork out till you get to the end, then left straight out and start again at the beginning. doing this 2-3 times should give you a good effect.
The Walton Feed link broke. Here's an update, for the interested reader:<br> <br> <a href="http://waltonfeed.com/blog/show/article_id/165" rel="nofollow">http://waltonfeed.com/blog/show/article_id/165</a><br>
This was probably said 1,000 times but...<br><br>WHY WAS THERE BACON IN THE SOAP!!!
So you'll taste better? Was that a trick question?
It was quite clearly stated. The &quot;Bacon bits&quot; (Actually artificial and, in fact, vegan) were in the soap to provide flavour and to act as an exfoliating agent.
My favourite part about the fridge picture would have to be the Henckle's knives' block! A good chef is nothing without good knives!
this project is hilarious.<br/>to create more realistically-marbled soap, it might work if you think of painting the white streaks onto both sides of the strip of soap, as opposed to having bacon that's actually marbled in cross-section. kind of like the technique used to paint the mold when making multicoloured chocolates. <br/><br/>maybe you could <strong>streak the mold </strong>with a little bit of white soap drizzled from a spoon. make &quot;fat stripes&quot;, but leave gaps. let it harden a bit. then pour red soap to fill the whole mold with &quot;meat&quot;- the red will show red through the gaps you left when you applied the white streaks. let it harden a bit. lastly, take a bit more white and streak the top side of the bacon with &quot;fat&quot;.<br/><br/>not sure how fast the soap hardens, so this may not be practical- maybe making plain red strips, then unmolding them and painting white on them by hand is the way to go. either way, i think the key lies in making the fat streaks superficially.<br/>
I think laying down two separate layers of fat and meat like your suggesting is a good idea. All my soap hardened at the same time, but staggering the batches a bit so you could lay down first the fat and then the meat would probably result in some great marbling. Superficial painting of the bacon might get a bit complicated since the soap actually wears down pretty quickly and you would lose the marbled effect after the first few uses. I think some combination of the piping system suggestion that crapflinger suggested coupled with a two part marbling process would be what I will try in my next batch of bacon soap. Should there ever be another batch of bacon soap... Thanks!
or ask for another set of hands. couldnt you<br> pour two or three frosting bags at the same time
If you use the fat to make your soap, what are you going to use to fry your eggs the next morning???
Tyler Durden: The salt balance has to be just right, so the best fat for making soap comes from humans. <br>Narrator: Wait. What is this place? <br>Tyler Durden: A liposuction clinic.
I noticed you used ice cube molds for the soap. You can also use candle molds, soap molds, or chocolate molds. Just find the shape you want. Or line a square container, like tupperware, with plastic wrap, pour soap in. After it hardens, remove soap block and cut it into rectangles.
I was thinking you could use some of those antique cast iron or steel muffin pans. Some are made in unusual shapes.
I`m a part time teacher in vocational school in Finland and we made soap in our laboratory. The used oil should be long chained fat. for example risin oil.(not sure for the right translate). we also added salt(NaCl). but when you make soap in home I ques the salt containing in the household water is enough.
The salt or other additives to the local water would vary from one area to another. I recall that there was a distinct aroma of sulfur in the tap water in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
and i just found out that the meaning of adding salt is to help separate the formed glycerin. so it is not necessary.
Finally! I've always wanted to know how to make bacon soap!
Not very Muslim friendly, I suppose...
And definitely traif... Not Kosher.
Only if you plan on eating it.
A bacon fat bomb sounds kind of nasty and anarchistic. I'm glad you decided to go to making soap.

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