Homemade Hard Soap by Pam
Homemade Hard Soap
Hard Soap (Castile) – Only 3 Ingredients
Olive Oil, Water & Lye
Cured 1 Year (for hardness)
Just like Nanna would have made way back then!
Recreated from researching recipes found in old newspaper clippings, magazines and handwritten recipes found tucked away in old recipe books.
Most times I make and use the soaps myself. This little gift box of soaps is for a silent auction this weekend at an event I’ll be attending. I’ve also dabbled some with other types of soaps. Soaps made from lye are not like the soaps bought in stores. Since these contain lye they have been curing for quite a while. The longer they cure the better they are when used! Have you ever bought soaps that seemed “wet” or “soft”? Those are very young soaps that still contain a lot of water and haven’t quite cured yet. Cured soaps will last longer and not “melt” in the shower. I’m not sure when I’ll make my next batch of soaps but as soon as summer is here watch out! (For safety reasons I make the soaps outside so that the lye fumes don’t accidentally overwhelm!) Who knows, maybe I’ll find a large kettle and start making soap out in the yard over a fire!
I love to research old cookbooks even though I rarely cook during the week. On weekends I may try my hand at recreating old recipes just to see what our ancestors may have been eating. It’s fun to experiment, but sometimes things don’t go as planned, or the actual measurements have to be guessed. It’s kind of like my recipe for cornbread, which isn’t written down, but I know what to add to the mixture each time. This recipe for pudding came out great! I look forward to giving it another try and maybe cooking it in a dutch oven by an outdoor fire.
Sometimes I come across recipes that peek my interest. I’ve been fascinated with the home life of people who lived in our area back in the 1800’s. From their clothing, to the homes, transportation, health remedies, train schedules and their cooking habits. Last week while doing some research I came across a hard soap recipe from June 11, 1881. It’s hard to imagine making soap instead of just going to the store and picking up a few bars of the many brands available. I remember hearing stories from my mom about her grandmother making soap and the grand children helping. Usually the soap would be made outdoors after rendering lard from pork skins. After rendering the lard the pork skins and cracklings would be removed from the lard. The lard was then strained and the soap making would begin.
Hard soap recipe found in the Jacksonville Republican Newspaper (Alabama) from June 1881
Since this recipe contains a few products that I’m still unsure of where to buy, I decided to try an alternative recipe that uses only three ingredients: lard, water and lye.
*As with any recipe that uses lye, extreme caution is advised! Directions should be followed exactly! Order of adding ingredients matter.