Country Living
Country Living, Country Skills
Country People - A Country Living Resource and Community
Message Board
Country Topics
Trading Post
Memory Lane
Country Skills
Country Cooking

The Kitchen

Photo Gallery
Vintage Photos
Special Collections

Country Humor
Country Sounds
Coloring Book
Interactive Story

Farm Tractors
Tractor Parts
Tractor Manuals

Classic Trucks
Antique Tractors
Modern Tractors
Site Map
Links Page
Contact Us

Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Homemade lye water for soap
[Return to Topics]

Julie in AL    Posted 06-16-2003 at 09:39:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Is there anyone here that remembers how to make homemade lye water for soap. I want to start making our soap but just wanted to know if anyone knew how to make the homemade lye that wasn't too strong. Should I just buy storebought lye? Thanks. Any help would be appreciated.

Charlotte Hilliard    Posted 03-09-2009 at 15:40:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I know you run water through ashes like would be left after a fire under an old wash pot or I suppose just any kind of ashes. Put the ashes on a screen and pour your water over them and catch the water in a container under the screen.

I have no idea how strong it would be or how much water to run through your ashes.

Do you have any idea what the rachio of water, lye and lard one would use. We tried making some soap today in my Grandmothers old washpot. The receipt we were using called for tallow. We used lard and all we got was a big mess. I have a receipt from another lady we are going to try. It calls for Lard, but we made the other because it was in an old wash pot.


Charlotte Hilliard

Ray Mays    Posted 11-29-2003 at 16:54:41       [Reply]  [Send Email] is a very comprehensive website I found on making homemade soap that includes a detailed description of making "lye water." Hope this helps.

Burrhead    Posted 06-16-2003 at 16:15:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah I remember most of it. It would be easier and more simple to just buy a can of Mary War lye. That's what Ma Burr uses.

Use only hickory ash.

1. Find a clean plastic barrel or large plastic trash can, take the top off and drill a bunch of 1/8" holes in the bottom of ithe barrel so it will drain water out. You wont need any strainers over the drain holes if you don't make larger than that. If you want a strainer in it you can use a piece of cloth.

2. Put the barrel up on a stand high enough to put a drain pan under it.

3. Fill the barrel with the hickory ashes.

4. Put the drain pan under the barrel and put your ashes in.

5. Start pouring water on the ashes. Keep adding water as the ashes soak it up and water starts dripping thru.

Keep that up til you get the amount of water you want.

You can add glycerin and veggie oil to make it soap.

If you want it like the old timers made it just mix the lye water with real hawg lard and a little lime dust throwed in for texture.

Whatever you make it with just remember the brew will need to be put in molds and dried out to form bar soap.

glenshoe    Posted 06-16-2003 at 12:01:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm pretty sure that originally, they poured water through hardwood ashes filtered with straw. They used a trough like a pig trough open on one end slightly lower than the closed end. They put down a bed of straw and then put ashes on top. Slowly pouring water on the ashes yielded a crude form of lye. I don't remember how they concentrated it (possibly boiling?). I think I saw a section in one of the Foxfire books on this but don't have them handy. HTH. Glenshoe.

Clod    Posted 06-16-2003 at 12:14:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Glenshoe..I think you have that rright up there..I think also there as a big black washpot kettle involved which had a wood fire under it.That was long ago when my granny made the lye soap.I hardly remember it.

bill b va    Posted 06-16-2003 at 15:23:22       [Reply]  [No Email]

did your granny ever wash your mouth out with it

Clod    Posted 06-16-2003 at 09:49:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
I remember of that but dont know the process myself.Some here will know..But if you are going to dunk the kids in it,You might better look at this site first.

Clipper....Hey Julie....    Posted 06-16-2003 at 09:47:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Did you check Country Skills at this site?

Julie in AL    Posted 06-16-2003 at 10:12:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks Clod and Clipper I will try that. Wow yall are sure fast!

[Return to Topics]

[Home] [Search]

Copyright © 1999-2013
All Rights Reserved
A Country Living Resource and Community