Re: [gardeners] soap

Martha Brown (
Tue, 9 Mar 1999 10:55:25 -0600

Not  Penny---

but I remember my mother and grandmother making lye soap many times when I
was young (40 years ago).  It was the only soap we used for many years.

Water is poured through the wood ashes  to create the lye which is then
mixed with the drippings from rendering animal fat.  This is cooked if I
remember right then poured into molds and let harden.  The result is a bar
which is then used as any bar soap would have been.  It was shaved into the
wash water in the wringer washer for laundry.

The soap recipes today for herbal soaps eliminate the steps of rendering the
fat and leaching the lye by using purchased oils etc.. but the process of
making soap is the same.

I do not recommend trying to leach your own lye as it is very caustic and
can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.  Besides the soap was
a very harsh soap, not what most people would want to use today.

M Brown
NW Oklahoma, USA
USDA Zone 6b,  Sunset Zone 35

-----Original Message-----
From: Byron.Bromley <Byron.Bromley@Gsd-Co.Com>
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, March 09, 1999 7:24 AM
Subject: [gardeners] soap

>There is a lot of controversy about using soap in the garden.
>Some condem Jerry Baker for his recomendations, Some say it what our
>Grandfathers did.
>Here is a question for Penny, maybe she remembers.
>If I am not mistaken our Grandmothers or Great Grandmothers
>made soap from animal fat and wood ash.