A few weeks ago I finally got the nerve to try my hand at soapmaking. My phobia of lye has been downgraded to a healthy respect now that I’ve actually handled the stuff without incident.

I made this soap from used cooking oil (95% or better canola) and very lightly fragranced it (one half “green grass,” one half lavender). I unmolded it today (which is to say that I tore off the milk cartons that I had poured the stuff into) and cut it into bars so that it can cure quicker. In about a month it should be dry enough to use (today it was the consistency of butter fresh from the fridge). I’ll let you know then if it worked – and if so I’ll share my simple recipe!

If this works then we have solved another classic rag and bone problem: what to do with used cooking oils and fats. We figure you can probably never have too much soap.

Incidentally, cutting up the soap today proved to be a “self-cleaning” project. I ran hot water over the cutting board and knife and they lathered up nicely!

[Note from the future: the recipe is here!]

— Amanda


2 thoughts on “Soap!

  1. I was unable to refrain from making Fight Club references in my notes — but I did talk myself out of wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt and talking to myself out loud while actually making the soap.


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