this makes sense


Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on April 25, 2009


According to Wikipedia the earliest recorded recipe for soap comes from Ancient Babylon written on a clay tablet around 2200 BC, and evidence of soapmaking predating that by 500 years. The formula consists of Alkali and cassia oli. The ancient Egyptians used animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to create a soaplike substance, as indicated by the Ebers papyrus dated to 1550 BC. Documents also mention the soap was used in preparation for weaving wool.

Modern soap is decendent from an Arabian recipe. One manuscript from the 13th century details recipies for soap making such as: “use sesame oil, a pinch of potash, alkali and lime, mix them together and boil. After cooking pour into molds, leave to set for hard soap.”

Soaps using vegetable oils, like olive oil began to be used in Europe in the 16th century. Castile soap, considered the oldest “white soap” from Italy, is a well known example of this kind of soap that is still made today.


Today the use of soap and importance placed on hygene has become so prominent that soap bars began to be manufactured in the late 18th century. Many advertising campaigns over the years have premoted the relationship between soap use and cleanliness and health.

Commonly the soapmaking practice used today is the use of  fats and lye that react to cause soapifcation. The main difference in handmade soap from industrial soap is that the glycerin is not removed which allows the soap to naturally moisturise insead of becoming a pure detergent.


Because Lye is a dangerous and corrosive and will degrade organic tissue

soap nut recipes, soapwort recipes. My laundry soap is made from soap bark

f I am using soapwort extract (in liquid form) instead of dried soapwort root, how would the procedure be different?

1-a plant oil, such as sunflower seed oil, corn oil, linseed/flaxseed oil or perhaps, soybean oil;
2-water-you’ll likely need at least some;
3-a caking material, such as cornstarch, flour, oatmeal;
4-your choice of fragrance, such as vanilla, lemon, rose, etc.
5-saponins from soap wort, yucca or another plant with these chemicals.

Proportions of water, oil and caking material will likely determine how hard or soft the finished product is. The oil will help removbe body oils; the saponins will cleanse most body parts and the fragrance will make it smell nice.

It is not true that real soap is made with lye. Lye is used in combination with fat to create a substance that mimics real soap. Real soap comes from plants, see:

Making soap without lye is not only possible, but safer and healthier.

There are some plants that are actually used as soaps: soapwort (or bouncing bet), soapnuts, yucca root, pokeweed root, or buckeyes (or horse chestnut) are some of the more common in the USA. Dry the plant, pods, or roots out chop up into small pieces, then place with water in a bottle and shake. It is only a liquid soap. Soapwort is used to clean delicate old fiber in museums. You can learn more about soapnuts at (as well as recipes for soaps containing lye and many other things)

I also read…. if you have the right conditions, you can grow shampoo ginger, which is one of the saponin producing plants. You won’t get the lather that we expect from soap (and you don’t need lather to get clean; most soaps these days contain lathering agents because we’ve gotten so used to associating suds with cleaning power), but it does work. You squeeze or crush the flower head and get a slightly slippery fluid out of it. This is the “soap” or “shampoo”.

Also, you can avoid using lye by burning some wood, green oak is best (or so I’ve read), and save the ashes. You can use the ashes just the way they are but it seems to be preferred to filter them. So, somehow try to run water through the ashes so that you end up with an ashy-water (but the larger pieces will have been filtered out and will not be in the water). Let the ashy-water sit for some time (I’m not sure how long though, probably a few hours at least). Use this ashy-water in place of the lye in your recipe (again I am not sure about how much ashy-water vs. the amount of lye/water… I’d probably use the same amount of ashy-water as the amount of water you were originally supposed to use, though I do not know this for certain). I read somewhere that using the ashy-water instead of lye is also dangerous and precautions should be made. As with everything else I’ve said, I’m not sure whether this is true or what precautions would need to be made so you should do some additional research if you plan to try this method. There is actually a type of soap made with ash (instead of lye) that you can purchase/find online (but be picky as to where you buy it and what it looks like) it’s called “African Black Soap”. It has been made in different parts of Africa for centuries and each region seems to have their own variation of the same recipe. Most genuine African Black Soap’s are somewhat crumbly and not particularly attractive in appearance. I’ve seen some that actually kind of looks like cooked meatloaf…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: