Thursday, 1 June 2017

Soap Making- Learn from the Best

I've just finished cutting up the soap that I made yesterday and as you can see, it's not necessary to go out and buy a lot of fancy and expensive equipment to make your own supply of the best soap you will ever use.
We use it for washing our hands, which get very grubby and stained, and for showering and washing our hair too.
We can make natural soaps from pure ingredients that we have at home or are cheap and easy to buy from the supermarket OR we can make elaborate pieces of artwork soaps. The choices are there for us, but I tend to stick to simple and frugal.
We kill our own meat here on our farm, so I generally base my soaps around beef tallow or lard that I've rendered down from the fat from the carcasses. I love to use a percentage of oils too because I like to experiment and try different mixtures.
Liz from  Eight Acres blog recently sent me her new soap making eBook which I can heartily  recommend to anyone wanting to have a go at making soap.

Everything you need to know about soap is written clearly with lovely big photographs. I always need pictures to motivate me, and gosh, I was motivated after reading this gorgeous book.
I never knew I could use beeswax as one of the ingredients, so this is what prompted me to whip up a batch, using beeswax, beef tallow, lard, whey and coconut oil.
Included in the eBook is the link to   Brambleberry Lye calculator which is the one I use for calculating the amounts of fats and oils to water and caustic, and fragrance.
I also learned more about "Superfatting" which always confused me until I read Liz' clear description of how it works and what it means.  Duh..!! It's simple really, but why doesn't everyone explain it as clearly as Liz does?
I love Liz's previous eBooks on Chickens and Cows, and this one is also superb, at a mere $5 it's certainly good value.
I didn't used to be a fan of eBooks, but realistically, although I love the printed book, I also don't like spending lots of money on books that increase the clutter in our home. I'm starting to move ahead with the times and find it very simple to follow them on my iPhone where lots of my recipes are too.
So if you've been thinking about making your own soap, get Liz's eBook and get started. You will never go back to using store bought soaps again; I can promise you!
I'm off to whip up another batch using beef tallow with olive oil and eucalyptus oil for the fragrance. Simple, frugal.... and the extra bars of soap in my stash will make lovely small gifts for friends who are tired of getting jars of jam.


  1. It is a great resource to have, Sally. I have my lard thawing at the moment and can't wait till I have rendered it so I can use it in my next batch of soap. $5 for such a an informative eBook is cheap as chips.

  2. i love using home made soaps! your soap looks very creamy too!
    my eldest helped to make my last lot seeing as the previous 2 batches didn't work out well at all. great for psoriasis too! i won't be experimenting til i can get the basic soap made without problems & that's Rhonda's recipe for now.
    love Eight Acres, always a good read there.
    great post
    thanx for sharing

    1. Selina it was Rhonda's fabulous soap recipe and tutorial that taught me to make soap, and with the soap calculator it really is simple to experiment, but Rhonda's basic recipe is hard to beat.

  3. Im with you on the ebook situation- realistically I prefer paperback, but ebooks are cheaper, more environmentally gentle, and dont take up masses of room. Something that is at a premium here!

    Your soap looks wonderful, Im due to make a batch on the weekend too.

    Hope you had a wonderful time with those beautiful grandies of yours Sally. :)


  4. Thanks for the lovely review Sally! I actually agree and prefer hardcopies to eBooks, but as an author its so much easier to supply an electronic copy. I made sure that its in pdf format so buyers can print it and access it easily. I personally don't like the actual ebook/kindle format, but some people must use it as I find they sell well on Amazon too. I have had requests to send hardcopy books to people and I do print them and just charge a little extra for printing and postage :)

    1. Liz I didn't know you also sold the books in hard-copy!
      That is brilliant news. Does everyone know that? I need to do a correction to mention that fact. Can you tell us the cost of having a hard copy sent within Australia please?

  5. Love, love, love homemade soap. A word of warning from someone who tried and failed. Do not, repeat do not, place lavender flowers into your soap. They look like mouse droppings and they are itchy, scratchy, yukky on your skin. We made it through about half a batch of soap with lavender flowers. I knew hubby had had enough when I found bought soap in the shower. The bought soap is now used up and we are back to using lovely homemade soap once again.
    I have not yet tried the lard/tallow soap mix. Might have to see what I can do about this. My last lot of soap was coat hanger swirl soap and it looks like Rocky Road. It will be a few weeks before we can start using this soap.
    I crochet up some facecloths and use the homemade soap and a couple of face cloths as a gift. I have been asked for more of the same from a couple of people.

    1. Jane this made me giggle and nod my head in agreement. I've done the lavender flower thing, and yes I know just what you mean. I was concerned about blocking the drains with all the fall-out in the shower! Crikey, your soap making is far more sophisticated than mine. Those gift packs are so lovely, but I'm afraid my crochet skills are lacking, so it's a wrapped bar in some butter paper tied with a piece of string from me.

  6. Another thing on my to do list! I have some lamb fat stashed in the freezer with the intention of rendering it, but am yet to try it. We have a wonderfully clever lady in town who makes all sorts of things, including soap made from lamb fat. At every local market, I always buy a few blocks, best soap!

  7. Thank you for this Sally. It is time to source out some tallow/fat from my local butcher, we are friends so this should be pretty easy. I met someone the other day that makes soap this way and they are going to give me a hand if I need it. So I will finally have a go lol!



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