Sunday, July 12, 2015

Behind The Scenes of Beds, Baths, and Beyond #10

Soap Making
  • ·       Lye was made from ashes when trees were burned down around the homestead and were placed in a barrel, called a leach, which was put on top of a board. 
  • ·       The board was raised at one end, the bottom of the barrel had a narrow slit which allowed water to seep through, a bucket was placed under the slit and as the water passed through the ashes, it trickled out as lye.  Lye was very dangerous; it could burn the skin badly and the throat if the fumes were breathed in. 
  • ·       Animal fat and water were boiled in a kettle and became tallow. 
  • ·       The lye was added to the tallow and they were boiled together over a fire, usually outdoors.  Tallow took the strength away from the lye. 
  • ·       Bayberry tallow was added to the grease and lye for bath soap. 
  • ·       Ammonia and borax for laundry soap. 
  • ·       The liquid soap was poured into a pan or box and allowed to harden overnight and was cut into bars the next day.        


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