Soap cutter
Prepper's Soaps and Soapmaking
How to make your own soaps

Soap making is a basic skill that has slipped away from our
past. Learn the art of soapmaking! Be sure also stockpile
enough of your favorites.

  • How much soap do you need for prepping? The pioneer
    families packed 50 pounds of soap for their six-month
    journey along the Oregon Trail. Not that they were the
    cleanest, but they used the same soap for doing several
    chores -- cleaning off the grime when they had a water
    source, as well as doing the dishes and the laundry.

This article discusses...

  • Soapmaking ingredients: You can make your own simple
    cold process bar soap from oils, lye (a.k.a. sodium
    hydroxide made from wood ash) and water, but there are
    many more ingredients you could use, such as tallow (beef
    fat), shea butter, coconut oil or olive oil. You can also add
    essential oils.

  • Soapmaking process: There are several soap making
    processes, but the most simple form of soap is a process
    that mixes tallow, lye, and water. Pioneers used wood ash
    from the fireplace (lye) and put it into a wooden hopper.
    They'd then soak the ashes with water (the strained result
    was lye water). This lye water would be boiled with tallow
    (animal fat) and boiled in a kettle until the mixture
    thickened. From this they'd pour it into a mold. When it
    dried, they could cut it into more manageable pieces.

    Today you can use a crock pot!

  • Soapmaking tools:
  • Pot. You'll need a soap pot that's suitable for lye -- you'll
    need a lye resistant pot. (Do NOT use aluminum as lye
    reacts to the aluminum). Make sure your equipment is
    separate from your food equipment.
  • Other tools: You'll also need a soap cutter.

  • Best soaps for preppers who don't want to make their own!

Resources for Preppers on Soap Making

Soapmaking process

Check out Becky's Homemade Bar Soap Recipe
. Here's how to
make soap with lye:

Soap Making Supplies
‎Soapmaking ingredients

Soapmaking tools

  • Soap Cutter. The commercial crinkle cutter for soap
    making, pictured left, is also an ideal way to cut rutabagas
    and other sturdy root vegetables.

  • Making Soap from Scratch, by Gregory Lee White. Get tips
    and recipes from a professional soap maker. Step by step
    and easy to understand, you'll learn how to cut and cure
    soap, how to sell your soaps, packaging and labeling, and
    how to set up at a craft fair or market.

  • Good clean fun: Make your own environmentally friendly
    laundry detergent with Borax. Try these Borax detergent

Soapmaking is dangerous, but don't let that scare you!
Lye As with just about any newly learned skill, it's always wise
to take precautions during the apprentice phase.

The process of soapmaking will cause a few fumes, as well, lye
soap is caustic to the skin, so heed these tips:

  • Ventilation: Ensure your work area has good ventilation,
    and is free from pets and children who might disturb your
    work. Homesteaders often make their soaps outdoors, the
    way pioneers did.

  • Gloves: Know lye is extremely caustic, so avoid skin
    contact by wearing gloves.

  • Goggles: Wear eye protection to avoid eye damage.

  • Pots, pans and utensils: Take a look at your soap making
    supplies and avoid aluminum pots, tinfoil or any aluminum
    utensils which will react with the lye and cause hazardous

  • Employ use of vinegar:  When making lye soap, have a
    small spray bottle of vinegar on hand, which will stop the
    burning should lye make contact with your skin. Just spray
    the vinegar until the pain disapates.

Soaps for preppers
Don't want to make soaps yourself? Here are some to consider.

  • Charlies Laundry Soap. Immediate left you'll find
    Charlie's Laundry soap bucket, a prepper's favorite. In the
    bucket you'll get roughly 32 pounds of soa, which is
    equivalent to 1000 loads of laundry! Hypoallergenic and
    safe for those with sensitive skin, Charlie's Soap is laundry
    powder that is highly rated on Amazon.

  • Dr Bonner's Magic Castile Soap. Made with organic oils
    and no detergents, Dr. Bonner's magic Castile soap is
    100% vegetable-based. It's made with organic hemp oil,
    organic joba oil and organic coconut oil,  and other organic
    ols. Guaranteed not to have synthetic tea tree oils. Super
    mild castile has outstanding water softening and cleansing
    powers. Preferable to harsh soaps and defattening
    synthetics, Dr. Bonner's Magic Castile soaps does not cut
    dirt, but dissolves it. It is 100% biodegradable!

  • Grandma's lye soap. The pure mild soap used daily by
    folks for hundreds of years. Ingredients are simply: lard,
    water, and lye. 7 oz. bar.

  • GoJo E-2 Foam Sanitizing Soap. GoJo E-2 Foam Sanitizing
    Soap is a four-pack of 2000-mL bottles of one-step
    foaming and sanitizing soap that exceeds the chlorine
    equivalency standard set for sanitizer status by NSF
    International, a certifying body for food, water, and
    consumer goods. The E2 soap is effective against common
    spoilage and food-borne illness-causing organisms. This
    handwash meets guidelines for use in USDA regulated food
    processing facilities, is certified kosher, and is listed with
    NSF International as an E2 sanitizer. A product that is
    certified or listed means that NSF reviewed the product,
    determined that it complies with NSF protocols and
    standards, and conducts periodic audits to review whether
    it continues to comply with these standards.

  • Kirk's Castile

  • Zote Soap. Make your own laundry detergent with Zote
    soap. Zote soap is a simple, chemical free soap is made of
    beef tallow and coconut oil, salt (sodium chloride),
    glycerin, and a hint of oil of citronella.

How much soap do you need as a prepper?
Pioneer families along the Oregon Trail packed 50 pounds of
soap for their six-month journey.

Soapmaking is an essential
prepper skill. We hope we've
inspired you to learn the art of making soaps.

Happy Endings...
Making soap is good clean fun! If you're new to soap making,
the read the related articles below and see the tutorial that
gives you basic step-by-step instructions on how to make soap
at home. And if you're wondering how the Amish do their
laundry jump ahead to that section on our site.

Finally, take a
tip from The Great Depression where the people
who lived through this trying time did everything they could to
make use of every last sliver of soap. The answer, mesh bags!
It would keep the bits and pieces together and help dry out the

Related articles...

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