Tallow soap basics: How to cut the crap and make a basic soap

Tallow soap basics: How to cut the crap and make a basic soap

Soap making is a hobby with many nowadays. People even gift homemade soaps as a personal token of their affection. Above all, soaps made by you or your family members, are highly customized (personalized) to suit your interests with regard to color, scent and texture. Many people also make extra income out of soap making. They sell their soaps in farm markets and make money out of a not-so-tedious hobby. But as the experienced soap makers know, the art requires skill and patience. You  need to keep your wits in place till your tallow and lye water fuse to form the soapy-thing of your choice.

Amateur soap makers are at a loss for soap recipes. With almost everyone around taking up soap making, it is hard to find good old basic soap recipes in the local library or bookstores. Sure, the Internet is a great source, but there again, people hardly get to find a recipe that requires the most basic of ingredients and demands the shortest of our time. This article will detail a step-by-step process on what all you need to make a very basic soap using a basic method of tallow soap making.


Basic method of tallow soap making: This basic method has been referred by Hulda Clarkis in the book, The Cure For All Diseases. To make a basic soap, you would need the following ingredients:

  • A small plastic dishpan
  • A glass or enamel 2 quart sauce pan
  • 12 ounces of lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
  • 3 pounds of fresh, rendered beef tallow
  • plastic gloves and goggles
  • gallons of very cold water
  • wooden blender or any other plastic stirring equipment


1. Prepare the previous night:
If you have bought suet from your butcher, you can render it the previous evening and refrigerate it overnight so that your tallow is fresh and ready for soap making the next morning. Also refrigerate water overnight to freezing temperatures. You would need very cold water in order to reduce the heat of lye solution.

2. Lye solution:
Pour 3 cups of cold water into the 2-quart sauce pan and slowly add lye to the water. Have your protective covering (gloves and goggles) on and it is better if you make this lye preparation outside your house. This is because lye has the habit of spoiling places. Keep it out of reach of children too. Never breathe in the vapor or lean over the container. Since the mixture will be very hot, allow it to cool for at least one hour in a safe place.

3. Tallow preparation:
Meanwhile, unwrap your tallow and allow it to melt in the dishpan. Then, slowly mix it thoroughly with lye by pouring lye into tallow. Stir the mixture for at least 15 minutes until you get the texture of a thick pudding.

4. Allow it to cool: Let the mixture set till next morning. When cooled, the soap would have become solid and you can then cut it into bars and package it for sale or as a gift.

5. Liquid soap:
You can make liquid soap out of this basic soap. All you need to do is, cut the bars into small chips, dissolve them in enough hot water and add citric acid to balance the pH value. This is to reduce the harshness of the soap on your skin. Once done with mixing, allow the mixture to cool. The result will be a liquid soap which you can use for cleaning.

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Posted in Soap making, Uses of Beef Tallow on Aug 1st, 2017, 2:00 am by soaplady   

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