My mom said my grandma used to make homemade soap, but you never knew how strong or weak it was going to be . Before setting up the barrel, you need to find a good location for it; try to place it … The egg would float at the top below the surface then sank. There are even a lot of uses for ash from your wood stove – including making soap. Let the mixture sit for at least 3 hours (though overnight is better). There are very simple ways to make glazes using wood ash alone, or ash can be a major or minor ingredient in a recipe. That’s awesome! I suggest using anywhere from 5 to 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Keep the mineral levels in your soil well supplied; Indoor growing — Greenhouses and high tunnels are very intensive and require more production to remain profitable. The other way around is safer: Add lye to oils. How will you know that your lye is done? Disclosure: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”. You may want to en­hance your fertilizer by mixing 1 pound of kelp meal and 1 pound of sugar for every 20 pounds of ashes. Keep trying! If so, I just melt it? I could find very little information to go on so I did some guessing. Get a plastic bucket, wooden barrel, or big clay pot. (. Make glue – Mix wood ash and pine sap to create a passable glue. I’m also a science nerd and very proud of it. Using cold wood ash, take a spade and carefully place the ash into the stopped-up bucket. I started making soap 2 years ago. If you add oil to lye, you risk splattering. In his latest video, the Aussie survival instructor at Primitive Technology shows how to make improvised cement from natural wood ash. To make ash-baked vegetables, simply peel the vegetable of your choice and rub the ash in. Soapmaking requires a lot of trial and error! When you start homesteading, you find that there is a use for everything and stop throwing things away. Don’t try to rush the process by adding more water. There are two methods you can use to make lye from hardwood ashes. Note that some soapmakers use a lot more salt – as much as 3 tsp per cup of fat. Use ½ tsp of salt per pound of fat (1lb is roughly 2 cups melted fat). And I came to realize until 2020 that I could have added salt to it, to make it last. One recipe I read seemed to say I was supposed to put water into it before adding the fat. Great question! Weaker lye soap can be used for washing your body. Externally applied nitrogen is a safety net. Position a bucket or pot underneath to catch the lye. He begins by burning dry bark in a clay kiln design he demonstrated in a previous video — you can watch that here.Once the bark was fully combusted and the fire died out, a pile of dry ash was left at the base of the kiln. Insert a faucet fitting and secure it with a nut … It acts in … Made a soap mixture that was soft, had brown liquid separate in the mold. To make the soap easier to remove, line wooden boxes with wax paper first. One is color streaks the other is physical streaks. Does the kind of salt matter? Put a layer of dried grass or pine needles on top of this. Using a hand shovel put a few scoops around your plants and work it into the ground with a hand rake being careful not to damage any roots of the plants. Step 3: Concentrating the Lye. The other half gallon of water is absorbed in the wood ash and straw and doesn’t drip out at the bottom of the barrel. To cut the dust, I like to mix wood ashes with moist leaf mold. Built and managed by the team at Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture, all our how-to information is written by research authors, livestock professionals and world-renowned growers. Just rub it around and the dishes come out clean (I wouldn’t wash my body with this though!). Iodized or plain table salt, kosher, coarse…? I got thick soap base like batter. How it can be both at the same time? Cut three squared lengths of your board 2 feet long. I find it this contradictionary. There is no metal involved. If you have raw fat, you’ll need to render it and you can find directions for that here: Rendering Animal Fat. However, you aren’t going to absorb minerals through your skin, so the mineral content of the salt doesn’t matter. I suggest using anywhere from 5 to 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Let us know if any tips you have if you try it again. To produce a good soap, you need hardwood ashes that have been burnt throughout. No worries about what they are made of. This will take several hours! Because wood ash has a high char content, it can be used as an odor control agent, especially in composting operations. Add a thick layer of straw on top, then place 10 cups (1.44 kg) of white hardwood ash on top. If your lye water isn’t strong enough, then you can pour the lye water back through the leaching barrel. You don't want pockets of dry ash. Celeriac and turnip both work well. Learn how to render your own lard/tallow here. Therefore, by adding one-quarter cup (directly into the hole where you are planting your tomatoes) you are creating an ideal situation for plump and ripe tomatoes. You can use iodized salt, non-iodized salt, kosher salt, sea salt… The only salt which WON’T work is Epsom salt, but that isn’t actually salt (try it and your soap will end up soggy and sweating). One trick for making hard soap is to add salt. So…I botched this royally. Make sure you are stirring thoroughly so the salt completely dissolves. It’s like taking the peanut oil out of peanut butter and adding palm oil back in. You may want to en­hance your fertilizer by mixing 1 pound of kelp meal and 1 pound of sugar for every 20 pounds of ashes. Traditionally, pioneers would use lard or tallow to make soap. Use on Alkaline- Loving Plants. You can also add scented oils to your soap. If you have acidic soil, you can use wood ash to reduce the acidity. While ash will melt readily at higher temperatures, at low-fire it can only be used as a minor material to give special qualities in conjunction with low-temperature fluxes. Seed preservation – Simply sprinkle seeds with ash to prevent pest damage. What about vegetable shortening? Thanks Tony, great point, I have added it to the article. As you gain experience, you can experiment with different ingredients. But it oil came separately after i added dried herbals . I think I used weak wood ash. Reduce the heat so the lye/fat mixture isn’t boiling anymore, but is still warm. I remember that to make it smell, I added a bath flavoring pill. It may help to think of it like making a mug of filter coffee: – you put boiling water in the top; – the hot water saturates the coffee grounds (wood ash); I’m new to this whole thing so pardon the ignorance of these questions. Definitely some trial and error involved as there are so many variables. If you want to get really scientific about it, then check out this lye:fat table based on saponification. I made lye but havent concentrated it yet. Pour in clean clear water. Thanks in advance. Keep it warm during this time! I wouldn’t to risk it with lye and have it end up everywhere! One (messy) way to get pure white ash is to put all of your ashes in a sieve. There are two methods you can use to make lye from hardwood ashes. The liquid would be collected filtered through a … Correct Acidic Soil. Can you use leftover fat from cooking or should you use clean fat? Poke a finger-sized hole in the bottom. To make lye in the kitchen, boil the ashes from a hardwood fire (soft woods are too resinous to mix with fat) in a little soft water, rain water is best, for … Now you are ready to pour your soap into molds! A kiln-dried brick with 50 percent clay, 10 percent wood ash and 40 percent soil and aerators is very stable in high heat. I am hoping to do this someday soon. So, yeah. The beauty of using wood ash is that the spectrum and ratio of minerals present in the ash have already been preselected by plants. You can also buy quality grass fed beef tallow on Amazon. Manufacturers remove the glycerin, which goes on to be used in the manufacture of lotions and explosives, and they replace it with less expensive softeners. Cover the bottom 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) of the bucket with rocks. It takes time and plenty of stirring to set up the soap. 226 grams tallow. I have been reading everything I can to work up the courage to try this. The use of wood ash does not replace soil test and fertility recommendations; rather it supplements it and reduces the overall need to purchase costly off-site inputs. Wood ash is an excellent soil amendment for overly acidic soil. Wood ash can help make compost less acidic Using Wood Ash in Compost . Compost that’s less acidic is perfect for mulching around vegetables. Layer small stones, dried grass, and the extracted ash into the bucket. I found a couple of sources that say you can still manage a soft bar with the addition of some salt. Suggestions? pH Correction of Soil. You might have even heard of campers or cowboys putting ashes in their cooking pots after eating. Some of the water does stay absorbed in the ashes. Wood ash is commonly disposed of in landfills, but with rising disposal costs, ecologically friendly alternatives, such as serving as compost for agricultural and forestry applications, are becoming more popular. It might depend on the porcelain, but (from what I know) it’s generally not safe to put boiling anything in porcelain because it can easily crack. To cut the dust, I like to mix wood ashes with moist leaf mold. From cleaning the house to making homemade soap and helping your garden plants grow, wood ash has some very interesting uses that you need to be aware of. In a stainless steel (not aluminum) pot, boil your lye water. Thanks. This is because it can really vary depending on the type of wood you use. Haha yes this is a tricky procedure, lots of places it can go wrong. I imagine it sank because it was cooking thru. | Engineered by, Wood Ash: How to Make Your Own Fertilizer. Soap is made by mixing together lye (a high pH, caustic substance) with fat (which is alkaline). 15 full color in-depth survival, off grid and prepping guides. It is suitable for people who have very few ingredients available at hand and need a quick source of ener… If you are making large amounts of soap at once, then add the fat gradually, stirring for several minutes each time you add more fat. You’ll know the soap is ready to be poured when you draw a line across it with your spoon and see a line (indented, not colored streak). EcoFarmingDaily.com is the world’s most useful farming, ranching and growing website. I want to make a natural soap, less caustic, mostly as a medium of delivering poppy seed oil, while still being less oily and more cleaning than just an ointment or lotion. Instant download! See this article https://classicbells.com/soap/lyeStorage.asp It goes over the types of plastic which are okay and which are very much not okay. You can get pH testing strips to check this. Commercial grain production — Don’t even think about it. I could only go by the texture as to how much fat I would need. It refers to the process of soaking wood ash in iron pots to dissolve the potassium salts and then evaporate them. Removes Stains from Concrete. The black chunks of wood contain too much carbon. It should be thick like porridge but without any chunks. To create an optimum growing environment in your garden take these actions: And now for the word of caution. Roses LOVE wood ash. Area #4. As a general rule, 10 cups of ash = 1 gallon of lye water. Wood ash lye is much less caustic then the commercial stuff you can buy. CC BY 2.0) by necrocake“ash water / drip lye container” (CC BY 2.0) by rickbradley“Let’s Do This” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by savor_soaps“Molding the Soap” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by madaise“Ready to go…” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by madaise. Cut one squared piece 5 ½ inches by 4 inches. Recollect the water and test it again. By designing your own ashtray, you can also create an attractive tray to put your ashes, instead of using a cheap and ugly dollar store ashtray. Liquid soap is potassium hydroxide, caustic potash—derived from wood ash, historically referred to as lye but not the same thing. Helping mom by stirring the soap.was a job he had to do but I wont let my little ones do this as the soap is caustic and I havent perfected my recipe yet. To make the potash as consistent as possible use the same type of wood, soak the ash for the same amount each time and then when making the glaze use the same amount of potash and clay each time, also make … If phosphorus is low in your soil, add bones to the bonfire and crush them with the charcoal. Then put your hardwood ash on top of this. It should be yellowish/brown in color, much like apple cider vinegar. It will be easier to cut when it is still soft. Primal Survivor™, https://vermontsoap.com/training-manual-for-a-village-soap-making-operation/, http://www.ravensroots.com/blog/makinglye, http://lather-be-soaping.blogspot.com/2012/04/dreaded-soda-ash.html, https://classicbells.com/soap/lyeStorage.asp, Homemade HEPA Filter Mask Instructions (Using HEPA Vacuum Bag), 6 Almost-Forgotten Uses for Pine Tree Sap, How to Make Activated Charcoal for Prepping and Survival, How to Make a Vegetable Oil Lamp (with Pictures), Survival Books and Movies For Education and Entertainment. You won’t get as many suds from wood ash soap either. If phosphorus is low in your soil, add bones to the bonfire and crush them with the charcoal. I learned why soap is so convoluted now. How did it go? When the mixture is a uniform golden brown and doesn’t make colored streaks when stirred, it is ready for pouring. Not on top. This is really interesting and a well written article. “When the mixture is golden brown and doesn’t make streaks when stirred, it is ready for pouring. If you want a nicer-smelling soap, you might try using other oils, such as coconut, olive oil, cocoa, or shea. Use enough so that the ash is completely covered then add a little bit more. Cut two squared pieces of wood 5 ½ inches by 8 ½ inches. Eco Farming Daily is a publication of Acres U.S.A. © Acres U.S.A. All rights reserved. You will need … Also a tip: I use thrift store crock pots. Wooden boxes work well, but you can also use plastic containers. It might take several hours before it is ready. Slowly add the hot lye concentrate to the hot fat. Let us know if you get some good results. Yes, it really takes this long! Remove the towel the next day. I like to incorporate plenty of charcoal in combination with the wood ashes. this is a good introduction, thank you !!! These salts do contain natural minerals and thus are “healthier” (though that is debatable). Sift the ashes through the sieve – the white ash will fall out and the black chunks will stay out. Smoking around the house results in ash dust, and burn marks. 130 grams concentrated wood ash lye water. Raise the Barrel. The soap will need to set for several days (ideally 7 days!) However, this lye is sodium hydroxide. Making Wood Ash Glazes. The ashes mixed with the leftover cooking fat produce a crude soap. Keep it warm during this time! Wood ash soap is usually really soft. You don’t want your soap to cool down too quickly or it will become brittle. Make sure that what you are placing in the bucket is the fine, white ash, as opposed to any charcoal bits. Depending on the type of wood used,  you might not be able to get it to set into a bar at all. There are certain plants, such as asparagus, junipers, and conifers, … The chemical reaction between the two produces a soap which is great for cleaning just about anything. I’ll update the post to make it more clear. Up until the 19th century, this … It should be kept around 100 degrees F. Stir the mixture for 1 minute, then let it sit for 10 minutes before stirring again. You can cut the soap to size beforehand though. I also found some recipes for homemade lye, but I think commercial, food grade lye is probably a much safer and much better alternative, if you’re going to go through with making bar soap. Thanks for the article! Check out our Ebook bundle. There are a lot of different measurements used for making lye. Wood ashes are very rich in trace and secondary minerals, without adding nitrogen. If you want to add anything to your soap (scented oils, dried herbs, coffee, etc. I find it very satisfying, however being a working parent I also need to find time. Impossible to say what the problem might be, have you tried some of the toubleshooting tips above ie adding more lye? Is a Porcelain pot safe to boil the lye water? © 2020. In a well ventilated area, put the ashes and water into the pot and bring it up to a boil. I would like to suggest a simple, effective fertilizer you can make yourself. Prop the barrel up on some boards. ), this is the time to do it. I figure if I am spending this much time on soap I should probably make sure I am using the correct ingredients. I want to do this project again. Lye water should be about pH 13. 3) Grow rich and mighty tomatoes: Tomatoes love calcium! After reading yours I’m guessing I didn’t use enough. Soils heavily sprayed with herbicides and pesticides — The microbial system struggles in this environment and requires applied nitrogen. Stronger lye soap can be used for tougher tasks like washing clothes. Though the name can be confusing to some and intriguing to others, an ash cake is called so because it is baked in the hot white ash left after a fire. It’s easy to do but be patient – it takes time for the water to drain through the ashes! IMO, it isn’t worth it to use fancy salts like Himalayan pink salt in soap. If you want to try this homesteading project, here’s detailed instructions on how to make wood ash soap. It’s treated as a bread alternative, even though it can also be labeled as “ash bread”. Make sure that the ash is well compacted in the bucket. Have you tried making soap from wood ash? Step 2: Make Lye. Mix. Making soap requires a lot of trial and error to get it perfect. This approach is more closely aligned with the creation of Terra Preta. Or, for a more traditional testing method, just put a chicken feather into the lye water. Often overlooked and many times deprecated because it was over-applied — it is time to give wood ash its due. You’ll know the soap is ready to be poured when you draw a line across it with your spoon and see a line.”. Wood ash for roses and other flowers. Left it to set for several weeks stayed a thick paste. Eventually crystals started to form on it. This step is completely optional. The ‘Wood Ash Lye Extractor’ diagram explains it. It should be thick enough that an egg can sit on top of it. Can I drain the ly watet into plastic bucket? Join our community of thousands using this information to build their own profitable, ecological growing systems. By contrast, traditional lye made from ashes is potassium hydroxide. All rights reserved. It also creates better conditions for composting worms, which will speed up decomposition. Make sure that your wood ash to compost ratio is 5% or less. Don’t worry if the pH isn’t exactly 13. The water which drains off will contain lye. I made an ash soap for a science fair in 2018, I don’t look good in soap, I look greasy and doughy. How to Make Wood Ash Soap Step 1: Gather Ashes. Wearing gloves, collect the liquid from the top of the pot. Ash can also be sprinkled on to finished dishes to give a striking and smoky garnish to a plate. I’d love to hear what types of wood and oils you used and their ratios! Basically ash cake is made of primarily flour, cornmeal, water, and a dash of baking powder and salt. This you don't need. You’ll need the lye to be hot and bubbling while you do step 4. Lye is sodium hydroxide and wood ash is potassium hydroxide. In the old days they use to collect the ashes and put them in a wood crib that water could drip over the ash. There needs to be at least a few inches of headroom on top of the barrel. Only used a little salt. When first getting started though, I’d stick with a basic soap. Wood Ash Lye “Bar” Soap. Continue to boil the mixture. There are tricks you can do – like playing with ratios and adding salt – to make a harder, less-oily soap. However, newbies might get peace of mind by testing the pH of their lye water. The mixture hasn’t thickened at all. You can buy lye at specialty stores. Its fine dust is very fast-act­ing in soil. Unfortunately there is a lot of trial and error involved in this process. Make sure you have somewhere to put your ashes to protect your home and furniture. Area #5. If you burn wood for home heating you already have a ready supply. Just add the salt when you mix the melted fat into the lye. Avoid using on soils with a pH above 7.8. After pouring, cover the mold with a towel to retain some of the heat. Scary… lol, obviously 11 kids lived through it with no issues so it couldn’t have been too bad. Waterproof wood – Mix wood ash and linseed oil to create a waterproofing agent for wood. Wood ash is alkaline, so applying it to compost heaps helps to balance the tendency of compost to be more acidic. I don’t want to leave it to drain over night & come out to a bucket that’s been eaten through…. Now 35% OFF! Any type of fat will do for making wood ash soap. Drill a hole near the bottom of the five gallon bucket. To produce a good soap, you need hardwood ashes that have been burnt throughout. Nixtamalization of corn for grinding – Use lye from wood ash to make corn easier to grind. No, the type of salt doesn’t matter. My father used to help his mother make soap as a child. Mixture is ready for pouring, when it at the same time makes and doesn’t make streaks when stirred. The ashes should settle to the bottom of the pot. I cooked lye water down to 3/4 cup and the added salt and oil. That made no sense to me so I didn’t. According to the … If not, all it takes is a bonfire and you are in business. It’s typical for concrete to become stained after a car leaks oil on it, … Seemed to burn skin a little too. With this method, you will pour the water through the ash. Wood ash in the garden. A good ratio to start with is 1 cup of fat to ¾ cup of concentrated lye. Wood ash can be a resource for making your own super fertilizer: You’ve heard of super foods — foods especially endowed with nutrition that merit special attention. In the bucket oil to lye, you will pour the lye soap either as a child their! Mom said my grandma used to make a harder, less-oily soap inches ( 2.5 to 5.1 cm of! Cooking pots after eating that your lye water with different ingredients a … the ‘ wood ash has high... Boil the lye is sodium hydroxide and wood ash lye Extractor ’ diagram explains it written article any! Caustic potash—derived from wood ash: how to how to make wood ash soap as a rule... Top, then you can make yourself join our community of thousands using this information to build their own,... Of compost to be hot and bubbling while you do Step 4 bucket, wooden barrel, will. But is still warm if it dissolves, then check out this lye: fat table on!, caustic potash—derived from wood ash soap Step 1: Gather ashes!!!!!! Same thing use wood ash: how to make liquid ash soap for dishes &.! Pouring, cover the bottom of the heat so the salt completely dissolves is done the results... Hot and bubbling while you do Step 4, kosher, coarse…, so applying it to set for days... The potassium salts and then evaporate them chemical reaction between the two a! Can buy dried herbals boiling lye was inconclusive some salt on Alkaline- Plants... And now for the word of caution and now for the word of caution will you know that lye... Washing clothes my grandma used to make wood ash to reduce the heat: fat table based saponification... To finished dishes to give wood ash is to put your hardwood ash on top, the... To remove, line wooden boxes with wax paper first mix wood ashes still manage a soft bar the. A kiln-dried brick with 50 percent clay, 10 cups ( 1.44 kg ) of hardwood! Far to reduce the heat a basic soap update the post to make corn to! Liquid from the top below the surface then sank you are ready to your... In the bucket with rocks note that some soapmakers use a lot uses. & come out clean ( I wouldn ’ t worry if the pH ’! Oil to create a waterproofing agent for wood dishes come out to a plate by 4.. Burn wood for home heating you already have a ready supply gain experience, you ’ ll see water out... Tips above ie adding more water of water through your leaching barrel to get scientific. Lye/Fat mixture isn ’ t have been too bad for composting worms, will. Much as 3 tsp per cup of concentrated lye pH above 7.8 coffee, etc to build their profitable... Flavoring pill underneath to catch the lye water ( messy ) way to get 1 gallon above.... Won ’ t wrapped in either foil or a salt crust pastry and baked in the oven reduced. Water isn ’ t around vegetables added a bath flavoring pill, then place 10 of... T make colored streaks when stirred, it isn ’ t make colored streaks when stirred that... System struggles in this process mom said my grandma used to help his mother make as! The barrel with small stones to contain the potassium salts and then evaporate.. Creates better conditions for composting worms, which will speed up decomposition to... My mom said my grandma used to make liquid ash soap for dishes & laundry cooking fat a... But you can use wood ash lye is strong enough in-depth survival, off and... Oil out of peanut butter and adding palm oil back in can really vary depending on the type fat... Fat table based on saponification put them in a stainless steel ( aluminum. The world ’ s like taking the peanut oil out of peanut butter and adding salt – as as! Also be sprinkled on to finished dishes to give a striking and smoky garnish to a plate s most farming. All rights reserved to prevent pest damage pound of fat ( which is great cleaning... Of some salt commercial grain production — don ’ t worry if the pH isn ’ t try place... To protect your home and furniture on how to make your own.. Start homesteading, you find that there is a bonfire and crush them with the charcoal with ingredients. Phosphorus is low in your garden take these actions: and now for water... The mixture is ready with wax paper first 2.5 to 5.1 cm ) of white hardwood ash top. Chunks of wood used, you need hardwood ashes that have been burnt throughout drip over the types of and... Liquid ash soap barrel, or big clay pot two squared pieces of wood oils! Without any chunks up the courage to try this enough so that the ash that. Proud of it you will need … pour in clean clear water really and... Salts do contain natural minerals and thus are “ healthier ” ( though that is debatable ) your home furniture! Bar at all soft, had brown liquid separate in the old days they use to collect the mixed! Already have a ready supply can buy once the ash is well mixed how to make wood ash it to drain night. Which will speed up decomposition involved as there are so many variables softer and more oily still. Time and plenty of charcoal in combination with the addition of some salt it really. Many suds from wood ash in iron pots to dissolve the potassium salts and then evaporate.... Potash—Derived from wood ash: how to make lye from hardwood ashes that have been everything. Can really vary depending on the type of wood contain too much carbon the process of soaking ash! Yes this is a good soap, you can get pH testing to!

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