The Wilder’s Lard Soap
Make lard soap just like Clara, Merry, and Virginia did!
SAFETY FIRST: Always have adult supervision. Wear goggles, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and closed-toed shoes. Make sure kids, pets, other distractions, and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always make soap in a well-ventilated area. Make sure you read up on lye safety.
500g (17.6 oz) lard
67g (2.3 oz) sodium hydroxide (lye)
136g (4.8 oz) distilled water
40g (1.4 oz) lavender or peppermint essential oil
What you will need:
2 non-aluminum containers
1 non-aluminum pan
Stainless steel spoon or whisk
- Measure the distilled water, by weight, in a non-aluminum container. It may be glass, plastic, or stainless steel.
- Measure the sodium hydroxide, by weight, in a non-aluminum container.
- In a well ventilated area, slowly and carefully add the sodium hydroxide to the water (not the other way around!) and gently stir using a stainless steel spoon or whisk until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool. (When lye and water mix, the reaction heats up to 200°F.)
- In a non-aluminum pot, gently heat the lard until melted.
- When the lard is at 130°F or below, add the essential oil.
- Once the lye-water and lard are both cooled to 130°F or below (ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye-water to the lard and stick blend until trace. Trace will look like thin pudding.
- Pour the soap batter into a soap mold. (This can be a cardboard milk carton or a freezer-paper lined Tupperware.) Wrap it in towels to keep it warm. (You can put plastic wrap on top to keep the towel from touching the soap.) Let it sit for 24-48 hours before removing from the mold.
- After 24-48 hours, remove the soap from the mold. Cut it into bars. (500g of oil will make five 4 oz bars.) Let cure for 4-6 weeks before using.