The Making of Lye Soap
How did they make lye soap back in the Appalachins?
At the annual hog-killing time, the lard was saved and mixed with lye and water to form the soap.
Ashes from the wood stove were used to make lye. The ash was heated until it became white, and was then mixed with water. The resulting liquid was then processed to make lye.
Huge old fashioned kettles were used for the mixture of lard and lye, and this was heated over an open fire. The amount of lye used determined the strength (or harshness) of the soap.
After the mixture was cooked, it was often poured into a metal pan to dry and harden - a process that often took 2-4 weeks or more. Then it was cut into bars and used for about anything you can think of!
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