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Thread: What are the fundamentals of a tallow based home-made shaving soap?

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    Question What are the fundamentals of a tallow based home-made shaving soap?

    As I sit here, eating a plate of bacon, I recall "holy crap, I have an entire mason jar of bacon fat and very little shaving soap left!"

    I haven't ever made soap before, but I am familiar with chemistry and how to weigh and measure things properly and what to expect from this and that and blah blah blah blah, 'I think I can do it' is what I am trying to say here. However, my search for a bacon fat soap recipe didn't match up well with my search for shaving soap recipes. Not only were most shaving soaps made with olive/coconut/castor oil and no tallow, they were also made with a blend of all three and then some more ingredients! This is confusing, as I previously thought soap was simple and that shaving soaps would be a different variety of simple, but simple none the less.

    "Don't give up," I told myself. "I will ask the community!"

    So here I am, asking the community. Is there a "basic" recipe for a lathering shaving soap that can be produced with bacon fat? I don't need it to out perform store bought soap, smell like anything at all, or be a premium bar of beauty incarnate... I just want free soap. I have bacon fat, coconut oil, olive oil, and glycerin on hand, and would like to use as few of them as possible.

    Thanks for reading, quadruple thanks for responding!

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    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
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    Hey. That's awesome and welcome.

    Here's the results of an advanced search by Topic (search term "making soap" :

    http://straightrazorplace.com/search...archid=3065234

    Great place to start. Fascinating, really.

    Now you did say quadruple thanks, so I expect you to click on the Thanks button 4 times

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    Senior Member Andy77's Avatar
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    Ultimately soap is just oil and lye. Find a recipe for tallow or lard soap from a reputable source and just substitute the bacon fat.

    And do report back. Take pictures as you make it, too!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siguy View Post
    Hey. That's awesome and welcome.

    Here's the results of an advanced search by Topic (search term "making soap" :

    http://straightrazorplace.com/search...archid=3065234

    Great place to start. Fascinating, really.

    Now you did say quadruple thanks, so I expect you to click on the Thanks button 4 times
    After pressing the thanks button once, I saw it change into a "report this post" button. Luckily, I caught myself.

    I did browse both google and some forums, including these. The only problem is that I keep running into advanced formulas for superior soaps. For example, one of the first results of my advanced search had a recipe with avocado oil in it! Why avocado oil when you already have coconut, olive, and castor oil, along with shea butter and tallow. I mean, sounds like a great soap and all, but I feel like only a couple of these are necessary and I can't seem to find any recipes that only use necessary ingredients.
    Last edited by Sirnanigans; 01-21-2015 at 08:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy77 View Post
    Ultimately soap is just oil and lye. Find a recipe for tallow or lard soap from a reputable source and just substitute the bacon fat.

    And do report back. Take pictures as you make it, too!
    I approve of the profile picture.

    There is no special ingredient to promote a lather? I read in several places that shaving soap uses glycerine or some liquid oil(s) to make it lather properly. It is funny how each resource would claim that just one or the other was responsible for lather, so it's impossible to tell if either source is wrong, or if both ingredients help.

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    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirnanigans View Post
    After pressing the thanks button once, I saw it change into a "report this post" button. Luckily, I caught myself.

    I did browse both google and some forums, including these. The only problem is that I keep running into advanced formulas for superior soaps. For example, one of the first results of my advanced search had a recipe with avocado oil in it! Why avocado oil when you already have coconut, olive, and castor oil, along with shea butter and tallow. I mean, sounds like a great soap and all, but I feel like only a couple of these are necessary and I can't seem to find any recipes that only use necessary ingredients.
    I'd report me too!! Yes, though, there are quite a few recipies floating around. I just don't have one at the tips of my fingers and have to scram shortly.

    Thanks for not Reporting me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirnanigans View Post
    I approve of the profile picture.

    There is no special ingredient to promote a lather? I read in several places that shaving soap uses glycerine...
    I use glycerine by itself to create an uberlather on top of soap that already contains glyc. So I'd have to say, from experience, I know glyc to promote lather.

    However, alot of people out their don't like to use glyc and make soaps based on tallow, for instance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siguy View Post
    I'd report me too!! Yes, though, there are quite a few recipies floating around. I just don't have one at the tips of my fingers and have to scram shortly.

    Thanks for not Reporting me.


    I use glycerine by itself to create an uberlather on top of soap that already contains glyc. So I'd have to say, from experience, I know glyc to promote lather.

    However, alot of people out their don't like to use glyc and make soaps based on tallow, for instance.
    You have been a great help. I must say that for such a simple principle, soap making seems to vary a lot from person to person... this does not make it easy to get it right on batch #1.

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    If you have shea butter heres a recipe that would work. All Natural Homemade Shaving Cream | Homemade Mommy Looks easy enough. Have seen a few recipes posted but seem complicated. I use 50g shea butter and 1 tbs almond oil throughly mixed for an aftershave. Its dirt cheap and imo better than taylors and gft skin food.

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    Here is a link to soap recipes using tallow.
    Soap Recipes Using Animal Fats
    Let us know how it works
    Good luck finding any LYE
    all the meth heads have made hard to find. Try the local feed stores and farm stores.
    Last edited by ultrasoundguy2003; 01-21-2015 at 08:56 PM.
    Common sense, Aint so common anymore.

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    On glycerin: I can only tell you my soap recipe, which is 35% each of stewric acid and tallow, 20% coconut oil, and 10% avocado oil, with 10% the weight of oils in glycerin and 50/50 potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide. This produces a fantastic and stable lather.
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