| by Kenneth Chase | 100 comments

how to make soap from wood ashes (lye water and tallow/lard)


Cooking with Dr. Chill

Mar 3, 2019, 9:06 am Reply

see my other soap rebatching / recycling video here https://studio.youtube.com/video/IbHoskNgjvk/edit

Stefan Pigford

Jul 7, 2019, 7:13 pm Reply

Now I'ma smell like a clean pig with ashes smell… at least I'll be CLEAN… RIGHT ?

Stefan Pigford

Jul 7, 2019, 7:15 pm Reply

That makes your skin hard like leather…

Just Doing It Jim

Jul 7, 2019, 3:44 am Reply

When I used a barrel stove to heat my shop I'd get a five gallon bucket of ashes out of it every two days. I didn't think anyone wanted it so I dumped it onto the burn pile where I burned excess materials (Pine and too large to fit pieces of stump burl) that I didn't want to put in my stove. Nice to see someone isn't wasting it.


Jul 7, 2019, 11:35 pm Reply

Wouldnt a wooden spoon be better for you?

Conor McCarthy

Jul 7, 2019, 9:10 am Reply

Egg? what happened to the potato?

TMO Bond

Jul 7, 2019, 12:13 pm Reply

Enjoyed the kpop music in the background during boiling the lye water

Tanes Rachbuasri

Jul 7, 2019, 9:38 pm Reply

Good video
I love this video

Eric Olden

Jul 7, 2019, 7:58 am Reply

Is that kpop I hear in the back ground after you've reduced the mixture? I thought I had another link up in the background playing haha


Jul 7, 2019, 11:48 pm Reply

I made soap with my granny. We did it outside and it was the best. She'd always clarify her lard twice and it helped with the smell. It was an all day job and she did it in a cast iron pot…the really big ones.


Jul 7, 2019, 3:15 am Reply

You’re a great teacher. Thank you.


Jul 7, 2019, 4:03 am Reply

Thank you. Now I will be able to maintain my hygiene after the zombie apocalypse and clean the ones I want to keep as pets.

Joe Citizen

Jul 7, 2019, 1:01 pm Reply

Did you say "let it set up for 4 to 6 weeks?

Tomboy #Bushcraft

Jul 7, 2019, 8:43 pm Reply

Works alot better to use clean rain water in your ashes..

W.J. Mc Elroy

Jul 7, 2019, 1:27 am Reply

Q&A ???
On the far dose it had to be store bought? Or can we use homemade lar, like from pork lamb elk beef, bear meat Etc.

Happy Cows

Jul 7, 2019, 8:35 am Reply

Wait. First you said charcoal ash then a few moments later you said wood ash. So which one is it?

Kelly Roup

Jul 7, 2019, 5:05 pm Reply

Nice vid. I think that maybe your problem with the stiffening was with the oils in the mesquite but not sure because I never used it. But it did work!

Jason Messler

Jul 7, 2019, 6:53 pm Reply

love how Kpop is playing in the background

Karen Shepherd

Jul 7, 2019, 8:53 am Reply

I make cold process soap as well as hot process soap. I use essential oil for fragrance and if I color my soap I use mica that is made of ground rocks. There are no additives in my soap. I do not use lard. The em3ll is off putting, I use Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil in my soap.

Paul Capocasa

Jul 7, 2019, 12:52 pm Reply

When you finally got the trace, it looked almost good enough to eat….lol


Jul 7, 2019, 9:23 pm Reply

If you do this again, it'd be interesting if you had some test strips to check the pH of the lye-water solution directly after you finish the soak, then after the heating, etc. Cool vid.

Stuart campbell

Jul 7, 2019, 11:21 am Reply

After bathing with this you smell like a roast pork

chester wheeler

Jul 7, 2019, 12:44 pm Reply

Make a rocket stove and cook it outside.


Jul 7, 2019, 3:43 am Reply

21:20 forbidden yogurt

Kevin Kiker

Jul 7, 2019, 4:44 am Reply

why not run it through a coffee filter to separate the ash

Shobe Productions

Jul 7, 2019, 7:11 pm Reply

I can finally smell like grandma

Briana Murphy

Jul 7, 2019, 5:43 am Reply

This video is awesome! Plus your voice makes it really easy to listen to you 🙂

Darrell Pidgeon

Aug 8, 2019, 12:10 pm Reply

After letting clean white ash soak for two weeks in a glass gallon jar, with occasional stirs, I siphoned off the clear liquid and tested a drop on a piece of aluminum foil. Tiny bubbles. The liquid smelled like soap, and was a great cleaning agent just the way it was. It sure did the trick getting the grime off my hands after working on the car. It was nice today to see the rest of the process. Thanks.

Manj J

Aug 8, 2019, 12:22 pm Reply

… is that f(x) I'm hearing in the background?!

Mihai Voicu Drebot

Aug 8, 2019, 12:36 pm Reply

In communist Romania, all the way to the early 90's, as in probably most of Eastern Europe at the time, a lot of everyday items were really hard to find in stores, soap among them. My grand parents used to make their own, to use for washing clothes, this sort of things. Store bought soap was only for washing hands, and it was used carefully, not to waste any. The method they used was similar to this, but done in large quantities, probably around 20-40 kg at a time. A batch was made to last for about a year. You never know when this sort of skill will come in handy.

OlSkunGun PS4

Aug 8, 2019, 11:19 am Reply

I learned in last grade of school how to make soap out of human fat due to "education" program by polish government. Godamn pricks. Schools full of corportated cunts and this made me abandon education.

Sufyan Siddiqui

Aug 8, 2019, 12:41 pm Reply

Cigarette ash ????


Aug 8, 2019, 10:50 am Reply

This soap is so good! Cuts straight through grimy bike grease and oil. Leave you hands squeaky clean. Doesn't dry your skin out either. Cant get over how well it works!


Aug 8, 2019, 6:25 pm Reply

It's funny how everyone romanticizes the old times now but it was a hard life and there's a reason we progressed to modern times because people were sick of that hard life and wanted to get as far away from it as possible…and now modern people want to go back to it, lol. Humans are never satisfied.


Aug 8, 2019, 8:39 am Reply

I honestly think that only people who have made soap themselves are going to understand the emotional rollercoaster that last 10'ish minutes of this video represents. From "No way that is going to trace" to "OMG more lye water! YES!" to, "too thin" to "Holy Shit there it is!".

All Outta Gum

Aug 8, 2019, 1:51 pm Reply

Syphon just above the Ash to take all the clears.


Aug 8, 2019, 9:47 am Reply

Wait,,,,is this will's easy guitar's…sounds just like him


Aug 8, 2019, 12:17 am Reply

To me this is worth it I would rather us my own labor than paying 35-40 bucks for laundry soap.

Wimpy Denton

Aug 8, 2019, 5:21 pm Reply

I totally read how to make SOUP from Ashes

Esequiel Tovar

Aug 8, 2019, 12:23 am Reply

How many of you prefer to have lives before all this urbanization happened. Like a thousand years ago

Jeong-hun Sin

Aug 8, 2019, 5:52 pm Reply

The name Potash-ium sounds like a joke. In Korea, it is called "Kalium".

jager meister

Aug 8, 2019, 6:00 am Reply

A question I have is how does the chlorine and ammonia in the water affect or change the chemical change when adding the water to the ashes?

william ziemer

Aug 8, 2019, 9:15 pm Reply

How is it possible that the ancients (stumbled) on to this?
It's specific! It didn't just happen accidentally and someone took note.
What would cause a person to direct their thoughts towards this as a way to wash dirt and sweat from the human body or from plant-fiber clothing?

So, I'm thinking it was one of the things "the watchers" taught man how to do.
You know who they are right?… They were the fathers of the "Nephilim", the hybrids of mankind and the renegade, "Bene Elohim" who came to this dimension as illegal aliens and screwed everything up; causing the most high Parental Force to rid the earth of all traces of them in order to rescue the only pure human specimens left, Noah and his family; (not sure about those daughter's in-law though.)

Surely they showed man how to do this.
"The Ebers papyrus (Egypt, 1550 BC) reveals that the ancient Egyptians mixed animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to produce a soap-like substance. The Celts made their soap from animal fat and plant ashes and they named the product saipo, from which the word soap is derived." (soaphistory.net).

I'm not trollin' ya; it's "word".

Big Red

Aug 8, 2019, 12:01 pm Reply

At 4:25. If you aren't sure whether Maskeet (not sure how to spell that) is not quite right, couldn't you do a pH test and if it is basic (alkaline) around 10 – 11 pH it will be fine?


Aug 8, 2019, 7:41 pm Reply

Thank god we have Supermarkets and Walmart’s !!! This process of home made soap ? is not my style because I don’t have the patience !!! ???❤️❤️❤️??????

Gazelle Carlson

Aug 8, 2019, 2:40 am Reply

distilled water would have been key

William Jones

Aug 8, 2019, 7:53 am Reply

Why you work so hard ..soap cheap like a mofo

Ziru Kantana

Aug 8, 2019, 3:02 pm Reply

Is that f(x) I hear in the background at 9:42 @@
Sir, I see you are a man of culture too!!!

Delon Duvenage

Aug 8, 2019, 5:00 pm Reply

if you knew what crap they put in everything from food to cleaning material you would all use this old soap recipe

Delon Duvenage

Aug 8, 2019, 5:12 pm Reply

i know his age hahaha , mcgyvering gives it away

Green Trees Blue Skies

Aug 8, 2019, 4:55 am Reply

Ash does make lye


Aug 8, 2019, 8:17 am Reply

How did it turn out?

Audrey Muller

Aug 8, 2019, 5:48 pm Reply

Laura Ingalls Wilder tells of soft soap made from wood ashes and tallow

Tilly Divine

Aug 8, 2019, 11:35 am Reply

You needed to use less water to soak the ashes in and then should have strained it through a thick filter far more slowly. A nice armful of clean straw is a great thing to use for this slow straining method. I'm in England and have been doing historical re-enactment events for decades. Blessed be the soap makers.

William Johnston

Aug 8, 2019, 3:37 pm Reply

Thanks for this.
As a brewer I would like to see what the specific gravity of the lye water should be. Instead of floating a potato or egg, use a hydrometer.
Also, when would the essential oils be added?

Tomasina Covell

Aug 8, 2019, 2:13 am Reply

You're a lyer! 🙂


Aug 8, 2019, 1:03 am Reply

Thank you Tyler Durden!


Aug 8, 2019, 1:10 am Reply

Need to make some irish spring…Stuffs such an aphrodisiac on honduran women you'll need to sew your fly shut.


Aug 8, 2019, 3:52 pm Reply

Stirring is a robot's job.

Gema Ortega

Aug 8, 2019, 4:06 pm Reply

quien ha subtitulado en español?? horrible

adam andrade

Aug 8, 2019, 7:19 pm Reply

Hey you can always use it as shampoo


Aug 8, 2019, 11:35 pm Reply

Liebig's law of the minimum at work here!

george Hill

Sep 9, 2019, 2:58 pm Reply

I find that adding a tablespoon of pine tar speeds up the process.


Sep 9, 2019, 4:19 am Reply

Here i am watching a cool video on making soap and then 9:10 i think I hear a familiar sound ??????

4×4 Texas

Sep 9, 2019, 5:23 am Reply

Cigarette ash?? how to smell like you smoke 12 packs a hour

Grace Collins

Sep 9, 2019, 4:40 am Reply

My Nana made her own soap over a fire in the backyard. She preferred sheep tallow, said it made for a finer textured soap and smelled better. She would always add salt to 'sweeten' the soap so it wouldn't go off and add sawdust, sometimes fine sand, to some batches to make her ''scouring soap'' which she used to scrub her iron griddle, pots and pans as well as on the men's work clothes as Grandad, and my uncles were builders and often came home with creosote on their hands, clothes and boots.

SnapDragon Drago

Sep 9, 2019, 8:05 am Reply

Thanks for this information as I have always wanted the recipe!!!

SnapDragon Drago

Sep 9, 2019, 8:12 am Reply

? stories!!!!

sage pepper

Sep 9, 2019, 12:33 pm Reply

That was awesome! Thank you

Trevia Smith

Sep 9, 2019, 9:32 pm Reply

We made soap like this growing up too. I was allergic to so many things my mom did this as a means of keeping me healthy. It was my job to take the sheep fat and render it. It took a few days to get it nice and white. I don't know what mom used to make it lemon scented, but she boiled lavender for soap too. My aunts (her sisters) loved it when mom made soap as most of us have eczema and this soap didn't irritate it. She also made a lotion using goose grease, I can't remember the recipe for it though and mom is now gone. She was raised by her Native grandmother and I wish I could tell her thank you for giving my mom so much knowledge.


Sep 9, 2019, 12:52 pm Reply

Couldn't you make it stronger by just adding less water at the start?

Narada Boney

Sep 9, 2019, 12:10 am Reply

I don’t won’t lye or wood ashes on my skin harmful

Robert Walker

Sep 9, 2019, 2:23 am Reply

My two grandmothers taught me how to make soap that way

Lux Meow

Sep 9, 2019, 6:50 am Reply

Remind me to never use the soap of someone in love with their barbeque!

Chanelle Kirchgestner

Sep 9, 2019, 3:20 am Reply

What are the best wood ashes to use?

S L Hughes

Sep 9, 2019, 6:37 pm Reply

As a note of trivia, the chemistry behind this process means that there's a ratio of fat:lye of 3:1. You're right to keep the temperature down. Again the chemistry behind this states the fat/lye reaction is "exothermic": gives off heat, your pot will be a lot hotter than what it should be from just he gas flame. Also the lard (pork) is nice, but suet (beef) is better for a harder soap. The scale runs down through suet–> lard–> chicken fat–> olive oils –> other vegetable oils–> coconut oil. Any combination of oils works too to give a variation to lather/bubble size to the finished soap. A further note of trivia regarding your concern about the density of the lye water: perhaps take it to the point where the egg is half way out of the water. Simply adding more of what you had for this video will work since you're still driving off the excess water, the POH remains to combine with the fats, which increased your stir time as you saw. Temperature on the hardening of the soap is important: if it cools too fast as it hardens it'll separate–especially if your using olive/vegetable oils. A warm area/slow cool is better. If it insists on separating while hardening, you can stir it up to recombine it. If you want a "soft soap" like today's modern stuff, add a tablespoon of fruit pectin to it before you pour it out of the kettle.

Aarron Shannon

Sep 9, 2019, 11:47 am Reply

just how my great great great grandmamma made it

dah-rebuke 101

Sep 9, 2019, 3:39 pm Reply

Dang such a l o n g process!

Sharlene Andujar

Sep 9, 2019, 8:52 pm Reply

He's listening to f(x) ! ❤❤❤

Bruce Evou

Sep 9, 2019, 9:26 pm Reply

Do you have to use distilled water for this?

Das Schnattchen

Sep 9, 2019, 1:59 pm Reply

Did someone try this?

Alamelu Ramanathan

Sep 9, 2019, 9:46 am Reply

Sir can we use this in making soap
Or liquid soap


Sep 9, 2019, 4:34 pm Reply

I've heard of this before, but didn't know the details. Doing a lot of barbecuing with hardwoods, I thought about making this or similarly derived products. Thanks for the video.

Kim Zastrow

Sep 9, 2019, 3:35 pm Reply

I just by my soap from the store

Craig Monteforte

Sep 9, 2019, 11:15 pm Reply

Pretty cool video I read years ago that all the soaps , shampoos, and toothpastes have ingredients to make them ?”foam” up to appear like they are working harder and without those ingredients the products would work just as well it was all a marketing thing created by mostly television commercials to make them look like they are attacking the dirt and oils our skin naturally has A friend of mine has been making her own soaps for years and I’ve been giving those out to family for Christmas presents for years all the women swear buy it now I know she uses oatmeal and all natural ingredients but not much more about her process

Michael Harned

Sep 9, 2019, 1:50 pm Reply

Coconut oil makes the best soap

Dalmatian Farmer

Oct 10, 2019, 1:30 pm Reply

My grandmas both had pigs and we were do full of soap in our house,I can still remeber it's nice and nostalgic scent.

Ronald McFondle

Oct 10, 2019, 8:27 am Reply

Do most companies make soap from wood ash?

Bonnie Garber

Oct 10, 2019, 4:26 am Reply

I use stainless steel and enameled pots and wooden spoons. I keep them separate and never use them for anything but soap. After a few times it will eat the wooden spoons. Lol. I don't stir it as fast as you do. If you happen to splash the lye water on you, use vinegar to cut it not water. I will put my soap to bed for 24 hrs. I cover it well so it stays warm longer. When it sets up, we'll cut it into bars. Good video, thanks for sharing!

Lady of the Woods

Oct 10, 2019, 1:04 am Reply

Very good teacher good narrator a lot of patience thank you
Isn’t that cool making something to clean out of old dirty ashes.
I wonder how that came about lol

West Coast DIY Mama

Oct 10, 2019, 6:12 am Reply

I would love to try this instead of buying store bought Lye. Amazing info thanks for sharing your knowledge

Mr Steinbergenson

Oct 10, 2019, 2:53 pm Reply

Tastes delicious thank you! ?

The Lady Marah

Oct 10, 2019, 12:45 am Reply

I hope you eventually got yourself a stick blender to make mixing easier. It's what professional and hobbiest home made soapers use

Rusty Shackleford

Oct 10, 2019, 6:38 am Reply

Cigarette ash soap! Great!

Joseph-Annaelle Mbanmbaane

Oct 10, 2019, 11:50 am Reply


Jennifer Harris

Oct 10, 2019, 12:14 pm Reply

Making the soap really interesting

Scotty G

Oct 10, 2019, 12:53 pm Reply

Could this be used to clean one's Roll's Royce.

Sara Emma Rota

Oct 10, 2019, 8:09 pm Reply

Is it possible to make wood ash soap with vegetable oil instead of lard? Wanna do a school project but my sience teacher is vegan( I would lose points if I used lard)

Morgan Ahoff

Oct 10, 2019, 4:08 am Reply

My dad shared an office with a man who had a hobby farm, and when he would slaughter a cow, my dad would get huge hunks of fat and make tallow soap. One evening I was at a party, and a girl I knew got a little inebriated and said, "You always smell terrific!" and 3 or 4 other women said, "Yeah, you always smell so great, what are you wearing?!" I attributed it to using my dad's home-made soap. So tallow soap doesn't smell great, but it makes you smell great.


Oct 10, 2019, 4:01 pm Reply

So great!

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