Appalachian Soap Making
Although many soap making companies now are leaning toward organic, vegetable based products, you can still find some of the older Appalachian recipes and techniques that originated in the Appalachian Mountains. These recipes are based on melted down animal fats, like bacon fat and grease, mixed with lye.
Appalachian soap was used in the elimination of head and body lice, bed bugs, and mites. It was naturally also used as a general household and floor cleaning.
Appalachian Soap Making Today
There are several science kits on the market for children and adults that teach them how to make soap using the Appalachian soap making technique. These kits normally include lard as the fat base.
There are, naturally, many soap makers in the Appalachian Mountains now who are converting to natural soaps, made from vegetable fats as well and who use modern methods of processing them.
Appalachian Soap Making – Audio Recordings
There is actually an audio collection available, where you can listen to Appalachian’s talking abut how they made soap out of lye. You can find that information here in the Charles Gunter Junior Collection at the East Tennessee State University.
Appalachian Soap Making Recipe
This tradition of soap making has been around since the early colonization of America. You can find original Appalachian soap recipes online but the instructions can be unclear at best and at worst confusing.
Although you can follow these recipes step by step, it might be easier to purchase an Appalachian Soap Making kit. These yield more consistent results and many include the necessary safety equipment.
Appalachian Soap Making and Education
Appalachian soap making can be a fun and wonderful bonding experience for you and your children, as long as you follow safety precautions. Many schools are using these kits in their science demonstrations and science fairs with good results.