wood ash as soap?

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Ive heard and read that wood ash can be used as but haven't been able to glean any further information about it other than that it can be done... any words of wisdom?? is it that simple rub it on your hands lather and rinse??How effective is it from a hygenic standpoint?? any feedback? thanks.
 
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It is sterile, abrasive, and slightly caustic. With water, works well.

Soap can be made by soaking water through hardwood ash, creating lye; then add rendered fat, stir forever, voila!

Tons of sites on internet.

Have fun.


Kis
 

kvaughn

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Hardwood ashes can be used to make a crude lye which combined with a source of fat will make a crude soap. Water is leached through the ashes in some manner. One SAS book that I saw had a picture using a sock full of ashes with a container underneath and the water was pored through several times. Foxfire books has a whole chapter on soap making this way and has a picture of a v-shaped wooden hopper loaded with layers of straw and ashes which water is poured through. I think the ratio is about 2 parts fat to 1 part lye. You can still buy old time lye soap at some flea markets..KV
 
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Soap is just fat and alkali it can be made from many things. Early soaps were ash and animal fat.

"Manufacture of soap began in England around the end of the 12th century. Soap-makers had to pay a heavy tax on all the soap they produced. The tax collector locked the lids on soap boiling pans every night to prevent illegal soap manufacture after hours. Because of the high tax, soap was a luxury item, and it did not come into common use in England until after the tax was repealed in 1853. In the 19th century, soap was affordable and popular throughout Europe.

Early soap manufacturers simply boiled a solution of wood ash and animal fat. A foam substance formed at the top of the pot. When cooled, it hardened into soap. Around 1790, French soapmaker Nicolas Leblanc developed a method of extracting caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) from common table salt (sodium chloride), replacing the wood ash element of soap. The French chemist Eugene-Michel Chevreul put the soap-forming process (called in English saponification) into concrete chemical terms in 1823. In saponification, the animal fat, which is chemically neutral, splits into fatty acids, which react with alkali carbonates to form soap, leaving glycerin as a byproduct. Soap was made with industrial processes by the end of the 19th century, though people in rural areas, such as the pioneers in the western United States, continued to make soap at home."

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Soap.html
 
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Wow, ALot of great info hear..While I think eventuall making my own soap as another step towards independent living might be a great skill to learn I was interested in finding out if you could use wood ash and water to effectively perform moderate dish cleaning and hygenic duties while in the field.
 
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And Riley, don't forget natural soap substitutes such as Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis) which apparently grows over almost all of North America as seen here.

There are others, such as Yucca (I think) but Bouncing Bet is the only one I've tried.

Doc
 
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And Riley, don't forget natural soap substitutes such as Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis) which apparently grows over almost all of North America as seen here.

There are others, such as Yucca (I think) but Bouncing Bet is the only one I've tried.

Doc

AKA Soap Wort
survivaltrip139.jpg


Just add water and rub
(sorry crappy pic)
survivaltrip140.jpg
 
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Wow, ALot of great info hear..While I think eventuall making my own soap as another step towards independent living might be a great skill to learn I was interested in finding out if you could use wood ash and water to effectively perform moderate dish cleaning and hygenic duties while in the field.


Riley?

Try it at home. :)

First soap I made came from Draino-type drain cleaner product (read label to make sure it is a lye formulation) and saved, rendered bacon fat, wooden spoon, and water. Tedious, but neat to have done.

You can add fragrances, but it is not necessary. I'd also be careful about using it, it is NOT the commercial soap you wash your lovely complexion with each night. :) Your formulation can make a difference. Test before using near sensitive areas.

Used lamb fat a neighbor gave me once. I was better and the soap turned out well, but took a while to reduce the lamb fat to oil. Had a (duh) lamb-meat scent.

STILL have some saved venison fat (it has been years now...jeez, I gotta do something about that stuff :( ) I know I used it once, but don't remember the final product differences. Venison fat coagulates much quicker than beef, pork, or lamb fat, and seems much denser than the others...to me, at least.

Read cautionary elements of instructions, please. Think aluminum pots are out. KNOW that you add the lye, rather than adding TO the lye, because of splattering potential of caustic solution. Simple stuff, but important.

Not that difficult, somewhat tedious, kinda neat to make your own.

Be safe, have fun.




Kis
enjoy every sandwich
 
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Ive heard and read that wood ash can be used as but haven't been able to glean any further information about it other than that it can be done... any words of wisdom?? is it that simple rub it on your hands lather and rinse??How effective is it from a hygenic standpoint?? any feedback? thanks.

I was wondering the same thing. Some of this info has been very helpful but I don't think your original question was answered. Quote: Better than nothing 'cos it makes water wetter. ) That's about the closest you got to a answer; though I am not sure what making water wetter means. It doesn't sound like your interested in making your own soap; or bringing your own animal fat, or hunting an animal down just you can use the fat for making soap in the woods. Only if you can use the ashes from a camp fire to wash your hands and the pots and pans. That would save you the hassle of packing soap in a plastic bag since most of people have a campfire at least once a day while camping. And could prove useful for those times where you forget to bring soap (which I have) Well I have never tried lathering up my hands with wood ashes and water so here is yet another post that fails to answer your question. But I will say that you can make a tea using pine needles and that assuming it's acidic will at least be better then water for cleaning your hands and body if you needed to. And it would leave a fresh pine scent:D In fact throw some wood ashes in the mix and have yourself a mountain man scrub down;)
 
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I have no experience using wood ash and water, but if I understand it correctly, lye can be produced, which is highly corrosive. Keep this in mind until somebody who is experienced chimes in.

Doc
 
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off topic, but more info on the bandoleer please!

Your gonna have to email or pm oldmanMarty on that, he has dial up and ussually gives up on threads w/pics in them. Or maybe Kev knows the answer.
 
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“Quote: Better than nothing 'cos it makes water wetter. ) That's about the closest you got to a answer; though I am not sure what making water wetter means.”

Soap is a surfactant
, it reduces surface tension. Remember when you were a kid in chemistry class and they got you blowing bubbles and propelling little paper boats round a bucket of water with a bit of soap...That process of reducing surface tension can be described as making water wetter.

“Soap molecules are composed of long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. At one end of the chain is a configuration of atoms which likes to be in water (hydrophilic). The other end shuns water (hydrophobic) but attaches easily to grease. In washing, the "greasy" end of the soap molecule attaches itself to the grease on your dirty plate, letting water seep in underneath. The particle of grease is pried loose and surrounded by soap molecules, to be carried off by a flood of water.”
 
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