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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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I have a friend who got a bear last year and rendered the bear fat. I asked him if I could have it to make soap as I've made soap from other fats and oils (olive, coconut, pig lard etc) but never from bear and always wanted to. Well I completed my first batch which I decided to leave unscented and very simple. So water, lye and tallow only. No other ingredients and it came out great. My next batch will have lavender and vanilla essential oil and I will do another batch in pine essential oil.

And yes I am sharing the soap with my friend who gave the tallow. The other soap I am keeping for both personal use and blanket sales at historical events we do (French and Indian, rev war, and those doing frontier/woodsman impressions would be interested I think). I do not know if I can share the process as it is slightly dangerous. But I just wanted to share and maybe encourage folks to turn your bear into soap 馃Ъ sometime.

The lather is very rich and creamy. Could even be a good shave bar.
 

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I have a friend who got a bear last year and rendered the bear fat. I asked him if I could have it to make soap as I've made soap from other fats and oils (olive, coconut, pig lard etc) but never from bear and always wanted to. Well I completed my first batch which I decided to leave unscented and very simple. So water, lye and tallow only. No other ingredients and it came out great. My next batch will have lavender and vanilla essential oil and I will do another batch in pine essential oil.

And yes I am sharing the soap with my friend who gave the tallow. The other soap I am keeping for both personal use and blanket sales at historical events we do (French and Indian, rev war, and those doing frontier/woodsman impressions would be interested I think). I do not know if I can share the process as it is slightly dangerous. But I just wanted to share and maybe encourage folks to turn your bear into soap 馃Ъ sometime.

The lather is very rich and creamy. Could even be a good shave bar.
Very cool. Bear tallow is some of the best tallow from any animal. I own a soap making company and have really been wanting to try making bear tallow soap. I鈥檝e made soap with fat from deer, elk and feral hogs.

After rendering, bear lard/oil has a very long shelf life. I am very curious to see how long the soap keeps before developing DOS. Will you be keeping any of it to test its shelf life?

Something to be aware of, in many states it is illegal to sell bear parts. It comes from the killing of bear for their gallbladder.
 

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When I was a kid , every butcher season my Dad would make tallow soap.
That was nothing compared to the lye soap he made.
There are still some crates of it in the back room.
For some reason nobody likes to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very cool. Bear tallow is some of the best tallow from any animal. I own a soap making company and have really been wanting to try making bear tallow soap. I鈥檝e made soap with fat from deer, elk and feral hogs.

After rendering, bear lard/oil has a very long shelf life. I am very curious to see how long the soap keeps before developing DOS. Will you be keeping any of it to test its shelf life?

Something to be aware of, in many states it is illegal to sell bear parts. It comes from the killing of bear for their gallbladder.
I will be keeping some yes. I'm sure it will take a long time to use it all cause I have other soaps too. So can see how it does. I'm thinking it will fair well.

As far as the legal portion I will keep that in mind. But I think it wouldn't apply to this as I'm not selling any parts and it's just fat from a legally hunted black bear in a new product, not even the fat itself. But I can read up to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I was a kid , every butcher season my Dad would make tallow soap.
That was nothing compared to the lye soap he made.
There are still some crates of it in the back room.
For some reason nobody likes to use it.
What do you mean by lye soap? All my bar soap is saponified using lye. A fat, water and lye to be specific.

So what differentiates the "tallow soap" from the "lye soap" as both ingredients are in the soap.
 

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What do you mean by lye soap? All my bar soap is saponified using lye. A fat, water and lye to be specific.

So what differentiates the "tallow soap" from the "lye soap" as both ingredients are in the soap.
Traditionally when someone calls it a 鈥渓ye soap鈥 it is 鈥渓ye heavy鈥 or caustic. The soap we make has more oil/fat than what is needed for complete saponification to keep it from causing chemical (lye) burns. All soap calculators err on the side of caution and add a little extra fat.

Lye soap was most commonly used in washing clothes and by auto mechanics. If your hands or clothes are oil stained and your soap is lye heavy, the lye water and oil will saponify and rinse clean. Hopefully without burning holes in your clothes or taking your skin with it.

Soap by definition is a bit of an oxymoron. Soap is an alkali salt of fatty acid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Traditionally when someone calls it a 鈥渓ye soap鈥 it is 鈥渓ye heavy鈥 or caustic. The soap we make has more oil/fat than what is needed for complete saponification to keep it from causing chemical (lye) burns. All soap calculators err on the side of caution and add a little extra fat.

Lye soap was most commonly used in washing clothes and by auto mechanics. If your hands or clothes are oil stained and your soap is lye heavy, the lye water and oil will saponify and rinse clean. Hopefully without burning holes in your clothes or taking your skin with it.

Soap by definition is a bit of an oxymoron. Soap is an alkali salt of fatty acid.
Thank you so much!. I've heard someone else also use the name lye soap before but wasn't sure as it seemed redundant, but what you described makes sense. I could see how a lye heavy soap would be good for laundry as it would cut through the dirt grease and oils effectively. Thank you for explaining it to me. Now I know I the future.
 
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My wife has made soap in the past using olive and coconut oil along with lye. After it cools off we're going to try making some using beeswax since I have about 50lbs of it.
Beeswax makes great moisturizing soaps and lotions. It can leave a non-greasy almost silky feeling. Especially with colloidal oatmeal. I make an aftershave my wife likes as a body lotion. Just be aware that a little bit of beeswax goes a long way. Make sure to post how your soap turns out.
 

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Thank you so much!. I've heard someone else also use the name lye soap before but wasn't sure as it seemed redundant, but what you described makes sense. I could see how a lye heavy soap would be good for laundry as it would cut through the dirt grease and oils effectively. Thank you for explaining it to me. Now I know I the future.
Beef tallow and pig lard make some of the best laundry soaps. They are byproducts of butchering and can be very inexpensive as well.

Don鈥檛 use the tallow or lard sold in grocery stores, they have preservatives that can negatively affect the soapmaking process. Get it from a butcher or a soap supply company. Tallow and lard have preservatives because they can go rancid quickly so avoid buying large quantities. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

There are a couple of different methods of making laundry soap. Whatever method you use, pay very close attention to your measurements and the process. It鈥檚 easy to get too much fat or too much lye.

The soap makes a great all around cleaner. My wife made a video of cleaning heavily mud stained shoelaces to gleaming white in a matter of seconds using the soap. I, also, throw a 1/2 teaspoon in my sonic cleaner when cleaning brass. Keep us posted.
 

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Great thread! I remember reading in grade school (and that was a l-o-n-g time ago) a story about the early settlers killing a hog, dumping it in a cauldron of boiling water to loosen the hair, scraping off said hair before skinning and butchering the pi, then rendering the lard, making lye from the hardwood ashes and making soap.

More recently I read "Sometimes Only Horses to Eat" by Carl Haywood, taken from the journals of David Thompson who was a trader, surveyor and explorer in the early 1800s for the Hudson's Bay Company. It describes in several places that they would stop along their canoe travels to the West to make soap using bear fat and lye from the ashes. I have read of this in other fur trade journals also. It seems like those early trappers and traders wanted to be clean, unlike the popular notion of them bathing once a year, need it or not!

~Kees~
 
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