What is caustic soda soap?

A bar of caustic soda soap.

Caustic soda soap is a cleaning product made with lard, water and lye. It was historically used all over the world before commercially produced soaps became available, and it is still used by many people because of its potential skin benefits and because of its all-natural recipe. Although it is mainly used for personal hygiene, this soap can also be used for washing clothes and cleaning the house in general.

Ingredients

Bleach soap can be used for scrubbing.

The main ingredient, caustic soda, is a very corrosive material that is also used in the manufacture of drain cleaner and paper. It is sometimes sold as caustic soda or sodium hydroxide and is often found at hardware stores or soap-making supply suppliers. Lard is animal fat, usually made from farm animals such as pigs. It gives shape to the final product and soft texture. Water is mainly used as a distilling agent for caustic soda and as a diluent for the final product. When combined, the ingredients interact with each other to form glycerin, which attracts dirt and oil and allows for cleaning.

uses

Solid caustic soda.

Most people use this product as a body cleanser, but it can also be used for shaving and washing. In addition to personal hygiene, lye soap can be flaked and added to the washing machine to wash clothes, or rubbed into stains to pre-treat them before washing. It also works well for general house cleaning, washing pets, washing dishes and mopping. Some people also say that it is a good fish bait and can be used to lubricate stuck hinges.

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Advantages and disadvantages

Lard is used to make lye soap.

While many historical recipes contain more lye than needed, making a very strong soap, modern versions are actually very mild. This is because of the presence of glycerin, which is a very soothing and gentle cleanser that works well for acne-prone skin. Also, lye soap does not contain fragrances or other synthetic ingredients that can irritate the skin, so many people with conditions like eczema and psoriasis also use it. It is also commonly used to relieve itching caused by insect bites, poison ivy, and sunburn.

Glycerin is a natural by-product of soap made with lye.

In addition to the skin benefits, caustic soda soap is an all-natural and biodegradable product, which makes it popular with those who want to use eco-friendly cleansers. It is also usually very cheap to make, as the ingredients involved are not expensive. Despite this, it can be very strong if too much caustic soda is added and tends to harden over time. Also, great care is needed to prepare it, as lye is very caustic.

Production

Lard, which is an ingredient in lye soap, is usually made from farm animals such as pigs.

Modern lye soap is made by an automated process, with many manufacturers purchasing large quantities of the ingredients and mixing them in industrial machines. Some manufacturers still use the original methods to make smaller batches, and people also make their own soaps at home.

Historically, this soap was made the same way it is today, but all the ingredients were usually made from scratch, not just the finished product. Many people collected their own caustic soda from the wood ash and processed the lard from their own farm animals. After cleaning the lard, it can be added to the water and boiled until it thickens. After that, caustic soda was added in small amounts and the mixture was stirred for several hours. It was then allowed to cool and the resulting liquid could be used for cleaning or mixed with a little table salt and solidified into bars.

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