Have you ever wondered how to make soap at home? We have the solution ! In this article, we are going to teach you how to make lye from hardwood ash for soap making.
What is washing from ashes.
Ash lye is an alkaline liquid obtained by a process of leaching hardwood ash. Ash lye has been used for centuries as an ingredient in soap making, as well as for cleaning and disinfecting.
The process of making ash lye involves boiling hardwood ash (such as oak ash, beech ash, or hickory ash) in water to release the soluble components in the ash. The resulting solution is then filtered to separate the liquid liquor from the ashes.
Ash lye is rich in potassium hydroxide and is used to saponify oils and fats to make soap. Ash lye has also been used historically to clean and disinfect surfaces and as a natural bleaching agent.
It is important to note that ash lye is very alkaline and can be dangerous if not handled properly. Safety precautions should be taken when working with ash lye, such as wearing gloves and protective eyewear.
The manufacture of this alkaline solution dates back to antiquity and served as the basis for the development of the first so-called potash soaps, obtained by mixing the solution with animal fats. In fact, potash soap was widely used by the ancient Romans for washing clothes and the body, and was considered a luxury item in the Middle Ages. Although ash lye has been replaced by other ingredients in most modern soaps, it remains a natural and effective alternative for making home cleaning products.
How to make laundry from ashes – an easy way to make soap at home
Ash lye is an important ingredient in making homemade soap. Luckily, this is very easy to do with hardwood ash and water. Follow these simple steps:
- Collect hardwood ashes in a fireproof container, such as a metal bucket or cast iron pot. Avoid soft woods, as they are too resinous to do good laundry.
- Boil fresh water (preferably rainwater) in a separate pot.
- Pour boiling water over the ashes and mix well.
- Let the ashes settle to the bottom of the pot and let the liquid lye rise to the top. You can help separate it by using a colander or cotton cloth.
- Collect the liquid bleach in a separate container and dispose of the ashes.
Ready! You already have ash lye ready to use in soap making. Remember bleach is caustic and should be handled with care. Wear protective gloves and goggles when handling it.
This solution is perfect as a natural liquid detergent. To use it, the ash detergent must be diluted with hot water, like any conventional liquid detergent. If a stronger lye is desired, a 1:3 solution of ash in water can be prepared, brought to a boil, and left to stand for 12 to 24 hours before decanting the clear solution from the lye water. To avoid confusion when reusing used bottles, it is important to bottle your lye water and label it correctly, as it is toxic if ingested.
With this simple method, you can make your own lye from ashes at home and enjoy the satisfaction of creating your own natural, long-lasting homemade soap. Try it today!
Uses of ash-based detergents
Ash detergent, also known as ash soap, is a natural cleaning product that can be made at home using ash lye and animal or vegetable oils or fats. This detergent has been used for centuries to wash clothes, dishes, kitchen utensils and surfaces around the home. Here are some of the common uses of ash detergent:
- clothes cleaning: Ash Detergent can be used as a natural and effective laundry detergent. Simply add a few tablespoons of ash-based detergent to your washing machine’s wash cycle.
- wash the dishes: Ash Detergent can be used as a natural and effective washing up liquid. Add a few tablespoons of detergent ash to your hot sink water and immerse the dishes.
- surface cleaning: Ash detergent can be used to clean surfaces around the home, such as counters, floors, tubs and sinks.
- stain removal: Ash-based detergent has been used for centuries to remove tough stains, such as oil stains on clothing and stains on surfaces around the home.
- Thanks to its great degreasing power, this alkaline solution in its highest concentration is a efficient hose plunger. It can help dissolve and remove grease buildup and other debris clogging pipes, preventing costly repairs. It is important to note that the solution should be properly diluted before use and that safety precautions should be taken, such as wearing gloves and goggles. Also, it is advisable to test the solution on a small area of the pipe before applying it to the entire pipe.
- Natural fertilizer and for pest control in crops. Due to its high potassium content, lye ash solution can help improve soil quality and increase plant resistance to common diseases and pests. To use it as a fertilizer, it is recommended to dilute the solution with water before applying it to the soil. As a pest control measure, the solution can be sprayed directly on affected plants to deter pests. It is important to note that the solution may be toxic to some plants and animals, so it is recommended to study and test the solution on a small area before widespread application.
Ash detergent is an effective and natural cleaning product that can be made at home with simple, natural ingredients. It can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks around the home and is a safer, longer lasting alternative to commercial cleaning products.