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Make Your Own Soap
Among the old-fashioned crafts that are seeing a revival is soap making. If you want to try your hand at it, this 68-year-old Ozark recipe is passed on to you, compliments of Mrs. Virgie Richardson, Mountain View, Ariz.
1 quart of water
6 pounds of grease (purified)
1 can of lye
If you use your own grease, purify it by skimming off only the top for soap making and add 1 cup of borax to it. Mix the water and grease and bring th.e mixture to a boil.
Pour in the lye and bring to a second boil. Add 3 gals. of water and cook until it thickens, stirring constantly.
Pour into molds and let harden for 24 hours. Then cut into squares, remove from mold, wrap in cloth or wax paper and cure for several weeks in a cool, dry place. Makes about 75 small bars.
There are some special tips to the whole process that Mrs. Richardson has learned as the recipe has been handed down by three generations of her family. She says you should work in a well ventilated area or outside. And she thinks a cast iron pot works
best because the iron will hold the heat to finish cooking.
Mrs. Richardson sometimes puts the soap into decorative molds but she says not to use aluminum because it reacts with the lye. She uses wooden or cardboard boxes lined with freezer paper, or cast iron molds. And the soap must be cured because the lye in it is too strong right after it is made. She stores it for 5 to 25 weeks.
Mrs. Richardson says homemade soap is more pure, less costly, and, lasts longer than regular soap. Also, it has none of the fancy additives that can be irritating to delicate skin. She does suggest that you might want to try adding colors or perfume scents to a batch of soap for variety.
Mrs. Richardson is kept busy with her soap-making as a craft demonstration at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View where samples of her homemade soap. sell for 35 cents a bar. For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mrs. Virgie Richardson, Ozark Folk Center, Mountain View, Ariz. 72506 (ph 501 269-3851).

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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #6