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Simple steps on how to make Black soap from Scratch

Black Soap is a soap with particular usage in the African society. Black Soap  before long has been used as antiseptic bathing soap. Before the production of lye from synthetic products, soap makers made lye from the ashes of hard wood. The advent of synthetic lye has slowly reduced the usage of  natural lye in soap making. But a few people still use them to make soap. Potassium hydroxide is mostly used to make  liquid soap but in this case, it can be used to make semi solid soaps.

Plants naturally absorb potassium hydroxide and when they enter, they do not leave the plant even after burning. Potassium hydroxide is extracted from the ashes of these plants. The ashes used are mostly from hard wood. When Potassium hydroxide is extracted, it is then combined with palm kernel oil to form soap( You can also use another type of oil).

Lets get going

Ashes from hardwood, or plantain or cocoa pods or palm front or locust beans or a mixture of all these.
Rain water
Palm Kernel oil. Click here to learn how palm kernel oil is made.


How to make the Lye (Potassium hydroxide) from Ashes
Get 1 basin of ashes
Get a big basket, spread a bag under, inside the basket. Get palm fronts with leaves and place at the bottom of the basket.
Turn the ashes into the basket
Place the basket on an elevated surface so that you can place a basin under.  you can keep the basket between two high wood. Then place a basin under to collect the lye
Gradually, add water to the ashes in the basket. A brownish coloured liquid will be seen coming out under.
Add more water to the ashes in the basket whenever the water finishes in the basket until what comes out downward is completely clear liquid. Then your lye has been extracted.
Next, Turn the extract in the basin into a pot and boil until it becomes thick. That is your lye

Production proper
Measure kernel oil and turn into the pot containing Potassium hydroxide and stir continuously until it solidifies.
If you want to use a little of it, measure some of the lye out before turning the palm kernel oil
when ready, turn into a mould and allow to cure for two days then you can use it.
If your black soap is not smooth after this, turn it into a mortar and pound until it becomes smooth.
If you want it to foam more than what you did, during addition of oil, add a little sulphonic acid.
You can also add sodium sulphate to harden the soap
To make it more antiseptic, add Neem seed oil and pine oil

Leave a comment below if you need extra tips

Have a nice day!

Updated: 30th March, 2018.


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