To quote the immortal words of Ace Ventura, "Congratulations on all your success, you smell terrific!"

OK, more seriously, hygiene is of critical importance in a disaster, as in other times. I recently watched a documentary about the internment of American (and Allied) civilians in Manilla during the war. One of the major challenges they faced was stretching out and supplementing their meager soap rations to maintain at least minimal sanitation. This was exacerbated by relatively close quarters living, tropical diseases, and dwindling supplies as the Axis powers fell back.

So, is soap making part of your preps or is it just easier to buy it cheap and stack it deep? If you do make soap, what is the best way to make bar soap? How about softer type of shaving purposes?
 
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When it comes to stuff like that, I find it easier and less time consuming to just buy mass quantities. I have plenty of liquid and bar soap. Most people don't need anything fancy, and you can buy most standard 4-5 ounce bars of soap in quantity for 50 cents per bar or less. I only use bar soap in the shower and one bar lasts me a week or more, less if I were to ration shower time (would depend on my activity and the weather - e.g., hot weather, being very active). So a year's worth of soap bars would cost about $20-$30 and is easily stored.

Therefore, I tend to just get a package of 10-20 bars of standard Ivory bath soap and the same amount of Irish Spring, when they are on sale at Costco, put them in the towel closet in the bathrooms - I currently probably have enough for a year for one person - I guess I should get enough for three people. I also get the liquid "anti-bacterial" soap, mix it with water and put it in foaming dispensers at each sink.

Also pickup the gelled alcohol sanitizer bottles - quarter liter - one for each sink, $1 each. One 1 gallon dispenser for the shop. Need to pickup a gallon dispenser of degreasing hand cleanser - but alcohol seems to work.

In short, more worried about clean water - but when I sell this property, having a backup well pump and power supply, etc., will be a high priority.
 

MTpockets

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I like to spend money on soap that has more than one use, and then purchase it when there is a discount.
One Example Below

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Edit to Add: Mom made soap at times. It requires quite a bit of energy/power. She also repurposed the soap bar remnants dissolving them into a "thrifty person" hand soap for the non-guest washroom.
 

albin25

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Tightass Tips of the Day;

- Allow air to get at your supply of bar soap, it will become harder over time...
... then each bar will last 3 times longer, without ANY deleterious effect on usability or effectiveness. (ask your Granny)
- Make a washcloth "bag" or slit a sponge to put your used soap "slivers" in to use up those annoying little pieces of used bars (great when camping and washing up in the creek)
- Guys...learn how to use a shaving brush and bowl, you DON'T really, really don't need some froo-froo "special" soaps or aerosol foam to make a nice lather, just used soap slivers. (ask your Dad and Grampa)
 
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I like to spend money on soap that has more than one use, and then purchase it when there is a discount.
One Example Below

View attachment 1038304
Edit to Add: Mom made soap at times. It requires quite a bit of energy/power. She also repurposed the soap bar remnants dissolving them into a "thrifty person" hand soap for the non-guest washroom.
Love that stuff, although I’ve recently been buying a lot of the Dr Squatch products. The soap bars are expensive and leave my skin feeling better than Bronner’s bar soaps.
 
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Tightass Tips of the Day;

- Allow air to get at your supply of bar soap, it will become harder over time...
... then each bar will last 3 times longer, without ANY deleterious effect on usability or effectiveness. (ask your Granny)
- Make a washcloth "bag" or slit a sponge to put your used soap "slivers" in to use up those annoying little pieces of used bars (great when camping and washing up in the creek)
- Guys...learn how to use a shaving brush and bowl, you DON'T really, really don't need some froo-froo "special" soaps or aerosol foam to make a nice lather, just used soap slivers. (ask your Dad and Grampa)
This right here!
Been using a shave brush and soap slivers since I started shaving, along with the safety razor as the blades are super cheap and plentiful, and they last,, especially if you have the old school hand crank strop machine!

Back in the 80's our scout troupe made soap using Ash from Mt St. Helens ( which was everywhere) and that stuff will clean the worst nasties off ya in no time flat! It was super easy to make, just took time and effort! All you really need to to keep your renderings, especially the tallow and make your glycerin and your good to go, can add what ever you want to the mix and you got soap! Make a trip out to eastern OryGun, WAY out there in the sough east corner and filll buckets of Borax ( and Sulphur while your there) and pack as much of it home as you can! Look along the creek bottoms for Salt Peter too, and collect all you can find and lug home ( I think you know where i'm heading with this) lots of good stuff out there in the wilds if you know what too look for and where!
 
I like to spend money on soap that has more than one use, and then purchase it when there is a discount.
One Example Below

View attachment 1038304
Edit to Add: Mom made soap at times. It requires quite a bit of energy/power. She also repurposed the soap bar remnants dissolving them into a "thrifty person" hand soap for the non-guest washroom.
BiMart used to have DrBronners soaps on special a few times per year. Significant savings, so we would stock up.

No idea if they have been running them on special amidst the "Plandemic", as we haven't had a need to look.

===

As towards the thread question, "Soap making as part of preps?". No, not for us.

However do have the "simple" knowledge of how to do so.

It certainly would be a learning experience. One we've opted to put off towards such a time as would necessitate HAVING TO DO IT. Vs simply wanting to do it.
 
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Ive ran a lye and lard soap making workshop for students quite a few times. Last time was right as Covid was coming around in WA. The exothermic reaction of adding the lye to water heats up quite a bit, so no additional heating is needed. You then add the lard, and whip it up, similar to making whipped cream. Just more cautious as the lye is dangerous. I use the Roebic 100% Lye "drain cleaner" that Lowes sells. You can get alot of soap out of one container, probably 40ish pounds. I then use cheap lard from the latino food section of my local grocery store. The stuff is caustic, so be careful when mixing. The only true measurement you need is the Lye-water-lb lard ratio. I dont recall what mine was offhand.

I do the primary mixing till the lard is in, then let the kids do the rest. For mixing a budget baking blender works great, but you could literally use a stick to mix in a worst case scenario. I have a selection of cheap essential oils that I add drops of to a batch. 1 lb batches yield about 6 average size bars. Essential oils are probably the best single ingrediant I have found so far. But I have had students add Oatmeal, coffee grounds, cinnimon sticks, brown sugar, lemon zest, Indian spices, and even a kid in Forestry who mixed in pine needles for "exfoliation." Once you have your ingredients added, I line a mold (literally any small plastic container/trash) with wax paper, then pour the batch in. Let it sit for about 6ish hours to cool and harden up a bit. Then I dump them out and cut with a knife or wire. Its still fairly soft, at that point, so maliable, but not likely to chip as easily if you cut when fully hard. Then let the bars air dry for about a month to neutralize as they are fairly basic on the ph scale initially. They harden up nicely over time.
 
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Catherine1

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We changed some more of our household and personal products around here at home.

I STILL buy the soap bars and store them properly. I ROTATE soap bars as I do factory RF ammo, HIS reloading supplies, food, extra potable water, toilet paper, OTC aspirin, vitamins/minerals, etc.

I will NOT be making soap from SCRATCH even though I have seen it done in the past.

It is not worth it for the 2 of us here even though I have the time.

Plus I do not trust my hands to do this.

My husband could do this and we have discussed this in the past but we decided not to do this.

ORIGINAL Ivory soap bars and only 1 to 2 types of Dr. Bronner's soap BARS get used the most.

I have started to make my own laundry detergent (Or laundry SOAP!) using Ivory or Dr. Bronner's soap BARS AGAIN.

I am going to stick with IVORY for that but I did try the baby mild and 2 other ones of Dr. B's.

I found that the ORIGINAL IVORY soap bars clean better, smell light and cleaner and ALL types of clothing/bedding/towels seem to RINSE better too.

I QUIT using all BRANDS of laundry detergents even though some of them are 'natural' or unscented or whatever in liquid or powder forms. I do not know what the HEY they are putting in stuff in this day and age even when it comes to BABY detergents SUPPOSEDLY better for allergic or sensitive people but ALL of it seems to be toxic even if you use FAR LESS and rinse like the dickens. Ultra this and that. Ugh.

I do not make the IVORY bar soap laundry recipe that is online.

I just make it with IVORY bar soap and hot/warm water. COLD RINSE. Plain and simple.

(ZERO softener STUFF. Ugh - I consider that toxic no matter how they claim it is unscented or scented or natural. LOL)

Sometimes I use a TINY bit of vinegar in a water/rinse cycle and use a second rinse after that for his hunting or yard work clothes.

The ONLY Dr. Bronner's LIQUID that I am buying NOW is for my husband since he likes the Peppermint liquid for HIS shampoo. The other ones got used up.

I forgot to add this.

I have been buying/using LIGGETT'S shampoo bars and I sometimes USE Ivory or Dr. B's baby mild soap BARS to wash my short - straight hair.

Liggett's BAR soap aka shampoo bar gets used 99% of the time now for ME.

LIGGETT'S = ORIGINAL FORMULA



We have a water softener - soft water.

I don't BUY or use conditioners, sprays, gels, goop or jack squat on my hair. I was NEVER into all of that hair STUFF but I did try a few conditioners in my life just to see if it did anything special. It did not. LOL So I stuck to baby shampoo and/or a couple of other shampoo brands in the PAST (LONG, long ago.) and lots of water.

I wash my short/straight hair well and rinse it a lot. Combs and hair brushes get washed on a regular basis too. The hair AIR dries. LOL

I buy ALL of the above products on sale or at regular prices around here, NOT online EVER, and they are cheaper in one natural - organic LOCAL store, at Walmart, at Target and sometimes at one other grocery store too.

I am NOT knocking people who buy online - we do not do that. We try to support our local stores and the STOCK seems fresher/cleaner with a better turnover. Some places online are more expensive too.

YMMV - No Problem!

Cate
 
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To quote the immortal words of Ace Ventura, "Congratulations on all your success, you smell terrific!"

OK, more seriously, hygiene is of critical importance in a disaster, as in other times. I recently watched a documentary about the internment of American (and Allied) civilians in Manilla during the war. One of the major challenges they faced was stretching out and supplementing their meager soap rations to maintain at least minimal sanitation. This was exacerbated by relatively close quarters living, tropical diseases, and dwindling supplies as the Axis powers fell back.

So, is soap making part of your preps or is it just easier to buy it cheap and stack it deep? If you do make soap, what is the best way to make bar soap? How about softer type of shaving purposes?
My sister is our resident soap maker. She does both bar soap and laundry detergent and has a 12 X 12 storage shed crammed full of supplies. I do also buy both in bulk and have a substantial stockpile.

As to shaving, I've been shaving with nothing but bar soap and a straight razor for decades. I just wet my face then rub the bar of soap over the whiskers I want gone and shave away. All the soap does is lubricate the skin so the razor glides over it.

To anyone prepping "for the long haul", I would recommend picking up a good quality straight razor and learning to use and maintain it. I've been shaving with the same straight razor since I was a teenager. I'm now 78, so I know a thing or two about their longevity. :cool:
 
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I store a lot of soap, all different kinds. But I also have a how-to book and have actually made it before. I regularly make my own face soap. Thinking maybe I should stock up on the supplies for making my own laundry soap. I hate making it, and don't really like using it, I prefer the pods. But that is one thing that I don't have a stock pile of. So perhaps some felz-naptha and borax needs to be added.
 
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Bar soap from the store will last a month.
Just unwrap it and store it in a cardboard box with some holes in it. That's the big secret. They keep them individually wrapped to keep the bars moist, they waste away much faster that way.

Some people put them in socks in their dresser drawers. It will make your clothes smell fresh as they dry out.

After curing for a few months unwrapped, they will be ready for extended use.
 

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