Solid or liquid soap, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste do not seem like a big deal nowadays. Every day, we are exposed to hundreds of marketing campaigns that the big companies throw at us, thus impelling us to buy more and more items.
Making your own soap may seem redundant now, but in a survival situation, toiletries such as soap will turn into luxury items. Thus, owning the skill of making soap will prove its worth, especially when accounting for the need to stay healthy in order to survive out in the wilderness and protect your family.
Maintaining yourself clean and sanitising your bug out house will prevent you from developing some of the 19th century illnesses, even more since you will not be able to go to the drug store and buy the much needed medicine. Some of these diseases are:
- Dysentery: caused by oral contact with contaminated hands or different items. Some of its symptoms include: fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, severe dehydration. In turn, dysentery might also cause liver, lungs and even brain disorders.
- Cholera: one of its main symptoms is vomiting, watery diarrhoea, dehydration, involuntary cramps of the muscles.
Imagine living in the aftermath of an EMP attack. The banking and the distribution systems are down. Even if there would be no riots (hard to believe that!) you would still have no place where to buy the soap from. Here is an easy guide to making your own soap.
You will need the following ingredients:
Step 1: Lye water
In order to make soap, you will first need to create solution, with a high pH, also known as caustic solution, which is composed of soft water (rainwater, spring water or distilled water) and wood ashes (since you will be living in the woods, you will have no problem in obtaining ashes). However, do not use wood chips, but instead, use the finest ashes for a better blend of the two ingredients. Avoid metal containers when mixing the two together. Make sure you fill a wooden or plastic container. Even a glass one will do the trick.
If you are using water from a well or even river water, then make sure you add a bit of baking soda to it to stabilize its pH and create an alkaline water. The main reason why you should do so is because it might be contaminated with certain chemicals, which won’t allow you to properly mix the water with the wood ashes.
Boil around two litres of water and gently add it over the ¾ filled with white wood ashes container. Now, all you have to do is leave the resulted mixture sit through over the night. The next day, your solution should be brown. The ashes will still be there, and to make soap, your solution needs to be clear. Therefore, sift the ashes away, but beware! Whatever you do, do not touch this solution, as it will burn your skin.
Use 100% animal fat. Do not leave meat around it. Melt it and mix it with water, then boil the two. Use equal amounts of grease and water. Afterwards pour some more water (around a quarter of the initial quantity you used when boiling the water and grease). Let it cool and again, filter this solution until it remains clean of any fat. Add a spoon of salt to it now.
The next step is combining the solutions. First boil the caustic solution with 10 liters of water, then add 1.5 kg of the grease solution, and again boil the resulted mixture. After the boiling point, add another 4 litres of water, and then let it cool off. When you have achieved a pasty solution, add a few spoons of essential oils, or olive/avocado oil, whichever you have. Last but not least, leave the solution to harden and cut it into your desired shape.
The soap that you make can be used for bathing and cleaning your food preparing items and cutlery. As important as sanitizing your home or the place you sleep in, is maintaining your personal hygiene all the time. Bathe and change your clothes every day.
To conclude, remember that, in a survival situation, the importance of bathing, and generally cleaning up your housing, every day, cannot be stressed enough. By doing so, you will be able to prevent dangerous infections that, if untreated, may even induce death.
Did you ever try to make your own soap? Are you aware of any special methods? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.