I got interested in making soap at the beginning of 2014. Ive made soap using Drano for lye (very successful) and now sell soap made with local tallow and commercial lye on consignment which is also very nice, and taught a workshop. However I've been trying to make soap with my own lye from hardwood ashes for months now with no success.
I got the ashes from friends who heat with wood, and got lye both from boiling and making a lye-barrel as suggested in the Mother Earth News:http://www.motherearthnews.com/homestea ... z33ltCUDVL
The lye is dark orange-brown. It floats the egg, dissolves the feather, reddens the skin and is great for cleaning clothes and bleaching the floor, but it will not make soap. Tallow becomes a caustic greasy substance that leaves a film of fat on anything it touches. I've tried more fat, more lye, more mixing and more heat, to no avail, I've been fiddling with this for months.
Has anyone succeeded in making their own soap from ashes? Can you offer any advice?