Howdy @Deb Walker
Welcome to the forum. I hope this helps make sense of a sometimes confusing thing. I've had others (DeeAnn to name one) help me when I posted something that allowed her to see I boo-booed on something and appreciated her pointing it out so I could go back and fix my error--thanks @DeeAnna
and you probably don't know what I am speaking of....but thanks anyway.
DeeAnna (post #17) has given good info on the various methods of making soap (#1, #2, & #3) and they are all different one from the other. I just wanted to mention, because things can sometimes become confusing when words sound alike. While I 'do not' have the knowledge that DeeAnn has, I did greatly research African Black Soap a couple of years ago. While potassium hydroxide (KOH) is commonly called caustic potash
, it's not the same as the lye solution made from hardwood ash
. Wood-ash lye is a solution of mostly potassium carbonate and some sodium carbonate and making soap from it is very different than using KOH to make liquid soap (a thick
). I've made both the soap paste for liquid soap (KOH) and made my own pioneer/African Black soap-tye lye solution from hardwood ash. From what I researched, pioneer soap and ABS (African Black Soap) starts with ashes used from what is at hand--hardwood by pioneers; ashes from cocoa pods, plantain peeling, and/or palm leaves in Africa and maybe other type of plant material. African soap is a very pliable soap due to the type of lye ('ley') solution used; KOH will make a very different kind of end product--thick paste that is pliable but must be diluted with water. I suppose anyone could use it in the very concentrated form but then it would be a waste with not diluting--diluting as it should be will make a bunch
liquid soap. To clarify, I didn't make ABS, it was pioneer soap that I made which I feel is the same method used in Africa to this day.....only different plant material used for the ley solution.
My hubby remembers the lye-soap his grandma/great-grandma made and it was lye-heavy but was that way as a choice over too much oils---also touched upon by DeeAnn. Since hardwood ash lye solution cannot be consistent from batch to batch soap couldn't be made as we can make today using NaOH. We have the ability to make soap without being lye-heavy because we know how much lye (NaOH / KOH) it takes to saponify the oils we are using--pioneers didn't have that info back then.
Coming from a new member (me) and a person who still has a bit of a problem with low self-esteem, I had to not quit posting even when I got something wrong. Please don't take this as anything but the sharing info done. Again, welcome to a forum with members who I've found to be super helpful to me.