meat grease: you can't compost it. - so make soap!
If you are like me, you like to recycle, and one thing I can do is make my own COMPOST with kitchen garbage. But you cannot put meat grease in your compost, so what can you do with it?
This is for those who may be interested in rediscovering some "old ways" to recycle kitchen garbage.
MAKE LAUNDRY SOAP out of that old meat grease!
This is my 1976 recipe for Laundry Soap #1
(Without purchasing any of those expensive oils)
NOTE: Do not be alarmed about using LYE in this recipe. ALL real Soap contains lye. It is rendered inert by the process and curing time. (Many so-called soaps on the market are actually detergents. Detergents are not soap. They are not bio-degradable and they DO POLLUTE despite what their labels may say.)
This soap is gentle on your hands and easy on your finest linens and clothing. It does not make a lot of foamy suds, polluting our water ways, but it cleans. I use it instead of products like SHOUT. It even removes bubble gum and melted crayons and ink pen leaks in white dress shirts.
Because the ingredients are rendered inert, they are biodegradable and will return safely to the earth.
(10 minutes mixing time)
FOLLOW these directions EXACTLY - no shortcuts.
* FUMES Warning:
Do this project OUTSIDE ONLY on a sturdy table on a sunny, still day. Wear rubber gloves and protective goggles.
Old-time LAUNDRY & All-Purpose SOAP #1
FIRST - Measure and assemble all ingredients, materials and tools.
5 lbs grease (melted and strained = 11 cups)
1/2 cup ammonia (cleaning ammonia)
1/2 cup Powdered Borax
1 cp Cold Water
1 can pure Red Devil Lye (not the kind with metal bits)
1 cp. Kerosene
1 quart of COLD water
(2) Wooden spoons for stirring and mixing.
(1) big Saucepan for melting grease.
** Do wear protective eye goggles and rubber gloves in case of splashes.
***Do not use aluminum or other metal pans - use a deep plastic dish pan/tub or white enamel coated pans ***
With rubber gloves and protective eyewear on you:
1. In a deep saucepan:
Melt grease and strain out meat bits and other particles.
Add ammonia and kerosene. Stir together with a wooden spoon.
2. Dissolve Borax in (1) cp of cold water and slowly stir into Lye mixture.
- In a plastic dish tub, slowly dissolve the can of lye in 1 quart of cold water stirring constantly with the wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. (Caution: It will get hot)
4. Stir Grease/ammonia/kerosene Mixture slowly into the lye mixture in the plastic tub, stirring until it thickens. This mixture will be hot because of the lye action, but it will cool.
After it has cooled and set up solid, put it somewhere to CURE for at least 2 weeks - 4 weeks is better. I put mine in a large plastic garbage bag after it cools. Keep it out of reach of animals and children until it completely cures. (It will kill mice during this curing time...I discovered). When totally cured, your soap will be light and float in water, just like Ivory Soap. It will be a light cream or tan color.
After it has AGED, it can be cut into squares or grated for laundry soap. It is VERY gentle on your skin and leaves your skin soft. I have always taken it on our camping/fishing trips. Put it inside a knee high nylon hose or in one footed leg of an old pr. of pantyhose and tie a knot. It can be used inside the sock and hung up to dry between uses. It will not pollute lakes or rivers or other water supplies. It is great outside to wash hands after gardening. I hang the socked soap on my water faucet, so it is handy.
To make scented HAND SOAP:
After you have added all the ingredients together and are stirring it to thicken, when the Lye-soap Mixture has cooled and begins to thicken, you can add things like herbs, i.e., chammomile, rosemary, sage, etc., or other ingredients like oatmeal to create varieties of hand soap. Essential oils work too, i.e. Lavender, Rose, Rosemary, &etc. Bits of the fresh herb flowers or leaves can be added, too if you like.
I have made it with and without these additives and like it just as much. In fact, I like the clean, fresh fragrance of Old-time Lye Soap.
PLEASE use all my precautions and do not allow children to help.