Yup. I did it. I made soap out of
dun dun duuuuuunnnnn…….
Hamburger grease and turkey fat!
Eewwww, you might say. Well, let me tell you, it actually made quite a nice bar of soap!
Just look at this pretty, creamy white bar of soap!
If this is something you might fancy doing, just save all of your (previously discarded) cooking fats!
All of them. Just keep your hamburger grease in one container, your chicken fat in another, etc., because each fat requires just a slightly different amount of lye (sodium hydroxide) for the chemical reaction of saponification to work it’s soapmaking magic!
When I boiled the Thanksgiving turkey carcass, along with all the skin and parts unknown, before it cooled down too much I strained the broth into a large saucepan, then set it into the refrigerator overnight. The next morning I had a nice creamy layer of turkey fat sitting on top of some wonderfully healthy turkey broth. Just carefully lift the fat off the top of the broth, scrape anything off the bottom that isn’t clean white fat, pop it into a container and then into the freezer! You can also do this with chicken fat, duck fat, just about any kind of poultry you have! Once you have enough for a batch of soap – Make Soap!
The hamburger fat? Well, to be technical, hamburger fat is really just another name for tallow! When you brown your hamburger, save the fat that you drain off into a cup or tin can, then pour in just a touch of hot water and set it in the fridge to cool. Once the fat is congealed on the top of the water, you have tallow!
Did you know you can also make soap with bacon grease? Yes Indeedy!
Because of the chemical process called saponification, you can make soap out of just about any kind of fat or oil known to man! I suppose that if the SHTF anytime soon, I could make soap out of chipmunk fat, though I’m not sure how much chipmunk fat it would take to get a pound of soap!
Sorry, Simon, Alvin and Theodore! Just joking……. maybe. 😉
So, here is what I did:
After saving my fats, I had 390 grams of turkey fat and 192 grams of tallow. I went to the handy-dandy calculator at Brambleberry.com and plugged these numbers into their calculator and found that I would need 192 grams of liquid (for this batch I used water, but you could also use milk, tea, coffee, etc.) and 77.29 grams of lye (sodium hydroxide). The yield would be 850 grams, which is a little less than two pounds of soap. Cool!
I won’t go through all the details about how to make soap here, you can find that just about anywhere. You can also peruse several of my other soap making recipes on the soapmaking tab above, or CLICK HERE.
Anyway, I decided, when I reached trace, that I would add in some Rosemary essential oil along with Clary Sage. Not because I was afraid of what turkey and tallow soap would smell like, because I have already found out that the chemical reaction of the lye and the fats make the soap smell clean and very pleasant – even without added scents! But because I enjoy experimenting with different scents! I am blessed that my daughter-in-law, Wendy, is a distributor of DoTerra, a wonderful brand of essential oil. In fact, for Christmas she gave me some more, along with a wonderful, handy dandy holder! If you would like to try DoTerra essential oils, you can go to her webpage HERE. So, when I tested the sage and rosemary EO’s together by taking off the lids and holding the two bottles together, swirling them beneath my nose, I liked the combination. I further tested the blend by adding one drop of the Clary Sage on a napkin, then added one drop of Rosemary right on top, let it sit and blend for a few minutes, then smelled it again. I really liked the blend of these two scents. It was woodsy and clean smelling with just a hint of manliness – a little like one of my husband’s favorite aftershaves. Also, the scent seemed to barrel it’s way right into my sinuses – so I thought this would be a wonderful combination of scents during the winter cold and flu season! Right?
Besides…. doesn’t sage go well with turkey? 🙂
Well… ahem… I wouldn’t call it a mistake…. maybe just a little faux pas.
You see – the soap is really nice and seems to clean well with a good creamy lather. However, every time I smell it I am reminded of Turkey stuffing! The sage scent took over and I think I added too much! I also found that I don’t need to use as much DoTerra as I would other essential oils.
Next time I make turkey fat soap, I think I will use a citrus blend. 😉
The soap itself is just a bit softer than a pure tallow or pure lard soap would be, but it’s hard enough to work well in the bath or shower, or at the sink for handwashing. As you can see from the picture above, I got seven nice sized bars of soap. Not bad from something most people just throw away!
Have you made soap with any animal fat other than lard or tallow?
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