How to Make Bacon Soap, from Actual Bacon

September 4th, 2008 by timbotron

Everybody loves bacon (the meat of the Gods).
And now we can bathe with bacony goodness.

This should be viewed as more of a jackass experiment than a “how to” by a soapmaking expert. I just wanted to see if it was possible to make soap from bacon fat.

The bonus challenge: make the soap look like bacon.


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UPDATE:
We made it into vol. 18 of Make: Magazine!! Sweet!!

baconsoap
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How I Made Bacon Fat Soap:
Supplies
• Bacon fat
• 100% Lye (sodium hydroxide)
• Purified water and ice
• Liquid Smoke (optional fragrance)
• Red food coloring (optional coloring)
• Stove
• Pyrex baking pan
• Chemical/solvent/heat resistant plastic bowl
• Measuring cup
• Cotton cloth or paper towels
• Wooden (or stainless steel) spoon
• Rubber gloves and goggles
• Metal can
• 1 cigarette

(the rest after the jump)


How to Prepare Bacon Soap:
This recipe is a basic soap recipe.
• 7.5 parts bacon fat
• 1 part lye
• 2 parts water

A). Melt the bacon fat on the stove. Do not get it too hot (not boiling/sizzling – very dangerous).

B). Skim off any particles or debris that float to the surface of the melted bacon fat.

C). Pour the melted bacon fat through cloth or paper towels into a large clean metal can (see photo), this will further filter the bacon fat.

D). Still warm, your bacon fat should now look uniform, clear, and junk free. Measure your bacon fat and calculate the proper amount of lye (1 part lye to 7.5 parts bacon fat).

E). Measure 2 parts purified water (feel free to even include some ice, because the lye will get very hot). In a heat resistant (not metal) container, pour in your 2 parts water, then slowly pour the crystalline lye into the water. (WARNING: You will want to do this in a well ventilated area – the fumes are evil and can cause serious injury. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection when handling lye. Also, the lye and water mixture will get very very hot, make sure to do this in the proper workspace and in a heat-resistant container).

F). Take a break, wait for the lye-water mixture to cool down, smoke a cigarette. Do not leave the lye mixture unattended. When the lye-water mixture is around 100ºF (the temperature of a hot shower), check your bacon fat and see if it is around the same temperature (if not, heat it on the stove until it is). Then slowly pour the lye-water into the bacon fat.

G). Stir the mixture for up to 2 hours as it cools. When the mixture begins to show “trace” (white soap stripes on the top surface), move on to the next step. Mixing can take several hours and if it is still liquid after two hours, move on to the next step and hope for the best.

H). While the proto-soap mixture is still a thick liquid, but showing signs of “trace,” you can mix in “Liquid Smoke” as a fragrance – add quantity to taste. It enhances the bacon smell. Also, you can separate a small portion of the proto-soap from the mix (in a separate container) and add red dye. Pour the beige thick proto-soap into a pyrex pan, then take the red-dyed proto-soap and pour stripes into it (makes it look like bacon).

I). Let the soap “cure” and “set” for at least 36 hours, then cut blocks of the soap from the greater slab (do this while the soap it still relatively soft).

J). Allow the blocks of soap to continue to cure for at least 2 weeks.

K). Cut into desired shapes and serve.

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28 Responses to “How to Make Bacon Soap, from Actual Bacon”

  1. Rabbi von Sydow Says:

    Nah, bacon bathe, that looks more like something you gonna smoke ;-)

  2. Eva Says:

    A hot, candlelit bath with bacon soap is the ultimate romance

  3. Heywood Says:

    This is damn impressive. I nominate this for Bacon Product of the Year.

  4. Elina Says:

    Awsome!

  5. oscar Says:

    As a masters student in biochemistry, I would like to point out that you might want to wear gloves since NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide) can leave a nice burn on your skin if not used correctly!!

  6. zenchef Says:

    Please, please send me a little piece! I want to take a shower with it. Seriously! This is pure genius. :-)

  7. timbotron Says:

    Good point, Oscar.
    Yeah . . . all you folks at home: even the dust from the powdered lye can cause tiny burns. It is nasty stuff and should only be handled with protective gloves, eye protection, and in a well-ventilated area.

  8. Sara's Soaps 'n Such Says:

    As a professional soapmaker, the one part of this that I absolutely have to speak about as being very dangerous is “Add melted bacon fat to lye-water mixture.” You NEVER add the oils to the lye mixture; it’s always add the lye-mixture to the oils. Otherwise, it could volcano, spewing everywhere, leaving at best a big mess, at worst, some serious chemical burns from the raw soap. For bacon drippings, it takes 1/2 ounce of water and 1/2 ounce of NaOH (mixed) to turn 1 ounce of bacon drippings into soap. Also, it takes cold process soap (the technique described here) 3 1/2 to 4 weeks to cure completely. It’ll set in 24-36 hours, but if the mould’s not insulated, it’ll take 5 days for the soap to saponify completely (the chemical process by which this mixture of oils and lye become soap).

  9. timbotron Says:

    Sara,
    Hey . . . good point! That’s actually how I did it, but worded it incorrectly. Thanks for catching that – it could be dangerous. I just changed the text accordingly.
    Thanks again,
    Best
    Timbo

  10. La-di-da Says:

    that is just disgusting! thumbs down!

  11. Anon Says:

    OK, but how does it smell when it’s done??

  12. maria Says:

    brilliant! you might want to chase that with beer soap…

  13. Hal Says:

    Not a single GIR reference yet? Internet, I’m ashamed of you.

  14. Dana Says:

    Oh yeah, same old myths as always about bacon being bad for you. Show me the money or shaddup. (No weaseling out of it with “studies prove”, either–who actually reads those studies? Not you and not me. Thank you.) Thank God for low-carbing. I just need something to do with all the bacon grease because you can only use it just so many ways in cooking, due to the flavor. I seriously love this idea. You should sell the soap on Etsy. :)

    As for maria’s joke about beer soap, I wonder if you could actually do it? Maybe use beer instead of water in the lye mixture?

  15. fiora Says:

    Dear Hal,

    upon stumbling across this example of pure awesomness and telling S.O. “hey I just found soap made from Bacon” we did indeed chorous in perfect unison:

    I MADE IT MAHSELF!

  16. Sara's Soaps 'n Such Says:

    Dana,

    Yep, beer soap exists and is really nice to use. I received some in a swap last month, and it was great stuff. You’re right in that you sub out the beer for the water in the lye mixture, but you’ve got to let the beer go flat over a couple of days. You’ve also got to be very careful with it, because it tends to volcano Iimagine caustic beer spewing up – not pretty).

  17. sharon Says:

    this sounds just freakin’ awesome. thanks for sharing!!!

  18. Katy Says:

    There are some issues with the recipe, but it was fun. One of the blogs I read mentioned this.

    http://blog.thesage.com/2009/05/15/food-soap-show-tell/

  19. Das Says:

    Why use bacon, when everyone knows the best fat for making soap comes from humans?

  20. Five Crafty Crafts: they’ll make you smile ;) | Fru-Frugal Says:

    [...] photo source and step by step instructions on how to make bacon soap. [...]

  21. carlos Says:

    this is fucking awesome!!!
    ….but what is the cigarette for?

  22. Scientific Research: Mood Rings | Blogadilla.com: The Tijuana of the Internet Says:

    [...] • Making soap from bacon fat. [...]

  23. Scurvy Says:

    I for one am awaiting the bacon weight loss pill…

    only then will the circle be complete.

  24. Abby Says:

    As a professional soap maker I applaud your efforts. This was a great experiment, but I advise you to use a soap making calculator next time. When making soap its not 7 parts this, and 1 part that. It is not like baking where if you add a little too much salt of sugar you will be ok. Sodium hydroxide can burn your hide off if you are not careful. You have to be precise. If you are going to post something like this that has the potential of being viewed by many, precision is key. A lot of people are going to read this and thing that they can just go buy some red devil and melt some fat and make soap. It is not that simple.

  25. Abby Says:

    And what kind of red dye are you talking about? Not all dyes are skin safe. I suggest you go to http://www.soapcalc.net, use lard and create an actual recipe with real measurements and rewrite this article.

  26. Abby Says:

    Another important thing is to always add the lye to the water. Never add water to lye. Also never add oils to the lye mixture.

  27. tubolard Says:

    Wow! Bacon soap! Too cool, and it looks good too.

    As a soapmaker for about 10 years, I think you’ve done a great job! I checked your recipe at this lye calculator site: http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php
    and your 7.5/1 lye to fat ratio works out fine.

    Thanks for your blog, bacon soap cracks me up!

  28. Isabel Pimentel Says:

    Hi!..uhm.. we used your “bacon soap experiment” as our IP (investigatory project) and just wondering and thinking…. what’s the purpose of having the bacon soap? :] thank you

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