What Am I? (January 2021)

You saw the above picture in your email or in a social media post, and we asked if you knew what it was.

What you were seeing was a part of this photo:

It’s homemade soap from Zambia!

In the local villages, the community members have been experimenting with using excess pig fat to make soap. This process might seem complicated, but it is actually very simple. A good bar of soap requires only three ingredients: lard, lye and water.

Here is the process if you are interested in making your own soap at home:

  1. Slowly melt small chunks of animal fat over the stove until it reaches liquid form.
  2. Filter out the brown cracklings and impurities.
  3. Find a good, reliable scale and a good soap calculator to proportion your three ingredients
  4. The lye and water mixture will be very hot, so use a sturdy container and stay upwind if you can. We use half-gallon Mason jars to mix lye and water.
  5. Melt the fats in a large stock pot on the stove at the same time and let both cool to about 90-100 degrees before slowly pouring the lye water into the melted fat.
  6. Wait until the mixture looks like pudding.
  1. At pudding stage (called “trace”), you can add any scents, exfoliants or colorants if you’re feeling fancy, then pour soap batter into your molds.
  2. When it is at the pudding stage you can pour the batter into your molds.
  3. Let it sit up to 2-10 days.

*Recipe reprinted from Hobby Farms

Try out the recipe and let us know how it worked out for you!

Bright Hope Staff
Bright Hope Staff