We are able to manufacture our own vegan soap, harvesting the oil at local fried food vendors. Several ecovillage residents participated in a soap making workshop.
We mixed up a total of 6 double batches of soap, each about 12 pounds, mostly using recycled fryer oil. The oil came from ChickPDX, a vegan falafel food cart in North Portland.
3 Batches of Soap using Recycled Oil
Discussing Soap Making Techniques
In the workshop we cut and boxed 3 batches to cure over the next month. Each batch was 42 bars.
I demonstrated a no frills, utilitarian, technique using banana boxes lined with plastic film as molds.
Camela brought a more learned approach and illustrated how to use colorants and described adding scents. She also had some special molds. Virgin coconut oil was used to improve the characteristics of her batches of soap.
There is no wastage in soap making. Any scraps are recycled into the next batch or used to make dish soap.
Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun making a very useful product by helping to recycle a common "waste" product. It was a very hands on work shop. We even learned a little chemistry!