Heritage Recipe #3 – How to Make Hard Soap

Directions for Making Hard Soap

This hand written recipe for making hard soap was donated to the Lutz Mountain Heritage Museum in 1977.  It shows a recipe for hard soap made with rosin, a resin from pine. Rosin soap was most commonly used for laundry.

1 pound of rosin

6 pounds of grease*

6 pounds of baking soda

3 pounds of unslaked lime**

4 gallons of water

*Animal fats such as bacon grease, dripping from chicken etc.

**Calcium oxide

hard soap making


Put the lime and soda together and pour the boiling water over and stir until dissolved. Let it stand all night (?). Next morning boil the grease and rosin together (?) until melted. Then pour in the clear liquid and boil one hour. Have ready a tub in which cold water has been standing for half an hour and pour in to cool. Next morning it will be firm enough to cut into bars (?).