Welcome To Rangeland Herbs
  You can make it at home           

Rangeland Herbs
is located on
Historic Taylor Farm
in Lawrence Kansas. 
We are a working farm, ranch, soap shop, wedding venue and art studio.  We started making soap in 1985
after we butched the Christmas
hog and had a LOT of lard to work
with.  Grandmothr Keller's soap
recipe was used for that first
batch of soap and is still our best
seller.  We call it White Lightening.
It is the original Lye soap,
commonly refured to as
"the poison ivy soap"

Caution at all times.  Lye is a strong, caustic chemical that can quickly eat through many materials, including your skin.  Materials that are okay to use in the soap making process are stainless steel or heavy plastic bowls and to stir use only stainless steel or wooden spoons. Anything that touches lye, lye water, or raw soap needs to be made from only those materials.  

There are plenty of sites out there to give directions in the soap making process, even you-tube demos.  So before you try to use Grandmother Keller’s recipe, study up!  Soap making can be complicated and I highly recommend taking a class before you try it on your own.  Having said that, I started making my soap with no direction other than this recipe.  However, I had Grandmother Keller to call for back up. 

Grandmother Kellers Original Whtie Lightening Soap Recipe

36 lbs of lard
(Rendered and washed)
2 gallons very cold water
4 cans of Red Devil Lye

The evening before you are going to make soap, start your lye water.  Using two, one gallon jars,
fill them to about 3 inches from the top.  Place the jars in a safe place away from children’s reach
and animal access.  Slowly add the lye to the water (NEVER water to lye) and stir with your
big wooden lye stick until the lye is mixed and dissolved.  The lye water will get really hot. 
Don't move the jars.  Let them cool overnight. 

Warm the lard to melting point (just barely warm).  Put the melted, cooled down, lard in a
large enamel or stainless steel pot.  The lard should be neutral to the touch of your finger. 
Tepid.Place the pot of lard on your wash bench, with your long soap stick in it.  Pour the
cooled lye water slowly into the melted lard while grandma stirs slowly mixing the lye water
and lard together completely. 

Keep stirring, and stirring, and stirring (the older kids can help with this) over the next
few hours until the mixture starts to trace.

Get your soap box ready by lining it with damp muslin.  My soap box is 3.5 feet by 1 foot. 
Place the box on the floor somewhere out of the way.  It will need to sit in that place,
undisturbed for a few days.

When the soap mixture starts to trace you can pour it into the soap box.  Let the soap box
sit overnight.  In the morning fold the muslin over the top of the soap and continue to let sit for a
few days.  When the soap starts to harden off to the touch, you can pull it out of the box
and peel the muslin off.  Let the soap continue to harden and cure for a week then cut into
bars.  Let the bars harden and cure for 4 weeks, then wrap the bars in paper or cloth, or
place in a card- board box to store for the winter. 

I grate about half of the batch for laundry use.