Sunday, November 25, 2012

Soap

So what did you do to prep this weekend? Buy any ammo? Load any into strippers? Maintain your firearms? Buy any soap?

Soap? Yeah, soap. You know, that bubbly shit you spread over and over on your num-nums because it tickles and makes you feel good? You've heard me preach soap before and you'll hear me preach soap again and there's a reason for it. Life without soap is a short life, but a life full of infections and viruses. Again, a SF medic that I talked to once told me that 90% of the diseases that he treated on his civic action sick calls in Vietnam could've been prevented with soap.
A lot of people don't think of soap when they prep but you're going to be using it more than you think. True, water supplies may be short and you might have to cut your bathing schedule from once a week to once a month but you're going to have to be especially diligent about other things like food preparation sanitation and wound cleaning. Remember, antibiotics are going to be scarce too, so when Junior scrapes his knee you'll need to cleanse the wound thoroughly before slapping a SpongeBob Sqarepants band-aid. Every single cut and scrape needs to be cleaned to keep the germs out before they can spread into a full blown life threatening infection.

I had a discussion with one of my friends and he said he didn't worry about buying soap, he'd just make his own.
"Really. You know how to make soap?"
"Yeah, you take animal fat and pour it over ashes and then boil it to thicken it up."
Okay, this friend lives in Kansas. I know for a fact trees (and therefore ashes) are pretty scarce in Kansas. I've been there once. And by his soapmaking ideas, he'd ruin the only tree they have there.

Here's a basic idea of how soap is made. I'm not giving you quantities and times because I'm doing it from the memory of being taught by my grandmother about a million years ago and I have a hard enough time remembering what I did yesterday.
First you build a hopper up off the ground, then you fill it up with about a years' worth of hardwood (yes, it has to be hardwood) ashes. Then you pour water through it. The run-off is your lye. Be careful, that shit will burn the skin off of you - it's extremely caustic. Then you take a few gallons of lard and pour that into the lye to neutralize it and start to simmering it until it thickens up.
There you have lye soap. It's rough, it's nasty and it's fine for washing clothes and dishes but I'm not sure I would want to use it on my body any more than necessary, much less wash a wound with it.
Oh, I forgot to mention that you can bypass the straining of wood ashes completely if you run down and buy yourself a shitload of Red Devil lye but then you run the risk of getting turned in for manufacturing methamphetamine. It's easier to buy the damned soap......

So yeah, soap. Buy soap every time you go to the Dollar Store. Sure, the best kind to buy would be Ivory, something that's purer and non-perfumed, but get what you can get. Remember, the worst kind you can buy today is probably better than lye soap. Plus it's more fun to wash your num-nums with over and over and over again.....

14 comments:

07HEMI4ME said...

Loaded 250 ea of 10mm and. 45Acp. but shot 20 of each. :-)

Stretch said...

Grandma use to make lye soap. Mom used it when I spoke words I shouldn't. Still don't use those words.
An I've a whole drawer full of bar soap and another 3 bottles of soft soap in the closet.
Iodine, Mercurochrome (I found an old stash), and other first aid gear in small packets ready to go.

hiswiserangel said...

Num-nums? Sounds like hard candy...

wirecutter said...

Go home, Wiserangel. Post a recipe or something.

Anonymous said...

Got a new gun and ran some rounds through it. Née to get soap. Thanks for the reminder WC.

Riley

hiswiserangel said...

I got banned over num-nums... and that was the cleanest comment I could come up with.

Dan said...

Safeguard soap is "antibacterial".

The purpose of soap when used on the skin is to clean and to limit the growth of unwanted little beasties. Some of the perfumey designer stuff might make big jim and the twins smell better but aren't so good at killing microscopic life.

And soap is still cheap...relatively speaking.
It has a ridiculously long shelf life....especially the bars.
And everyone will be way too busy
doing lots of other things to stay alive instead of trying to make soap. My great aunt in the Appalachian mountains had to make soap during the depression. She showed us kids how when we were small....it's a bitch in the first degree to get done right.

Neil A Russell said...

Agreed about buying soap and other cheap stuff.
I've been buying cheapo razor blades, scissors, pins, needles, and any other dimestore crap I can find that can't be made easily after things fall apart. I'd like to see someone darn a sock with a Krugerrand.
Salt is a good cheapie investment too.
Glad to see this blog up and running again, I was afraid it was something I said

Chris Mallory said...

Back when I was young, we used lye soap when we had gotten into a patch of poison oak/ivy/what ever gave you a rash. It dried the skin out and the rash with it.
Found out during some physical therapy one time that water with a lot of borax in it will do the same thing. I went into the pool with a bad case of poison oak, came out with it going away.

Pakkinpoppa said...

Soap.
Salt.
Thanks for the reminder.
Got a decent stock...but need more.

Soap is kind of like ammo.

And...sewing stuff. Got some, need more. Lots more. Good point on the "cheap (for now) stuff you take for granted that's not easy to make without an industrial base."

Ponder...the humble pencil, for example.

Note to self...pencils and notepads. Pens too, but they'll dry up.

idahobob said...

Kirks Castille Soap. The best thing that I have found. No foo foo perfume to it. Rinses quick in hard water. If you have soft water.....well, it doesn't mater what soap you have, you still feel slimy after the ol' shower.

Buy it by the case (48 bars) and vacuum seal them 4 bars to a bag.

Bob
III

Sail Man said...

Every time I stay in a hotel I take the little soap/shampoo's home with me and add to the shoebox totes under my sink, and the BOB's etc.

Sara said...

Toss in a couple of bars of Fels-Naptha too, cleans clothes, gets rid of poison ivy, and is harsh on skin but can be used when you're out of Ivory, or just need to get rid of the blood.

drjim said...

Sara beat me to it.

The "original" Fels actually had naptha in it, but the "New, Improved PC" version leaves the naptha out.

Still, it's damn good soap for scrubbing really dirty stuff.

And grab a can or tow of GoJo hand cleaner, and some Lava soap.