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How to make African Black Soap with pictures.

African black soap, benefit and how to make it at home...

What is African black soap?

Black African soap is "ose dudu"  in Nigeria and "Alata semina"  in Ghana. The name "ose dudu" is from Yoruba language and it literally translates to "soap that is black". Its naturally product that has many beneficial properties for the hair and skin. The main ingredients are Shea butter and the potash of plantain skin, it is produce in many west African countries, including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo, and Nigeria.

What makes this soap unique is that it doesn't contain sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) as a source of lye. Instead a natural lye, potassium hydroxide, is formed from the plantain potash.

Although Black African Soap is called black, 'its actually brown in colour.

Black African soap is lye-free soap that made from potash, it has been used from centuries throughout West African to gently cleanse and exfoliate skin. It may also help alleviate various skin conditions, such as eczema, for some people. You can use it on body, face, hands, and hair. It's suitable for both dry and oily skin type.

Make Nutrient-Rich Lye for black soap.

Did you you can make you your own lye? And it can even be full of nutrients that will benefit your skin.

Traditionally lye ( or more accurately potassium hydroxide, which is used in making liquid soap) was made with wood ash and rain water. We're going to change that up a bit and use banana skins and/or leaves. Banana skins and leaves are naturally rich in potassium which makes them a great choice for making lye.
Banana skins are easily to procure while the leaves may be a bit harder to find. You can sometimes find them frozen in specialty or ethnic markets or you can grow your own.

Even ornamental bananas like Cavendish can provide great arches. Here in Western North Carolina many people grow Musa Basjoo, a hardly banana that dies back in the winter and comes up every spring.

Notes; You can also substitute cocoa pods for banana peels and leaves. They are harder to find but in some areas can be found as mulch. Cocoa  mulch is popular for plants due to the nutrients in the cocoa pods. It's been harder to find them lately because of pet owner corcerns (dogs tend to love digging in it and pods still contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs), but they can still be found in some areas and online. Some cocoa shell have been stripped of the cocoa butter (which reduces the theobromine) and will be of little benefit to the skin. Be sure to read the label if purchasing this.

Procedure for making lye.

1. To make your own lye, you will first need to dry your skins and peels. This is easily done using grill. Get a low fire going and place the skins and peels on an old cookies sheet. Leave this in the grill with the cover on for an hour or so. This should roast them to the point at which they are dry and crumbly. Continue roasting until they are dark ash.

2. Place the ash into a 5 gallon plastic bucket. (You'll want the bucket abt 3/4 of the way full with ash.) You can also use stainless stell or glass. Just don't use aluminum or copper, as lye will react with these materials. Add enough rain water ( or distilled or filtered water) to fill the bucket to within a few inches from the top. Cover your container securely so there is no danger of pets or children getting into it.

3. After a few days you can check to see if it's ready. Notes: Be sure to use gloves and eye protection, as the lye may be caustic at this point. To check for donness, drop an egg in to the water. If it sinks, it needs a bit more time, and it floats just below the surface, it's ready. If it floats on top, add some water as this indicates it's too strong.

4. When the lye is ready, use a mesh strainer to get out the biggest pieces of ash, leaving behind a lot of smaller particles , I don't strain mine, I just break up the ashes small to begin with and scoop out what you need.  Again, be sure to use gloves and eye protection for this step, and keep vineger on hand to neutralize any lye spills. 

Making Black Soap From Ash Lye.

This is a bit different from making soap with commercial lye- there are no measurement. It still turns out well, although it will be soft. Lye made from wood ash, or in this case banana ash, is actually potassium hydroxide and will yield a softer soap. It will also dissolve faster in water due to its soft nature. This recipe is similar to one used in Colonial times, but I've changed the animal fat, as was commonly used, to vegetable oils.

Ingredients for making the African Black Soap.

  • 1 cup of Shea butter.
  • 1 cup of olive oil.
  • 1 cup of coconut oil.
  • 1/2 cup of safflower or sunflower.
  • Veg.oil

Process of Making Black Soap.

 1.Make up a quart of oil at a time using 1 cup of Shea butter, 1 cup of olive oil, 1 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of safflower, or sunflower, and the remained vegetable oil.   Melt the Shea butter in some warmed oil so that it easily distributes into the rest of the oils. You may need a few quarts of oil mixture, so be sure to make plenty.

2. Wearing gloves and eye protection, fill a stainless steel stock pot about 1/2 full with your lye mixture. Heat on medium low. Start adding a cup of the missed oil at a time, stirring well. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes or so. The soap mix well property be dark tan with black flecks. Keep adding a cup of oil at a time, stirring well, until it starts to look thick and creamy. You will notice some solid soap starting to form on the inside edge of the pot. When you see this, it's time to pour it into molds.

3. If your mixture is very thick you may need to press it into molds. A glass cake pan that has been greased will work fine. (I don't recommend trying fancy molds for this because it may stick and become a mess to remove.) Once your soap is in the mold, cover it with wax paper and let it sit for a day or so.

4. When the soap is semi-hard, cut it into bars and let them cure for a few weeks. The soap should cure fairly fast since it's partially cooked.

Using Homemade Black Soap.

The end product will be soft, but will be packed full of nutrients that will be good for your face, body, and hair. You can a shampoo out of the bars by grating some of the soap and adding warm water to it.
Your hair will be soft and shinning without the need of conditioner. This soap will be gentle, deeply cleansing, nourishing, and great for problem skin

Benefit of black soap;  

Skin nourishment due to the antioxidant, versatility as a cleaser, and much more, its also clear acne/pimples and dark spot on face.. Its smoothly the skin...

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