Lye is the end result of water infusion or decoction of wood ash. Before the appearance and widespread use of cheap soap, it was the main natural disinfectant and detergent. Used for washing the head and body, dishes, washing clothes, home cleaning, leather dressing.
With such an abundance of various liquid detergents in stores, the preparation of liquor in modern urban conditions for use in domestic needs and for personal hygiene is hardly advisable.
Lye as a detergent and antiseptic instead of soap or shampoo for personal hygiene and washing clothes. Getting liquor from ash.
At the same time, liquor preparation skills will be very useful and in demand in a multi-day trip. Without much effort, you can independently make for yourself any amount of a suitable in the field, effective and affordable detergent. Which will greatly help out, for example, when organizing postirushki during rest days or days on the route. Plus, you don’t have to take with you, in such a case, additional supplies of ordinary soap, washing powder or other detergents, which, although not by much, will nevertheless reduce the total weight of your wearable equipment.
Obtaining liquor from wood ash.
To prepare the liquor, you will need the usual pure wood ash from iskostra, without impurities of plastic and other garbage, and water. Ash is preferable from deciduous, rather than coniferous wood, because of the resins contained in them. The greatest alkalinity is ash of oak, birch, pine, aspen. Dishes for the preparation of liquor are better to take narrow and high. It will be much more convenient to drain it at the end of the process than from a flat and wide.
The material of the dishes does not matter much, but it is better to give preference to something metallic, which then will not be a pity to throw it away. It is not necessary to strive for very large volumes; for use in everyday life, the concentrated liquor obtained is usually diluted with water. In a ratio of 1:10, or even more, therefore 0.5-0.7 liters of pure liquor, per one person, will be enough.
Cold liquor production from ash.
In the prepared dishes, 2/3 of its volume, pour wood ash and pour warm water almost to the top. It doesn’t make sense to pre-clean or filter the ash, it’s just an extra loss of time and energy. Mix the solution well, wait until large wood debris floats to the surface and remove it.
Then put the container with the solution in the sun or put it closer to the burning fire. It is advisable to mix the solution periodically, at least once per hour. 1.5-2 hours before the time you set for cooking, all mixing should be stopped so that the ash can settle to the bottom of the dishes. Various sources recommend infusing the solution this way until three days, but from experience, to obtain a suitable concentration, it is quite enough to mix the solution in the evening, put it closer to the fire. And in the morning put in the sun, then he will be ready closer to dinner.
After the ash settles completely to the bottom of the tank, in its upper half there will remain a clear, yellowish, slightly soapy liquid to the touch, this is the liquor. If the color of the liquid is simply transparent, without obvious yellowness, but it is not soapy to the touch, then the lye is not ready yet and the infusion process must be continued. The resulting concentrated liquor is carefully poured into another container and used for domestic purposes..
Hot liquor production.
It differs from the preparation of liquor in a cold way, in that the diluted solution is not insisted for a long time, but put on fire, brought to a boil and simmer for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. This method is undoubtedly faster, but at the same time more tedious and costly in terms of efforts. At the same time, this method is excellent for producing very high concentration liquor.
To do this, you need to take two containers already twice as large as the liquor was planned for, and boil them over low heat together. As the liquid evaporates in the first tank, replenish it not with clean water, but with a hot solution from the second tank, until it completely decreases. At the output we get a strong concentrate in the first tank and an empty second, where clean alkali and pour.
Using ready-made liquor instead of soap and shampoo for washing and washing.
It is not recommended to wash and wash clothes with concentrated, not diluted liquor, this can at least lead to dryness and skin irritation, and the fabric of clothing and threads can lose their original strength from exposure to caustic active substances that are part of the liquor. For washing the head and body, the liquor is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:15, for washing clothes 1:10.
In addition, in urban conditions, it is not recommended to use liquor of any concentration for washing in modern automatic washing machines, since the water-insoluble particles of organics and salts that are part of it are most likely to settle on the heating elements of the washing machine, which can lead to to her damage or breakdown.
Storage of finished liquor.
Ready concentrated liquor is better not to store, but to use immediately. If such a need nevertheless arose, then a metal or glass container is preferable for its storage. Any plastic, with a high degree of probability, the concentrated alkali will corrode over time.
Washing greasy dishes with wood ash.
In order to wash dirty and greasy dishes in the field, it is not necessary to waste time and extract lye from wood ash. In this case, she herself is a good detergent, since when mixed with fat it forms the same thing, only an uncleaned soap, which will remove dirt and grease from the walls of the dishes. The only condition the dishes should really be oily.
If there is very little fat in it, then you need to add a little, just a few drops. Fat is suitable for anyone, including edible oil or margarine. Two to three handfuls of ash are added to greasy dishes. Then a little boiling water is poured there and the resulting mass is mixed to a pasty state. Then the mixture is rubbed on the walls of the dishes from the inside and outside, let it stand for a while and cool, and then wash as usual, rinsing with clean water at the end.
Preparation and preparation of soap from liquor.
From the liquor obtained from wood ash, if desired, you can make a regular soap. However, this process is time-consuming and does not make much sense to carry it out in tight field conditions. For the manufacture of soap, in addition to liquor, any animal fat, such as lard, or fish oil, or vegetable oil, is still required. The fat is mixed with liquor in a ratio of 1: 2 and boiled over low heat, with constant stirring, until all the liquid has boiled away, but for at least 4-6 hours.
As evaporation, the liquor will need to be added. Then let the mixture cool. The resulting liquid, potash, soap will cleanse the skin, but will not be an antiseptic. You can add antiseptic properties to soap if you add pine resin to the solution during cooking.
I would like to note that the first time such a soap may not work and will have to experiment to find the most suitable ratio of the available ingredients. You should start with a small increase in the amount of fat or oil, and not liquor, since a large concentration of it will dry and irritate the skin, which will only do more harm.
To obtain a solid soap, salts must be added to the obtained liquid. An approximate amount of three tablespoons per initial liter of solution. As a result of the reaction, potash soap will decompose into a liquid and a soap core. It must be separated from the solution and poured into a suitable form. After complete solidification and drying, we get almost the usual laundry soap, well, as far as it is possible in the field.