Finally got around to turning lard or tallow into soap. As I had so much rendered beef tallow, making an all tallow soap seemed like a good idea. Soap is fairly easy to make, it is a simple chemical reaction between the fat or oils, the lye and water. You just need to be careful of the lye (caustic soda) as it can burn the skin and gives off some unpleasant vapor during its reaction with the water. Soap made this way is about as natural as you can get . The caustic soda may seem like a harsh additive, but it is neutralized by the chemical reaction and during the curing of the soap. In the past caustic soda was made by dripping water through wood ash. I haven't gone that far in taking the process back to basics but, in theory you could source all the ingredients for soap without buying anything. If you are interested in having a go at making soap there are a lot of tutorials on the net, Lia at Claremont White Dorpers has written a useful one.