When we first got started in Slow Laundry, Cate and I decided to make our own soap. That’s because when you buy commercial detergent, you’re:
1) supporting the “soapocracy” of multinationals that control the soap industry,
2) exposing yourself to all sorts of artificial scents and dyes that mask the natural musky odor and yellow-brown color of real soap, and
3) depriving yourself of the soapmaking experience.
So we make our soap by hand, at home, from lye and animal fat.
Given the amount of fat in the American diet, you’d think it would be easy to get your hands on some good, pure fat. But you’d be wrong. When we started out, we bought fat from the butcher at Safeway. But we started to have philosophical disagreements with the store.
First of all, when they’re cutting steaks, the Safeway butchers just dump all the “waste” fat together in one bucket. They don’t separate out grass-fed fat, hormone-free fat, locally-raised fat, etc.
Second, they refused to give us Safeway Reward points for our fat purchases.
So going forward, we’re no longer buying fat. We’re going to collect our own animal fat, from the wild. DC has urban sprawl for miles and miles, but there are still places to find wildlife – not just Rock Creek Park, but the National Mall, dumpsters and alleys after dark, and the zoo. So look out, chipmunks, rats, and giant pandas, because the Robertsons have clothes to clean.