Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make Soap from Yucca Leaves

Many people know that you can make soap from yucca root, but digging up a yucca plant is a lot of work and it kills the plant. The active ingredient in yucca soap is saponin. Saponin is the an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal chemical that foams when it is shaken up. High concentrations of saponin are found in yucca root, but saponin is also found in the leaves of the yucca.

Here's how to make yucca soap and avoid killing the yucca plant:

Cut a handful of yucca leaves.

Use your knife to scrape the waxy, green skin off of the leaves.

Place the scrapings in a sealable container with some water.

Shake the container vigorously for several minutes.

Pour the liquid off into another container and discard the scrapings.

The liquid can be used as hand soap, shampoo, disinfectant wash, laundry soap, or dishwashing soap.


Unknown said...

That's the most direct and useful description of this process that I've seen. Many mentions talk of Yucca being a soap "replacement", but few, that I've seen at least, actual go through the preparation itself. Thanks for that.

Kathleen S'mores Murphy said...

I have been making yucca cordage and KNEW there should be SOME use for all the scrapings! I had realized it was an awesome soap as I would wash the green off my hands from the processing, but wasn't sure how to work with it. I have been using alternative shampooing methods for a couple months now, this was a GREAT addition! VERY happy with the results!

Physical Science Class Blog said...

I just made this and it was easy; however, in regards to shampoo substitute, if you have only experienced sudsing from sodium laureth sulfates and such, this feels different in the hair, and is not so sudsy...not to say that less suds is a bad thing, just a different experience.

Also, in regards to killing a yucca if you harvest the root: I tried a few years ago to get rid of a yucca plant in my yard to protect our blind dog from injury, and I found yucca is hard to kill by digging up the roots. Any small root I left behind generously sprouted many new yuccas in its place. Good for shampoo, bad for blind dog ;)

Sensible Survival said...

Thanks for your comment. As for killing yucca by digging up the roots, wouldn't you know. You can't kill yours, and I've tried half a dozen times to transplant yucca into my yard and can't get one to live. Hank

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Sensible Survival said...

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