Sunday, December 7, 2014
Washing clothes was an every Monday chore in old Amana. Soap was handmade by two men in the local soap house or SOAP WORKS. Located in the late Ralph Zuber house, these men made lye, rendered lard, and made different types of soap for various purposes. In each home and shop wood ashes were saved in a village collection box and when full, taken to the village soap works. Ashes and water were mixed to make liquid lye. Lye added to animal fat saved from the local butcher shops, was cooked in a kettle for three days, reached the right consistency and poured into barrels or forms. SCHIERSEIF was made for and deliver to each kitchen house and each home for washing dishes, household cleaning and laundry. Yellow bath soap, made in 15 inch bars was given to all while the facial soap, pur white small bars were used for special needs. The idea of a soap works originated in Germany where the Inspirationists had rented mills and factories for its skilled tradesmen.