Deep fried cleaning: woman makes soap from used cooking oil
BREMERTON, Wash. -- Recycling is in Laura Kneib's blood and in her soap. She's converted her Bremerton home into a soap making factory where the main ingredient she gets is free, used cooking oil.
"It smells like french fries," Kneib said as she poured several gallons of used cooking oil she got from food booths at the Jefferson County Fair.
In 24 hours, it won't smell like french fries. It will be unscented or one of a dozen scents. Among the scents are pumpkin pie and Puget Sound, which she makes from dried kelp found on the beach in front of her home.
Kneib has used her resourcefulness to be one of the first people in the United States to sell soap made primarily out of used cooking oil.
"I like to get it from ma and pa restaurants," Kneib said. "It's just cleaner, they are more particular and they don't use it to death".
She calls it F.R.O.G. Soap, an acronym for "from recycled oil and glycerin." Out of an average 16-gallon batch, 11 gallons are used to make the soap. The rest has been filtered to get rid of the scraps of food.
"People have to get over the yuck factor," Kneib said.
She says the soaps can be used from head to toe, but you don't want to eat them.
"We'll leave that to moms to wash out your mouth," she said.
It's take about an hour to make a batch, a day to let them cure and hours to wrap, package and ship all over the world from orders she receives on her website frogsoap.com.
Nearly everything is recycled, including the cardboard that wraps bars of soap, the paper the labels are printed on, the boxes she uses to ship the product, even the molds are made from wood from shipping
A four ounce bar sells for between $3.75 and $4.75. She even take the recycled money buried in your pocket.
Because she's a one-woman business, she can only produce 244 bars a day. From this point on, it's all about scale because there's no shortage of used cooking oil that's usually sent down the drain or into our landfills.