SmittenHeart beat me to it.
Buy cold or hot process unscented soap, mill it down, add 1 TBL milk per pound of soap, let it sit overnight. Plop it into a crockpot on low heat with a lid on.
When it has melted, you can add fragrance and color, then mold it up
i KNOW what i am talking about. I am a memeber of several ecovillages and familiar with their process of making soap. Ash water can be used alone to wash the hair, dishes etc. This is how people used to have before commercial soaps and i never encountered anyone preaching about the dangers. Maybe what we talk about is two different things?
We are talking about the same thing.
Potash (what you have when you leach water through ashes, usually multiple times) is potasium hydroxide (KOH), i.e. lye.
If water is leached through soft wood ashes, the amount of lye is very, very low. When using hard wood ashes, you better take care because it can and will blind you or cause chemical burns.
I still use this method to lye my flint corn for making hominy.
I don't care one wit about what your friends in ecovillages do or have done. Potash is dangerous, period. Just because you haven't heard of the dangers does not make them less dangerous.