Dirty Duck Soap
At Algonquin College in Ottowa, animal fats rendered during culinary classes are repurposed into sustainable soap. Photo courtesy of Dirty Duck Soap.

File this one under “things we didn’t know you could repurpose”: students and faculty at Algonquin College in Ottowa, Ontario, have created a line of soaps made from leftover animal fat.

Named Dirty Duck Soap for the group’s flagship creation — a combination of duck fat, water and sodium hydroxide, a binding agent — the operation began as a way to alter and reuse waste rendered during cooking classes at the college’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. Today the organization accepts fat donations from restaurants (they never buy it) and partners with a local soapmaker that offers the facilities to keep up with growing demand for the bath amenity.

The line features nine different handmade options of animal-fat soap, priced at $4 per bar. Bestsellers include Dirty Duck, the original scent; Foul Fowl, a concoction of duck fat, lemongrass and orange; and Cafe au Confit, made from coffee grinds and pork and duck fat.

“Duck fat gives a really creamy, foamy [element] to the soap,” says David Fairbanks, chef and culinary professor at Algonquin College.

The sudsy goods are labeled with 100-percent post consumable recycled paper (to make them “as earth friendly as possible,” Fairbanks says) and sold online at DirtyDuckSoap.ca. Ottowans can get the duck soap at bricks-and-mortar locations such as The Red Apron, a catering and fine food company; Thyme and Again, also a caterer; and on campus at the student food kiosk.

Next: How It’s Made