Calling all lardinators! Why do you love lard-based soaps? 🐖

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This is very timely as I finally found a source of pork fat, that I plan to render and make lard. Based on research, the best pork fat for lard for soap making is called leaf fat. It makes a very white lard and has a low piggy smell. My main objection to store bought lard are the preservatives, though I am sure they are harmless, it still bothers me.
 
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This is very timely as I finally found a source of pork fat, that I plan to render and make lard. Based on research, the best pork fat for lard for soap making is called leaf fat. It makes a very white lard and has a low piggy smell. My main objection to store bought lard are the preservatives, though I am sure they are harmless, it still bothers me.
I agree. While Tenderflake is lard it does have all the extras in it which is why i prefer to hold off using it until my lard supply is no more. Having said that I’m pretty sure lye kills all that 😆
 

Zany_in_CO

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Have you experienced this?
No. :confused:

the best pork fat for lard for soap making is called leaf fat. It makes a very white lard and has a low piggy smell.
It is also more expensive and harder to find. Lucky you to have fresh pig fat to render. The leaf fat is found around the organs, like kidneys, rather than the back fat used to make lard. See pictures in this article:

 

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Hi @meepocow,

I masterbatch my oils, so my recipe always has ~60% lard in it, unless I'm making a special recipe for someone. For instance, one of my friends dislikes lard soaps and only likes a ZNSC variation with 20% CO, 5% castor, goat milk, and her favorite FO. On the other end of the spectrum, my husband's shower soap is usually 75-80% lard + neem oil, with his favorite FO.

No matter what recipe I'm making, I always use 45% lye concentration unless I'm trying to do a special design where extra fluidity really matters - like this month's SMF challenge, for instance, where I used 33%. I start with a 50% MB lye solution; if I'm soaping with a 45% lye concentration, that leaves me with just enough additional liquid to pre-dissolve the sodium citrate (chelator to reduce soap scum) and the sorbitol (my favorite "sugar" for increasing bubbles) that are standard for my recipes.

Also, while a lye concentration from about 35% to about 42% will speed up my trace, for me and my recipe, trace slows down again above 42%. However, the batter is still thicker because there is less water. This is ideal for recipes that call for a medium trace and that don't require lots of colors or lots of little pours to make the design - which would be most of my soaps. I do a lot of drop swirls, ITP swirls, and a few hanger swirls. In addition, other components of my process slow down trace, like soaping at room temp, and barely stickblending to an emulsion (not even necessarily a stable one) before dividing the batter for colors.

The lower water really helps reduce soda ash, and allows me to unmold at 12-18 hours most of the time. I really noticed how much longer I had to wait to unmold my challenge soaps this month. After 24+ hours, they were still barely firm enough and still ended up with some bunged corners, because some of the soap stuck in the corners of the mold. :(

I do "CPOP" my soaps on a heating pad that is covered with an overturned styrofoam food delivery box, or an insulated cardboard food delivery box. Those two things take up a LOT of room in my soap cabinets but they work so well and were basically free. :) Added heat to force/speed up gel also helps with decreasing the time to unmold. Can you tell I'm impatient?? 😁

I realize that's a lot of info, and I'm still on my first cup of coffee. :p Hopefully it makes sense?
This is so perfect, thanks for the information! I've taken a wee break from soaping to set up my curing set up (!!), but will certainly use all this next time! I've noticed that lard slows down my trace at 33%, so I think it would counteract a higher lye concentrations' effects on trace too.
 
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Just to jump onto the lard love train.....my first soaps were basically the Trinity plus....I fooled around with learning how to use SoapCalc, how to play with the Sat/UnSat ratios and of course, that turned to Superfatting and Water Discounts....somewhere in all of that....we had 6 pigs processed and I ended up with freezers full of pig fat....wow....after learning how easy it was to render...and then reading as much as I could about lard soaps....its been off to the races.....it is my go to base for whatever I plan .... I love the slow trace and the ability to have time to make more complex artistic bars..... keeping the water/lye ratio at 1 : 1.8 keeps the soda ash away....the bars are consistent in their gentle conditioning with that creamy feeling .....the lather is just right

All of these comments have been great and I am encouraged to further explore the higher percentage lard bars this next year......great conversation....lots of good stuff...thanks

Harlan
 

Zany_in_CO

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"🥰" (Love button isn't working)! @Harlan. Glad you jumped on the train! 6 pigs and all that fat in the freezer?! I'd like to be there when you dig out the leaf fat and soap it. In all my years (since 2003) I haven't had the privilege of soaping leaf fat. If you wanted to make me jealous, you succeeded! 😅
HAPPY SOAPING! :computerbath:
 
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"🥰" (Love button isn't working)! @Harlan. Glad you jumped on the train! 6 pigs and all that fat in the freezer?! I'd like to be there when you dig out the leaf fat and soap it. In all my years (since 2003) I haven't had the privilege of soaping leaf fat. If you wanted to make me jealous, you succeeded! 😅
HAPPY SOAPING! :computerbath:
Hah Zany ...you are the first I have ever made jealous because of my lard :nodding: ... ... I will not be running out of lard anytime soon 😮 .....of course....if I wanted to make myself realize how much money I spent on the feed and vets and the processing 🤢 .....my soaps would be prohibitively expensive :rolleyes:......however, I am very good at not thinking about things like that....:shakinghead:.. .... and I will enjoy having the ability to explore the world of lard soaps ...thoroughly:thumbup:....


By the way Zany, I learn lots from reading your posts...thanks for all that you do to help !!!!
 
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But on the plus side, you can hide your own Easter eggs! 😆
you dont even know the half of it! we recently moved to a new house and still unpacking random boxes, its like a fun shopping trip with out spending any money! :D🥰

started to work on my lard loaf and then life got in the way. in the mean time I've been trying to formulate a lard blend as well. really hope to get something put together in the next day or so. as is so common with this great additiction went down another rabbit hole in my delay and my tallow was just delivered today!! sooo much fun to be had!!
 
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I read most of this thread, but skipped over the second page LOL. Just tired I guess, and wanted to give my thumbs up for lard based soap.

I use lard, olive, coconut, and castor oisl for most of my soaps. I love it and never smelled the piggy-ness...Until I used a bar that I made about a year ago. Its still in my shower. Afternoon Tea is the smell, but somehow it is the only FO that lets the lard smell shine through.

But its one of the soaps I made without Sugar as an additive for bubbles, and it makes nice bubbles. And it is hard and lasts a long time. The bars are made almost soley from clay for colors, so maybe they absorbed all the pig-smell, I dunno. Its gross kind of LOL.

I didn't learn how to make soaps from my grandmother, but her soapmaking is what peaked my interest. She used bacon fat.
 
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I love lard in soap. But I have a problem with the way the majority of pigs in North America are bred and raised, in those huge barns with no space to move and no opportunity to ever go outside. So I rarely eat pork unless it’s from a small farm operation with pigs who live a good life with “one bad day”.
I render lard from fat purchased from one of these local farms and it’s not inexpensive, but makes me feel as though I’m supporting good ethical animal husbandry and a local farmer. On the other hand, if I bought lard in the grocery store, I guess I’d be helping to use the pork byproducts rather than it going into landfill. Certainly MUCH easier, and less expensive than the route I’m going. IDK. A dilemma I never anticipated when I started making soap!
 
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I love lard in soap. But I have a problem with the way the majority of pigs in North America are bred and raised, in those huge barns with no space to move and no opportunity to ever go outside. So I rarely eat pork unless it’s from a small farm operation with pigs who live a good life with “one bad day”.
I render lard from fat purchased from one of these local farms and it’s not inexpensive, but makes me feel as though I’m supporting good ethical animal husbandry and a local farmer.
Here is the farmer that I'm going to get my pork fat from: https://instagram.com/agleaffarm?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
 
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