Help! Deodorizing Tallow chore went awry

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:


Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2016
Reaction score
Need advice. I am new to soap making. Only made few small batches so far. Still curing.

1st Batch I didn't add any fragrance and no color. But it had a smell that I didn't care for. After some reading I realized the smell could be the beef tallow I used.

I bought my base oils from a local soap maker could had to downsize his surplus stock. It was a really good deal. But the tallow didn't come with professional labeling. I could tell it had been rendered however. It was in bags and was pure white. But I thought maybe the rendering wasn't thorough.

I read up on how to reduce the fatty smell. Put in a pot, add a little water, add some baking soda. Bring to boil and put in fridge overnight. Then the impurities should be at the bottom.

Well I did this...and I guess I put too much baking soda ... And maybe the pot wasn't big enough.... But it started to foam up! Ahhh! I had to rush to pour some off into nearby containers before it over flowed. Well the foam started to deflate and went down. I managed to get it all back into the original pot.

I stirred it good on the heat but I was afraid to let it boil for fear it would foam up again. So I poured it into plastic folgers cans with lids and put in the fridge overnight.

Now it's the next day. Should I just use my tallow like normal...being careful for when I reach the bottom of the can to not scoop out any impurities?

And should I put the tallow in the fridge or is it ok to stay in room temp?


Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2013
Reaction score
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
When I render tallow, I try to make sure the pot is only 1/3 full, for exactly the reason you are describing!

I think putting the tallow directly in the fridge may have been an error - but an easily fixable one! From what I have read, it is better to let the tallow slowly reach room temperature, so the water and fat have time to fully separate. If the tallow hardens quickly, water and dirty stuff will be trapped in the tallow. Not to worry - just melt it down and let it slowly reach room temp. Then once it reaches room temp, put it in the fridge. The only reason to put it in the fridge is so the fat cake gets firm enough to easily lift from the water.

Also, when you are just CLEANING tallow, vs rendering fatty scraps, you don't need to boil it. Just melt it and get it nice and liquid.