help with alternative to palm oil and lard

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Active Member
Feb 13, 2021
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Auckland New Zealand
Hello,i asked an experienced soap maker what was an alternative to palm oil,she didnt tell me although she said she doesnt use palm oil or tallow,i know wathcing her on ytube that her recipe is slow trace because she used a lot of colours and intricate designs which i am trying to do. It's very cold where i live right now and while a good recipe with tallow was brilliant in the summer my soap cracked,so any suggestions on a recipe with slow trace and no palm oil because i have run out would be great. thank you


Staff member
Supporting Member
Oct 14, 2007
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There are several threads on palm-free soap in the forum. Go to "Search" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and type in "palm free".



What if I....
Supporting Member
Mar 29, 2021
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Omaha, NE
I saved this post from IrishLass a while back:

While fiddling around on SoapCalc one day a few years ago, I was able to come up with a unique combination of specific veggie butters and oils whose combined fatty acid profile was so close to palm oil's fatty acid profile that it could in theory be used as a substitute:

Shea butter 45.5% / Cocoa Butter 43% / Sunflower Oil 10% / Coconut Oil 1.5%

So, let's say you wanted to make 2 lbs of the Basic Trinity soap that Zany listed at the very top of her list, but would like to substitute the unique butter/oil combo for the palm:

First, type the Basic Trinity recipe into SoapCalc and set the oil weight box for 2 lbs. Hit calculate and then view print. Your oil amounts should look like this on page 2:

Olive oil................... 11.20 oz/317.51 g

Coconut Oil............. 8 oz/226.8 g

Palm oil................... 12.8 oz/362.87 g

Copy those amounts down somewhere.

Next, hit the reset/clear button on the first page and change the oil weight box to 12.8 oz or 362.87 g (the palm oil amount), then go to the 'recipe oil list' part of the page, click on the % circle, then type in these oils and %'s:

Shea butter 45.5%

Cocoa Butter 43%

Sunflower Oil 10%

Coconut Oil 1.5%

Hit calculate and view/print recipe. On page 2 it should give you these amounts:

5.82 oz/165.11 g Shea Butter

5.50 oz/156.04 g Cocoa butter

1.28 oz/36.29 g Sunflower oil

.19 oz/5.44 g Coconut oil

That's how much of each butter/oil to use for the combo to be able to sub for the palm amount.

Now, go back to page 1 and click on the oz or gram circle above the 'recipe oil list' section, and then click on olive oil and add in the

11.20 oz or 317.51 g amount for olive oil to the list, and then add 8 0z or 226.8 grams to the .19 oz/5.44 g coconut oil amount that's already there as part of the palm substitute.

This is what things should look like:

And below is what the recipe looks like with palm instead: Look at the fatty acid profiles and compare to the one above without palm. Yes- the individual palm and stearic numbers do not match up, but these two fatty acids act so similar to each other that they are virtually the same in my book where soap is concerned. Their combined total is 28 in the palm sub recipe and 29 in the palm recipe......only 1 point difference from each other, which is way too little to make any discernible difference in the finished soap.

ETA- if you click the link in the name it'll take you to the thread.
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