Lard and duck fat

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Hello everybody,

first of all, sorry for my english which is not perfect 😁

I had made several soaps during past years...
I always make soaps in a view to be self sufficient in soap.
Yes I like all subjects which touch autonomy and self sufficiency.

If you want to be self sufficient in base, it's easy : either you can make your own lye with ashes either you can buya huge quantity of caustic soda (if the recipient is well closed, it can last several years, even ten years...).

For the oil and fat it's more difficult.
For the moment I only use local oil (in Normandy in France) like sunflower, Canola, olive, etc...
But if you want to cultivate your own sunflower, it's begin to be difficult. And if you suceed, you keep this precious oil for eating rather soap making :D

So this is why I would like to try with 100% animal fat because you can become easily self sufficient with this ingredient =)

This is why I would like to try whith duck fat and lard (pig) like our ancestors
By the way, if you know some books about how ancestors did the soap, i'm very interested ;)

But I have a problem. It's easy to make your own bach because your have the date of each fat but i'ts difficult to find feedback on internet for 100% animal fat soap


Besides I had three questions about the few informations I found on internet:
  1. Why the lard and duck fat have the reputation to go rancid quickly ? If I check the Iodine data, for lard it's 57 and 72 for duck fat. If I compare to olive oil it's 85. So for me it's supposed to go rancid less than olive. But people said the opposite ....
  2. Why the lard and duck fat have the reputation to clean very well (for washing etc...)? If I check the Cleaning data, for lard and duck fat it's 1. If I compare to coconut oil it's 100. So for me it's supposed not be good to wash. But people said the opposite ....
  3. Can I use it for the body (like ancestor I guess) ? I guess it's better for the body to use "modern" oil but if it's the case, how much superfat I have to take ?


thank you in advance for your replies 🤓
 
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Tara_H

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Can I use it for the body (like ancestor I guess) ? I guess it's better for the body to use "modern" oil but if it's the case, how much overgreasing I have to take
People with more knowledge than me will be better able to give details the rest, but to start with this one - I think you're asking about superfat?

I use quite a bit of tallow in my soap (from beef fat) and I've been reducing my superfat number gradually from 8% when I started to 3% more recently. I think a proper cure time and a balanced recipe are more important in deciding if a soap is good to use on the body than superfat alone.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Besides I had three questions about the few informations I found on internet:
  1. Why the lard and duck fat have the reputation to go rancid quickly ? If I check the Iodine data, for lard it's 57 and 72 for duck fat. If I compare to olive oil it's 85. So for me it's supposed to go rancid less than olive. But people said the opposite ....
  2. Why the lard and duck fat have the reputation to clean very well (for washing etc...)? If I check the Cleaning data, for lard and duck fat it's 1. If I compare to coconut oil it's 100. So for me it's supposed not be good to wash. But people said the opposite ....
  3. Can I use it for the body (like ancestor I guess) ? I guess it's better for the body to use "modern" oil but if it's the case, how much overgreasing I have to take ?
  1. I wondered the same. Actually, lard sold in supermarkets here has ROE added to it, and I initially learned about rosemary extract as a “preservative” (oxidation inhibitor) from the ingredient list of a brick of lard. I have no substantive explanation, but if lard going rancid quickly weren't a thing, it weren't stored cool and industry wouldn't add ROE. tl;dr: iodine value is a rough indicator of how prone an oil/fat is to oxidative rancidity, but no more. High-IV oils are sensitive, but low-IV oils aren't necessarily insensitive.
  2. All soap cleans. The “cleansing number” of soap calculators is not about cleaning power but about subjective perception of it. Soaps high in coconut are reported to feel “too cleansing” and “drying” or “stripping” towards the skin. That's why that “cleansing number” is recommended to be stay below the 20s area. Read more about this in this article.
  3. You are the only person to decide how “modern” or “like the ancestors” your soap should be. That's the whole thing about making soap of oneself! You are the one in control about everything, and not having to adhere to fashions! One of these fashions is to step up “superfat” (more accurately called lye discount). Mildness of a soap is more dependent on thoughtful choice of oils (and patience) than on anything else.
And yes, you totally can use soap for the body. There is absolutely nothing old-fashioned about using a soap bar for showering.
Many points of critique that manufacturers of syndet-based body washes state against soap, are pointed towards industrial soap production, and apply less or not at all to handmade (“natural”) soaps.
It is important to accept that there are no “one-fits-it-all” solutions. You have to learn that everyone's skin (and skin at different parts of the body) will react differently to any type of soap/detergent.
 

AliOop

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I love my 100% lard soaps, especially with added goat milk and ground oats. Despite the low cleansing number, they clean my skin very well without removing too much of my natural skin oils. Many folks with sensitive skin like this formulation.

However, I would not want to use this bar to wash my clothes, since unlike my skin, I do want to strip out the body oils from the clothes. Thus, for laundry soap, I prefer 100% CO soap that is grated very fine and mixed with washing soda and borax powder. The higher cleansing ability of CO is perfect for that.
 
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thank you for answering

if I understand well, lard go rancid if I buy lard direct from my butcher but if I buy it from supermarket, there is vitamine E inside so it doen't go rancid ?

yes but I want to be self sufficient in soap and coconut doesn't grow in my country.

Between lard and duck fat, what is the best regarding you ?
 

AliOop

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I haven't made duck fat soap, because I use it all for cooking... so I'm no help there.

My home-rendered lard has never gone bad, despite the fact that for years, I added no antioxidant but only made sure not to let it get too warm during storage. Knowing better now, I do refrigerate it if I'm not going to add ROE.

Our supermarket lard does not contain Vitamin E or ROE, but does contain trace amounts of BHT and citric acid so that it can be stored at room temp without going rancid.
 
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AliOop

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Honestly I have not looked into the iodine data, so hopefully @ResolvableOwl or one of the other science-y members can pitch in there.

I'm with @Tara_H on using a lower superfat (SF). It is easier on your plumbing, creates less soap scum to build up on your sinks and showers, and is less likely to cause the soap to go rancid. I do like to cure my 100% lard bars for a long time; 4 months makes a much nicer bar than the standard four weeks for curing soap.

Pure lard soap creates lather that is more like a creamy lotion, with not many bubbles. So I will confess, although coconut oil is not native to this area, either, I like to add 10-15% coconut oil and 5% castor oil to increase the bubbles.
 
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Ladka

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thank you for answering

if I understand well, lard go rancid if I buy lard direct from my butcher but if I buy it from supermarket, there is vitamine E inside so it doen't go rancid ?

yes but I want to be self sufficient in soap and coconut doesn't grow in my country.

Between lard and duck fat, what is the best regarding you ?
I've been buying my lard from the butcher, rendering it properly, adding NOTHING to it and storing it under refrigeration. Up to now I've had no rancidity in it nor DOS in my lard soap.
I use up to 50 % of lard in my soap.
If you prefer 100 % lard soap with bubbles you can use sugar in your recipe.
 
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ResolvableOwl

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Regardless how the oils/fats themselves are treated, it is a generally good idea to treat the soaps with the proper rancidity precautions. That means no needless storage times in the first place, and for the soap recipe low superfat, citric acid/sodium citrate and/or EDTA, and ROE (a 50 mL bottle is essentially a life supply, it will suffice for >100 kg of oils), and finally dark & airy storage apart from metal.

These things considered, I don't see any reason why you couldn't have months or years of fun with these soaps.

Between lard and duck fat, what is the best regarding you ?
The fatty acid profiles are very similar. From the mere numbers, you can use them interchangeably. Go for whatever is cheaper/easier to obtain/left over, or smells more pleasantly. Or make a small test batch of either, and compare them with each other and your expectations to soap.

coconut doesn't grow in my country.
Being juridically nitpicky, this is not entirely true. But I can very well understand that you want to avoid tropical imports, and that of course excludes Guyane too. Unfortunately, all plants that give lauric oils are tropical. Well, all but a single temperate/mediterranean plant, that is laurel.
 
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Unfortunately, all plants that give lauric oils are tropical. Well, all but a single temperate/mediterranean plant, that is laurel.
Can you tell me a little bit more about laurel oil
This is the same variety than the laurel leaf ?
Because we can find it in Europe like Olive oil
Can we make 100% laurel oil soap like olive oil?
 

ResolvableOwl

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So what superfat I have to take ?
5% is the minimum for the security normaly ?
5% is a reasonable average. Much more can make the soap soft, sticky and greasy, and shorten the shelf life. Many argue that they want lower superfat, like about 2…3%. Even 0% or slightly negative lye discount is not as bad as it sounds. First, the tabulated saponification values are a bit on the conservative side (to absorb natural variations in fat composition). Secondly, during curing, lye is neutralised by carbon dioxide from the air: small amounts of excess lye can lose their harshness over time.

But it also depends on other things, like how precise your scale is, or if you add certain additives like salt or milk (dairy, coconut, oat).

Can you tell me a little bit more about laurel oil
This is the same variety than the laurel leaf ?
Because we can find it in Europe like Olive oil
Can we make 100% laurel oil soap like olive oil?
As far as I know, yes: Laurus nobilis, the oil is extracted from its berries. I personally hate its smell, so I can't speak from experience (unless someone sells me refined/desodorised laurel oil).
It contains a high amount of essential oils (unsaponifiables from the soapmaking point of view), that are either classified as irritants or therapeutics in high concentrations. It is of course possible to make a 100% laurel soap, and it probably has some very interesting (medicinal) properties, but definitely nothing you would want to wash your skin regularly over an extended period of time. Aleppo soap usually contains a maximum of 20% laurel, where its properties are pronounced, but not exaggerated. Smell aside, it is lovely soap.
 
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5% is a reasonable average. Much more can make the soap soft, sticky and greasy, and shorten the shelf life. Many argue that they want lower superfat, like about 2…3%. Even 0% or slightly negative lye discount is not as bad as it sounds. First, the tabulated saponification values are a bit on the conservative side (to absorb natural variations in fat composition). Secondly, during curing, lye is neutralised by carbon dioxide from the air: small amounts of excess lye can lose their harshness over time.

But it also depends on other things, like how precise your scale is, or if you add certain additives like salt or milk (dairy, coconut, oat).


As far as I know, yes: Laurus nobilis, the oil is extracted from its berries. I personally hate its smell, so I can't speak from experience (unless someone sells me refined/desodorised laurel oil).
It contains a high amount of essential oils (unsaponifiables from the soapmaking point of view), that are either classified as irritants or therapeutics in high concentrations. It is of course possible to make a 100% laurel soap, and it probably has some very interesting (medicinal) properties, but definitely nothing you would want to wash your skin regularly over an extended period of time. Aleppo soap usually contains a maximum of 20% laurel, where its properties are pronounced, but not exaggerated. Smell aside, it is lovely soap.
thank you for your long reply
So for the autonomy in europe, the only way to make a soap by its own with local product is either olive or lauren oil (other local oil can be use in high proportion to make solid soap)

but this kind of oil it's precious (like 200 years ago or if we imagine in 10 years it's Madmax 😁 )

so it's more suitable to use animal fat
Superfat between 2 to 5%

Do you know book or article about 100% of these individually fat :
  1. lard,
  2. duck fat
  3. goose fat
 

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Hi there and welcome!

I love your approach to this, and it's a very interesting thread. I am doing somewhat similar things, and I have also had the thought about how I would make soap by using only things I could make myself at home. And came to the same conclusion regarding animal fats.

I have used lard and duck fat in my soap, in my opinion they feel very similar. I render my own from animals that I raise and butcher. However in my experience, lard has a longer shelf life than duck fat, both as the rendered fat itself and also in the actual soap. I don't personally like 100% lard soap but others do. I really like mixing lard with beef, goat or sheep tallow. Makes for a harder bar with a few more bubbles, and should also be easy enough to produce at home. Addition of honey can help create more lather. Another consideration could be adding some olive oil for longevity.

Good luck and please let us know how you go!
 

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I'm with @Tara_H on using a lower superfat (SF). It is easier on your plumbing, creates less soap scum to build up on your sinks and showers, and is less likely to cause the soap to go rancid.
I started using 3% SF on my third batch of soap (down from 5%) for a few reasons. I wanted to lower the chances of rancidity, minimize “lard” smell, hopefully help lather and MAYBE extend the life of my waste lines. About a third of my work is plumbing and surprisingly I almost never see heavy build up of soap scum in waste lines. Of course, most people don’t use homemade soap. I have seen major issues involved with people who pour used cooking oil and animal fats down the drain, but even that takes a long time before it becomes an issue. The reason local governments have campaigned against pouring oils down the drain is understandable because they’re heavily invested in large/expensive infrastructure. If everyone in your city disposed of their oils down the drain it would still take a LONG time to clog the gigantic plumbing arteries under our streets. I’m not saying it’s a good idea to dump fats down your drain 😆 Please don’t!! You’ll end up paying for it yourself, under your house and via taxes. Rather, I’m saying that a 20% SF 100% CO soap shouldn’t greatly affect your plumbing. It may shorten it’s life by a little, but most likely hardly measurable. Which is good news 🥳

@AliOop You’re earlier post in this thread about antioxidants in lard got me thinking... The lard I use also has citric acid which should react with the lye to create sodium citrate which is a chelator. In theory it should attract some metal ions and cut down on soap scum. What I don’t know is how much or how little citric acid is in the lard 🤔 If there’s enough citric acid to make an appreciable difference in the soaps performance then we can add that to the list of why lard rocks so hard! 😆🤘
 

AliOop

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@FragranceGuy I don't think there is enough CA in the lard to make an appreciable difference, but you should probably check that out with your supplier. ;) And lard still rocks! 🤘

Thanks for the info about the plumbing. Several others here might chime in to let you know that they did experience problems with plumbing lines and with septic systems before lowering their SF. I haven't experienced that myself, but when our water suddenly increased in hardness, we did get that nasty soap scum buildup on sinks, shower doors, and shower walls. For those with hard water, it's more prevalent, but even those with non-hard water can experience this. Chelators help - and so does lowering the SF.

All the more reason to keep working those formulas to create that non-drying, non-scum-forming perfect soap - high lard, of course! 😍
 

FragranceGuy

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@FragranceGuy I don't think there is enough CA in the lard to make an appreciable difference, but you should probably check that out with your supplier. ;) And lard still rocks! 🤘

Thanks for the info about the plumbing. Several others here might chime in to let you know that they did experience problems with plumbing lines and with septic systems before lowering their SF. I haven't experienced that myself, but when our water suddenly increased in hardness, we did get that nasty soap scum buildup on sinks, shower doors, and shower walls. For those with hard water, it's more prevalent, but even those with non-hard water can experience this. Chelators help - and so does lowering the SF.

All the more reason to keep working those formulas to create that non-drying, non-scum-forming perfect soap - high lard, of course! 😍
I could see really hard water and really old plumbing eventually having issues. In my opinion, most households can handle regular usage of homemade soap without stressing that they might be damaging their plumbing. But hey, like you said, why not use a lower SF and chelators to minimize risk and save yourself some elbow grease! Speaking of which, I’m going to search the forum after work to see if there are any threads where people share how they clean soap scum..

Yes! Lol, There may be no such thing as “perfect” soap, but you know what, I’m going to keep on trying!! 😆 A person can dream, right? ☺
 
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Hi there and welcome!

I love your approach to this, and it's a very interesting thread. I am doing somewhat similar things, and I have also had the thought about how I would make soap by using only things I could make myself at home. And came to the same conclusion regarding animal fats.

I have used lard and duck fat in my soap, in my opinion they feel very similar. I render my own from animals that I raise and butcher. However in my experience, lard has a longer shelf life than duck fat, both as the rendered fat itself and also in the actual soap. I don't personally like 100% lard soap but others do. I really like mixing lard with beef, goat or sheep tallow. Makes for a harder bar with a few more bubbles, and should also be easy enough to produce at home. Addition of honey can help create more lather. Another consideration could be adding some olive oil for longevity.

Good luck and please let us know how you go!
thank you. It's better to add beewax or honey. What is their own properties ?
 

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