Back in the soy wax users thread I promised here I'd make a comparison of it against lard as a hardener, and so I did. I decided to make two fresh soaps, so I could compare trace, molding, unmolding, curing, etc. simultaneously. I think that's a better study than comparing fresh soap to one sitting on the shelf already 2mos. Recipe: 30% lye concentration, 3% SF, no fragrance Soy wax/lard 40%, pomace 27%, coconut oil 18%, grapeseed oil 10%, castor oil 5% *please note that I could not access pure soy wax and used one labeled as 444 that's apparently 98% soy wax and with a (unknown to me) soy based additive at 2%. Procedure: I melted both lard and soy wax in the microwave and dumped them into room temperature oils. At this time, the lye water was already mixed, with the container sitting in cold water, and I just waited for the temps to even out somewhat. My handy dandy hand told me I should proceed when I checked after 15mins. I hand stirred both - stirred, checked on the napping baby, stirred again, washed a couple of containers, stirred again. Didn't take that long. Observations before molding: The soy wax batter got to light trace before the lard batter did. I was mixing both by hand simultaneously. Batter color and consistency at light trace was very similar and I worried I'd mix em up lol. Should have taken pics. I mixed a lil cocoa powder for the tops of the soy ones so I can differentiate them. Observations after molding: Here's where things get interesting. I purposely unmolded when I thought it was too early, at 20hrs, and both soaps stuck to the bottoms and sides. At around 30hrs the lard stuck on one side only, not at the bottom, but the soy stuck on all sides again. Unmolding at 37hrs still had the soy sticking while the lard one slid out cleanly. I, unfortunately don't have a pic of the untouched soy ones all together but here's one of the lard soap. You can however, see the first unmolded soy soap with all its glorious ash and the stuck sides here. Speaking of ash.. They all got it. I left them uncovered and not insulated to see what will happen. I think I got gel but you guys will have to confirm. Here's a pic of freshly molded soap side by side with a pic after about 14hrs. At this point, at close to 44hrs since both soaps were made, I can definitely say the lard soap is firmer than the soy wax soap, which also is still tacky. I also think it's the thick ash that's tacky, since the others I cleaned aren't as much. Color wise they've both evened out and are similar, but the soy is still slightly whiter. Yesterday the soy one was very noticeably whiter, even after I shaved off the ash. Here's pics of the tops, bottoms, and one side. First pic, I shaved off the sides of the soy wax soap to get to the no ash part. You can see it clearer here. Second pic, I patiently "washed" the ash away with cloth and 70% alcohol and you'll notice I even dropped this soap lol. Last pic, the soy wax soap is untouched. Ehmm.. I don't know what else to say but if you guys ask questions I should be able to answer them. Sorry for the long post. I hope this helps someone lol and thanks for getting to the end haha love you guys!