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Lard vs. Tallow

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Sudsandscrubs

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Hello everyone! I've used lard in soap before ( store bought) and it's made one of my all time favorite bars of soap, so I was very excited when my nextdoor neighbor who has cows offered to give me some of the fat to make Tallow. So which does everyone prefer in soap and why? Is there anything that makes one better than the other? Thanks in advance!
 

cmzaha

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They are a bit different in soap. Tallow has some Lauric and Myrstric Acid lending cleansing value to soap. Lard only has 1% or so Myrstric so it lends virtually no cleansing value to soap. Tallow lends more hardness to soap due to more stearic acid. Tallow will also trace much faster than lard.

I love a tallow lard mix in soap because it lends a very nice creamy lather.
 

atiz

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I also like a mix, but have used both on their own. Lard soap is more gentle; tallow soap is harder. I like both.
Here's some earlier discussion on the subject, I found it pretty useful.
 

Arimara

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I find tallow to be a bit more cleansing than lard. I tendo to use less of it than I would lard too. It could be me but I could have sworn that a mix of lard and tallow compliments each other.
 

Sudsandscrubs

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Will Tallow lend enough cleansing ability to use as a more gentle coconut oil substitute? Coconut oil tends to really dry my skin out, even if I use it in a very small percentage and I've been trying to find something that will be gentle on my skin yet still has a good amount of cleansing ability.
 

Anstarx

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As, atiz said, The cleansing ability came from the Lauric and Myrstric Acid in oils.
Coconut is 48 in lauric and 19 in myrstic.
Tallow Beef is 2 in lauric and 6 in myrstic. It offered more in palmitic and stearic which contributes to hardness, not cleansing. I think it's safe to say you can't really use tallow as a cleansing oil.
Even if you managed to use enough tallow to have the same lauric and myrstic amount as coconut I imagine it'd be just as drying. If coconut is drying on your skin then it means the soap is cleansing too much. You can try a recipe without CO or PKO, even the really mild castile can clean. It's soap after all.

I don't use tallow often but I have made a recipe made with 70% horse oil, which is somewhere between lard and tallow. I used an alcoholic drink as my water so it bubbled well and cleansed without too stripping.
 

IrishLass

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Will Tallow lend enough cleansing ability to use as a more gentle coconut oil substitute? Coconut oil tends to really dry my skin out, even if I use it in a very small percentage and I've been trying to find something that will be gentle on my skin yet still has a good amount of cleansing ability.
Soap is a surfactant by nature, so soap made from any oil or any combo of oils will get you sufficiently clean.....even a soap that SoapCalc states has zero % cleansing, such as a soap made with 100% olive oil, as Anstarx pointed out above^^^.

The question then becomes, "How much of the cleansing effect can your skin tolerate?" And a related factor is "What kind of lather do you prefer your soap to have, e.g. creamy or bubbly or a nice mix of creamy/bubbly?" When formulating a new recipe, those are the two factors I'm always playing against each other. I'm a bubbly lather lover, so my formula includes a goodly amount of the bubbly oils of coconut oil and/or PKO, which also happen to be super cleansing oils, so I formulate in such a way as to have enough bubbles to make me happy, but not so much cleansing that it drys my skin out. It's a delicate balancing act for sure.


IrishLass :)

Edited to add, I like using a combo of lard with tallow....I find they compliment each other nicely.
 

Arimara

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Will Tallow lend enough cleansing ability to use as a more gentle coconut oil substitute? Coconut oil tends to really dry my skin out, even if I use it in a very small percentage and I've been trying to find something that will be gentle on my skin yet still has a good amount of cleansing ability.
No. Don't get me wrong, soap will clean you no matter if it has a cleansing oil in it or not but if you are looking for a cleansing oil, you should consider if you would like to invest in babassu or palm kernel oil as a replacement. If you wanted to try palm kernel oil, I should expound on this- the hydrogenated flakes is more cleansing than the oil itself.
 

Primrose

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I am another tallow plus lard lover. I find lard is gentler, makes a softer bar with more creamy than bubbly lather. It traces very slowly. Beef tallow gives a more bubbly and harder bar, slightly more stripping on the skin, and moves a little.more quickly to trace. Goat tallow all of these things but more so than beef. I have been using lard plus beef tallow and am now using all three together and it's working out beautifully
 

Sudsandscrubs

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Soap is a surfactant by nature, so soap made from any oil or any combo of oils will get you sufficiently clean.....even a soap that SoapCalc states has zero % cleansing, such as a soap made with 100% olive oil, as Anstarx pointed out above^^^.

The question then becomes, "How much of the cleansing effect can your skin tolerate?" And a related factor is "What kind of lather do you prefer your soap to have, e.g. creamy or bubbly or a nice mix of creamy/bubbly?" When formulating a new recipe, those are the two factors I'm always playing against each other. I'm a bubbly lather lover, so my formula includes a goodly amount of the bubbly oils of coconut oil and/or PKO, which also happen to be super cleansing oils, so I formulate in such a way as to have enough bubbles to make me happy, but not so much cleansing that it drys my skin out. It's a delicate balancing act for sure.


IrishLass :)

Edited to add, I like using a combo of lard with tallow....I find they compliment each other nicely.
I think SoapCalc was making me a little obsessed with getting numbers in the perfect range and have learned pretty quickly that those numbers are just suggestions 😂 I love a mix of creamy and bubbly lather so by the sounds of everyone's experience with lard and Tallow, I'll try to come up with a combination of the two and see what I can come up with. I'm also trying to test how much cleansing ability my skin likes, I'm currently waiting for a Bastille soap to cure, I read that many baby soaps are Bastille soaps so I figured that would be a good one to start out with. Thank you!
 

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