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I have been slowly upping my lard usage (now up to 17%) and decreasing other oil usage to compensate. Mostly I am reducing the palm oil which is now down to 6.65%. I am wondering about stopping the palm altogether. I was speaking to our Owl who said I could replace all the palm with lard. Case closed, right?

Well... I feel guilty ditching all the palm. Afterall, it is one of the three Trinity Oils! What do my fellow larders think?
 

Carly B

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I've always thought of tallow as more of a palm replacement. But in any case, I don't use palm oil in all my soaps. Maybe half? I run things through the soap calc, and if the numbers tell me I want a harder soap, I'll add some palm and take out something else.

That being said, if I had to choose one to the exclusion of the other, I'd go with lard every time.
 

dibbles

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I frequently use lard at 30-40%. I've started adding 5-10% of cocoa butter and like the addition with the lard recipe. I don't use palm in my lard recipes, and when I do use palm I don't include lard (or animal fats of any kind). Not to say they aren't nice together, I just do either/or.

Like @Carly B I would choose lard over palm if I was limited to one or the other.
 

ResolvableOwl

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I was speaking to our Owl who said I could replace all the palm with lard. Case closed, right?
Heeey, don't make that sound as if I had anything to say in favour of barbarian slaughterhouse remnants. Crown of Creation, blah blah. :mad:🤣
Afterall, it is one of the three Trinity Oils!
says “Palm or lard”, so lard has always been on eye level with palm oil! For good reasons, since working with lard is easier (usually no need for melting up the whole batch, slower to come to trace – both proper and false), and it does add more to a soap than just a fair amount hardness (that skin feel that many are raving about). (ETA: Apropos, hardness and longevity of a soap with the same “hardness” number is better when achieved with lard than with palm oil.)

Lard is also lighter in colour than even the most refined RBD palm oil, so it's the darling of those aiming for really white soap and/or avoiding colour distortion due to oils. The fatty acid profile of palm oil is “boring” (essentially just oleic + palmitic acid), but lard brings “more of everything”, particularly much more stearic acid to offset its overall lower saturated FA fraction.

Your 6.65% of palm oil are okay if you're adding it to use up a stockpile of palm oil, or if you want to want to keep the possibility open to colour your batter with red palm oil without changing the recipe. Or if you gain irrational satisfaction from weighing and fusing together many fats and oils (that's a valid reason, don't ask where I know that from 🤫🤭). You're not doing it for the hardness/palmitic acid. Neither is price a consideration at this minute level of addi(c)tion. Nor label appeal (unless you do it to deter palm haters).
 

Johnez

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I have been slowly upping my lard usage (now up to 17%) and decreasing other oil usage to compensate. Mostly I am reducing the palm oil which is now down to 6.65%. I am wondering about stopping the palm altogether. I was speaking to our Owl who said I could replace all the palm with lard. Case closed, right?

Well... I feel guilty ditching all the palm. Afterall, it is one of the three Trinity Oils! What do my fellow larders think?

@IrishLass made a post about subbing palm, though it doesn't specifically answer your question, I figure it's useful to share anyway. This post has been one of the most valuable in my learning about soap and fatty acids. Many posts are just as good, but this one nailed the concept of looking hard at profiles, soaping with a goal in mind, and getting creative:

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:

View attachment 38734



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.

View attachment 38735




IrishLass :)
 
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I have been slowly upping my lard usage (now up to 17%) and decreasing other oil usage to compensate. Mostly I am reducing the palm oil which is now down to 6.65%. I am wondering about stopping the palm altogether. I was speaking to our Owl who said I could replace all the palm with lard. Case closed, right?

Well... I feel guilty ditching all the palm. Afterall, it is one of the three Trinity Oils! What do my fellow larders think?
Have you tried a 100% lard soap? White, gentle, hard. A wonderful bar of soap!
 
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I have always used lard OR tallow OR palm, never a combination. urrent recipes use 40% of lard, tallow, or palm. I only use palm for my vegetarian friends, especially my Hindu friends. We have a vibrant Indian community in my town. There seems to be a slight texture difference in the palm oil soap. I think tallow and lard make better soaps, plus the fats are a byproduct of the meat industry.

This evening I am going to render my own tallow from suet, which is now available in some New England supermarkets. Does anyone know off the top of their head if high-quality suet has a different FA profile from other animal fats? Suet is a much whiter fat, harder at room temperature, too.

I may have to try upping the animal fats to 50% to see how that formula compares.
 
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Hmm, since you're asking people who already love lard what you should do, I'm not sure how seriously to take your question.

If you can take the agony of making a small 1 lb batch (or whatever "small" size you can manage before you start panicking) Try making a high lard soap and test it out.

I used to use 60ish percentage of lard. Then, just got bored and wanted to work with palm and butters again as alternatives. Keep in mind I love all soap and all soap recipes because I'm just fascinated by all of it. But palm really doesn't have any redeeming qualities other than the hardness it offers, in my opinion. (especially when you compare a 100% palm with a 100% lard.). Lard doesn't make big bubbles. While many call its lather creamy, I don't because the lather is thick and voluminous. My lard alternative recipes are SLOW to cure despite not using olive oil (unless I have some to use up). They're "fine" at 6 weeks but really need 3 months! The high lard soaps were quite acceptably cured at 3 weeks, although I waited until 4 weeks to give away.

One possible downside is that my high lard soaps didn't seem to have as long of a shelf life as the palm or butter recipes. However, I also didn't shrink wrap and pay strict attention to their storage like I do now....because make bigger batches, have fewer places to give my soap away to and have more sitting around. I do use sodium citrate in all my recipes because our area has hard water, and am thinking of adding EDTA.

*sigh*. And now I'm dying to get some tallow to play with. I haven't used tallow since before the pandemic but I love the nice "crisp" bar they make. But geez...I don't need another 50lb box of fat to store!

Oh - and I agree with Resolvable Owl with the whiteness of lard. I'm picking about colors; I want my soap to be exactly the color the dry mica is - and that takes a white recipe. Palm and olive aren't conducive to that so I had to compromise on my colors. And let talk about the HOUR of swirling time you'll have with a high lard recipe; I make a triple batch to make 3 different swirled soaps and have more than enough time to ....sometimes way too much time!

ETA: Also using palm and/or butters instead of lard I had to start using sugar in my recipe because the lather needed the boost despite using the same amount of coconut oil.
 
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Obsidian

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I'd like to try that.

As much as I love lard, I don't like it at 100%. The lather is dismal and the bars develop a old stale scent fairly quickly.
A 80% lard, 20% coconut is nice though. Long lasting, gentle, more lather and it doesn't get the stale scent.
These bars last so long I get tired of looking at them in the shower lol.
 
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