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Question about animal fats

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TeaLeavesandTweed

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So I'm getting ready to make my first batch this week, using 50% tallow, 30% olive oil, and 20% coconut oil, with a 5% superfat/lye discount and no fragrance/color. But when I got home from the store, I discovered that what the store labeled "Beef Lard" (I know, right?), the farm had labeled "Lard, ingredients: pig fat."

Comparing it to partially-used containers of tallow and lard from the same farm, I'm 95% sure I have lard. I have enough tallow on hand to make a soap that is 30% tallow, 30% olive, 20% lard, and 20% coconut. Lard and tallow are close enough in SAP value that it will only change the superfat of my soap by 0.25 percentage points if I'm wrong. So the recipe should be fine.

But those of you who use a lot of lard vs. tallow, what is the difference in the properties of the soap they produce? I'm curious because I was eventually going to try to go to all-tallow, but if the farm has stopped distributing tallow to the market, it'll be all-lard.
 

IrishLass

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I actually like to use both in my soap. Tallow is slightly more cleansing and makes a harder, bubblier bar than lard, while lard is more conditioning, a little softer and with more of a creamy/oomphier lather than tallow. I use them both because what each one lacks (in my opinion), the other one makes up for. If it ever came to the point that I had to choose just one, though, I would choose lard. But that's just me. It really gives a nice body to the lather and is milder to my skin than tallow when I use tallow on it's own.


IrishLass :)
 

Obsidian

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Personally, I like lard a lot more then tallow. Both add hardness and longevity to a bar but lard makes creamier lather with a better feel. I can't explain the feel, just thats its different between the two and the lard it better, maybe softer? Lard seems to be gentler too and is fantastic for dry/sensitive skin.

I do use tallow at times, especially in shave soap. Lard just doesn't make the cut if you want a good, proper lathering shave soap.
 

cmzaha

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I am in agreement with Irishlass, that I like lard and tallow, or lard and palm in my soaps. I still have some dos issues with lard so do not use it in high percentages. As IL stated tallow is more cleansing so I cut down my coconut when I use high beef tallow. My favorite is lard, but the dos issue is driving me nuts.
 

TeresaT

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I have tried a high lard soap and a high tallow soap. I prefer the lard soap because...I don't like the smell of the tallow. I have gone through the trouble of rendering my own tallow from beef fat, and enjoyed the process; however, when I wash with a high tallow soap at 8% SF (my normal SF) I smell beefy after I've gotten out of the shower. I do not smell that with the lard soap. The strangest thing is, the tallow I use has almost no smell at all to it. The lard I use smells stronger than the tallow does.
 

Susie

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I agree with IL. I like lard and tallow together. And for the same reasons.
 

not_ally

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I really like lard the best of all. Even - so far - over when it is mixed w/tallow. I actually like tallow as well (compared to other oils) but I use lard in such high numbers that when I mix it w/tallow I feel like I am giving up a big chunk of my (admittedly huge) lard allowance to tallow. I do like the hardness that tallow brings though, those bars are super hard. I haven't tried, and still mean to try, the lard-tallow mix recipes that Susie and Yooper recently posted here, though, they look good.
 
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Dahila

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I mix them as well; 25 lard, 25 tallow, 25 OO, 5 castor and 20 CO or 15 then OO 30. Slow tracer , I always have enough time to do whatever I want to with it:)P)
 

tinglingclean

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laundry bar soap

Do any of you ladies make your own laundry soap, and if so, do you prefer lard or tallow .

I haven't made it for a long time, and can't remember what I used last.

any information would be appreciated , or a suggested recipe too.

Thanks
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Not a lady, but I just use coconut oil for my laundry soap.

As for animal fats, i have yet to try tallow in bar soap, just shaving soap, so I feel an experiment coming on!
 

lenarenee

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My 70% tallow bar melts a lot faster than my 70% lard bar....which I don't understand.

I prefer a high tallow bar over a high lard bar IF the tallow bar has cured a lot longer than the lard. Yes, my hypothesis is that tallow takes longer to cure (like palm and definitely oo). Lard bars I use happily at 3 weeks.

Tallow provides some big bubbles, then some nice rich creamier style bubbles. It's not as creamy as lard, but wonderful in its own right. I also think it has a faster initial "bubble up" factor than lard. I can use about 3% less coconut oil because tallow has lauric and myrisitc acid like co, so that prevents creating a more drying soap for me.

I've had no tallow scent in either the store bought or the 100% grass fed organic raised family farm tallow - from either the soap or smelling it straight out of the box.

Weird thing is, I don't like splitting tallow and lard half and half (say 35% each). in a recipe. The result is rather nondescript or something.

Right now I have a 20% tallow, 50% lard, 15 co, 10 ho safflower, 5 castor bar in the shower and it is lasting f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Maybe the small bit of tallow ups the hardness in a way that a 70% tallow bar doesn't....? Odd.
 

Susie

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I make 100% CO liquid soap for laundry. Or I did. I am currently using up the ALL my hubby bought before we got married.
 

lsg

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I too prefer lard, but if you have tallow available, you might as well use it.
 

TeaLeavesandTweed

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Thanks, everyone! These are such great, comprehensive answers. Maybe I'll try making a 100% lard and 100% tallow bar to compare, since I can generally get the fats so easily.
 

lenarenee

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I'd love to hear your impressions when you do, especially what you think about the cure rate of tallow versus lard, and comparing a 4 wk tallow bar with with a 4 month old bar.

Also, one other thing I like about tallow is that the bubbles are shinier than my lard bar. I keep wondering about with tweaking my recipe to get those shiny bubbles, but really don't want to sacrifice the other aspects of this recipe that I like.
 

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