Homemade Lard Soap Recipe

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This is another easy one-fat homemade soap recipe, this time made with an animal fat: lard. Lard soap is very moisturizing, makes a good hard bar, and has light foam.

All the soaps I have made use vegetable fats (be they oils or butters). Not only are they accessible fats, they also give rise to very moisturizing and mild soaps of superior quality.

Why an animal fat soap, like lard?

1- For economic reasons. It may be easier in some cases to use animal fat than vegetable fat, or it is simply cheaper. In addition, lard alone creates good bars of soap, requiring no fat mixes.

2- For sustainability reasons. Lard, or animal fat in general, requires simpler resources to obtain, and can even be processed at home, unlike oils! Normally, animal fat is a by-product of meat production, and instead of being thrown away, it can be used to make soaps, thus making it a sustainable process.

3- Lard soap will not smell like meat. The fat will have to be treated well and have no meat residues; the lard sold in supermarkets is perfectly acceptable. You can also try the one that is sold in butchers. At most, the soap may have a very faint scent of lard that is masked with essential oils.

4- Lard has a composition very similar to palm oil, resulting in a long lasting soap with a light and creamy foam. In addition, it is similar in composition to human skin fat making it a very moisturizing soap. And this, like olive oil and coconut oil, is another exception of a fat that, by itself, is able to produce a nice soap without the need to use oil mixtures.

This time it didn’t go well for me

I had to try this recipe for handmade lard soap. Especially after hearing so much talk that our grandmothers used to make soap with animal fat.

I tried to make this recipe with lard bought at the supermarket. It is true that the lard, when I made this recipe, was already about 2 months old despite being within the expiration date and that can make all the difference.

What is certain is that the soap, despite having added the anti-oxidant (rosemary oleoresin extract), started to smell a lot of rancid and lard after 3 months of curing … By this time the lard expiry date had already been exceeded.

But my experience in using lard did not end there, nor was it always bad. I used lard in soaps, mixed with other oils which I made for Christmas gifts, of which I tried one of them. This one went very well, the soap was good and smelled a lot of lavender.

Maybe the secret is right there: the expiration date of a soap that contains lard has to be respected by the expiration date of the lard itself.

Why you should try it!

This recipe for natural lard soap with a superfat of 5% results in a moisturizing soap for the skin and very economical due to the price of the ingredient itself. Just be careful to buy fresh lard and mark the expiration date of the soap coincident with the expiry date of the lard.

But I assure you that the soap does not smell like lard after the saponification process. You can also add an essential oil for a special aroma, as suggested in this recipe. Try it and enjoy !!

More Single-Oil Recipes

Watch this video for Soap Making Safety instruction

Video in portuguese
Video in english

Watch this video for the Cold Process Soap Making tutorial

Video in portuguese
Video in english

Homemade Lard Soap Recipe

Sofia Matias
This is another easy one-fat homemade soap recipe, this time made with an animal fat: lard. Lard soap is very moisturizing, makes a good hard bar, and has light foam.
Difficulty: Easy
Weight: 450g (15,8 oz)
Superfat: 5%
Lye Concentration: 30%
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Curing Time 30 d
Total Time 30 d 1 hr
Servings 6 soap bars
Cost $14,8 / 12,4€
Cosmetic Soap Bar
Method Cold Process


  • Immersion blender
  • Pyrex or stainless steel bowl
  • Heat-resistant jug or pitcher for lye solution
  • Pitcher
  • Digital scale
  • Digital thermometer
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rubber spatula(s)
  • Cup / bottle for after trace ingredients
  • Soap mold
  • Safety goggles, gloves and mask


Lye Water

  • 137 g distilled water (4,82 oz)
  • 60 g lye (100% sodium hydroxide) (2,11 oz)


  • 450 g lard or tallow (15,84 oz)

Add After Trace

  • 8 drops grapefruit seed extract (GSE) or rosemary extract (RSO) (anti-oxidant)
  • 13 ml essential oil eucalyptus globulus (1 tbps almost full)


Get Ready!

  • Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Recommendations” in the video above or in How to Make Soap From Scratch
  • Watch the video above about "Cold Process Soap Making tutorial" or read the post How To Make Soap by Cold Process Step-by-Step for instructions on cold process soap making before starting. These are generic but important steps for all recipes.
  • Assemble everything: ingredients, equipment, safety equipment. Prepare your workstations. Measure all the ingredients. Don’t start the recipe without having everything ready!

Heat the Oils

  • Melt the lard as it remains solid at room temperature.

Make the Lye Water

Make the Soap Batter

  • Use as target temperature 38ºC for the oil-solution mixture. If necessary, heat the lard a little.
  • Reach trace with the immersion blender.
  • Add the extract and essential oil after tracing. Mix with a spoon.

Molding and Curing

  • Pour the dough in the molds with a pitcher and sprinkle with alcohol or witch hazel. You can put in pre-heated oven for gel phase.
  • Let it set for 48 hours.
  • Unmold and let the bars cure for 4 to 6 weeks. See How To Cure Soap.


Keyword basic lard soap recipe, homemade lard soap recipe, lard soap recipe

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  1. Thank you for this helpful post here. You know this can really save some money for us especially in this trying period where we are all on the tight budget and all. What’s been shared here is definitely good and definitely fancied here too. Seriously, I think this is really good and surely something that I can get myself involved in too. Thank you so much for sharing

    1. Sofia Matias

      Hello DarmiMaddie and thanks for your comment.

      That is so my point with this blog 🙂 I understand that people are scared of using lye (it’s a relatively dangerous substance), but you can make at home some really good soap, much milder to your skin that supermarket bath products…. and cheaper!!

      If you manage to source a cheap fat (without jeopardizing its quality), like lard or tallow, with only 1 kg of that fat your can make soap for one person that lasts almost 1 year! It’s much cheaper than melt&pour;, the most common way for someone to make soap at home, and better to your skin than cheap hygiene products you can buy.

      Give it a try, if you follow some safety guidelines, you can give it a try at home by learning the basics on how to make soap (I mostly use cold process, is the simplest to make a home).

      Stay safe!


  2. Thanks for educating us about how to make lard soap at home in the best way. This article has enhanced my DIY yourself skill, especially for soap making. I will be very glad to make and try this soap. The fact that it moisturizes the skin and is very cheap to make makes me excited to try it. My question is if it is suitable for all skins?

    1. Sofia Matias

      Hello Kelvin thanks for your comment and appreciate your question.

      I’ve used natural soaps made with many oils and also lard and they feel all great to my skin. To be noticed I never had any skin issues and I’d say the skin on my body is normal (nor oily neither dry). From my experience of this lard soap, I just didn’t like that it started to smell of pig fat after 5 to 6 months of cure. On the other hand I didn’t put any aroma in it (essential oils) to really test this lard soap.

      As for being suitable for all skin types, I always recommend to make a small batch of soap and then run a skin test just to be sure (as each person is different and has different needs), but in theory yes it is. I’d go as far as to say that any natural soap is better for your skin than the stuff we purchase in the supermarkets, for example, because they don’t have the natural glycerin natural soaps have.

      Check out this article of a journalist using lard as a moisturizer (something even I would think twice about lol). I’m not saying you should go as far as to do this, but you can have an idea how good and nurturing this fat is (along most vegetable oils to be honest).

      If you are worried about allergies or rashes, then this is my advice to you: use the lard recipe as it is and skip adding an essential oil (alergens are mostly in fragrances and colorants, whether it’s a natural or more commercial product). In alternative, use 100% olive oil soap instead (with no essential oils again). Proven by using it on my 5-year old daughter that stopped having itching skin on her legs. 

      And they are cheaper!

      Happy soap making experiences!


  3. wow, this article on lard soap was a very good one and i also found this very intersting and enlightening as well. seeing the importance of lard soap was also very good and it made me see the importance of making this myself. i would definitely undergo this project soonest

    1. Sofia Matias

      Hello Collins and thanks for your comment.

      About natural soaps, and food and natural stuff in general, there is a tendency to prefer ingredients with vegetal origin than animal ones. There is a good reason for that as the animal production industry is filled with errors and bad practices, and growing vegetables is easily more sustainable.

      Personally for natural cosmetics I do prefer vegetable ingredients. But most of all, I prefer what is sustainable. If you live in a farm house and usually have access to animal fat, there is no point in using vegetable oils to make soap, when you have a (most likely) free source of fat, as animal fat is usually waste.

      Therefore, a soap recipe made with animal fat is useful. I don’t have a personal experience with it, but it seems that rendering animal fat at home to make soap is doable and easy. So, another reason for this recipe.

      The main reason for my blog is to empower people to use natural cosmetics, and that to use them they don’t have forcibly to purchase them… neither they have to be expensive!! With fragrance, soap becomes somehow expensive, but reality is if you have a cheap oil locally available and access to lye, you can have very affordable natural soap. If you have easy, cheap access to lard or tallow, this is your recipe to make soap at home!



  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for posting another recipe, it’s very interesting to know that we can make soap at home with lard.

    1. Hello and thanks for your comment.

      Fell free to try this recipe at home!


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