Homemade Lard Soap Recipe

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Try this easy one-fat homemade soap recipe, excellent for soapmaking beginners, this time made with an animal fat: lard. Lard has been used by our grandmothers to make great homemade soap. Lard soap is very moisturizing, makes a good hard bar, and has light foam.

All the soaps I have made so far 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.

Then 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 oil mixtures.

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 and mild soap. You also don’t need to use other oils to have a balanced soap. Meaning it’s easier, and simpler, making this another good recipe for soapmaker beginners along with Olive Oil Soap Recipe and How To Make Coconut Soap.

The First 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. That can make all the difference.

Fact is, despite having added the anti-oxidant (rosemary oleoresin extract), the soap started to smell a lot of rancid and lard after 3 months of curing … And I saw for the first time dreaded orange spots.

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. My next attempt at making lard soap will definitely be with homemade lard.

Why You Should Try It !

This recipe for natural lard soap with a superfat of 5% results in a moisturizing soap for the skin, which can become very economical – but still of good quality! – if you have the patience to render lard at home.

Just be careful with the lard or pork fat you use, try to avoid store-bought lard. The secret is to use fresh handmade lard which you can also buy to artisans, but in this case the soap becomes expensive.

I assure you that the soap does not smell like lard when freshly cured. You can also add essential oils for a special scent, as suggested in this recipe.

This is also another great recipe for beginners, a very simple process which will result in a wonderfully mild and moisturizing soap. Try it and enjoy!!!

Find Where To Buy Handmade Lard Soap

If you’re not yet ready to try to make this recipe at home, but you still wish to enjoy natural soaps, you can find handmade lard soap in the following links:

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Watch These Videos Before Starting Your Recipe

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: 225g (7,93 oz)
Superfat: 5%
Lye Concentration: 30%
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
MethodCold Process
ProductSoap Bar
Servings3 soap bars
Cost$2,5 – $7 / 2€ – 6€

Ingredients
 

Lye Water

Oils/Fat

Add After Trace

Instructions

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!
  • The essential oil is optional. It adds scent to your soap. You can choose the one from the recipe or another like lavender, peppermint, litsea cubeba. You can also choose a fragrance oil. But do not exceed the 13 ml limit.

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 45ºC 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.

Video

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2 thoughts on “Homemade Lard Soap Recipe”

  1. Hi Sofia,

    My wife has been getting involved in making soap and essential oils. I have been the mechanic behind it all and building her inventory so she can produce a more consistent and higher quality product. 

    I am interested in the lard as a base because some of the other oils we have started with are a bit pricey. when this si the base of the product, we have found you can go through quite a bit of it depending on the size of the batch. 

    We will be experimenting with this recipe. It appears to be similar to the ratio with what we have been using. Does it take more lye with the lard to begin sopanification? I don’t want to have too much caustic that does not get neutralized in the end.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Chad

    Reply
    • Hello Groomy Dude and thanks for sharing your comment.

      The lye and lard quantities in this recipe considers a superfat of 5%, so it’s safe about all caustic soda getting neutralized in saponification. I also recommend that, if you have to make an error measuring the ingredients you should never cut on oil, or add too much lye. Better to have a little bit more of oil and and a little bit less of lye.

      As I use superfat in all soap recipes, I’ve never ever had an issue with soap being irritant in almost two years of soapmaking. 

      Lard doesn’t seem to be particularly different from other oils in terms of lye to make soap.  Probably for very big batches you will see a noticeable difference, but when you are talking about 225g (1/2 pound) of soap, the difference is smaller than digital scale’s error, below 1 gram. So you can’t really see a difference.

      If you want to be sure, run the recipe through a soap calculator (SoapCalc) using 5% superfat and 30% lye concentration. 

      Cheers,

      Sofia

      Reply

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