Hot and Cold Process Lard Soap Recipes

Lard Soap Recipe – Hot Process and Heat Transfer Cold Process Methods

Hot and Cold Process Lard Soap Recipes

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A lard soap recipe, in addition to containing a significant quantity of lard, should also contain complementary fats to bolster bubbles and skin conditioning properties. In this article, we explore a lard soap recipe, hot processed to quickly yield a hard bar of soap. Another lard soap recipe uses the Heat Transfer Cold Process method, producing a creamy, smooth soap bar. When you have a lard soap recipe, hot processing creates a bar of soap that is completely saponified and ready to use, if necessary, as soon as it is cooled and cut. Of course, any bar of soap will still benefit from a four- to six-week curing period, which will make the most of a lard soap recipe’s creamy, stable lathering qualities and moisturizing benefits to the skin. The fat known as lard includes a high percentage of saturated fats, similar to the sebum we produce in human skin. When a soap is superfatted with a percentage of lard, the recipe will be gentle and moisturizing to the skin.  

What other oils and fats go well with lard? Coconut oil is a useful addition to increase the size of the bubbles in the lather. If you prefer a very bubbly lather, a bit of coconut oil will help. While lard can be used at up to 100% of a soap recipe’s oils, it is better at around 60-80%, combined with conditioning and bar-hardening oils such as olive oil, shea butter, or castor oil. Lard provides so many good qualities to a bar of soap on its own that you are virtually unlimited when it comes to which oils you can combine. Lard soap provides a good opportunity to experiment with new oils in a recipe, or to clean out your cupboard of bits and pieces of various oils. Lard has properties in soap that are similar to palm and other solid nut butters such as cocoa butter and shea butter. As such, there is really no reason to use these fats in a lard soap bar unless you need to use them up — because of the lard content, the bar will already be hard, with a stable, creamy, moisturizing lather.  


Heat Transfer Cold Process Lard Soap Recipe 

  • 12 oz. lard 
  • 8 oz. coconut oil 
  • 12 oz. pure olive oil 
  • 4.45 oz. sodium hydroxide 
  • 10 oz. water 

Weigh the sodium hydroxide into a lye-safe container and set aside. Weigh the water into a heat-safe and lye-safe container. Wear protective goggles. Gloves and a face mask are also recommended, but good ventilation is vital. In a well-ventilated area, pour the lye into the water slowly and stir to dissolve. Set aside.  

Weigh the lard and coconut oils, then place the hard oils into a large heat-safe and lye-safe bowl. Pour the hot lye water over the hard oils and stir for a few minutes until the fats are completely melted.  Weigh the olive oil into a separate container, then pour into the fats/lye mixture and stir well. Using a stick blender, blend until thin to medium trace is reached. Add any fragrance or essential oils according to manufacturer recommendation and blend thoroughly. Add colors, if using. Pour into mold(s) and insulate, if desired. Soap should be ready to unmold in 24-48 hours. Slice after unmolding. Allow to cure in a dark, dry location with good ventilation for four to six weeks before using, for best results.  


Hot Process Lard Soap Recipe 

  • 14 oz. lard — set aside 1 ounce to add at end of cook as superfat 
  • 4 oz. coconut oil 
  • 8 oz. olive oil 
  • 6 oz. sunflower oil 
  • 4.25 oz. sodium hydroxide 
  • 12 oz. water 

Set crockpot on Low heat. Weigh oils into a separate container one at a time before pouring each into the crockpot. Set aside one ounce of the lard to use as superfat after the cook. For the rest of the oils, cover and allow to melt completely. Meanwhile, weigh lye into a lye-safe container. Set aside. Weigh water into a heat-safe and lye-safe container. Slowly pour the lye into the water, stirring with a nonreactive spoon to dissolve completely. Once lye is dissolved, pour hot lye water into crockpot with melted oils. Using a stick blender, blend until a thick trace is reached. Place entire crockpot into sink. This will contain any overflow in the event that the soap rises while cooking. Cover crockpot and leave soap to process on Low heat, stirring occasionally, until it has reached a stage where it is translucent and resembles homogenous, slightly wet mashed potatoes. This will take between one and two hours to complete, and should be checked on often to prevent overflowing. At this hot process soap stage, you can begin checking for full saponification using pH testing strips, if desired. However, it is not necessary to check, as any remaining trace of lye in the soap will be finished reacting by the time the soap has cooled and hardened in the mold. Once the soap is done, it will resemble dry mashed potatoes. When it begins sticking to the sides of the container, that is an indication that it is ready to pour. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add the one ounce of set-aside lard at this time, and stir to melt and incorporate thoroughly. This will be your superfat. Weigh essential or cosmetic-grade fragrance oils according to manufacturer’s recommended usage rates for soap. It is important to note that in general, you will need about HALF as much essential or fragrance oil for hot processed soap as what you would use for cold processed soap, so measure your oils on the lower end of the recommendation. After allowing the soap to cool slightly, add essential or fragrance oils and combine thoroughly. Add colorants, if using, at this time. A simple in-the-pot swirl is the most common method used to color hot processed soap. Pour or spoon the soap into molds, tapping molds frequently on the tabletop to remove as many air bubbles as possible. Note that hot processed soap naturally has a more rough and “handmade” appearance than cold processed soap. Many find this style of soap even more beautiful. Intricate molds may be better suited to cold processed soap, as the thickness of this recipe will hide small details and impressions.  


Using lard in a soap recipe yields a creamy, stable lather. The additional free fats in finished handmade soap make the bar conditioning and cleansing without stripping skin. It also imparts a sheer, microscopic film of oil on the surface of the skin to prevent that dry, tight feeling often associated with detergent bars. While you can use lard at up to 100% of your total oils, these soaps do benefit from being mixed with oils of different properties to boost their natural goodness. A little coconut oil for bubbles, some castor oil for drawing moisture to the skin, or even a light oil such as sunflower are all perfect to use with lard in soap making. Which soap recipe will you try? Do you prefer a lard soap recipe with a high percentage of lard, or more of a mixture of different oils? Please share your results with us.  

One thought on “Hot and Cold Process Lard Soap Recipes”
  1. In the narrative, you say that the Lard should be 60-80% of total oils. But the recipe has it at about 37.5% for cold processed and 44 for hot processed. Or did I get something wrong?

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