Lard supposedly makes a good soap for dogs (and humans too). I was not too crazy about the idea of rendering pork fat, but since there is a pork shop (literally called The Pork Shop) near where I live, it stared at me everyday until I finally gave in.
As soon as I got home, I immediately placed the 1 kilo of freshly ground pork fat in a heavy duty pot, and left it to render on a low flame. I got busy doing other things and soon forgot about it, only to return to a pot of boiling oil! Oh no! This was what I was NOT supposed to do! It definitely reeked of pork. Too late. I strained it, let it cool, then chucked it in the fridge to deal with it another day.
So what did I do with a tub of lard? I have nothing against it – in fact I love pork – but I had no intention of cooking with it, and it looked so innocently white I could not bring myself to throw it out. So back to plan A. Once it became a cold solid mass, the porky smell was actually diminished, or so I wanted to believe. I also wanted to believe that the saponification process, with some essential oils thrown in, will somehow zap away the porkiness.
I used a milk carton as my mold. Since my kitchen is warm and the milk box is squat, I insulated, or more like draped, a kitchen towel over it. This would have been okay, but I let the mold sit directly on my marble countertop. When I unmolded the soap, the bottom inch was a bit soft and a more solid-looking white than the rest of the soap. It wasn’t a big problem though, but next time I should take into consideration the temperature of the marble.
Right after cutting the soap, I detected a porky smell amidst the peppermint and eucalyptus. Maybe it’s just me because I know what’s inside? I’ve been sniffing at it everyday, checking for any hint of porkiness. It has been two weeks now and I think my soap is safe. Whew!
Lard Dog Soap
- 638 g. Lard (58%)
- 275 g. Coconut Oil (25%)
- 165 g. Castor Oil (15%)
- 22 g. Stearic Acid (2%)
- 152 g. NaOH
- 325 g. Distilled Water (+2 Tbsp beer leftover from my beer & egg soap)
- 15 ml Lavender
- 15 ml Eucalyptus
- 15 ml Peppermint
This is my first soap with stearic acid. Just like the sodium lactate, I am not sure if it has made the soap harder.
May 28, 2013
This evening, as I was doing my daily sniffing routine, I somehow felt it was time to try my porky dog soap – on me. It has cured for a mere 16 days, but it was quite hard already. My whole routine on picking up the soaps, examining, smelling and pressing to test for hardness, feels no different from picking out a perfectly ripe fruit. Ok, I can’t say this soap is perfectly ripe, but at least good enough.
I had my apprehensions that there might be a lurking porky smell once I used the soap. Surprise, surprise! This is an amazing soap! It feels silky, lathers well, the scents of the essentials oils actually stayed, and no hints of porkiness. Lard is known to make for a hard soap, but I also believe that the stearic acid helped, considering that this soap is still very young and has a high percentage of castor oil.
Will this be a good soap too for what it was intended for? Will post on that once I’ve put it to the test, but it won’t be that soon because Chewie just came from the groomers.