Old Fashioned Cold Processed Lard Soap- Like Grandma Use to Make

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Old Fashioned Cold Processed Lard Soap- Like Grandma Used to Make. No frills, just good soap.

This recipe is from a friend of mine, Sam Crandall. Sam and his family are good, salt-of-the-earth people and like to do things the old way.
Sam shares his family recipe of Old Fashioned Cold Processed Lard Soap- Like Grandma Used To Make. No frills- just good soap.

Old Fashioned Cold Processed Lard Soap- Like Grandma Used To Make

Cleaning out one of the freezers in anticipation of butcher season and found a boatload of back fat left over from the last pig we did.

Threw about 10lbs of fat into the slow cooker and rendered it down for lard and soap, have about another 20lbs to go that I’d completely forgot was in the freezer.

This Cold Processed Lard Soap Recipe works really well. Good lather in both hard and soft water. We give quite a bit to my ma and she uses it as a shampoo too.

Cold Processed Lard Soap Safety

First, let me point out, you can not make soap without lye. Period. However, you can make soap without handling lye by using soap bases where the lye process is already done for you.

What is Lye?

Solid sodium hydroxide, solid potassium hydroxide, solutions containing high concentrations of sodium hydroxide, and/or solutions containing high concentrations of potassium hydroxide may cause chemical burns, permanent injury or scarring, and blindness. Lye (sodium hydroxide) and/or caustic potash (potassium hydroxide) may be harmful or fatal if swallowed.

Solvation of sodium hydroxide and/or potassium hydroxide is highly exothermic, and the resulting heat may cause heat burns or ignite flammables.

Avoid all contact with organic tissue (including human skin, eyes, mouth, and animals or pets). Keep away from clothing. Avoid all contact with aluminum.

Safety Precautions when using Lye for cold processed lard soap

    • Make soap in a well ventilated area
    • Keep children and pets away from the soap-making process
    • Wear gloves
    • Use protective eye ware
    • Wash all equipment thoroughly

Cold Processed Lard Soap

Use a digital scale to measure ingredients, one that has all the measurements is best.
Place your bowl or cup on the scale, tare (bring the scale to zero) the scale, then add your ingredients to weigh.


  • 1,200g strained lard
  • 456g distilled water
  • 160g lye.

If you would like to know How to Render Lard, check out this article by Mommypotamus




  1. Using a stainless steel pot, slowly pour the lye into the water (always lye into water! Volcanoes are no fun!).
  2. Stir constantly until the lye is dissolved
  3. Let it cool back down to 100-120 degrees.
  4. While you’re waiting for the lye mix to cool back down I heat up and strain the lard.
  5. Get both items to as close to the same temp as possible (and keep them both between 100-120 degrees).
  6. We use a stick blender to combine the two and then switch over to a standard whisk and mix until trace is achieved (about half an hour or so typically for us)
  7. Then we pour it into the molds, cover with saran wrap and a towel and stick it in the pantry.
  8. After 24 hours we’ll throw the molds in the freezer for a bit to help prevent the bars from breaking while unmolding.
  9. Set the bars on a non reactive rack and let them cure in a cool, dark, spot for a minimum of 3 weeks -longer is always better, the bars in the picture are 5 months old and just about perfect.

Old Fashioned Cold Processed Lard Soap- Like Grandma Use to Make. No frills, just good soap


  1. Janelle on November 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I am keeping this recipe for the next time I render lye. I’m totally making this soap recipe!

  2. MARY HOPKINS on January 19, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Where do you buy Lye for soap making. My mom used to make it and I want to try .
    Mom passed in 1993 ,so am not sure where she bought her Lye.

    • Amber Bradshaw on January 19, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      I get mine on Amazon. I’ve also ordered it from Brambleberry Soap-making supply store.

    • Jenn on January 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm

      I buy mine from any hardware store in the plumbing department. 1 pound is about $3.99us

  3. diane on May 8, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    I am in the UK it is hard to get fat to render can I use shop bought lard

    • Amber Bradshaw on May 8, 2020 at 7:09 pm

      Yes, that will work just fine

  4. Jessica on June 9, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    I’m in the process of making this right now but the mixture is not coming to trace. It’s been 45 mintues… what could I be doing wrong? Can I salvage the recipe?

    • Jessica on June 9, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      Hello again 🙂 I was mistaken in my previous comment. I was looking for something like whipped cream peaks. But I figured it out and have trace! Already poured in the mold, now I wait.

  5. diane on July 24, 2020 at 8:19 am

    thank you for your fast response about lard made the soap just need to run mold it next time I will not make the mistake of getting the lard to HOF and waiting for it to cool to match lye other than that I found instructions so easy to follow thank you sk much x used shop bought lard

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