Does Lard Smell Bad?

by Hayley
(UK)

I have only made one batch of soap so far and can't wait to have another go! But this time I wondered about making it with Lard because its so inexpensive like you said.


I've read what you've written about lard in your Fats & Oils section, but was wondering does lard make your soap smell bad? Because that would be so gross!!

I have bought some Lard from the supermarket, so I assume its food quality stuff, but when I smelled it it does smell piggy. Eeeew. Does this smell go after you have cured the soap perhaps or is it there for good once its in your soap?

I will add an EO but dont want a special pig & lemongrass fragrance!! Hehe

Thankyou so much for your time, I can't wait to have another go!!!

Answer:

Hi Hayley,

Hmmmm.....lemon piggy soap....it kind of has a nice ring to it!!! Too funny!!

No, you don't want your soaps smelling of piglet. Unfortunately, what you put in the soap is what you will get out.

When I want to have a light chocolatey scent in a soap, I use cocoa butter that hasn't been deodorized and the scent definitely comes through.

Not all lards smell strongly so I would try another brand...see if you can find a store that refrigerates theirs...this can be a challenge, unfortunately. You definitely want the lard as fresh as possible.

Good luck and happy soaping,

Cathy

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Lard smelling bad?
by: Barbara

I've been soaping with Vegetable Lard for about 2 years with much success. I think Cathy is right, if you're going to use an animal fat, perhaps the refrigerated type would be best. However, if you can find vegetable, you'd see there is little to no smell right out of the can. Vegetable lard holds fragrance too! I would suggest a little Orris root powder or Oakmoss absolute to help carry the fragrance a little longer, but you should have no problem with vegetable. Here in the US, we have a product called "Crisco". Crisco is a brand of shortening (lard) that is popular in the United States. It was first produced in 1911 by Procter & Gamble and was the first shortening to be made entirely of vegetable oil. As such, Crisco may be considered appropriate for vegan diets as it contains no animal products.No animal, no smell! :) Hope this has been insightful! Best Wishes in your crafting!

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Camellia Oil (Difference)
by: Barbara

Cathy,
Is the Camellia oil you are using in your soaps Camellia Oleifera or Camellia Sinesis? Could you give a look and email me? I might have a resource in the US for your readers. No disrespect to your preferred link..just more the merrier! Thank you!

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Lard versus shortening
by: Cathy

Hi Barbara,

Crisco is actually never referred to as lard even though it looks and feels very similar.

Lard is the name used for the animal fat found in pigs and crisco is a vegetable shortening made up of soybean and palm oils.

Crisco can be substituted for some of the lard in recipes but for a hard bar of soap it should be used in conjunction with other hard oils...say cocoa butter, shea butter, palm oil, etc. Crisco will make a much softer bar than lard because it doesn't contain nearly the same amount of Palmitic acid.

As to the Camellia Seed oil I use...Camellia Sinensis is the one I have but, as far as I know, either would be fine.

If you have a link to add for a supplier of Camellia oil, feel free to do so....could you put it with one of the questions about Camellia oil though?

Thanks,
Cathy

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Never happened to me
by: Anonymous

I have made many batches of soap using lard. The lard smells pretty gross when you heat it to melt (I turn the fan on). There may be a slight piggy smell after the soap is poured depending on whether you used fragrance or not, however, I after a couple days there is no trace of the lard smell. This has been true for me even with a 100% lard fragrance free soap requested by a customer. I was suprised, but it was completely scent free after a couple days.

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Lard Stink
by: MaryGrace

Saponification gets rid of that nasty smell of melted lard. It stinks when you're pouring it -- but don't stress! A good 4 weeks of curing will completely get rid of piglet stink.

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The smell will go away
by: Anonymous

I've also made MANY batches of 100% lard soap. Yes, the scent of pig will go away in the cured soap. If you're really worried about it, add a few drops of patchouli (synthetic or natural) to your fragrance. That stuff will even cover the sheepy smell of lanolin and a few drops isn't enough to ruin the scent you ARE going for.

Have fun!

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My First Batch of Lard Soap
by: April H

Having read that many people use lard to make soap, I thought I would give it a try. I purchase the lard at Wal-Mart and it was white and creamy. It was a little bit smelly, but I figured that would cook away or dissipate. I made a chocolate soap with lard, coconut oil, cocoa butter and hazelnut oil, baking chocolate and added a little bergamot essential oil. The soap went to light trace nicely and I poured it into molds. 24 hours later, I removed the soaps for the molds and they looked a reddish brown. After 3 days, they turned a deep chocolate brown and I thought everything was fine. They seemed to have a faint chocolatey fragrance. I let them cure and then decided to try a shower with one. I got in the shower and lathered up a washcloth. The smell of old pig started to fill the shower as began to scrub around my neck. It got stronger and stronger and I started to feel sick to my stomach. I rinsed it off and used another soap to try to remove the odor. After my shower and for the rest of the day I could smell a faint lard odor, so some of the lard soap must have remained on me. It was so gross. I will never use lard to make soap again. I don't know why my experience with lard was so bad, but I wasted a lot of other good and expensive ingredients on that soap and I don't want to have that sort of experience again. There may be something that would mask that smell, but I can't imagine what it would be.

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Deodorized Lard
by: Anonymous

Having soaped for 10 years, I can say that nothing beats caring for the skin like a bar of aosp with lard in it.

Unfortunately, my first bars were made with a combination that included the cheap lard you find in stores. Smelled like pig. Was told I heated it too high a heat, so I slowed it way down. Next batch still smelled like pig.

Gave up on lard a few years until I read about deodorized lard.

You have to search for suppliers (I did online) and found that there are food services that DO carry deodorized lard.

I was even able to make a pure lard soap for those that asked for it, and it did NOT smell like pig.

I now have some very old bars of that pure lard soap, and the smell is reminiscent of starched shirts fresh from the iron. Not bad.

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Smell like old pig skin
by: Anonymous

I am new in soaping but I did a lot of soaps and shampoo bar. I decided to make a lard soap today and I bought a lard that I can found in my supermarket. I used hot process soap and I can smells like an old pig skin cooking. It feels disgusting but I decided to put essential oil the blend of vetiver, cedar wood and tea tree. Very bubbly and creamy and the piggy smell covered by essential oils.

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Piggy after-smell
by: Anonymous

I have slightly different experience. I have never made my own soap, but has studied to realize some use Lars. I keep kosher, so when supporting local soap makers, I always check labels or inquire politely as to which have vegetarian oils or which use beef or lamb tallow, and if they say lard, I pass on it.


I recently received as a gift (somewhere unexpected) a bar of "chocolate" soap made by a relative who does not keep kosher. She had showed photos on her social media and talked about it being "chocolate" (which it does look like), and I commented on it looking good. Quite awhile Laree, the soap showed up. Was a month or more air drying before I got around to using it, and I think I am a few weeks into using it. Just this past week though, I started noticing a gross odor of rottenness or almost like moth balls, not sure. Kept cleaning my sink, baking soda, vinegar, the works and it "smell good" after awhile and then I kept smelling it. Today I went to wash my hands and used soap and got a whiff of that smell on my hands. I thought Oh No, not the soap! But I picked it up off the soap dish and about gagged. Then it occurred to me it must have been made with lard. I giggled stinky lard soap and for this website. There is no politically correct or discreet way to ask relative "what was that horrible mess you put in your soap?" So I thought I would read up. The previous answers make me think I have guessed correctly, although most talk about smell going away after being made. None talk about smell reactivating after being wet from use. I had to clean soap dish (2 part deal, bowl like with a drainer type "lid") and that helped, but bar itself still rather stinky!

Any other ideas? Does the stink come back for others once it starts being used? Or did I need to drain it dryer ?? Thanks!

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Lard shouldn't smell in the first place
by: Anonymous

Folks, if you buy lard from the grocery store shelf, it's gonna stink. Two reasons: it is rendered at a higher temperature at the plant which produces that piggy odor, and secondly they add preservatives.

Properly rendered lard should be Snow White and virtually odorless to the human nose. And if you do smell something, it shouldn't be piggy and unpleasant.

Finding quality rendered lard at a reasonable price is challenging. Consequently, I go to a local butcher and request what is called "leaf fat". Then I cut it up, put it in a huge pot on low heat, and render away. I pour it off into containers that I store in my deep freeze for when I'm looking to bake pastry or make soap.

Recently I was given a huge ice cream tub full of rendered lard. Sadly, it's only good use is for frying. It smells all piggy. YUK!

I assure you, lard makes some of the most fabulous soap on the planet that is gentle enough for a baby's skin. But don't bother if you aren't willing to look for high quality lard or render your own.

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