How to Make Tallow Soap | Recipe & DIY Tutorial

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Today I’m sharing how to make tallow soap. Grass fed tallow has amazing skin benefits, and it makes a beautiful soap.

how to make tallow soap grass fed tallow DIY tutorial

Soap making is really fun. I was a bit intimidated by it at first. But, I’m so glad I jumped in and learned how easy it actually is!

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It’s also has so much creative potential. You can go all out with scents, designs, and colors. I’ve kept mine pretty basic, in keeping with both practicality and a homesteading vibe.

My soap bars are their natural cream color, and I slice them with a cutter that gives them pretty ridges. The texture also helps them lather easily.

In my life in general, I like to avoid artificial fragrances, so using essential oils was a given. Plant Therapy essential oils are high quality and smell wonderful. They’re what I use in all my creations.

Lavender is a favorite scent of mine for soaps. Peppermint is also very nice. For baby soap, I like a combination of lavender and chamomile.

how to make baby soap and shampoo with grass fed tallow

Soap can either be made with the hot process, or cold process. The hot process can be nice for when you need soap quickly.

I prefer the cold process, because the beneficial properties of the oils are kept intact. I also like how the bars end up looking when the cold process is used.

With the hot process, the saponification process happens quite quickly with the use of heat. Soap made with the cold process has to cure for around 4 weeks before the bars are ready to use. Using the cold process can take some planning ahead, but I feel that it’s worth it.

Soap recipes

The tallow soap I make uses a simple recipe that I designed. I’m including it here. Once you’ve tried one recipe a few times, you might find it fun to experiment with designing new recipes. I like to use soapcalc.net to calculate everything.

Soap can have different amounts of something called superfat. That just means that if there is some oil left over in the recipe that isn’t converted into soap by the lye, it has a certain percent of superfat.

I like to have 8% superfat in my soap recipe. That allows the soap to be moisturizing as well as cleansing.

For more info on all the reasons why I love to add tallow to my soap recipes, check out this post on why add tallow to soap here

how to make tallow soap grass fed tallow soap recipe

Let’s talk about soap making equipment.

You don’t really need a lot of special equipment to start making soap. One thing most people have to buy is a kitchen scale that reads to the second decimal.

The only things I own for soap making that don’t overlap into my kitchen utensils are my bucket and wooden spoon for the lye water, soap molds, and cutter. Anything that is used for soap making can be washed and used again for kitchen use.

Here is a list of everything you’ll need as far as equipment:

Soap making safety

There are a few things to keep in mind when making soap. Lye is extremely alkaline, and will burn if it comes into contact with skin. It’s important to wear rubber gloves and wear safety glasses when working with lye.

If some lye water or the soap mixture does come into contact with skin, be sure to have some white vinegar on hand to neutralize it. You’ll also use some white vinegar to clean up the soap making equipment.

What does the soap making process look like?

It might seem at first that soap making has many different steps, but it’s actually just three main stages. First, I measure the ingredients and melt all the oils.

Second, I mix the lye water and then combine it into the oils. I blend with an immersion blender until the mixture starts to thicken.

Once it is the consistency of light pudding, it has reached what is called “trace.” At this point I add the essential oils. Third, I  put the soap into a mold.

I wrap it in towels because it’s important for the soap to cool slowly. I let it sit for 24 hours, slice into bars, and then let the soap cure for four weeks.

Measuring the ingredients

It’s important to be accurate when measuring soap ingredients. You want everything to be in the proper amounts so that the oils are converted to soap in the correct proportions. The oils, water and lye are all measured by weight. 

Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know to get started, let’s jump in and make some soap!

how to make lavender tallow soap diy recipe and tutorial

How to make tallow soap instructions

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Weigh tallow, coconut oil, and olive oil, and put into a crockpot on high, or a pot on the stove on low heat.
  2. Weigh the water in a heat safe container or sturdy plastic bucket, and weigh lye separately.
  3. Once oils are melted, check the temperature. You want the oils to be 100 degrees F. Let oils cool if necessary.
  4. Once oils are at 100 degrees F, take the lye and water outdoors. Wearing gloves and safety goggles, carefully and slowly pour the lye into the water. Stir gently.
  5. Once the lye water has turned from cloudy to clear, leave it to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Carefully pour the lye water into the oil mixture.
  7. Use an immersion blender to mix the soap. After a few minutes, it will grow creamy, and start to thicken. Mix until it has reached “trace,” the light pudding consistency.
  8. Add the essential oils and blend again to incorporate.
  9. Pour soap into molds, top with wax paper, and wrap molds in towels.
  10. After 24 hours, remove soap from mold and slice into bars. Let cure in an area with good air flow for 4 weeks.

How to make tallow soap video

Have you ever made soap?

What kind did you make? If you haven’t yet, what ingredients and essential oils do you want to use? Let me know in the comments!

Join our traditional wisdom community, and grab a free DIY skincare recipe ebook when you subscribe!

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Learn how to easily render tallow with a crock pot

How to Render Tallow with the Easy Crockpot Method

Shop this post

Grass fed beef tallow
Refined organic coconut oil
Organic olive oil
Lye
Plant Therapy lavender essential oil
Scale
Immersion blender
Soap mold & slicer

Want to pick up a handmade tallow soap?

Check out the Bumblebee Apothecary Shop here.

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Yield: 8 bars

Bumblebee Apothecary Tallow Soap

how to make tallow soap grass fed tallow DIY tutorial

Today I'm sharing how to make tallow soap. Grass fed tallow has amazing skin benefits, and it makes a beautiful soap.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. Grass fed tallow, by weight
  • 8 oz. Olive oil, by weight
  • 8 oz. Refined coconut oil, by weight
  • 15.2 oz. Water, by weight
  • 5.49 oz. Lye, by weight
  • 1.75 fl. oz. Essential oil

Instructions

  1. Weigh tallow, coconut oil, and olive oil, and put into a crockpot on high, or a pot on the stove on low heat.
  2. Weigh the water in a heat safe container or sturdy plastic bucket, and weigh lye separately.
  3. Once oils are melted, check their temperature; you want them to be 100 degrees F. Let cool if necessary.
  4. Once oils are at 100 degrees F, take the lye and water outdoors. Wearing gloves and safety goggles, carefully and slowly pour the lye into the water. Stir gently.
  5. Once the lye water has turned from cloudy to clear, leave it to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Carefully pour the lye water into the oil mixture.
  7. Use an immersion blender to mix the soap. After a few minutes, it will grow creamy, and start to thicken. Mix until it has reached "trace," the light pudding consistency.
  8. Add the essential oils and blend again to incorporate.
  9. Pour soap into molds, top with wax paper, and wrap molds in towels.
  10. After 24 hours, remove soap from mold and slice into bars. Let cure in an area with good air flow for 4 weeks.

46 thoughts on “How to Make Tallow Soap | Recipe & DIY Tutorial”

  1. HI! I’m wondering if this recipe would work with just olive oil & tallow, no coconut oil. I have a bunch of balm of gilead (olive oil base) that I’ve been wanting to turn into soap. Thoughts?

    Thanks for all of your wonderful resources!

    Reply
    • I haven’t tried it that way, but I am thinking it would make soap that is quite creamy, not as cleansing, pretty moisturizing, and not a huge amount of lather. I’d probably substitute half the coconut oil amount with more olive oil and the other half with more tallow. Hope it turns out well!

      Reply
  2. Hi,
    Love the 100% pure tallow recipe and double batch, but left with not enough for a single 100% tallow recipe. So, I found this combo and excited to try it out. I was wondering if this would be the same with doubling or tripling each individual ingredient? Greatly appreciate all of your help.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Hi Marisa!

    What lovely soap! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I’d love to try my hand at using tallow.
    I was wondering if you could recommend a possible substitute for the olive oil in your recipe, as I am unable to use olive oil?
    Oils I have on hand include apricot kernel, palm oil, almond oil, castor oil, soy bean oil, macadamia oil and canola oil.

    Cheers,
    Elise

    Reply
  4. Hi,

    Thanks for all this information and wonderful recipes! Almost ready to make my first attempt at tallow soap, my question is re point 5. It says to allow the lye water to cool for 10 mins but it just says to mix water with lye not hot or boiling water so this has confused me. I understand the oil needs to be 100 degrees but what temp should the water be? Thank you x

    Reply
    • Thank you, you’ve very welcome! When you mix the lye with the water it will heat the water up very hot, so you definitely do not want to heat the water prior to this. Letting it sit for 10 minutes will lower the temp to very near 100ºF 🙂

      Reply
  5. Hi there. I wanted to thank you for this incredible site and information. my young son has been diagnosed with chronic eczema. Your tallow lotion bar did what no prescription cream has done for him and he has no sign of dry or cracking skin after using the tallow bar for only a week!! I also have some autoimmune issues and the magnesium therapy lotion is a blessing. So much better than all of the pain killers and medications I have pushed on me. Thank you again. Your site is actually life changing for this little family. 💜

    Reply
  6. Can you take a Cold Process recipe and then after Trace make it into the Hot Process? Cooking in the crock pot like other hot process recipes?

    Reply
    • That’s a good question! Yes, I think you can, and I’d probably just add maybe 1/4 or 1/2 a cup or so to this recipe. I don’t think anything else would need to be changed. Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I plan on using the moose tallow I rendered and purified (used your videos to learn how). I was wondering if I can stir by hand with a whisk if i don’t own an immersion blender?

    Reply
    • Moose tallow sounds amazing! Yes, you can stir it by hand to bring it to trace, but it will take longer. It is possible, though 🙂

      Reply
    • Yes, this is cold process. Hot process is when the chemical reaction happens quickly with heat. Cold process is when the chemical reaction happens slowly without heat. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  8. I have a question. I don’t have refined coconut oil. I have extra virgin coconut oil that smells like coconut oil. Is that OK to use?

    Reply
    • Yes, you can use virgin coconut oil. Because of the amount you need, the refined is a more economical choice, but the virgin will work if that’s what you have 🙂

      Reply
    • If you want to customize the recipe at all, I recommend using the soap calculator at soapcal.net. You can design your own recipe there based on the amount of soap you want, and the ingredients you want to use. Hope that helps!

      Reply
    • Yes it will! The bars are ready to slice (if you used that kind of mold) after 24 hours. After 4-6 weeks the bars will be cured and ready to use. Hope that helps!

      Reply
    • It can be solid to weight it, but it should be melted until it’s liquid (along with the other oils) before you add the lye water 🙂

      Reply
  9. Hi, I’m rather new to soapmaking, so far, only one batch, but it was awesome! I am wondering if you can substitute some or all of the water in the recipe for milk? Thanks!

    Reply
    • I’ve never tried it that way – I’m wondering if it would bring it to trace too quickly, but I don’t know! If you try it, let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  10. Hi! Great recipe and site too! Have you modified your recipe so that it does not include Coconut oil? If so, could you possibly send me a copy by email? Thank you! Melissa

    Reply
    • Thank you! I have two different tallow soap recipes, and both are on my blog. One is a pure tallow recipe that only uses tallow and no other oils, and the other is a blend of coconut oil, olive oil, and tallow. 😊

      Reply

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