Soapbox rules: 5 how-to-use tips for better performance of pure tallow soaps

Soapbox rules: 5 how-to-use tips for better performance of pure tallow soaps

Tallows soaps, especially when they are made only by mixing tallow and alkali, are pure and unique. They are very different from other bar soaps made from oils or bought from commercial stores. Handling a pure tallow soap requires special skills. You just need to understand a few basic things about tallow to extract better performance from pure beef tallow soaps. This article will look at what makes tallow soaps better and how to make pure tallow soaps perform better.

All soap is not soap: Yes, everything around is not soap. According to the U.S. Federal guidelines, the term “soap” has a standard identity to it. Something is called a soap only if it the result of mixing fat or  oil with an alkali (mostly caustic potash) through the process of saponification. The end-result of such saponification would be a fatty-acid salt – soap. If you look at some of the commercially manufactured soaps, you will notice them labeled as ‘deodarant bars’ or ‘cosmetic bars’ and not soaps.


Why pure tallow soaps? One has to use a pure tallow soap to know its benefits. Made from pure beef tallow, the soap may not produce fluffy or frothy lather, but only minimal, stable lather. It is also cleanses well owing to its combination of pure soap ingredients. Added to that, it never causes allergies or skin problems in people. Pure tallow soap is a pristine form of soap which has natural moisturizing properties and hence is soft on the skin (though hard on the outside). One accusation people have against pure tallow soap is its animal fat content. Though animal rights activists may attach a ‘cruelty tag’ to tallow soaps, it is not that cruel as no animal is slaughtered to make soap. Tallow is just a byproduct of beef fat and not a virgin material that is wasted for soap making. So, considering tallow’s usefulness and other properties, one can ignore the ‘cruelty-tag’ and go ahead to handcraft a soap of pure tallow.

How to use pure tallow soaps? A pure tallow soap has special qualities which need to be noticed and appreciated. The below tips will help you to use it in a better way:

1. Don’t place soap in direct contact with water: A pure tallow soap lasts longer than ordinary bar soaps or handcrafted ones. This is because it has a higher moisture content compared to others. But ironically, soaps with lower moisture content grab water easily, causing a slime at the bottom of your soap bar. So, when you make the soap dripping wet, you reduce its longer life. Though tallow soap does not disintegrate quickly, better to apply the rule of no-direct-contact-with-water as it would avoid wasting the soap.

2. Forget about lather: If you are the type who uses frothy soaps, then it will take time for you to warm up to pure tallow soaps. This is because pure tallow soaps do not lather like other soaps. The lather bubbles are so tiny that you may feel like you are applying a hand lotion. This is natural, so don’t waste the soap looking for lather.

3. Use both hands: Follow the simple steps: Rinse one hand and pick the soap in the other dry hand. Then rub and rotate with both hands until you get a slick feeling in your hands. Put the soap back in the soapbox and massage the areas you want to cleanse in your body.

4. Don’t use a lower pH hand: If you have not washed your hands for a while, they may have a lower pH value. This means the first application of any  true soap like pure tallow soap will not work well. To avoid this, rinse your hands well before using the soap.

5. Experience moisturized skin: A pure tallow soap carries a natural amount of glycerin which keeps your skin moisturized after cleaning and drying. Unlike other bar soaps which make you feel dry after bath, tallow soaps report no sort of ‘break-outs’. This is also because the pH of tallow soaps are lower, compared to that of commercial soaps.

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Posted in Soap making, Uses of Beef Tallow on Jun 11th, 2017, 11:06 am by soaplady   

One Response

  1. September 20th, 2011 | 6:54 pm

    Thank you so much for this informative article! I have been wanting to use tallow for soap making, and I just didn’t know enough about it, and I must admit the “cruelty” thing was weighing on me too. I am no vegetarian or vegan by any means, but I was simply uninformed about how tallow was rendered. I think I’ll give it a shot now!

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