WHAT IS TALLOW AND WHY DO WE USE IT IN SOAP? IN CANDLES? IN BODY BUTTER?
What is tallow, you ask?
Adeps bovis, on the label.
Tallow is beef fat.
In soap, tallow produces a tight and creamy delectable lather, loved by many for the soothing and non-invasive nature on the skin.
Due to the quick setting and slow burning nature of this fat, tallow has a long history for use in candleS going back thousands of years. While tallow is softer than beeswax, it burns slowly and produces a decent flame. It is also a way to ensure the sustainable use of an animal.
In order to be used, though, tallow must go through a cleaning process called rendering. It may not be completely obvious, but the animal fat contains a fair amount of connected tissue that must be removed. In order to complete this task, the fat is usually cut into small pieces, and boiled with water to melt the fat which can then be physically separated from the connective tissue through straining.
The secondary part of rendering involves removing smaller impurities by exposing the fat to hot water. Once the fat hardens, the impurities will either dissolve into the water, create sediment in the water or form a sediment on the floating fat.
To produce a clean fat, many cycles of this process may be completed - quite similar to processing beeswax.
While this process is certainly accessible to any maker who wishes to self-render, industrial processed are now available to produce the same result.
Sadly, most of the tallow produced today finds its way to the landfill as the use of animal fats in body care products have diminished - more commonly in favour of a cheaper by product of the oil and gas industry - petroleum.
At SALT OF THE EARTH we love the use of beef tallow in as a sustainable emollient - the silky feel tallow adds to our offerings is a dream.
In artisan soap - smooth and creamy lather galore!
Consider tallow products the next time you think of making a sustainable purchase - kind to you and kind to the earth.
Don't take our word for it, feeling is believing!