Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hot Process Soap Making

 
I recently made a batch of hot process soap in my crockpot. I hope to make another batch in the next few days. Hot process soap is an easy quick method of making soap.

There are 2 ways to make soap. One is called cold process and the other hot process. Here is the difference:

Cold Processed (CP): This method involves combining your liquid/lye mixture with your oils and stirring until the mixture thickens (also known as “trace”) . Then pouring the mixture into molds. In a day or two you unmold, cut the bars and let the soap lay out on a flat surface to cure anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks depending on the recipe. This ensures the soap is free from all traces of lye.

Hot Processed (HP): You follow the same procedures as CP but instead of pouring into your mold you keep cooking the soap. The soap is heated and cooked all the way through to the end (meaning there is no traces of lye left in the soap). After you remove it from the mold you can cut the bars and pretty much use them right away. Although the bars can still be a bit soft so letting them sit for a week or so can harden up the bars as excess moisture evaporates.

Both methods have there are pros and cons. There is more flexibility with cold process. You can add essential oils, additives, milk and such much easier. However you have to wait a few weeks for the soap to cure before you can use it. There are still traces of lye that need to evaporate before you can use the soap. Cold process soap will also give you nice smooth looking bars.

Hot process soap making is quick and easy. You can use the bars right away when you are done because you basically are cooking the oils/water/lye all the way to completion. When you are done you have soap with no residual lye left. Hot process soap is more mottled looking when done and not as pretty (in my opinion) as cold processed soap.

If you are not familiar with making soap you will want to make sure you are prepared with information and the proper equipment before you start. I don’t go into a lot of that in this blog post mostly because I already have a few web pages on making soap ( http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/homesteadcrafts.htm#Lets%20Make%20Soap  ) and an entire ebook on how to make cold process soap, step by step filled with pictures and information ( http://crystalscountrystore.com/handmadesoapebook.htm  ) … Please be knowledgeable on proper soap making procedures and cautions concerning the use of lye.

My soap recipe is a 4# batch (that is the weight of the oils). I don’t recommend any bigger batch in 6 quart crockpot. You won’t have room to stir.

Crockpot Hot Process Soap
18.9 oz coconut oil
30.8 oz olive oil
14.2 oz palm oil

20 oz water
9.2 oz lye

2.5 oz fragrance oil

I’ve blogged about this before so I did not take pictures of how to do this step by step. You can find my blog post that shows the instructions and tutorial HERE.

I used a rectangular 4# soap mold and ended up with 17 - 4/5oz bars. Here is a picture of my finished soap…
 


7 comments:

  1. I bought lye a couple years ago to make soap but never did because it intimidates me. I need to just do it. I know I would enjoy it once I learned how. Thanks for sharing this!

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  2. I am wondering where you buy your lye? I took a soap making class several years ago and at the time it was getting harder to find lye she told us. Before that I guess you could buy it right at the grocery store. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Tami.. I have a list of places on my website that you can purchase lye from. I buy mine from The Boyer Corporation

      http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/wheretobuylye.htm

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  3. Crystal, I actually have your ebook on how to make the soap. I really want to do this on a regular basis for my family, I am just very leary about working with lye. Which method do you prefer for beginners? Jamie

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    1. Jamie.. everyone is hesitant with lye.. but I can say that if you read and are prepared.. it really is easy. Once you do it the first time.. you'll wonder why it was such a hurdle.. :) I personally would suggest cold process soap making for the beginner. Crystal

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  4. Crystal, thanks for the advice! Hubby said he would help me, too. :) Jamie

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