Friday, November 16, 2007

Hot Process Soapmaking

Are you familiar with the soap making process? There are two different ways to make soap - hot process soap making (discussed in the article below) and cold process soap making. Judi Cox has provided the following hot process soap making recipe for those of you who are already familiar with the soap making process. We at Learn Crafts Online absolutely love the convenience of using a crock pot for hot process soap making. Please note: there are extremely caustic materials in soap, use reasonable caution and care while making soap. Learn Crafts Online is providing the information - it is up to each user to follow safety instructions properly.

Instructions for Making Crock Pot Handmade Soap by Judi Cox

Making soap in a crock pot is an easy way to use the "hot process" method.

These instructions outline my steps for making crock pot soap and assume you are familiar with the soapmaking process.

Start with a good recipe. I prefer recipes that have a higher amount of liquid oil to solids. One of my favorite recipes is very simple: 60% Olive Oil, 20% Palm Kernel Oil, 20% Palm Oil. Run it through a lye calculator to determine the amount of lye and [distilled] water needed. I don't discount my water when making hot process.

I use a 6 1/2 quart crock pot. A 4 pound batch of soaps fits perfectly. It fills the crock pot about half full - giving room in the case of it bubbling up, but not too little an amount that it could burn.

First, measure water and set aside.

Then measure the lye into a separate container. Slowly pour the lye into the pitcher of cold water. Stir until dissolved. Set aside in a safe place.

Once I have my lye mixture set aside, I measure my solid oils. These can be put into the crock pot to be melted. But, it takes longer this way, so I generally put them into the microwave for a couple minutes until melted and then pour into the crockpot.

At this point, my crock pot is on low.

I recommend using a good rubber spatula to scrape the bowl - no sense leaving any good oils behind.

Next, I measure my olive oil - and/or any other liquid oils I happen to be using - and pour this into the crockpot.

Get out your handy-dandy stickblender and using low speed, slowly pour the lye mixture into the melted oils. Gently move the stickblender around, up, down, around, ensuring a nice even blend. If you don't have a stickblender, a stainless steel wire whisk works great too - just requires a little more arm power.

Once it has reached 'trace', I put the lid on the crockpot and turn the heat setting up to high. However, the first few times I made crock pot soap, I left it on low until I was confident in how it worked (both the soap AND my crockpot).

Now, I ready my mold, measure out any fragrance oils or essential oils and any additives I plan to use.

After about 15 or 20 minutes, I take the lid off and, using a potato masher, mash the soap around. It has a look of a vaseline texture; glossy, slick. It will have a waxy feel if you rub a piece of it between gloved fingers.

Add your additives, colorants, herbs, etc and mix well using the potato masher. Once that is blended fairly well, add your fragrance and mix again.

It is done! At this point, it's really soap. It only needs to be put into your mold. I do this in large spoonfuls, pounding my mold on the counter every few scoops to ensure it packs into the mold tightly. Once I have it all in the mold, I put a baggie on my hand and flatten the top - making sure to "squish" it into the corners really well.

Now is a good time to wash all the dishes. And you don't even need to add any soap! You should see some lovely lather from the soap you've just made.

I let this sit over-night. The next morning, I unmold and slice into bars to air out for a week or so. Once each bar has had time to harden, I bevel each one and it's ready for use, or sale.

My favorite crock pot soap recipe:

Rosemary Mint Handmade Soap
Yields: 4 pounds of Soap

- 38 ounces olive oil (59.38%)
- 14.4 ounces palm kernel oil (22.5%)
- 11.6 ounces palm oil (18.13%)
- 8.7 ounces sodium hydroxide (5% discount)
- 17.5 ounces distilled water
- 3 ounces rosemary mint blend essential oils
- 2 teabags of Organic Peppermint tea

Disclaimer: Sodium Hydroxide is highly caustic and should be handled carefully and knowledgeably. It is the soapmakers responsibility to research safety procedures for soapmaking.

Judi Cox is a wife and mother of 4 children. Her hobbies include making handmade soap from scratch, gardening, crafts, web design and maintaining Mom’s Little Garden ( ), an online resource for pregnant mothers, as well as her personal website, Momma Muse ( ).

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