Introduction: Handmade Hot Process Soap
This is how I make my homemade soaps that I sell at PoseyCorner.com. There is no real secret to it. Soap has been made like this pretty much for centuries just with different tools.
Fair warning- After I made my first batch of soap, I was hooked. I went out and got more Lye. I ordered more Scents and colorants. Oh boy it can get expensive if your not watching yourself.
Warning: This process involves using Sodium Hydroxide. Otherwise known as Lye. AKA: Drain Cleaner! Use safety precautions! This stuff burns severely when active.
I am going to pretty much walk you through how I made my latest batch of soap. This one I decided to make a round Melt and Pour bar in Orange. I am not going to cover all of that. I just used some Orange Oxide to color some M&P Soap and Poured it into a ½” PVC Pipe.
Hot Process is almost the same as Cold Process. HP just takes it a step further with cooking it the rest of the way.
Step 1: Tools
A Scale that reads in Ounces to at least 1 tenth of an ounce. (Example - 1.4 oz)
Electric Stick Blender – You could use a Plastic or wooden Spoon to stir with but you will get tired of that.
Glass Measuring Cups
2 Plastic Measuring Cups – these will be used for the lye and lye water only.
Steel Table or Teaspoons – Used only to scoop out Ingredients out of the containers or Mixing up the coloring. I do not touch the lye with them.
Bamboo Skewers – I use one to stir up the lye into water
Parchment Paper – to line my mold
Wooden Mold – I made myself. You can use other things so you can search for it and get creative.
A Crock Pot – Mine I believe is a 5 Quart. With as small a recipe I use, the soap does not rise out of it during the gelling phase.
Plastic Serving Spoons – Plastic is key. You cannot use Aluminum where it can contact Lye. You will waste the batch that way.
Safety Glasses and Chemical Resistant Glove – In case lye wants to splash on you. You will know when it does.
Bottle of White Vinegar – This helps make the lye inactive if it spills on you or something. I also use some in my Lye and Lye Water Cups before cleaning.
Step 2: Ingredients
Ingredients: I am not giving out my tested recipe. You can formulate your own on SoapCalc.net. That is a very handy calculator and easy to use. I will tell you what ingredients I use though.
100% Lye – It cannot have any additives. Lately Manufacturers are adding things apparently to curb off Illegal Methamphetamine Labs.
Olive Oil – No need for EVOO unless you want a greenish tint.
Crisco Vegetable Oil – This is some good stuff.
Distilled Water – Tap water might be hard water with minerals and such. Just go get a gallon of Distilled for about 0.70 cents to be safe.
Colorants: Various types out there. In this batch I used Oxides
Essential or Fragrance Oil – This is where the smell good comes in. I used Candle Science's Ocean Breeze in this batch.
Step 3: Prepping Up
On to the soap making:
I line my Mold with Parchment Paper and make sure everything is where I can get to it easily. I also have 2 pieces of Parchment paper on the Table. One will be used to place spoons and such and to plop down some soap for Zap Testing. The second piece is to help smooth out the top of the soap in the mold.
I weigh out all my ingredients as per my printout from SoapCalc and place it in the crock pot. I weigh out the Water in a plastic cup and set it aside. I weigh out the amount of Lye in the other plastic cup and set it where it cannot be knocked over or touched by little hands.
I take away 2 ounces of the Olive oil in a Glass Cup. I use this to add my coloring Oxides to. I used about ½ Tablespoon to achieve the depth of color I wanted with the blue. Stir well and set to the side.
I set up the Crock Pot and turn it on Warm (sometimes I use High to just get the solid oils melted quicker. After that it goes on Warm. Low would be fine also) and dump in my Oils(Not the Coloring part). When the Vegetable begin to melt, I move on to mixing the Lye and Water.
Pour the Lye into the Water, Not the Water into the Lye! It has a possibility of showing you how a volcano works if done wrong.
I put on my Gloves and Glasses and take the Water and the Lye outside to mix. You do not want to breath this stuff in. I caught a wayward wind and breathed in a little. You will know when it happens. I slowly pour the lye into the water with one hand while stirring with the bamboo skewer in the other. Once the Lye Cup is empty, keep stirring for about another minute to make sure the dissolved lye is well mixed.Leave it outside and go back to your crock pot.
Step 4: Getting Raw Soap
With your safety gear on, get the Lye water. It will probably be hot due to the chemical reaction. Bring it inside and get ready to Pour and Blend. With your Stick Blender on Low just put it into the center of your Crock Pot, on the bottom and slowly pour in the Lye water. You will see your oils change consistency. When your done pouring, put the Cup up, away from where someone can accidentally get hold of it. (I put mine in the sink and pour White Vinegar in it a swish around.) Keep blending on low and move your blender around the bottom of the pot. Now your looking for trace. This is when you can move the Blender (not turned on) across the surface of the mix and you will see lines form and stay there. I actually take my mixture to Hard Trace for Hot Process, as evident in my photos. When I reach the level of Trace that I want, I take out the Stick Blender and tap off the end to keep what soap I can in the Crock Pot. I then run the end of the Stick Blender under hot water to clean it off then I put the blender away. Put the Lid on the crock pot and go do something for about 15 minutes or so. You now have raw soap. This is where it turns from Cold Process to Hot process by letting it cook. The Mix will become solid again until it gels.
Step 5: Are You Gellin' or Zappin'?
Every once in a while check your Crock Pot for signs of gelling along the edge. This gelling process will rise some. It may even try to rise out of the Crock Pot to create a mess. If it rises too much, just take a Plastic Spoon and stir it some to release air. Once should be enough. I know my mix so I don't have to stir it. I wait until all parts look like it has gelled then I let it cook for about 15 more minutes.
The Zap Test:
This is where I will take a little bit of the gel out of the Crock pot and place it on a piece of Parchment Paper to cool. Once it has cooled, I touch it to my tongue. If it just taste like soap, its good. If it zaps like a 9 volt battery, it has to cook more.
Step 6: Ready to Glop.
When the soap does not zap, its time for me to add the scent. I use anywhere from 1 to 2 ounces of the scent for the batch. Pour it right in and kind of fold the soap to mix. The Scent may not smell correct because of the heat. It happens to me but when cooled and un-molded, it is just fine. Mix it for a minute or two. Get your mold beside the Crock Pot and get the M&P Bar close. (Note: You have to work a little fast so that the Soap does not cool off too much in the mold before you are finished.)
Now you start glopping the soap into the mold, filling only the bottom part. Pick up the mold ans move it side to side and then slam it down on the table a few times. Not so hard that soap start flying out of it though. Your trying to get the soap to settle and release any air pockets. Once done, place your M&P soap bar in the mold and press it down about half way. Now you glop out the rest of your soap into the mold. Again, pick up the mold, move it side to side and slam it down a few times. Then you grab the piece of Parchment paper and carefully smooth out the top of the soap. Carefully because the soap is hot.. very hot. Now you can set your mold somewhere so it can cool for about a day. Don't forget to clean up the equipment. It's easy. There is already soap on it. The Plastic Cups that had lye or lye water, make sure to use white vinegar on it first to protect yourself.
Step 7: Lets Cut It Up!
The Next Day:
Now the hunk of soap is cooled and should be ready for cutting into bars. The Bars might be a little soft but that’s ok. I let mine harden for about 2 weeks. The soap is good to use at that point but you want to let water evaporate out to harden up the bars. And there you have it. Your very own Homemade Hot Process Soap. Smell the goodness!
Come on over to PoseyCorner.com to see what Soaps I have ready for sale. You know my process now. You know what I use. Lets see what you can make.
8 years ago on Step 6
wow. this is the first crock pot soap that I've seen where you can cut the next day. I'm impressed. I make soap the way our grandmothers, grandmothers made it before the invention of the crockpot. usually crockpot recipes are cooked so "cold", and for so short of a time that the soap has to mold for weeks to allow the lye to neutralize. For anyone just getting started, If you want rich colors to your soap, definitely use the clay/oxide dye. The liquid dyes tend to separate into their primary colors when making a hot process soap. Learned from experience. My green turned into a really cool yellow and indigo tie die. It was pretty, but not what I had intended
Reply 7 years ago on Step 6
Hi! I make HP all the time and can literally use it the next day. If you do the zap test then there is no reason that there should be any lye left. I made HP only yesterday and was able to cut it in about 4 hours after I poured it into the molds. I made it with strongly brewed green tea, avocado oil, castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, Shea butter, lemon zest, ground up bay leaves fresh, for color: yellow oxide, chocolate, natural with mica sparkle. ??? lemon verbena fo/eo
Reply 6 years ago
Why is there such a big online presence of the zap test for pH? That is so much more dangerous (i.e. regular burns, lye burns)! Am I the only non-crockpot HP soaper who uses Phenolphthalein (pH indicator)? I've had the same bottle for years, and it's so easy to use!
6 years ago
How did you make your wooden mold?
6 years ago
HOW CAN DOWNLOAD THE PROCESS ?
8 years ago on Introduction
Excellent demo, I learned through a Youtube video, but your explanation and picture demo is just as good. I haven't done anything fancy yet like embedding a soap bar in the mixture, but I am definitely going to. I'm making soap now as I write this and I will be taking your tip on how much essential oils or fragrance to add, I found this info. to be kind of obscure in my research, and as a result have had little or no smell to some of my soaps, definitely a trial and error type hobby, but I Love it!! So much so I started a home based business too, and yes it can get quite expensive if you don't watch it. Thanks again. Well done :)
9 years ago on Introduction
You have inspired me to go HP all the way! Love your vivid color choices too. I would buy that instantly.
12 years ago on Step 7
Thank you for sharing your process! I successfully made my first batch of soap using your instructions!
Reply 12 years ago on Step 7
Congratulation. I hope these instructions were clear enough to leave you without any questions on the making process itself.
Reply 12 years ago on Step 7
I was getting concerned that it was taking too long to get to trace, but I just needed to be patient! It took about half an hour for me.