If you have the option of doing something complicated or doing something easy, when the end result is the same, what do you choose? The more and more we do around the homestead, the more we are looking for methods to simplify things.
Dara and I have been making cold process soap for many years now. Making cold process soap is easy once you understand the basics, I encourage anyone interested in making it to go for it, here is a post on how. But, it is also a little technical when it comes to temperature. You have to bring your oils up to a specific temperature while simultaneously bringing down you water/lye mixture temperature. They need to both be about 105 F to 110 F when you mix them. We have discovered an easier, less technical way of making soap and get this, you can use it in a couple days instead of 3-4 weeks.
When I heard of hot process soap making, in my ignorance, I just assumed it was the cheater way of doing things, and that making cold process soap was the pure way of doing things. I thought it was akin to extract brewing versus all grain brewing, yeah I said it. Thanks to our friends Heather and Mike, we learned that hot process is just a faster, easier way of making soap using almost all the same techniques.
- Use any cold process recipe you have. Soapcalc is a great resource for making your own recipes.
- Melt your fats on high in a crock pot large enough for the full recipe with room to mix.
- Once your fats are melted and mixed, add your water/lye mixture to the fats. Another quick Disclaimer: Always add your lye to the water not water to the lye. Never use metal containers to mix your lye in. Use a glass or plastic Tupperware container or pitcher.
- Mix the fats and lye/water mixture with an immersion mixer until you hit a light trace. Trace will happen faster in the process due to the higher heats.
- Once you hit trace leave the crock pot on high and mix the soap every couple of minutes to keep it from burning or sticking to the crock.
- In a short period of time the soap will have a "mashed potato" consistency. Continue mixing the soap every couple of minutes until the soap starts turning translucent.
- Once the soap is in the "gel phase" or translucent you can add your adjuncts like coloring and essential oils.
- Mix in any adjuncts and spoon into your mold.