There are a number of reasons to hot process soap. Hopefully this “How to Hot Process Soap Video Tutorial” will answer a lot of your questions.
Some people hot process every batch of soap because they like the idea of being able to use it right away. Hot processing it increases the speed at which the lye converts the oil into soap. In other words, instead of having to wait 4-6 weeks for your soap to cure, you can use it almost as soon as you get it out of the crackpot. Sounds great!
Another reason people will hot processing soap is because they like the texture. When you pour cold processed soap, you are pouring the soap into your mold when it is still a liquid (though it will vary in thickness depending on how much it has set up). When you hot process soap, you are ending up with a mashed potato-like consistency that needs to be spooned into a mold. It is more chunky on top after you cut it and it looks a bit different on the inside too. This does not change the hardness or its quality (though some will debate you on that), but it does change the texture. I know a number of men, especially, who said they liked the look better. Maybe because it was more chunky, looked more masculine. I don’t know…it’s soap.
A third reason people will hot process soap is when something goes wrong. Basically, never throw out a botched batch of soap. It can almost always be fixed. It may not be exactly as you envisioned in the end, but you will definitely end up with a soap that is usable. So, no waste! Which is especially great to know if you are nervous about making soap or if you have put in a lot of expensive ingredients.
If you end up with a chalky soap that is crumbling in your hands, it could have not been incubated well enough in the first few hours, or it could be lye heavy. Either way, you can hot process it (like I did in the video) and make it come out wonderfully. If you suspect that it is lye heavy, just add a bit of water to your batch. A 7lb batch usually needs at least 1 cup of water added during hot processing.
For the same reason people like to hot process soap (the texture), others don’t like to. I, personally, prefer the look of the smooth cold processed bar. But, to each their own 🙂
It’s much harder to get a pretty swirl when adding color as well.
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How to Hot Process Soap Video Tutorial
How to Hot Process Soap
- Make your soap as usual, by bringing it to trace.
- When you would normally pour into your mold, pour it into a crockpot with a very low setting. If you have already let the bars set, that’s fine, just break them into small chunks and throw them into the crockpot.
- Add a touch of water ONLY if your soap is lye heavy. Otherwise, watch it as it starts to warm. It will become bubbly around the outside edges.
- You don’t have to stand over it. You can walk away, but check back every 10-15 minutes. When it starts to bubble, give it a stir. You want the entire batch to get the bubbly translucent look to it.
- When the entire batch is translucent you are probably done. This should take at least 2-3 hours.
- Add essential oils and mix.
- Line your mold and scoop it in. Pat it with a spoon to get out any air bubbles.
- Texture the top as desired.
- When it is cool and hard, remove and cut. It will continue to harden as it ages, but it can be used immediately.
**There’s a message button at the bottom right corner of my blog if you need to ask questions. I’d love to help.
Let us know your preference!
Have you tried hot or cold processing soap?
Which do you like better?
If you’re looking for cold processing soap instructions see: 7 Easy Steps to Homemade Lye Soap for Beginners