Sunday, January 22, 2006

Crock Pot Hot Process Soap Tutorial -- Photo Heavy!

Here are a few pictures to show what happens when I make CPHP. Your results may vary, though!

Please note that this tutorial is designed for those already familiar with cold process soap making.

Melt oils and mix up lye solution as you would with CP. You don’t have to worry about controlling the temperatures. Add the lye solution to the oils as soon as you’re confident the lye is completely dissolved. You can stick blend them together right in the crock pot:



After you’ve reached a nice, thick trace, put the lid on, check the crock pot is set to low, and entertain yourself for about a half an hour. Obsessive folk like me might return to the pot every five to ten minutes for a peek, but there probably won’t be much happening. After about thirty minutes (more or less, depending on your crock pot’s temperature), the edges will begin to gel:



Check back in about ten minutes and the gel will have spread from the edges toward the centre. I usually refer to this as ‘raw soap island surrounded by a gel ocean’. Unfortunately, on the day I decide to take photographs, we have ‘raw soap island being overrun by a gel tsunami’:



Five minutes later, raw soap island is gone:



It is at this time I remove the pot from the heat source and give a quick stir just to be sure the gel is complete. If it isn’t, you’ll find a chunk of lighter-coloured raw soap floating in the gel. If you still have raw soap, pop it back in the heat source and cook for another five to ten minutes. This one has completely gelled:



Now you can zap test the soap by taking a little bit out and rubbing it between your fingers to help it cool. It should feel waxy. Once the soap has cooled, lightly tap your tongue with it. If you get a sensation that feels like a 9-V battery, you have active lye in your soap and will need to cook it some more. If not, you can move on to the next step.

When making HP, I add my additives at the end of the cook to avoid having the kitchen smell like the monkey cage at the zoo. Any milks, honey, fruit or veggie purees, etc should go in after the cook. Oils and butters added after the cook will not be saponified, so you get all of their benefits. Today I’m superfatting with a bit of jojoba:



And now a lovely oakmoss fragrance goes in:



While you weren’t looking, I removed a cup or so of soap from the pot and dyed it green. This has been added back to the soap:



And lightly stirred to make an in-the-pot swirl:



And then spooned into the molds to cool:



When the soap has cooled, turn it out and you’re done!



Remember that any HP needs to cure for at least one week, preferably two. It’ll get harder and milder in this time.

Due to time constraints, I'm no longer able to support questions with regard to the tutorial. Thank you to everyone who has taken time to comment. I hope you'll continue to visit!

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Superb! You are an angel to those that are strating out (like me) and makes mountains out of mo-hills (this stage makes me procrastinate)after buying everything I need to make soap, melts, bombs, etc.

Thanks so much, Cheree

gracefruit said...

Aw, thanks! That's very kind of you.

Hannah said...

Thank you very much for this tutorial! I have another one but it is very confusing. This one clears up alot of that confusion. Just one question. How often do you get the "9 volt battery sensation" when testing for lye? Please e-mail me your reply and I will get it sooner=-) info@knoxfarms.com

Thanks again!!!

Anonymous said...

What a great tutorial!
Thanks!
Irena aka soapbuddy
www.gingersgarden.com

Comforts & Candles said...

Absolutely fantastic!
Thank you so much for sharing this - more than helpful to people such as myself who are newbies at natural soap making.

SherrieByTheSea said...

This is the best Crock Pot soap tutorial I've seen.

Thank you

gracefruit said...

Thanks so much everyone. Sorry I'm late responding!

Hannah, I never get the 9-V battery 'shock' anymore. I have learned to eyeball HP pretty well. When I first started out, I got it a few times, but quickly learned to recognise gelled soap.

macsoapy said...

Beth, you did a wonderful job with your tutorial. But isn't the crockpot too tiny?!

macsoapy - Rohstoffe für Seifensieder und Handgemachte Seife aus Dresden

gracefruit said...

Haha! That was back in the day of the 2 kilo batch!

Fresh and Fabulous Soaps from Scotland

Carol said...

Elizabeth what a great honest no nonsense tutorial.

So many people mystify soapmaking which puts beginners off.

Are you planing more hot process tutorials for those of us that don't have a crock pot?

gracefruit said...

Hi Carol,

Thank you so much! I used to do oven hot process, but found it heated up my house too much in the summer. When the weather cools off a little, I can definitely look at doing a tutorial for OHP.

Thanks for stopping by!
Elizabeth

victoria said...

can you use a stainless steel saucepan or does the pot need to be ceramic?

gracefruit said...

Hi Victoria,

I'd recommend using the pot that comes as standard with the crockpot you're using.

Adrienne said...

Wow - sure makes it look 'do-able'. I've been afraid to tackle HP, but this gives me confidence!

gracefruit said...

Aw, thanks! It really isn't a difficult process. Please let me know how you get on! :)

DebZam said...

I've been making CP soaps for awhile, but didn't really think I'd like HP. After reading your blog I decided to give it a try, and LOVED it. It was my first batch of Castle (unscented) too, but I was so pleased I went ahead and did another batch using Orange EO. Your explanation was precise and fun. Good job and Thank You. (passed on the taste test)
Debby
Texas USA

gracefruit said...

Hi Debby,

I'm so glad you found the tutorial helpful and that your first batch worked out well. Be careful, though. HP is very addictive! :)

Elizabeth x

Row said...

Hi!

I am new to your blog but love your tutorial!

I wanted to ask - I am going to buy a slow cooker to try this is a 3.5 litre one sufficent?

Thanks!

gracefruit said...

Thanks so much! I believe the crockpot I used in the tutorial is a 3.5 litre, so yes! That's a good size pot.

Row said...

Hello!

I am back again, I love your blog!

I am about to atttempt making my first batch of soap, but something has stumped me? I have been reading about the water I should use to make soap - distilled, but I am having so much trouble finding it anywhere on the high street, and it's also quite expensive?

Is there another option, or does it have to be distilled water?

Thanks so much!

gracefruit said...

If you live in an area with hard water, you might consider investing in a water filter. I have used a Brita with great results.

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial Elizabeth.
I've been making CP soaps, and was put off HP because I was told the high cooking temp would damage some of the oil qualities. I want to use some additives that would probably evaporate with the gel stage in CP, so this is ideal for me. Do you know what temp the soap get to when cooking? And what size crock pot do you now use?
Cathy, Australia.

gracefruit said...

Hi Cathy,

I set my crock pot to its lowest setting and the soap barely reaches 140F. To ensure your HP soap gels, you shouldn't need to take it any hotter than that.

I use a 6 litre pot now, but when I first started, I think it was a 2.5 litre.

melissa B said...

can anyone tell me approximately how long it take to cook from start to finish. I don't think I am cooking long enough. When my island disappears I stir and it is like way thick in the center. I don't know how to correct this. Will continuing to cook help.

gracefruit said...

Hi Melissa,

The cooking time depends a lot on your recipe, but you shouldn't have to cook for more than 45 minutes.

When you say it's thick in the centre, does this mean that you can't stir it at all?

Elizabeth

Robin said...

I researched and read anything I could about soapmaking for about 1year before I ever made my first batch. I sure wish I would have found your tutorial first. Everytime I see a hot process soap instruction it says for thoe familiar with cold process, but I have only done hot process in the crock pot and that is because I am too impatient to wait a month for soap to cure. Can you tell me is cold process easier? I have been wanting to try it.

gracefruit said...

Hi Robin,

Cold process isn't difficult at all, but I think more can go wrong with it.

I can't really say that I favour one method over the other. CP is easier if you need to make lots of soap, and HP is better if you don't want the hassle of a possible failed batch.

Do give CP a try. Once you do, you'll be making it all the time!

earthtonesbath said...

This was a really cool tutorial. It's nice to see other people's way of doing HP. My preferred method is to set the crock pot on high. This takes the soap through other stages, that I oddly like to watch.

For the person who asked, for me with the crock pot on high takes about 1.5 hours to complete a small 2lb batch. It used to take longer until I mastered several recipes and can eye it pretty good now.

I can't remember the other person who asked if you need to cook it in a crock pot only. You don't. You can use a stainless steel pot on the stove if that's simpler for you.

www.earthtonesbath.blogspot.com

Anderson said...

Thank you so much for the recipe anyway, I got that 9V sensation on my tongue however I already poured the mix into my mold, is there a way to save it?

gracefruit said...

Hi Anderson. Just leave the soap to cure for a few days. It might be that it didn't cook long enough and will finish saponifying in the mould. Check it in a few days time and see if it still zaps.

Best of luck!

Darcy said...

Thank you for the tutorial. Gotta love giving ppl.

Do you have any suggestions where I can get that mold you used in your tutorial? All I find are very expensive wood loaf molds, 2-3 cavity molds or plastic loaf molds where you still have to cut the soap into bars afterwards.

Karma to you!

gracefruit said...

Hi Darcy! Where are you located? I'll try to help you track down a mold with cheap postage.

E xx

Darcy said...

I guess that would be helpful information. *blushes*
I'm in the US

gracefruit said...

Hi Darcy, try Tony's fragrance oils.I believe they're located in Georgia.

E x

2 Virgos Designs said...

Excellent pictorial tutorial. thank you for the simple swirling technique!

gracefruit said...

You're very welcome. :) Happy soaping!

Michelle said...

This looks much less frightening than a lot of soap makers would have you believe! Thank you!

Can I use the same recipes that I use for CP or do HP soap require different lye quantities?

gracefruit said...

Hi Michelle, as long as you're careful with the lye, soap making shouldn't be scary at all. And you can use the exact CP recipes for HP. No problem!

Michelle said...

Ace! Thank you :)

Michelle said...

I did it woohoo! Not a caustic burn in sight!

I put a link to this tutorial on my blog (I hope that's ok) and also to your shop. There are some pics on my blog if you want to see my first attempts!

Thanks again M :)

gracefruit said...

Yay!! I'll be over to have a look in just a second. :)

gracefruit said...

Wah! Michelle! I keep getting a 404 when I try to get to your blog. Would you link me from here? Sorry to be a pain. :(

Michelle said...

http://michelles-garden.blogspot.com/

:)

Michelle said...

Hi again!

I'm am totally addicted to HP now! But I'm not happy with my mould situation - I fancy one of those long wooden moulds that you slice into bars - can you use these for HP? or do you recommend something else? I'm not mad about the individual moulds if I'm honest.

Thanks
Michelle

gracefruit said...

Hi Michelle,
You can use any mould you like! Just be sure it's not made of aluminium. Technically, even this shouldn't be a problem with HP since all of the caustic soda will be gone by the time the soap goes into the mould, but it's probably safer to avoid aluminium, just in case there is any leftover lye.
E x

Liz said...

Thanks for the great tutorial! I made my first batch last night, and I did better than I thought I would! The only thing I did differently was to let the island fill in twice like someone recommended on another website. If you'd like, you can see my pictures and read about it at http://liz-rand.blogspot.com

gracefruit said...

Thanks, Liz! I'm always interested to see how others are experimenting with HP. It's such a fun process!

Taina from Finland said...

Thanks for the great tutorial of HP! I made a batch of lavender soap in a two-layer stainless pot. It was so easy! I will definetaly make some more soon, and I'm so glad that using HP I still can give my soaps as Christmas presents!

gracefruit said...

Thank you, Taina! Happy soapmaking!

badlymade said...

Just made my first batch of hot process following your tutorial.

Was prompted to have a go as I need to get some Christmas soap ready in time. A lovely lemongrass, rose and green tea.

Great tutorial. Takes all the mystery out of the hot process. I think I'll make all my soap this way now.

God bless you!

Paul.

gracefruit said...

Hi Paul, Thank you so much for your comment. I'm glad the tutorial helped. Hot process is good fun and dead easy.

Happy soaping!

Elizabeth

sweet lady said...

Thank you gracefruit, what an easy way to hp!i have always been confused with most tutorials but this makes it easier for me to try out even though am going to make mine on stove as it is a bit costly to buy a crock pot here in AFRICA.
GREETINGS TO YOU FROM AFRICA.

sweet lady said...

Thanks gracefruit.this is for me,the most understandable way to HP even though am going to be making mine on stove.it is not sooooo easy buying crock pot here in AFRICA.thank you once again and best wishes from africa.

gracefruit said...

Thanks SL! I'm so glad you're enjoying the tutorial. It's very easy to make the same soap in a double-boiler/bain-marie on the stovetop.

Dee said...

Hi. I'm a new soaper and I used your tutorial to make HP soap today for the first time. I think it turned out pretty good. I've made CP soap twice and the only reason I used the HP method today is that I needed soap gifts for three nieces in the next two to three weeks. To my surprise, I really liked the HP method. My crock pot is small so I made a 2 lb. batch of Crisco, coconut oil, olive oil, and castor oil, splitting it in half for coloring and fragrancing. I used French powdered clay for color and EOs for fragrance. One soap is Mango-Kiwi and the other I'm calling "Lime in the Coconut." I'm loving this world of creativity and fragrance!

Thanks again for the excellent tutorial,
Donna

googlecupcake said...

yay! I'm going to make soap, thanks to you : ) I plan on checking the local thrift stores for a crock pot today. Where is the best place to find lye?

Thanks so much for taking the scary out soap making.

gracefruit said...

GC, where are you located? In the UK, you can find lye at Homebase or B&Q.

jilly said...

Is there any way that the hot process could be done in a microwave oven? I have done successful rebatches but never made soap by hot process.

helen said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I made my first batch of soap today and it's cooling in the pans as I type this:-) I didn't want to buy molds, so I used a couple of disposable foil loaf pans. I lined one with oiled parchment paper and oiled the other one but left it unlined. Just thought I'd see if it's ok since I hot processed it. We'll see!
For my first batch, I added grapefruit essential oil, orange zest and some tumeric for colour. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Susan - Minneapolis said...

Wow! I was afraid to try this, but it was so easy following your instructions. Perfect soap the first time around! I'm going to use this method a lot as it gives me peace of mind to know right away that my soap isn't caustic. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tutorial.

I have tried to follow the instructions in an open pan, and a slow cooker. I do not get an even colour, but it is flecked with paler patches. I have tried it with the slow cooker on high and low, and I get the same result. Do you have any suggestions?

tincan said...

Hi Gracefruit

I just bought a slowcooker today. I have done CP and Oven process and I like both methods (CP for swirlability and OP for quick saponification) so I am really curious to check out the crockpot method. I searched online for Crockpot soap methods and your tutorial was the best and easiest I've come across. Thanks. Also there was someone from Africa that posted that it was difficult to find a crockpot - depending on where exactly in Africa she is - it is relatively cheap and you can find them in most appliance, department or even some grocery stores (Checkers, Shoprite and Pick n Pay)in South Africa for the equivalent of about +/-$35. I bought a 6.5L today for about $30 - I would be happy to pass on the details of where I got it if he/she is interested.

glennda said...

Very helpful tutorial! I've never made slow cooker soap before, I was very impressed. I used only tallow and it looks beautiful. Thank you so much for taking the time to make this tutorial so clear.

simplesoapmakingguide said...

Whoa! You did a great tutorial..
Well,thank you so much for the idea..That's very interesting topic.
Making soap is easy and enjoyable...

Thanks for sharing..:D

Lteeny said...

Hey thanks for the awesome tutorial! I was wondering if you could do this process and make goat milk soap. I have made soap before, but never goat milk soap and wanted to try a goat milk oatmeal soap - thought I could kill two birds with on stone and try your method too.

Lteeny said...

Hey thanks for the awesome tutorial! I was wondering if you could do this process and make goat milk soap. I have made soap before, but never goat milk soap and wanted to try a goat milk oatmeal soap - thought I could kill two birds with on stone and try your method too.

Lizzykat said...

thanks so much for posting this tutorial, it really helped me alot. today is the first day im trying hot processed soap and let me say its much easier than cold processed. i love how the soap quickly thickens up and how it only takes a week to cure :) im a very impatient person lol. So many people make hot processed soap sound scary becasue of the lye being cooked but you made it simple and easy, thanks again

Katrina said...

Is there a list of ingredients for this soap? Quantities of how much of what to put in? I know it's for experienced people and I'm not experienced but I'd love to try it!

tkg in nc said...

I made my first batch today using ANOTHER tutorial. When I had no idea how long to cook it and their pictures didn't match what mine looked like, I went searching for another tut and found you. THANK YOU. I made a goat milk - oatmeal - honey soap and it's cooling now and I feel quite certain it will be wonderful. I'll be using your directions in a couple of days when I continue on with batch #2!

Anonymous said...

thank you for you help. can i stir the soap with a mixer at the end. it look chunky a bit