Friday, September 21, 2007

RCP - Radiator Cold Process

Long-time readers will know I’m a bit of a hot process freak. I’m not the most patient person, and hot process affords me the luxury of fussing over the soap while it’s gelling. Goodness knows I’m not happy unless I’m poking the soap.

But there are times I enjoy making cold process, even challenging batches. Today I did a layered rose soap with pink clay. It’s still in the mould, so I can’t say it’s a success, but I didn’t have any seizing, so I’m happy with the outcome so far.

When working with difficult fragrances like rose, I tend to soap at very cool temperatures – well below 80F. This usually keeps the pernickety fragrance in line, but it makes achieving gel a little harder. I know a lot of soap makers put their soap in the oven to help their soaps gel, but European soapers know that isn’t always possible – especially if your mould is bigger than your oven. I’ve found two solutions to this problem, and both work exceptionally well.

During the warmer months of summer, I simply wrap the mould in a blanket and put it in my car. Not only does the soap gel right through, my car smells lovely. And I like that this method doesn’t cost a thing. You can’t beat solar power when you can get it.

In winter, I use radiators. I throw a cloth or a towel over the mould and place it on top of the radiator in my kitchen. The radiator is a bit longer than the mould, and it gently heats the soap, providing an even gel. Since I’d have my heating running for a couple of hours anyway, I consider this a cost-effective method. I’m sure the top of an Aga would work just a well.


Anonymous said...

I do the oven... don't have such big molds in my possession.
Will keep in mind RCP and CCP though :) brilliant...


gracefruit said...

My lined mould won't fit in the oven, and I'm afraid to put the perspex mould in for fear I'll warp it. The radiator works a treat!

Anonymous said...

Way to go - energy efficiency.

A x

gracefruit said...

I think we could devise a conservatory CP method, too. It heats up to oven temps in the summer.

Anonymous said...

would like 2know how to contact you?

gracefruit said...

Hi there.

You can contact me at gracefruit at gmail dot com.