So what is Hot Process soap making? It is, what I would call an improvement on the old techniques.
Making soap has always been a family project and it has been handed down through the generations. I learned from my Grandmother who learned from her Mother and so on as far back as I can remember.
As a soap maker, I have always used the Cold Process for making my soap. Why? Well, the very simple answer is that is how my Grandmother made it and so I just followed suit. She called it Lye Soap, and so it is.
However, the ingredients and gentleness of the product has improved over generations. Time marches on and with time comes new innovations and processes. So I believe it is time to share this process with you.
TRADITIONAL SOAP MAKING
Cold Process Soap is natural soap. In the world of handcrafted or homemade soap, it is the first thing that we think… Cold Process. Like I mentioned, this is the process I have used for years and I have always loved my soaps. My friends and family always expect to receive my cold process soaps for birthdays and holidays!
When you shop at the market, you see Cold Process soaps on the shelves. Dove, Irish Spring, Ivory, etc. these are Cold Process soaps that are mass-produced by large companies. When you go to a Health Food Store or a Farmers Market, the handmade, handcrafted soaps are made by the cold Process.
If Cold Process soaps are in most stores and markets, then why would you think the Hot Process soaps would be better? New techknowledge, new faster process, and a great product would be one reason! Let’s examine this process.
COMPARING COLD TO HOT
Hot and Cold Process Soap are not that different as they begin in the same way. All the various types of oils, such as coconut, palm, and olive, are weighed, then melted. The water is measured and the sodium hydroxide (lye) is weighed then mixed with the water. This is a very sensitive part of the ingredients and much care must be taken to protect yourself from splatters.
Once all the ingredients reach a certain temperature, they reach trace and the chemical reaction begins to change the ingredients into soap. Trace is like looking at a gravy, thick, creamy and it leaves a trail when you stir through it.
Here is where we reach a fork in the road. Each process takes a different direction now.
If you decide to go forward with the Cold Process, you will begin to dress your soap with scent and colors.
Now it is time to mold the liquid mix. You can use a loaf shape or individual shapes for your molds. The next step is to keep the soap in a warm area covered with towels for at least 24 hours. I like to use an old quilt to cover and keep cozy.
As the soap batch sits, it is changing from harsh chemicals to your luxury soap. You can imagine this process by thinking about baking a cake. You mix all these separate ingredients and once it is in the oven it turns to a completely different molecular structure called a cake!
The chemical reaction in soap ingredients is called saponification. It is important to understand that if you use the soap before it is cured (approximately six to eight weeks) the soap could actually burn your skin as it has not completed the saponificaiton process.
The chemicals have not completely changed and reacted with each other so the soap is too harsh for use. It’s always good to remember a bit of your science from your school years!
So after the initial 24 hours, you can cut the soap while wearing protective gloves and then the product must be stored in a dark place, away from light, for the curing period.
If you were to choose to make Hot Process Soap, you would bring the soap to trace, just like in Cold Process, but instead of scenting and adding color to your batch, you would change your process.
UPDATING A PROCESS
When using the Cold Process method, there are several essential oils that will not set in your soap. Because of this, mass-produced soap manufacturers will often use a fragrance oil instead of an essential oil. However when you make your own soaps, you have more control of this process.
The best possible soaps will have a natural source of scent.
However, the Hot Process technique solves this problem along with several problems that you can encounter during Cold Process Soap Making.
Before the Hot process soap has anything added, it is cooked over heat for about 20 minutes. You will be able to learn how to do this yourself if you decide to buy Hot Soap Making – The Complete Guide. I like this book as it has lots of great illustrations and is easy to follow.
Since the soap is fully saponified, you can add colors and scents without worry of changes from their original smell or look. Your soap will turn out exactly as you planned. Easy peasy!
A big plus for Hot Process Soap is that you can let the soap cure for about two days (instead of 8 weeks) and use it right away without fear of hurting your delicate skin!
One other thing I want to touch on today is explaining why I like to make my own soaps. Perhaps it will be a good direction for you in your household.
2. Control of Ingredients
3. Best for Sensitive Skin
4. Great Gifts
5. Vegan Friendly
When you make your own soaps, there is definitely a sense of satisfaction knowing that you created something good for yourself and your family. You have control over the ingredients. This is the biggest factor for me. When you have any kind of sensitivity to fragrance, oils, or chemicals, making your own eliminates these issues.
Perhaps you have acne. Making a gentle goat milk soap bar will help fight the bacteria that is associated with the pain of acne. Eczema and psoriasis can be calmed with the same soap bar. Babies often need a gentle soap on their infant skin.
The cost of making your own soap is also a great reason for the Do It Yourself creator! Gift giving is a real plus. And, honestly, no one ever returns my soap gifts!
If you are a Vegan and respect the animal world and are concerned about the footprint you might be leaving on our earth for future generations, making your own soap is the best. It really is all about the control you have with your ingredients. There are so many wonderful recipes to work with you will never be bored with your choices.
One of my very favorite, gentle soaps is called Castile Soap and is made from olive oil. I encourage you to your your Hot Process to make your first batch to try. I believe you will really enjoy it.
I believe the biggest out dated aspect of Cold Process soap making, is the amount of time it takes for the batch of soap to cure. Six to eight weeks is a long time to wait for soap. The Hot Process is ready in just two days!
Comparing the two processes, it is clear to see the Hot Process Soap Making method has its advantages. This would be a wonderful method for all soap makers to use. It would cut down on the use of Fragrance oils, which are not natural and do have a higher rate of causing issues for those with allergies and sensitive skin. Your time cooking your batch and your curing time is considerably shorter as well.
Now you know what hot process soap making is and how easy it is to learn, you might be interested in getting your e-book with full pictures and instructions. Just CLICK HERE and get your instruction e-book to take the next step in your own soap making adventure.
Do you have friends who might like to make their own soap? Feel free to share this blog post with them.
If you would like to discuss this article, feel free to comment below and we can talk.
Happy In Bubbles