I do love cold processed soap, however, I was interested to learn about hot processed as well. Hot processed is simply the process of cooking the soap.
When we make soap, there is a chemical reaction that takes place between the lye (caustic soda) and the oils, called saponification. When we make cold processed soap, it has to be left 4-6 weeks so that the lye can finish doing its thing. This is called curing. If you make hot processed soap, you help the process along and cook off the lye. This means that if you make hot processed soap, it can be used straight away, as soon as its popped or cut from the moulds.
You might ask, well why don’t we always make hot processed soap then, it’s really hard to sit back and make a lovely soap and then wait for 6 weeks to use it. Well the answer is that, when you hot process it, the soap is more difficult to make elaborate patterns and designs, and it also comes out looking a bit more rustic. It doesn’t have that beautiful finish to the soap. Although I kind of like the look of hot processed soap too.
Anyway, today I decided to make another batch of hot processed soap, and make a swirl pattern to show you how that is done.
essentially you can use any cold processed recipe, you just have to do the extra step of cooking it. I use an old crockpot. Actually this is the one I also use for melting down my wax from the honeycomb. Might as well use it as much as possible. This crockpot sees more use now than it ever did when I was actually cooking in it.
The recipe I used for this one is
Hot Processed Colour swirl soap
500g Coconut Oil
425g Olive Oil
425g Rice Bran Oil
150g Cocoa Butter
65g Castor Oil
750ml distilled water
I used Blue, Red and Pink soap making colours
The fragrance for this one is Brambleberry’s ‘Energy’
Again, please look at the beginners soaping blog if you are making soap for the first time where I have links to lots of great videos and advice on soaping. The link is here –Beginning soaping
I made the lye and the oil mixture, mixed to medium trace with a stick blender then put the crock pot on high and left it alone to cook the soap. This forces the chemical reaction to happen faster and cooks the lye out of the soap.
The soap starting to cook around the edges
Starting to cook from the outside in
I gave it a stir and this is what it looked like. It took about an hour for the soap to all be cooked. One way of testing to see whether the lye has been processed is to take a small amount of the soap and touch it to your tongue (after it is cooled a little). If you get a zap – it means there is still lye in the soap that needs to cook out. If so, let it cook further for 5 minutes or so and try again. Don’t leave it to long however or it will really start to dry out.
After that I added the fragrance then split the soap into 4 batches. I left one batch in the cooker as I was leaving the soap colour as one of the colours, then I mixed in the red, blue and pink into the other batches.
Tipped them back into the crockpot and folded the colours lightly. After all, I don’t want them mixed, just swirled.
Spooned them into the moulds. To me they look rather funky compared to the cold processed soaps.
And a day later – Voila – Hot processed soaps. They look more rustic than the cold processed variety and I have seen some videos of people doing amazing things with these in regards to patterns etc as well. Would take me a bit more trial and error to get used to though. However, these soaps can be used straight away. I’ll leave them a week or two just so the moisture evaporated and they get a little harder before use, but they do smell fantastic!