Oh the joys of soap making! Making soap is a lot of fun, especially if it’s being made to give away as gifts to friends and family. Making soap through the hot process method in a crock pot is a little different than the traditional method of soap making. So, how is hot process soap made using a crock pot? Well, read on to find out.
Things Needed to Get Started – Some things needed to get started are a chemical mask, a deep crock pot, chemical resistant gloves, large stainless steel spoon, a cutting board and knife, soap mold, freezer paper, a silicone or plastic spatula, digital scale, stick blender, thermometer, plastic containers, and a plastic pitcher labeled “lye water”. Also, before making soap it’s a good idea to read about safety rules, protective clothing, and what to do if a spill occurs.
Find a Good Soap Recipe – Before beginning, find a good soap recipe to follow. This can be obtained from books at the library or even online. This should not be hard to find. Try picking a basic recipe that uses vegetable oils, rather than animal fats and water as the liquid as other options can be a bit more involved and advanced for people just starting out.
Weigh Ingredients – Using the digital scale, weigh out the vegetable oil in plastic containers and set aside. Now weigh out the water and lye. Make sure when doing this that the containers with lye are labeled, and that they are never used for food or anything to be consumed.
Mix Lye and Water – Turn on the hooded vent above the stove for this step. While standing under the vent with mask and gloves on, pour measured water into plastic pitcher. Then slowly pour lye into water and mix slowly using spoon. Always pour the lye into the water, never the other way around as a volcanic reaction may occur. Leave lye water sitting under vent for a few minutes to get rid of fumes.
Mix Oils and Lye Water – Plug in crock pot, add the hard oils to the pot, set the temperature to low, and allow to melt. Once melted add in other oils. Now slowly, still wearing mask and chemical resistant gloves, pour in the lye water. Using stick blender, blend until the product reaches “trace”. Trace is when the product thickens and leaves a “trace” when drizzled over the top of the product.
Time to Cook – Cook the caustic product in the crock pot on high. Depending on the oils used, cooking time will vary. Some take as little as thirty minutes while others may take an hour. While soap is cooking try lining soap mold with freezer paper and set aside. Try not to mix the soap too soon, allow soap to cook but keep an eye on it. Soap will begin to rise and fold in on itself. Once this happens give it a stir so it doesn’t come out of the pot. Once product begins to look like mashed potatoes this is a sign that the soap is probably done. At this point, it’s a good idea to do a zap test to see if lye in soap is deactivated. Take a little bit of the soap, rub between fingers, and touch it to the tip of the tongue. If it doesn’t sting then soap is ready, if it does sting then soap needs to be cooked longer.
Fragrance and Mold – Add fragrance. Check flash point of fragrance, temperature of soap should be at least ten degrees less than flash point. Pour into mold but work fast as hot process soap can harden up quick. The following day, remove from mold and cut into slices if loaf mold was used. Set on wire racks for one to two weeks to cure to allow water to evaporate from soap to make a harder bar.
Soap making is pretty simple once a person gets the technique down. It’s a lot of fun and people can get really creative with it using different scents, colors, and additives. Give it a try, and see what can be created.
Ashely had been making her own soap for many years now. She likes to share creative DIY tips and ideas. To see more, check out her Twitter @ashelymarie1985.
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