Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cold Process vs Hot Process Method

Ok I spent the entire day devoting to making soap. I actually made a batch of soap. I decided to use the Hot process method again today but using the crock pot. The first time I used this method I used the oven and it came out pretty well. So since I have a crock pot that I don't hardly use, I decided to try it.

Pros and cons for both cold and hot process soap making

Both methods have its advantages and disadvantages. Which one do I prefer, it is really hard to decide. Please keep in mind that these are just my opinions based on how I made my own soaps. I am sure others will have their own opinions.

Lets start with the Cold Process Method.

1. Pro-I like the fact that I can color the soap and make designs with this method.

2. Con- For me the scent sometimes gets distorted if I use this method. I find some of my fragrance get so messed up after I take it out of the mold and cut. Some of my scent don't seem to smell the same afterwards. Sometimes not all the time. Curing time takes up to 6 weeks in some of my soaps. The Whipped soap can take up to 6 weeks to cure.

Ok now the Hot Process Method

1. Pro-I like the fact that you can use this soap right away after it has cooled down. The scent is much bolder than when I use the cold process method. And it is so much faster to make. At least in my opinion and much easier.

2. Con- Since using this method, it is hard to swirl this type of soap as it is so thick. Just coloring the soap all one color seems to be much easier but not being able to swirl is the hard part of using this method. Another con about this is that you have to work fast after the cooking process to get all your fragrance oils and other additives in the soap before it starts to cool down too much and it won't be easy to get into the mold at least from my experience.

Testing the soap to see if its done is one method I don't like to use. I have read where the old method is to take a piece of the soap and do the tongue zapping test. Nope I did not want to do that. Another way is to scoop some soap out and roll it in your hand (gloves of course since the soap is hot) and roll to see if the soap sticks together. I lather use a ph test strip. Also I run some water on the small piece to see if it lathers. I rather do it this way then the tongue test. I remember taking the 9volt battery to my tongue as a kid and didn't like it. LOL That is what it will feel like if your soap is not quite done.

Here are a few shots of my crock pot after everything was done.The soap does stick to the sides of the crock pot so letting it sit with water in it will loosen the soap and make it easier to clean out. Since my crock pot is not immersable, it has to cleaned this way.

This is what I made today. This is from the Crock Pot method. This soap smells sooo good I can't wait to use it. This is Stargazer Lily. Absolutely wonderful.

As you can see it is sitting so it can cool down and harden. I am going to let it sit till tomorrow then unmold and cut it. Once I cut it, I will let it dry out for about 1-2 weeks. Then thats it.


I just cut and unmolded the soap loaf above. Wow the scent is the same as if I just poured it in. The lather is very creamy. The color is much lighter then when it was in the mold which I didn't expect but still a very nice color. I guess it was still hot when it was in the mold.

This is a small piece of the Hot Process soap that I just made. I am testing it to see how well it lathers and as you can see it lathers very well. :-) I am ready to try it NOW hehehe

To be honest I do like both methods. I am leaning towards the HOt Process because it was so much easier for me. The scent holds very well which I really like because the fragrance goes in after the soap has been cooked so all you get is the full fragrance of the scent. They both have the advantages and disadvantages.

Cold Process Method (soap poured into molds, unmolded, cut and cured for 4-6 weeks)

Hot Process Method- Using direct heat (no curing time needed) but I allow my soap to harden a bit for about a week

Whipped Process Method (same as the cold process method without heating the oils and lye solution. This method takes much much longer to cure)

You know after making my soaps from scratch after a year has gone by I still do not consider myself a pro. I am still learning. I may never consider myself a pro mainly because I just enjoy making it and don't like labels. :-)

Thank you for letting me share my soap making experience with you today.



Patrice @ The Soap Seduction said...

I've always wanted to try the HP method, but the soaps just don't look as pretty, but I love the fact that there's hardly any curing time. Maybe I'll be brave enough to try it one day. Thanks for your insight.

The Beading Tree said...

Thanks for the information about CP & HP! Very interesting to see it all, but it's WAY too much work for me. So I think I'll just continue to buy from you and let you have all the fun of creating!! :)

Baroness Bijoutery said...

I'm with Beading Tree I will let you have all the fun...I did like hearing how the process goes though. I have always bought the CP because the scent is so subtle. The HP soap I bought once was so strong I couldn't breath around it and had to get rid of it. I have Asthma so the HP soaps with strong scents don't work...Maybe you can let people with breathing problems know that you CP soap are not as stongly scented....That would grab my attention.

Pegasus Handmade Soaps said...

Yes you are absolutely right Baroness Bijoutery the scent holds very well and much more stronger than in Cold Process. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to try the Hot process because of the Cold Process soaps not hold my scents very long and are very light. I also have asthma and can't really take really strong scented soaps myself so thats why I chose scents that were not so powerful. Thanks for the input and your comments :-)

Renee toeNja said...

That was fun to read. I'll admit that as a buyer I much prefer strong scent to pretty swirls of color, so I guess I'll try to buy some hot process soap in the future.

FAP Creations said...

Hey ..that was great info. I've always wanted to experiment with soap making. i think i might try it out.


Molly said...

I love your pro and con list. Great thoughts both ways! I love the lather on HP soap, but prefer the texture of CP....your soaps look beautiful.

Ran-Ran said...

I am reading, Soap Naturally and researching lots of ideas and best practices on soap making. Thanks for the post you left here a year ago.
I hope that you come back with more updates.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great run-down!! I tend to favor the Hot-process as well and thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Wallingford Botanicals

Mesha D said...

Do you use fragrance oils or only naturally scented essential oils? I have decided to start a small business with my homemade soaps and I want to keep it all natural, so I won't be using any synthetic fragrances or colors. Do you know if essential oils also hold up well in hp soap?

Pegasus Soaps said...

I use both fragrance and essential oils. I think essential oils hold up very well in HP soaps. I use fragrance oils because there is such a large variety of scents vs essential oil which essential oil are very expensive. One time I used almost 25.00 worth of essential oils in a soap batch and it turned into a bad batch so 25.00 down the drain. My customers are drawn to popular scents and colors for their soaps but if you are going to use just essential oils you can also use natural colorants to color your soaps, such as Cochineal powder, Cocoa powder,curry powder for yellow, Kelp/seaweed for green, Pumpkin, pureed for orange, Pumice for grey, and also sage for green as some example of natural colorants to all natural soaps. Good Luck with your soaps.

Mesha D said...

Thanks for the quick reply. I know too much heat will evaporate the scents. Is there a certain temperature right before putting it in the molds in which I should add my oils? I know you have to move pretty quick before the soap starts to harden.

Pegasus Soaps said...

I try to get my HP soap down to at least 100F or little lower if possible enough that I can touch it with my hands and not get burned LOL. You don't want it too hot or the fragrance oil or the essential oils will flash off and yes you do want to work fast as the soap will start to harden and get clumpy the cooler it gets.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing ur knowledge of soap making business. I have got a lot of information regarding the HP and CP.I prefer to use the HP as u told me it is the easiest one,but i have a big headache question of the length of curing time.IS THERE ANY CHEMICALS AVAILABLE TO MAKE THE SOAP HARDEN FASTER??

yama said...

Thanks for sharing ur knowledge of soap making business. I have got a lot of information regarding the HP and CP.I prefer to use the HP as u told me it is the easiest one,but i have a big headache question of the length of curing time.IS THERE ANY CHEMICALS AVAILABLE TO MAKE THE SOAP HARDEN FASTER??