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.

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