So. Hot Process. A friend of mine, who makes a lot of cold process soap, asked how I make my HP soap. Here goes.
You can do it a couple of ways. Start from scratch with your basic Cold Process recipe and cook in the crock pot or do as I'm going to do in this tutorial, your basic CPHPR soap.
I start with leftover soap. About 2 and 1/2 pounds of leftover pieces, bits and bobs. I do not care about color or scent but sometimes I will throw in all the light colored soaps first, then later after well melted I'll throw in bits of dark soap for contrast. Rhyme and reason do not apply here.
I do however chop up everything into small hunks for easier melting. I turn my crock up to high because I have no patience. I add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of Castor oil. You can also use sweet almond oil or olive oil but the castor will add the extra bubbles I like. It will look like this
Then, I cover it and walk away. Now a good soaper would stay close by and check it often but I am more mediocre than I am good so I have been known to walk away too long and come back to a volcano of soap all over my kitchen counter tops. C'est le Mess.
So be a good soaper and stay close. Generally in 30-60 minutes your soap will look like this.
Go ahead and give it a good stir with your NON-aluminum utensil. It should move around like a thick gel. If the edges are very dry just add more water. About 1/4 cup at a time. Now it is at this point that you can also throw in abig handful of egg noodles and leave anote telling your loved one "Supper is in the crockpot"
This manuever is best saved for those really bad fights. Don't waste in on the average take out the garbage fight.
Back to soap. Generally your end result will be the kind of soap you save for yourself, or for your hubby who often doesn't care what it looks like or for household use. But then again I have a few customers who love my re batch soap because it looks like granite or stone.
When your soap is well melted it will look shiny and have the consistency of mashed potatoes. At this point you can add some more smaller chunks of soap for the "stone" look. Or just leave it as it is. Now is the time to add any additional essential oil if you'd like. Maybe your soap doesn't need it but often the scents have faded from your old soaps so adding more is helpful. I have found adding any sort of floral or fruity EO will work great even if your other soaps were a mix of non floral EO's.
For a 2 pound batch I will add 2 oz of EO's.
Stir your EO's in carefully, you don't want to splash them in your eyes but then again you won't if you are wearing goggles like you should be. Now plop it into your mold. BE CAREFUL...This soap is very hot.
I like to use diaper wipe molds for my small batches. They are free (after you buy the wipes of course) and when lined with wax paper release the soap very easily. One diaper wipe mold works great for 2 to 2.5 pounds of finished soap.
So like I said, be careful when you plop. Soap is HOT! After you get 2-3 big spoonfuls in your mold lightly slam the mold on your counter to remove all air bubbles or holes. Then keep spooning in the rest of the soap.
You can see above that some of my soap is very melted and some is still in soft chunks which was fine for me. You can always decrease your crock pot to low but as the soaps combine you'll get more of a brown or green final color. Again, all depends on your own taste.
Yeah, yeah I know, it looks a lot like leftover chicken soup with uh mysterious black spots but believe me, it gets better looking with age, just like your favorite midlife farmwife.
Let it cool for at least 24 hours. Then unmold and cut. If firm enough you can safely use right away but I still like to let it sit a couple weeks to let it harden more and therefore last longer. The cut soap will look nothing like this...
because YOUR soap will be made with different colors of soaps. But still it will be unique. So have fun. And until next time Bon Savonner ! (OK Cro, what did I just say?)