As a soap maker, I make exclusively hot process soaps. I adore the process of watching the lye and oils transform from liquid to solid to liquid to solid. I'm impatient and I like to use my soap NOW instead of waiting 4-6 weeks that cold process soap takes to cure. I like not worrying if my fragrance will make my soap seize up or rice or result in soap on a stick. I love the convenience of having no caustic products hanging around my house when I finish a soaping session. And I love playing with the texture of my hot process soap to get swirls and textures. Here are some examples of the soaps I've created.
This bar is a 100% coconut formula with a superfat of 20% I love the translucent quality of the color. This bar just looks and smells minty and refreshing. It's my favorite bar to use after a hot, sweaty grass cutting session.
I love heavy floral scents and floral Fragrance oils are notorious for accelerating soap's trace. Hot processing allows me to use these scents and create swirls and designs with no fear of seizing.
Here is a quick overview of my hot process procedures. I start with my melted oils. In the below example I'm using all olive oil to make a Castille bar. Then I weigh out my water and lye and combine them adding the lye to the water never adding the water to the lye.
Then I add the still warm lye water mix to the oils while slowly stick blending. I then take the mixture to a thick trace.
After I have reached a good thick trace I put a lid on my pot and place the pot in an oven heated to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and let it come to a full gel.
You can see the soap changing from left to right in the photos. The batter gets stiff as it goes in the oven, and gel creeps in from the outer part of the pot to the inner part until it reaches the center and the soap is fully saponified. This can take from 15-60 minutes depending on the initial temperature of the soap batter and the depth of the pot. I then pour the batter into my silicone mold, tap the mold on the table a few times to make sure there are no air pockets and let the soap cool for about 4 hours. After the soap is fully cooled I unmold it, cut it and let it sit for about 4 weeks to fully cure. Hot processed soap can be used right after unmolding but really benefits from a 4 week cure time to lose water weight and increase soap crystal formation.
Hot Process soaping is Fun!