First attempts at hot process soap

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JoyfulSudz

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Decided to try something new this week -- Hot Process. I used the "slow cook" setting on my Instant Pot because I don't have a crock pot. It was fascinating to watch the soap cook, rising up in the pot like some primordial creature from the deep. It was challenging to add my micas and swirl because it gets thick and hard so fast. I plopped them in the molds and banged them down, but there wasn't much I could do to make the tops look pretty. The more I messed with them, the uglier they got, and I told myself I'd never do this again. But much to my surprise, when I cut the bars this morning, they're really not that ugly. I kinda like 'em. Still not sure I'd do it again though.
PXL_20211128_192101784.jpg
 

Ugeauxgirl

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@JoyfulSudz I like that it will be ready to cut same day. Some of my fragrance oils last so much better and are stronger in the same amounts in HP. I actually enjoy cleaning up- using the soap residue to clean up the dirty dishes. I like the subtly swirled texture in the soap. I like that I can add things at the end of the batch, and that I don't have to worry about acceleration, ricing, partial gel, separation, etc.
 

JoyfulSudz

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All good features, @Ugeauxgirl , thanks. I used FO in one and EOs in the other two, and I am noticing the scents seem stronger than when I've used the same ones in CP soaps. Hoping they'll last longer too. Cleanup was definitely easier, almost fun as everything bubbled up while I just rinsed off the soap residue.
No worrying about possible acceleration since the entire process is for sure accelerated (haha). I miss the ability to do some of the design work I can do with CP. Maybe I'll pick up a crockpot next time I see a cheapie while cruising the thrift stores and give it another geaux go.
 

earlene

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They are gorgeous! If you want to get rid of the 'ugly' tops (ugly is in the eye of the beholder, so they are not truly ugly if you look at them from a different persective), you can cut or plane the tops off.
 

AliOop

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I think those look great! Another benefit is that HP usually prevents soda ash, since there should be no unreacted lye available to turn into ash. I still get some ashing with AC, but otherwise, no ash at all. And yes, it's fun to cut and clean up in the same day.

FWIW, you can HP your soap in a stainless steel pot on the stove. I prefer that to heavy crockpots, which hurt my wrists and are very ungainly when trying to get the soap out of the crock. I tend to use slightly higher heat so that it cooks faster, and I don't have to stand over it all day. Mine are often done in 20 minutes, and usually not more than 30 minutes.
 

JoyfulSudz

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Thanks, @AliOop ! No soda ash is a really nice perk. I don't get a lot of it with my CP soaps, but none at all would be even better!
When you cook your HP on the stove, are you using a double boiler or is the pot directly on the burner?
 

gloopygloop

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Right on the "burner" (glass-top electric stove). My stainless pot has a heavy copper bottom, which is helpful for preventing uneven heat.
I used to do it directly on the stove top but recently started using a bain marie set up, cover top of bowl which is on a saucepan with hot water, saucepan on stove top very low heat as you might for chocolate, and cover soap bowl with plastic film. Walk away and do other things for a short while and in around 30 mins soap done and gelled. Agree scents last better and come through better, plus you can SF with a chosen oil.
 

JoyfulSudz

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There's enough perks to make me want to do more hot process. Just made arrangements to pick up a used crockpot this weekend! It will never replace doing cold process because I like the design freedom too much, but there's room to do both. :hippo:
 
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