Room temperature soaping

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Happysoap

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I read on the internet about room temperature soaping method. This method is news to me. I have always done either CP or HP. Apparently you add lye water solution to your hard oils. The heat melts the oils. Once they are nice and melted - you add the soft oils. Has anyone tried this? How did it work out? I assume trace may be slower to come about. Has anyone made castlille this way?
 

violets2217

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That would be the heat transfer method... I’ve never had success with that! My soap batter is always too hot and accelerates. It is definitely a quick and easy method, but maybe with larger batches of soap or simple soap recipe with no intricate design? I usually do heat transfer when I’m making my 100% coconut laundry bar soap... but then again it volcanoed on me the last time, so probably stick with my usual room temperature soaping next time. Lol!

When I soap room temperature, which is my usual method. The day before I plan to make my soap, I measure, melt and mix my oils. Measure and mix my lye solution. Both in containers with lids. And just leave them until I’m ready to soap the next day. When I’m ready to soap they are both truly “room temperature “ and work perfectly for me. The are a couple other threads on they forum about soaping at room temperature that I remember reading. So it seems “room temperature “ means different things to different people.
 

AliOop

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I agree that this is usually called the heat transfer method. Not sure why some folks call it "room temperature" since that usually refers to letting your lye solution and oils cool down separately to room temp before combining them.

Before I started masterbatching my lye solution, I used the heat transfer method quite a bit. It can work just fine you have a high amount of solid fats that will bring the mix temps down quite a bit before you add the liquid oils. With lesser amounts of solid fats, the mixture does stay pretty hot, which means faster trace, not slower. Either way, you most likely aren't going to get intricate swirls because saponification and emulsification start happening from the moment you begin mixing the hot lye solution with the hard fats.

But for those who don't master-batch, and are making single-color soaps, it's definitely a faster way to soap than waiting for things to cool off.
 

jcandleattic

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Do a search on "heat transfer method" on the forum and a ton of posts come up on this topic.
A lot of soapers either use, or have tried this method, so you can find some good insight.

I do true "room temp" soaping during the summer, which is mixing my lye and oils at whatever the temp is in the room I'm working in.
In the winter, I have to microwave my oils for about 30 seconds to a minute to get them melted to clear because they do cloud up and solidify a little during the cooler months.
 

earlene

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I have only used the heat transfer method with low melt point fats, never with high melt point fats. A couple of times I have stayed in a motel that didn't have a microwave oven; at that point I had no other choice than to use the heat transfer method if I wanted to make soap. Either that or buy duplicates of things I already had at home, and although it wouldn't be the first time, I do try to avoid that.

I can't say that trace took any longer or slower, other than waiting for the melt to happen. That really depends on the specific ingredients and use of a stick blender, or what other tool one may use for bringing the mix to trace.

Since for me, Castile soap is 100% Olive Oil soap, using the heat transfer method would not apply, as there are no solid fats to melt. I always make Castile using cooled lye solution, as well.
 

KimW

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I agree with everything said here and will add that I prefer the heat transfer method (term taught me by the lovely @AliOop !) for my larger, and plain, 3lb batches of family soap. For the smaller "fun" batches I soap with my master batched lye.
 

She’sBubbly

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I read on the internet about room temperature soaping method. This method is news to me. I have always done either CP or HP. Apparently you add lye water solution to your hard oils. The heat melts the oils. Once they are nice and melted - you add the soft oils. Has anyone tried this? How did it work out? I assume trace may be slower to come about. Has anyone made castlille this way?
Hi there! I do this all the time and it works beautifully. I typically just mix my oils,then melt butters - pour them over the oil mixture and blend before I add the lye water :) it works great, I love it!!
 

Mobjack Bay

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I haven’t tried the heat transfer method, but have experimented with room temperature (75F) soaping with a lard-based recipe and a palm and shea-based recipe. In both cases the fats were melted clear and allowed to cool overnight. Both bases were cloudy/almost sludgy when I added the lye the next day. They both started out in what looked like false trace and thinned out as they warmed up after a little stick blending. The room temp lard base made perfect soap. The palm and shea base soap was full of stearic spots. This led me to conclude that the recipe matters. When it comes to ease of use, I find that lard always wins!
 

Susie

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I use this method also when I am making single color or layered designs. I find it will speed trace and hardening, so I can make the next layer sooner and pour over.
 

TheGecko

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I have used the "heat transfer method" when I'm in a hurry and am wanting to make a single color soap.

"Room temperature" soap is as its name implies...your lye solution and oils/butters are the same temperature as the room you are soaping in.
 

AliOop

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Hi there! I do this all the time and it works beautifully. I typically just mix my oils,then melt butters - pour them over the oil mixture and blend before I add the lye water :) it works great, I love it!!
Your method is very different than the method described, which uses the hot lye solution to melt the hard oils. :)
 

Happysoap

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Update: I got antsy and just had to try room temperature method for castille. Lye and oils were at 35-40C. Nope! It does not work! 😢 ended up with a caustic mess. Had to HP to save the batch. Got frustrated. My family will have to deal with some unsightly looking soap blobs in a little while 🤣
 

dibbles

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By castile do you mean 100% olive oil? 35-40C is warmer than what I would consider room temperature, but I know RT can mean different things to people. Still, that shouldn’t have caused a problem. Olive oil is slow to trace (unless you were using pomace).
 

earlene

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Update: I got antsy and just had to try room temperature method for castille. Lye and oils were at 35-40C. Nope! It does not work! 😢 ended up with a caustic mess. Had to HP to save the batch. Got frustrated. My family will have to deal with some unsightly looking soap blobs in a little while 🤣

Happysoap, I, too wonder what you mean by Castile soap.
In my house, a bit South of yours, Room Temperature rarely gets to to 86-104° F this early in the season, but if it did, I would call it room temperature, as that would be the temperature of my room. However, when I sue my AC, my RT (temperature of the room) is usually around 75-77°F.

As mentioned by most soapers here who responded to you, the method you described is called the Heat Transfer method, and has nothing to do with Room Temperature.

If you used hot lye to create Castile soap, AND your oil was only Olive Oil, AND it wasn't Pomace Olive Oil, that should not have happened.

So I am going to go out on a limb and guess that your recipe was not 100% olive oil, paricularly since you said "oils" (plural) and not 'oil' (singular). So what was/were your other oil(s)? It makes a difference what oils are used, as I and others have said above.

Please share your recipe so we can understand what is really going on with your soap.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I read on the internet about room temperature soaping method. This method is news to me. I have always done either CP or HP. Apparently you add lye water solution to your hard oils. The heat melts the oils. Once they are nice and melted - you add the soft oils. Has anyone tried this? How did it work out? I assume trace may be slower to come about. Has anyone made castlille this way?
As others mentioned, the heat transfer method is not recommended for castile soap. My favorite method for making castile/bastile soaps is ZNSC. You may want to give it a try. ;) Note: If you cure your castiles for 3 months or longer you will be happy to know ZNSC cures much faster. I start using it in 2 weeks. Of course, the longer the cure the better it is. You can start using it before your current batch is ready. :D
Update: I got antsy and just had to try room temperature method for castille. Lye and oils were at 35-40C. Nope! It does not work! 😢 ended up with a caustic mess. Had to HP to save the batch. Got frustrated. My family will have to deal with some unsightly looking soap blobs in a little while 🤣
I'm sorry it didn't work for you but a nice save nevertheless. :thumbs:
 

Happysoap

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Happysoap, I, too wonder what you mean by Castile soap.
In my house, a bit South of yours, Room Temperature rarely gets to to 86-104° F this early in the season, but if it did, I would call it room temperature, as that would be the temperature of my room. However, when I sue my AC, my RT (temperature of the room) is usually around 75-77°F.

As mentioned by most soapers here who responded to you, the method you described is called the Heat Transfer method, and has nothing to do with Room Temperature.

If you used hot lye to create Castile soap, AND your oil was only Olive Oil, AND it wasn't Pomace Olive Oil, that should not have happened.

So I am going to go out on a limb and guess that your recipe was not 100% olive oil, paricularly since you said "oils" (plural) and not 'oil' (singular). So what was/were your other oil(s)? It makes a difference what oils are used, as I and others have said above.

Please share your recipe so we can understand what is really going on with your soap.
I used 95% olive oil pomace and 5% castor. No EO or FO. I thought about it quite a lot. I am thinking I may have had a false trace coupled with a lack of patience 🤷‍♀️
 

earlene

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I used 95% olive oil pomace and 5% castor. No EO or FO. I thought about it quite a lot. I am thinking I may have had a false trace coupled with a lack of patience 🤷‍♀️

When I soap with pomace olive oil, the soap traces VERY QUICKLY. I hand stir in fact, instead of using a Stick Blender for that very reason. I soap my Castile soap at room temperature, meaning whatever temperature it happens to be in the room, which can vary from low 60's to low 90's fahrenheit, depending on the season. I don't see how you can possibly get false trace using pomace OO.

So when you said this.
Update: I got antsy and just had to try room temperature method for castille. Lye and oils were at 35-40C. Nope! It does not work! 😢 ended up with a caustic mess. Had to HP to save the batch. Got frustrated. My family will have to deal with some unsightly looking soap blobs in a little while 🤣
you mean you added hot lye (the heat transfer method) to your liquid oils? No wonder you had a caustic mess!

Pomace OO traces SUPER fast without any added heat. It was not false trace, it was too much heat too fast in a very fast to trace oil (pomace.) It was more likely that it wanted to turn into soap-on-a-stick until you rescued it via HP. Did you add more water?

Just to re-iterate: What you did was add hot lye to a fast-to-trace liquid oil. Where ever you read the description, this method is only for melting hard oils AND it was incorrectly named. What you described in your first post was the HEAT TRANSFER METHOD. There is no need to use the heat transfer method when all of your oils are liquid to start with.

Here is a video on the Heat Transfer Method in CP soap:

The heat transfer method is not a different soap making method. It simply means that it is an alternative method to melting the oils instead of pre-melting in a microwave oven or in a pot on the stove or whatever. It is still a CP soap as you continue as you normally do with Cold Process. The caveat is, that this is not necessary for soap without any hard oils that need to be melted.

So, trying to figure out where you got the misinformation about what your are referring to as the "Room Temperature Method" I tried to find what you were referring to in your first post, by doing an internet search and found this link. Really, that blogger is describing the Heat Transfer Method, but calling it something else. Reading through it, one cannot fail but notice that the heat of the lye is added to the HARD OILS in order to melt them. AFTER melting the hard oils, the soft oils are added and the soap continues as a CP soap at this point.

I suppose that is where you got the idea, but I am sorry to say that it is only a variation on the Cold Process method and the poster/blogger is apparently no longer actively running that site, in that contact is no longer possible.
 

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