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 Hot Process Soap Making - The New-Fangled Technique?

I visited a craft fair a few days ago. I always find it very interesting to wander round and chat to the sellers. One of the soap makers had a lovely range of cold process soaps, I have recently been working with soap making using the hot process, so I asked if they had ever used this technique. I was very surprised to find that they hadn't even heard of the process, despite the fact that they had been making soap for many years, and from the tone of our discussion they obviously considered themselves experts.

As the conversation continued it became apparent that they considered the hot process a "new fangled" way to make soap, so it was quite pleasing to be able to set them straight Hot process soap making has been used for centuries, there are several reasons for this...

- It is much less reliant on quality ingredients, historically this was crucial, because ingredients of the purity that we now take for granted were simply not available when soap was first made.

- There is a great deal more control over the outcome. Any ingredient - fragrance or dye - added to a batch of cold process soap is normally added as the liquid soap mixture thickens (known as trace), the soap making (saponification) process is still underway at this point, so any ingredient added must suffer the alkaline nature of the lye and the chemical reaction that takes place. This can absorb fragrances, dyes and added oils. By contrast, ingredients such as fragrance, dye and nourishing oils are added to a hot process batch after saponification has completely finished, thus leaving them essentially unaltered.

- The process is scalable from a small batch of just a few bars, right up to industrial sized manufacturing. This is in fact an element of the process still used in the manufacture of commercial soap today - true soap anyway. It is possible to create a batch of soap which uses less than a pound of oils, right up to a batch weighing several tons.

- It is just as easy to do as cold process even if it might take a little longer on the day you make it. I have created a five pound batch recently and without the use of a hand blender (which is known to speed up the soap making process), the mixture was ready to put into the mold less than an hour after I added the lye to the oils.

 

- There is no need to cure hot process soap for 4-6 weeks. If you are planning to scale up your production to the point where you can create a useful income from selling your soap, you will need to create large quantities of product. If you use the cold process, you will need to store each and every batch that you create for between four and six weeks, before it is cured and ready to sell. With hot process you cook it, place it in the mold, leave it to set and it is ready to use. At this stage the soap is still a little soft and if left for a day or two to harden fully, the soap will last longer, but if pushed for time, the soap can be used as soon as it is set.

So if you mention hot process soap making to a craft maker friend and they ask you if this is a new fangled technique, you can set them straight.

Discover the step by step video which demonstrates exactly how to make soap quickly and easily in your kitchen, the secret is revealed at: http://HotProcessSoapMaking.com

Sign up for Soapy Business, the free monthly newsletter, packed with advice, tips and tricks for making home made soap: http://SoapyBusiness.com

 

 

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