The 25th prompt from #marchmeetthemaker is about how it is made. I recently did a blog post about the science behind soapmaking so I won’t bore you with all that again. What I will tell you about is the two main methods to make soap.
Hot process soap entails adding oils and lye together and then ‘cooking’ it in a crock pot or double boiler. Much like there are many different ways to cook the same meal, there are many ways that people ‘cook’ their soap. Some like higher temperatures for a shorter time period while others prefer low and slow. Both have their pros and cons and it really comes down to personal preference. Once the soap has gelled (more about this in a later post) it is placed in a mould to solidify.
The term cold process implies the soap is cold throughout the manufacturing process. This is a bit misleading because the oils need to melt somehow. Most of the time, soapmakers will melt the oils and let them cool and then add the lye. Once mixed, the soap is placed in a mould where it will continue to warm by itself (unless it’s cooled) and go through the gel phase. The reason why it is termed cold process is because it skips the ‘cooking’ step mentioned above. Much like hot process, everyone has their preferential cold process method, and this is why I always say no bar of soap is created equal. There are so many different ways the make these little bars of luxury that the possibilities are indeed endless.
Why not tell us about your favourite bar of soap? It’s awesome to hear about what makes a bar of soap amazing for you.