A bit of background...
I have been making soap for some time now and until recently I have
always used either the cold process or melt and pour.
For the beginners among you, soap is made by combining oils, which represent
fatty acids, with an alkaline solution.
Notice that combination there?
and a solution containing an
Anyone who has spent any time at all in the science class at school will
realize that acids and alkalis are opposites and each have a similar
capacity to burn skin and eyes, however if you combine similar quantities in
similar concentrations, they tend to neutralize each other.
...and this is exactly what happens in soap.
The fatty acid combines with the alkali and a chemical reaction takes place,
called saponification, the end result is soap, which is neither acid or
alkali, ok, a chemist may argue that the PH of soap is generally on the alkali
side of neutral, but in any case, the concentrations are very low and it is
perfectly safe to apply to the skin.
This is the only way that soap can be made!
The combination of a fatty acid and an alkali is the only way!
The melt and pour method may seem different, but this is because it simply
involves melting soap that has already been made and then allowing it to set
again. There is a place for melt and pour, it offers a huge scope for
creativity and there are some truly amazing soap creations out there that
you can try for yourself, but it is not true soap MAKING.
There are a few different techniques for making lye soap.
Most popular by far for home soap makers is the cold process, it is
popular because it only involves heat to melt solid oils and then to
match the temperature of the oils to that of the alkali, known as lye, which
heats up in reaction to mixing it with water to form the solution.
No additional heat is required.
The lye is added to the oils and the mixture is then stirred until the
mixture thickens, this is called trace and is when the scent and/or color
is normally added, before pouring the mixture into the mold to set.
There are a number of drawbacks with the cold process, the main one being
that the chemical reaction that takes place to neutralize the fatty acids
and the alkali is not complete for 4-6 weeks, so once your soap is set and
you have removed it from the mold, you then have to leave it for over a
month before you can use it.
The other main issue is that the fragrance you add to your soap, whether a
fragrance oil or an essential oil is normally
an oil base and it is therefore effected by the saponification process, the
effect can be minimal, but in some cases it can result in the complete absorption of
the fragrance oil, leaving your soap with very little fragrance at all -
this is important to be aware of because essential oils are probably the
single most expensive ingredient in your whole soap recipe.
If this does occur, you may be faced with having to grate the whole batch
and re-melt it again using the melt and pour method to add in even more
A similar thing can occur with some dyes, which can change during the
saponification process, leaving your soap batch a completely different color
to that which you intended.
In my video I demonstrate a way to completely eliminate all of these
drawbacks, by using the hot process.
The hot process of soap making involves cooking the soap mixture until the
saponification process is complete, there is no need to cure the soap for
weeks afterwards and the scent and color is added after saponification, so
there is no danger of losing the effect of either of these costly
Additional conditioning oils can be added after the soap is finished too,
which adds that touch of luxury to the finished bar.
There is a minor drawback with the hot process, the finished soap is not a liquid,
it is a gel, similar in consistency to petroleum jelly or Vaseline, this
means that it cannot be poured into an intricate mold, it needs to be
spooned into the mold, but aside from this it forms into bars well and the
finished product is every bit as good as soap made using the cold process.
You really must try making soap using the hot process, if you have
the cold process you will wonder at the new level of control you have over
your soap creations and the speed at which you can turn out a completed
If you are a complete beginner, you will skip all the heartache of investing
all that effort into your new hobby and then having to wait an agonizing 4-6
weeks to experience the results of your first batch.
I have included some bonus products too, firstly there is a demonstration
video showing exactly how I created the soap molds I used in the soap making
video, it's very cheap to do and if you can't stretch to doing the work
yourself, I'm sure you could share the video with a friend who is handy with
a drill and a screwdriver.
To accompany the soap mold video I have written a 12 page guide that
contains the necessary measurements, tools and hardware you will need.
We had a lot of fun making the hot process soap video and there are a few
sections that ended up on the virtual cutting room floor, but some of them
were quite entertaining, so I have put together a short set of outtakes,
including the moment the cat wandered in wondering why all the lights were
on in the daytime, I hope you enjoy it.
You can get all of this at absolutely no risk to yourself, that's the way it
works, try it, see what you think, I'm confident that you will find it an
amazing resource, but if you don't agree, simply let me know within the
first 8 weeks and you will receive a full unconditional refund with my
blessing ...and you can keep the videos.
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