Hot Process Soap with Blender Instructions
You have poured your lye mixture into your fats/oils pot and started stirring. You can continue stirring for and hour to 2 days sometimes if you want to go the cold process way, but if you want to speed things up a bit, break out your handy dandy stick blender.
You can use a regular blender. I did, but I also melted the rubber sealing ring inside. A regular blender doesn’t really cut if for big batches anyway.
I also got my stick blender from, yet again, the thrift store. You can get a pretty pink one at http://www.brambleberry.com/Perfect-Pink-Stick-Blender-P5245.aspx along with other handy soap making products.
If you look up how to make soap with a blender you will see almost all the instructions say you don’t have to worry about the lye/liquid mixture or the fat/oils mixture temperature when using a blender to reach trace. I finally read one that said “just make sure the lye has cooled down. Wow!
I do NOT trust that method and I am NOT recommending it either! Do your job. Get both the mixtures to the temperature it calls for pouring in the recipe. No need to be lazy and possibly cause separation.
BLENDER SOAP INSTRUCTIONS
So, you’ve poured the lye/liquid into the fat/oils pot.
- Stir for about 5 min to mix well.
Now you will either pour the contents of your soap pot into your blender, or have that wonderful stick blender ready. You are trying to get your soap to trace. Trace is when the soap has thickened up enough to see a ‘trace’ pattern of something swirled or tapped onto the surface of the mixture.
- Submerge your stick blender into the mixture and swirl away. DO NOT let the stick blender come out of the mixture or you will spray caustic soap all over you and the surrounding area. This is NOT good!
- If using a regular blender, blend for a minute or two then check the consistency, never going over a minute at a time before checking to get to trace. REMEMBER the lid!!!
It is almost impossible to get to trace hand stirring. I’ve stirred for up to three hours before and hardly got anything. I’ve heard that some recipes could take up to two days to trace. I do not have that kind of time, and doubt you do as well. That is why I was so excited when I discovered blender soap!
It took MAYBE three minutes total to get this particular recipe to trace. THAT’S IT! I couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I did this! I had never really seen trace before. Well, there it is.
The more you make, the more you will become familiar with the texture you are after. I like to stop at a thin trace. The hot processing will thicken your soap up even more and will be harder to mold so just be careful.
You can ‘over blend’ as well, whipping in more air bubbles, and voila, floating soap!
Some things to remember when blending your soap
- It is still CAUSTIC and will burn you
- Make sure your stick blender is completely submerged or you will get flying caustic soap everywhere
- Wear you protective eyewear!!!
- Make sure the lid is on the blender or you will, again, get a caustic explosion
- Make sure the lye is at a cooled temperature (as per recipe) before pouring into the fats
- SUBMERGE your stick blender completely! (I know I’ve said this already, it just bears repeating)!
- Learn the stages of trace and incorporate them into your own particular style of soap making.
When you hit TRACE, move on to the next step Hot Processing!
HOT PROCESS SOAP METHODS
Hot processing soap is basically ‘cooking’ your soap mixture to remove the caustic nature of the lye. It is the way to go in my opinion. I don’t really have the time, nor want to wait 4-6 weeks to use my soap! With Hot Processing you can use it as soon as it hardens up.
There are several methods of Hot Processing your soap.
I have only used the double boiler method. I had the extra equipment already (canning pot) so I thought, why not?
There is a high possibility of getting water into your soap, basically ruining it, so you have to be EXTRA careful when transferring the soap pot into the double boiler pot.
*A word of caution: the pot, when half way submerged into the water of the double boiler will sort of float out while you are taking the pot out. When it leaves the water it will ‘all of a sudden’ get kind of heavy. Be expecting the weight shift. DONT DROP IT BACK INTO THE WATER! Water will splash everywhere, getting into your soap and scalding you in the process.*
I don’t recommend the microwave method but the other methods seem worth a try. You can read more about the process of each on the links provided below. These sites offer a lot for the look. They are some of my favorite for soap making and reading pleasure.
Crock Pot Hot Processing – CPHP – http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2008/09/making-hot-process-soap-in-crock-pot.html
Oven Method Hot Processing – OMHP – http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/hot-process-series-oven-process-layers/
Double Boiler Hot Processing – DBHP – http://sumpena.wordpress.com/2007/03/14/double-boiler-hot-process-soap-making-method-dbhp-and-oven-hot-process-soap-making-method-ohp/
Microwave Method Hot Processing – MMHP – http://www.greatcakessoapworks.com/handmade-soap-blog/index.php/how-to-make-hot-process-soap-in-the-microwave/
Make sure you have only enough water in the canning pot to come half way up the soap pot when you have it placed in the double boiler. If you’re doing this for the first time and are not sure how much you will need, you should fill up the canner pot with water before making soap and place the empty soap pot in it, on the canner basket or lids, like you would if you were double boiling soap already, and measure the amount of water you will need in the canner pot. It shouldnt not come any higher than half way up the soap pot.
Have the canning pot water at a low boil with the lid on
Make sure you have something on the bottom of the pot to keep the soap pot off the bottom of the double boiler (canning lids or the canning basket that came with the water bath canner will work wonderfully.
When soap is at trace put a tightly fitted lid on your soap pot.
Uncover the boiling water,
Using hot pad or gloves, carefully lower the soap pot into the boiling water. DONT DROP IT or water will splash into your soap pot. Not good! If this happens, grab a dry towel to soak up the water off the closed soap pot lid before it seeps into your soap.
Re-cover the canner with its lid. – You now have your lidded soap pot inside the canner with its lid on.
That’s it. Keep the canner pot at a low boil with the lid on for 1 hour.
Don’t Peek!!! I know its hard, but there is seriously nothing to see. If you must, wait at least 30 minutes and do it quickly!
After an hour you can turn off the heat and remove your soap pot CAREFULLY from the double boiler.
MOLDING YOUR SOAP
- Remember to lay a blanket or newspaper under your molds when pouring to avoid a mess!
- Grease your molds. Use vegetable shortening to coat your molds for easier unmolding.
- Before you remove your soap pot from the double boiler have all your additives and molds ready.
- Mix in whatever herbs, exfoliants, moisturizers, or scents you are using quickly before the soap cools too much and becomes impossible to mold
- The soap will most likely be the consistency of thick applesauce and you will probably have to glop the mixture into the mold.
Remember the tap tap method for removing air bubbles.
- Tap the mold on the floor or counter top several times during pouring to remove air bubbles and settle the soap.
- Let dry one to two days.
UNMOLDING YOUR SOAP
Since all molds are different I can only tell you the problems I have encountered and how to best go about preparing your molds and general things about unmolding.
– Always Always grease your molds!
– You can place your molds in the freezer for several hours and that will shrink your soap just enough to provide easier removal.
– Having a flat scraping device can really help separate stubborn soap from the mold.
– Scrape up all the leftover soap on the mold or from shaving the soap down and ball up to form another piece of soap. It isn’t pretty but its useful!
I’ve seen beautiful hand molded soaps. Mine just do not come out that pretty. Have you ever heard the saying “why that/he/she is uglier than a bar of home-made soap!” Well, that’s where it came from 😉
I hope someone gives this a try. If you do PLEASE let me know! I love to talk about soap (not really write about it though, lol). It’s hard to find another soap maker. Feel free to ask any questions as well. Like I said before, I think I am better at making soap than writing about it!