But I still wanted to try my hand at lye soap. You can make lye soap two different ways, hot process or cold process. Although the cold process lets you make all these really cool swirls and such I'm not waiting 4 to 6 weeks to use a bar of soap. I think we all know I'm not a patient woman. =)
So, I know I want to make hot process, but I also don't want to stand over the stove for a couple hours stirring soap. So, I sacrificed my oldest crock pot to try my hand this 'must try' thing.
Now Google is a beautiful thing - seriously - google making soap. I dare you. This is how I found a recipe for crock pot soap using oils you can find in the store. I'm already sacrificing my crock pot, you know? I don't want to spend a bunch of money if I can't make this work (or hate it). So I googled my way over to Chickens in the Road and followed her recipe for my first go round. Crisco, lard, olive oil, and coconut oil. All found at the grocery store. I'm not going to repeat her recipe here she does a great job of explaining everything. I know, I followed it step by step. Seriously, if I can do it anyone can. I'll repeat the standard lye disclaimer *handle with care* *wear gloves* *use common sense since you're working with something caustic* In other words, be cautious but not scared out of your mind.
Some issues I did have - (1) I couldn't get my soap to trace. Probably because I wasn't using a stick blender? I don't know for sure, but after an hour (yes 60 long minutes) of stirring and still no trace I threw the lid on the crock pot and moved on. It still cooked through all the correct stages, it just took a little longer.
(2) I can't figure out how to accurately measure my essential oils for fragrance. I just guessed but I really need to figure this out. Those things are too expensive to pour wantonly!
(3) I panicked when I reached the 'mashed potato' stage. I thought the soap would cool really fast - seconds even. Not true, it took a few minutes, so I know I have a little more time to add fragrance and color. This will help if I ever decide to use lower flashpoint oils.
This recipe does end up really soft. So yes, it can be used right away (after cooling and cutting of course), but it's probably best to let it sit for a couple days. Hey, two days is not 6 weeks, so I'm good with that.
Would I make soap again? Yep. I will probably sacrifice my stick blender though. Honestly, I don't use it that much so it's probably a good call. Now that I know it's really not that hard I'm excited to try some other oil combinations, substitutes for water, whatever. Yes, I think we will have an abundance of soap roaming around this house in the future!
Bonus! I even remembered to take a few pictures. Here they are:
After cooking for about an hour
In the beginning there was a big
glob of yuck
I used milk cartons for molds
why add expense to the experiment?
Our small batch of scented soap
after unmolding and cutting