Instructions for Making Crock Pot Handmade Soap

Crock Pot Soap Making

Making soap in a crock pot is an easy way to use the “hot process” method. This method of soap making is also referred to as crock pot hot process, or in short, cphp.

This how-to tutorial outlines my steps for making crock pot soap and assumes you are familiar with the soap making process.

Start with a good recipe (Soap Recipes). I prefer recipes that have a higher amount of liquid oil to solids. One of my favorite recipes is very simple: 60% Olive Oil, 20% Palm Kernel Oil, 20% Palm Oil. Run it through a lye calculator to determine the amount of lye and [distilled] water needed. I do not discount my water when making hot process. One of my favorite recipes is at the end of these instructions, with more here: Soap Recipes – or use the search.

Detailed Photos, check my flick set: Crockpot Soap




I use a 6 1/2 quart crock pot. A 4 pound batch of soaps fits perfectly. It fills the crock pot about half full – giving room in the case of it bubbling up, but not too little an amount that it could burn.

First, measure cold water and set aside.

Then measure the lye into a separate container. Slowly pour the lye into the pitcher of cold water. Stir until dissolved. Set aside in a safe place.

Once I have my lye mixture set aside, I measure my solid oils. These can be put into the crock pot to be melted. But, it takes longer this way, so I generally put them into the microwave for a couple minutes until melted and then pour into the crock pot.

At this point, my crock pot is on low.

Mixing the Soap

I recommend using a good rubber spatula to scrape the bowl – no sense leaving any good oils behind.

Next, I measure my olive oil – and/or any other liquid oils I happen to be using – and pour this into the crock pot.

Get out your handy-dandy stick-blender and using low speed, slowly pour the lye mixture into the melted oils. Gently move the stick-blender around, up, down, around, ensuring a nice even blend. If you don’t have a stick-blender, a stainless steel wire whisk works great too – just requires a little more arm power, and of course, will take longer.

Once it has reached ‘trace’, I put the lid on the crock pot and turn the heat setting up to high. However, the first few times I made crock pot soap, I left it on low until I was confident in how it worked (both the soap AND my crock pot).

Now while it is cooking, I ready my mold, measure out any fragrance oils or essential oils and any additives I plan to use.

Cooked

After about 15 or 20 minutes, I take the lid off and, using a potato masher, mash the soap around. It has a look of a vaseline texture; glossy, slick. It will have a waxy feel if you rub a piece of it between gloved fingers.

Add your additives, colorants, herbs, etc and mix well using the potato masher. Once that is blended fairly well, add your fragrance and mix again.

It is done! At this point, it’s really soap. It only needs to be put into your mold. I do this in large spoonfuls, pounding my mold on the counter every few scoops to ensure it packs into the mold tightly. Once I have it all in the mold, I put a baggie on my hand and flatten the top – making sure to “squish” it into the corners really well.

Now is a good time to wash all the dishes. And you don’t even need to add any soap! You should see some lovely lather from the soap you’ve just made.

I let this sit over-night. The next morning, I unmold and slice into bars to air out for a week or so. Once each bar has had time to harden, I bevel each one and it’s ready for use, or sale.



Rosemary Mint is my favorite crock pot soap recipe:
Rosemary Mint Handmade Soap
4 pounds
– 38 ounces olive oil (59.38%)
– 14.4 ounces palm kernel oil (22.5%)
– 11.6 ounces palm oil (18.13%)
– 8.7 ounces sodium hydroxide (5% discount)
– 17.5 ounces distilled water
– 3 ounces rosemary mint blend essential oils
– 2 teabags of Organic Peppermint tea

If you want a smaller or larger batch, just run the ingredients through a soap / lye calculator to ensure your lye to liquid ratio is correct – Don’t take chances on this, you don’t want soap that won’t set up, or worse, soap that burns.

handmade soap

A search of MommaMuse will provide other soap making recipes which may be used for cold process soap, hot process soap, or crock pot soap. Soap Recipes

Note: Sodium Hydroxide is highly caustic and should be handled carefully and knowledgeably. It is the soapmakers responsibility to research safety procedures for soapmaking.

Detailed Photos, check my flick set: Crockpot Soap



29 comments:

  1. Good day to u and i am quite impressed on yr soap tutorial.I have been making soap for a while now and have virtually tried out the differents methods and one more thing that bothers me now is how i can increase my bulk production when making soap in small scale for sale without affcting quality.
    wOULD U PS TELL ME HW TO DO THIS,I intend to increase my quantity cause the cost of purchasing oil is really high.I use more of P.K.O and palm oil for my receipe for Laundary soap.
    thanks a lot.
    Chudy

  2. Is it possible to overcook crockpot Soap? If so, is it a fine line between done and overdone? My soap looks so wet, I feel it should cook longer, but I do not want to ruin the batch…
    Thanks,
    Anne

  3. Chudy

    Glad my soap tutorial was helpful. It’s very simple to increase your bulk production by increasing your recipe (remember to check it with a soap calculator) and making sure your mold (or molds) are able to accomodate the increased ingredients. Cut and package as usual.

    Buying bulk oils is almost always less expensive than purchasing in smaller quantities. Another option to consider is finding another local (to you) soapmaker who would be willing to split the cost of different oils, fragrances, etc.

  4. Anne,

    Once the soap has that translucent look and rolling some around your fingers feels “waxy”, you can add your additives and put it in the mold.

    I notice when mine has reached this point, the peaks (when mashing it around) tend to turn white, like they are cooling and drying. This usually signifies “Done” to me. I mold it quickly if I get to that point so it still has a smooth texture once cut.

    Hope your soap turned out lovely!

  5. Hi, I found your tutorial through Google, and I am making my 2nd HPCP batch just now. I really feel the need to let you know how much I love your recipe. It is awesome!! I added dark brown sugar, cinnamon and powdered ginger as my additives. The whole time while I was mashing the soap, the sweet smell from the soap tickles my sweet teeth.

  6. Hi,
    I would like to try your recipe Rosemary Mint Handmade Soap. Since I do not have palm kernel oil. What can I use to substitute? I have coconut oil.

    Thank You
    Diane

  7. I have just started making soap,this was my first recipe and it went GREAT!!!
    I hope my soap will be good?

    Thank you From a first time soap maker….

  8. How is Crock Pot soap different from Hot Process soap?
    Do you get the same results? Because the crockpot sounds much better and I am going to give it a try tonite!

    TIA

    Jeneen

  9. I am trying to make liquid soap crock pot style, do you have any receipes? I use olive oil, palm kernel oil, castor oil, coconut oil, and sometimes I add sweet almond oil and scent it with essential oil of peppermint.

    1. Vickie,

      Liquid soap is made using potassium hydroxide rather than sodium hydroxide for bar soap. The process is a bit different or more involved too. I’d suggest checking your local book store, or reading reviews at Amazon.com for a couple of good liquid soap making books and read up a bit before starting. If you do make some, I’d love to hear about your experience with it. Enjoy!

      Judi

    1. It’s not the recipe that needs to be converted, it’s your method of soaping. If you are planning to make HP, you will use a different process, like the crockpot, or cooking it on the stove. Unlike CP, in which it will still need @24 hours in the mold to finishing binding the oils and lye mixture, with HP, you soap is essentially finished once you mold it and let it cool. It will harden up over time just like CP, but the processing is finished once it’s done cooking (on stove or crock pot).

  10. Wow, that was SO EASY! I used Nana’s Goat Milk Lavender Soap recipe. It’s in the mold right now, I’ll know how it turned out in a few days. It’s beautiful so far! Thanks for this wonderfully simple instruction – I’ve seen a few others that were much more complicated. I’ll be busy making these for Xmas now!

  11. Hi! I just tried the crockpot soap recipe that you have here except that I used goats milk instead of water. I am wondering if this was a fail for me. It never really got to the point that it looked loke vasiline instead, it got clumpy like mached potatoes and started to dry out. So, I mashed it and molded it and that is where it is right now. Do you have any suggestions? Please advise as I wish to make more but want to make shure that this is correct or if I messed up. It traces and then when I turned the heat to high it began to grow and curl on the sides and then turned to mashed potatoes. It does bubble and feel like soap that is what I washed off from the tools and the crockpot. Just it was really dry when I molded it. I will await an email for your ruling.

    1. Amy – Sounds like it did just fine! I put plastic wrap on top and push down on that, so moosh it into the mold really well. It will stay warm in the mold a bit too, and do just fine. Then once you are ready to cut it, if there are any parts that look dry (and if you don’t like the look) you can cut it off.

  12. Enjoyed reader your website. I am going to try your CP soap, abd your liquid soap, have never done this before, but we are talking about trying to save money. So I thought this would be one way in doing so.
    Question, What kind of mold do you use for your soap, I couldn’t find anything on your site, maybe I just missing seeing it.

  13. This is the first tutorial I have come across that I actually understand.Thank you! I’ve always wanted to make goats milk and oatmeal soaps but was always a lil afraid to try…this looks terrific using a crockpot! Can’t wait till I give it ago…
    Thank you again!!

  14. Interesting method to making soup- I mean soap (soup too though) Is it a good idea to use a different crock pot from the one you use for food though? Some of those soap ingredients I wouldn’t want to get in food, not to mention soap soup probably doesn’t taste quite right. :)

  15. Hey Judi!! I LOVE THIS SITE!! I agree w/the chick before me who said this is the first soap info she understood!! I want to make homemade soap as Christmas gifts (in 2011!!) and figured I should start now. I’ve looked through lots of sets of instructions; somehow yours just seems less scary than the rest of them, being in a crock pot and all!! : ) Anyways, I have a ???….I want to make mint julep soap. Any ideas on how you add alcohol to scent the soap with? It’d be whiskey, if that makes any difference. Plus some kind of mint essence oil, plus I guess some real mint sprinkled on the top for effect. I’d like to color it too, sort of like a real julep…darker brown at the bottom of the soap, getting lighter toward the top, then the very top sprinkled w/the mint & ‘sugar’. Any help you might be able to give me would be SO APPRECIATED!! THANK YOU!!!

    1. Hey Sharon – thanks for the kind words! If you can’t find a mint julep fragrance that works.. or if you just want to do that, then what I’d do is use whiskey for you liquid. That will likely make a dark color on it’s own, but if doesn’t you could add just a little coloring (you could even use a little cocoa). Then use whatever mint you decide on – if you use essential oils, go easy on it, as mint will not only smell strong, but you’d want to put a “be careful using on intimate areas” because it.. um.. tingles.. and not always pleasantly. And, I see no reason not to use real mint leaves and sugar on the top – I’d go for the raw sugar myself. Sounds like a great soap! If you make it.. maybe I could talk you into sharing sliver?? ;)

    1. That is how long it takes in *my* crockpot and with the batch size I was making. Your crockpot might be slower or faster – but what you want to see is that vaseline look, the glossy texture.. and the waxy feel between your [gloved] fingers.

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