Nutrition Mafia Series:

One Good Eclair

Sedona O'Hala Series:

Executive Dirt

Moon Shadow Series:

Ghost Shadow

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Soul of the Desert

Hot Process Soap

As you may recall, I have been making cold process soap for quite some time. It has a lot of benefits over commercial soap, mainly its mildness. If you are allergic to many scents, cold process is better than commercial soaps because you can make it unscented or use lighter scents of your choosing. It is, however, expensive to make, especially scented soaps because the scent doesn’t stick well–it evaporates because the lye/water solution is hot. The scented oils are also in danger of saponifying just like any of the other oils that are added. The scents are the most expensive part of cold or hot process soap.

Anyway, I decided to try making hot process soap. This is the same as cold process, but I cook the soap in the crockpot instead of letting the chemical reaction take place on its own over a week or so period. The heat/cooking accelerates the saponification so that the lye is used up BEFORE I add the expensive scents. The cooking also means the soap cures faster. Cold process soap takes about a week to cure (finish cooking as it sits). Hot process appears to be completely cooked by the time I poured it into the molds.

I cooked this batch for a couple of hours. I then added yogurt because I read that it smooths it out for pouring into the molds. I’m not sure that step was required. Plain water would have worked or, since it’s going to be a little lumpy with this method, I could have just poured it. It’s more a scooping and mashing than a pour. But the scent does seem to be sticking better and I used less of it. The other advantage to hot process is that ash doesn’t form on top of the soap as it cools. Ash doesn’t hurt anything, but it forms a crumbly film on cold process soap. It’s easy to steam off (which I only do if I am selling the bars). The hot process doesn’t have that film and even without putting the bars in the freezer, they have a shinier, harder finish.

Note how they didn’t pour flat. I had to flatten them with a spatula to get them flat if I wanted flat. I don’t really care whether my soap is fluffy or flat, but I wanted to work with the soap to see what was possible. These bars were quite hard after just 3 hours. I popped two of them out very easily without freezing. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

I use silicone molds because they are SUPER easy to work with, the soap pops out easily and I don’t have to cut the soap. The Easter Egg ones are my favorite because they are the perfect shape for soap. These oval ones are similar without a pattern so if you use a stamp, they would be perfect.

I buy the stiffer silicone so that I can move the molds around if necessary. The thicker ones also prevent the soap from getting “fat” on the bottom. No one wants a fat bottom!

Bargain: Women’s Fiction

Between the Tides

Nine months after her father’s death, Catherine Leary still hasn’t fulfilled his last wish: that she scatter his ashes in the Seaboro River in South Carolina. The scene of a childhood tragedy that forced her family to move, Seaboro is the last place Catherine wants to see again. But on the evening of her thirtieth birthday, her father’s young colleague—whom she once dated—pays a visit…

Hoping to stop Forrest Anderson from exposing her family’s secrets, she travels to her once-beloved Lowcountry town and embarks on a poignant trip into the past…a journey that might lead her into a new life of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery.

Posted: May 3, 2017
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