Thursday, October 11, 2012

In The Mold HP Soap

I have tried hot process soap in the past. While I like that the soap is ready quicker, I haven't been thrilled with the texture of the soap. It always felt a little spongy to me. I have worked really hard to packed the soap down to combat this. The was much mushing of soap, banging of the mold, more mushing, and more banging. But, it just wasn't as smooth and glossy. Although, you can still do very nice swirls...

I read about "In The Mold" hot process and couldn't really try it because the molds I was using were not up to a trip through the oven. I started using a silicone log mold and asked the wonderful BB customer service peeps if it could make it in the oven. They said as long as it was under 200, it would be fine!

So, I made a batch of my Naked Shea soap. Dumped in the mold. Put the mold on a baking sheet. Set my oven for 170. AND in the oven it went. I set the timer for 2 hours, but I ended up checking on it every 15 minutes anyway. After about an hour is had completely gelled (it is a smaller mold) and by an hour and a half, it was starting to bubble. I turned off the oven, left the door closed and pulled the soap out the next morning. It was a little funny looking on top, but it was very solid. I didn't have time to cut it, but I was very concerned. I had seen lots of bubbles and was worried about those staying behind. However, when I cut it that afternoon, it was lovely! No air bubbles at all! Just beautiful, smooth soap that is already hard and completely ready to go. It did feel a little oily on the surface, so I put it on some paper bags to "dry" out.

I have to say that I'm really impressed. I know it won't work for all soaps. 170 is too high for some essential oils and even some fragrance oils, but for unscented soaps or scents with high flash points, this is a great way to get your soaps some quicker.

Last night, I made a batch of Chocolate Pumpkin soap with orange and black swirls. It looks and smells great! I made too much black soap, so the orange is a little hard to see, but that has nothing to do with the oven.
If you want to try the make hot process soap in the mold, here are my tips:
  • Double check the flash points for any scents. It should be higher than your oven temp.
  • Set your oven between 170-185 and watch your soap the first time. The size of your batch will affect cook time.
  • Leave your soap in the oven to cool slowly when cooked.
  • Ask your mold maker if it will withstand the oven temps (that would be messy).
  • Protect your oven with something under the mold.
  • If you try this with a milk or honey soap, come back and tell me how it worked out. I'm nervous about trying it :)
  • Remember, one way or another it will be soap, even if it is ugly soap.
Do you have any soap making tips to share?