The Difference ~ Hot vs Cold Process

“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.” ~William Cowper

“There are as many ways of loving as there are people, and that wildflower variety is the great beauty of this dimension of existence.” ~ Rumi

Making soap is science and to some it is art. One can focus on the science, acquire the knowledge of exactly what IS happening with a soap recipe. One can focus on the art, executing amazing swirls, embeds, layers, all kinds of impressive visual excitement.

I don’t fall into either category!!! Lol. I like the middle, the center lane, my comfy zone. The science interests me when researching ingredients. I look for the type of  qualities the oils give to the soap, hardness, lather, etc; the oils are a team, all contributing something positive. I prefer quality ingredients, in all aspects of my life, ingredients that do the least amount of damage to our environment.(Look into palm oil to see the worst of the worst) I use organic, cold pressed oils because I feel ingredients are incredibly important. But, I really don’t have curiosity about HOW soap making goes down on a molecular level. I don’t NEED to know how it works as long as it works. Granted, with that mindset, if I cannot access my online soap calculator I won’t be able to make good soap. But I figure if the internet is no longer up and running my problems are going to be a lot bigger than not being able to make a good soap.

The artsy fartsy part of me enjoys adding herbs, flowers, and natural colorants to soap, it is fun. A little swirl here and embed there but I am no where near as gifted as some soap makers. I mean, they create works of art. It is truly ah-mazing. I simply cannot take the time, nor do I have the patience, to acquire the skill to achieve soap masterpiece status, I leave it to the pros. So here I am, nestled right in the middle of spectrum and I am happy here.

I’ll use the hot process method when I feel like taking my time, no rush, take it easy, is definitely my style. I enjoy adding buttermilk, yogurt, exfoliants, colorants, & super fatting with a specific oil, it makes the soap special. The result is a more rustic looking soap which I really prefer. Another perk is turn over time. I can have a batch for sale within a week or two of making it. With HP I can keep up with demand a bit better.

Cold process on the other hand is great for creating a sleek, clean looking bar. I find CP to be more finicky. Sometimes the chemical reaction accelerates and I end up with soap on a stick. I may or may not find time to throw in additives. I do prefer to use CP for certain soaps, I feel the sleek look works with the personality (yes personality) of the soap. Swirls are more wispy in CP and sometimes I prefer that look.

So what IS the difference? The process is the only difference, HP adds heat, speeding up saponification, the reaction between the lye and fats. CP goes through saponification while in the soap mold and continues once cut into bars during its curing time, a slower reaction because additional heat is not provided. The end result is a different look of the bar:

4 Comments Add yours

  1. newresolution4life says:

    Hello! I also consider myself a middle type soaper 🙂 I like to experiment but not too much and I really love making cold process soap.
    I still haven’t tried hot process, but I think that I will be trying it this month (at least I plan too). I had to rebatch a soap last weekend (first time I tried) and I actually liked it. From what I have read rebatch and hot process are very similar processes. I also like the advantage of having to wait less time to use the soap with hot process/rebatch and it seems like my rebatch soap smells stronger than my cold process soaps too 🙂 Have you ever noticed stronger smell from hot process to cold process or do you find it the same? 🙂

    1. 3sisterssoaps says:

      Hello! Months later and here I am, finally replying. So, did you get to trying HP??? I agree, being able to use HP within a couple days is great. I am a slacker and run out of soap often so HP is a life saver! IMO, HP also holds scent better since the EOs don’t get heated very much at all.

      1. newresolution4life says:

        Hello! Don’t worry about answering a few months later, it happens to the best of us with so many things happening 🙂 Yes, I tried my hot process and it wasn’t as scary or boring as I thought it would be (I had a mix of those 2 feelings when I would think of making hot process). In December I started making soap with the Stick Blender Hot Process method and it is now my favourite. After mixing oils with lye water my soap is done In about 20 minutes! And the soap is unmolded 4 hours after pouring/scooping in the mold! I am still trying to get nice swirls with this process (fluid hot process) but my results weren’t that great with the swirls. I will have to keep praticing!
        Take care and much success in this new year 🙂

      2. 3sisterssoaps says:

        Stick blender hot process??? I’ll have to check that out! I’m no good at swirls period so I stick to layering which is easy.

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