How to Make Hot Process Soap

by Bill Barnhill

Items Needed: (Makes enough for two bread pans)
Safety goggles
Safety gloves
Chemical mask
Lg. Stainless steel mixing spoon
Silicone spatula or plastic spatula
Soap molds
Freezer paper
Digital scale
Stick blender
Cutting board
Plastic pitcher
Container for lye

16 oz. Coconut oil
16 oz. Olive oil
0.64 oz. Shea butter
12 oz. Purified water
4.80 oz. Lye
4 Tbsp. Organic Lavender buds (ground in coffee grinder)
1 oz. Lavender fragrance oil (Rustic Escentuals)
1 oz. Rose Petal fragrance oil (Rustic Escentuals
1 tsp. Ultramarine purple (optional)
Also check out Rustic Escentuals for their soap colorants

Step 1: In order to make wonderful healthy soaps that we can give to our families and friends (we don’t want to pass on germs), you will need to sanitize your counters by wiping everything down thoroughly.

Step 2: Weigh out all your ingredients with the exception of the lye and set aside. Prepare the molds with freezer paper, (you will want the shiny side up) and set them aside.

prepare molds with freezer paper

Step 3: Put your cutting board on your stovetop, and turn your stove fan on high. That keeps the lye fumes from flying around the room and the danger of ingestion low. It is important to understand the dangers of working with lye so we will need to take the proper precautions by putting on our gloves, goggles, and chemical mask. It is always important to remember never, ever add your water to your lye. The best way to remember is: THE SNOW FALLS ON THE LAKE!

lye water and pitcher

Step 4: With your scale and pitcher sitting on the cutting board underneath the stove fan, measure out the water in your lye pitcher and set next to scale, always keeping it under the fan. Now, measure out the lye and very slowly pour into the water while stirring steady and slow until lye is completely dissolved. Leave it sitting on the stove underneath the fan.

Step 5: In the Crockpot you will add the coconut oil and Shea on low until it’s completely melted.

add coconut and shea oil to crock pot

Step 6: Add the Olive oil and stir until mixed in completely.

add olive oil and stir until mixed


oils completely melted

Step 7: Now you are ready to add the lye/water mixture to the oils. Using the stick blender, mix on low with a short burst, then stir, then another short burst until the two mixtures are combined. This will take about 3 minutes.

use stick blender and mix on low


You will continue to blend with the stick blender until it comes to a very light trace.

mix with stick blender until it comes to very light trace

Step 8: At this time you want to turn the Crockpot on high, put on the lid, and walk away. RESIST the urge to stir it. It will need to cook for one hour. Keep a close eye on it, but do not stir.

Step 9: During the hour process of cooking it will start to rise and start folding in on itself.

soap will rise and start folding in on itself

You should start to see a pool of oil on top of the mixture.

you should see a pool of oil on top

Step 10: At the end of the hour you will want to stir it, it will look like mashed potatoes. At this point you can add the fragrance oils, but be sure that the soap mixture is 10 –20 degrees below the flashpoint of the fragrance oils or you will just burn off the top notes of your beautiful scents. Add lavender buds and coloring. Put the lid back on and let it cook for another 15 minutes.

it should look like mashed potatoes

Step 11: At the end of the 15 minutes give it another good stir – and at this point you will want to test for lye. I usually take a bit of the mix (watch out it’s very hot) and roll it between my gloved fingers, wait for it to cool, then touch to the tongue. If it zaps your tongue let it cook for another 20 minutes and re-test. If you are leery about touching your tongue with the mix, then just take a small piece of soap and soap up your hands under running water – if it stings, then you still have lye and need to cook for another 20 minutes before rechecking.

Step 12: At this point you will have to work quickly because hot process soap can get very hard to pour if left to cool for very long.
Note: To save time, you can add the fragrance oils to the fats/oil mixture before adding the lye/water mixture – this will keep the soap mixture more pliable for pouring into molds.

Step 13: After you pour the soap into the lined mold, pound the mold a couple of times on the counter and then cover soap with Saran Wrap. Smooth out the top of the soap in the soap mold by using your gloves hands.

pour soap into mold

Let the soap sit in the molds to cool for 24 hours. Take out and cut into bars.

take out and cut into bars

I always let my hot processed soap bars sit in a well ventilated room for them to have a good drying out for at least 3 to 4 days before I package them.

cut and ready for use

Step 14: This is how I set up my space for my cold and hot process soaps to cure. I took the brown shelves out and installed these wire shelves I purchased at Lowe’s. This is an old, large bookshelf that I have had for years, and it worked great. I don’t have to turn my soaps.

soap curing on shelves

Good luck, and happy soaping!

Bill Barnhill, Wild Rose Organics

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