I had a great new soap experience.
I've been told by experienced soapmakers that you could work with cold oils and cold lye solution. I thought to myself, "How could that be? I've left lye solution out and it partially crystalized and I soaped with it anyway to see what happens and it just plain failed and the soap failed and I bet you can guess where THAT soap went".
What I did start doing was premixing my oils in a large container ahead of time (which, by the way, saves about 20 minutes of time right there), making my lye solution 3 hours or so before I plan to make soap and wait until the solution is warm, weigh my premixed oils, add the lye and shazaam. Soap!
Before now, every soap I made had a different set of ingredients. It was very hard to streamline soapmaking. Not every soap now has the same ingredient list, but most of them share the premix.
So back to the process. So all summer, I was making cold process soap with cold oils, warm lye solution and my soaps were doing great. And I had no cracking issues. Pheww. Then... and here comes the "I am just not a stupid person, but sometimes it takes me longer to catch on and think past my face" conversation I have with myself occasionally. Perhaps the lye solution crystallizes because it evaporates! I must find a container with a sealed top. Off to the Dollar Store I go and return with containers that look similar to these:
I worried, but I was hopeful. I made a lye mixture, stirred it up and put it on the shelf until it was room temperature, then I screwed on the top and waited two days. Notice, I waited until it had stopped steaming before I closed it up. Safety first.
Two days later, the lye solution is at the same level as before, so there wasn't any evaporation. I opened up the container and peered in. No crystallization. Yes! OK, I was ready to soap. I got everything together, my oils, fragrance, blender.... zwhip zwhip zwhip. Perfection. No problems at all.
So in conclusion, your oils don't seem to need to be warmed. However, the winter is coming for some of us and the coconut and palm will get quite stiff, but here in Florida where it is warm almost always, my cold oil premix looks like soap at trace and it soaps beautifully for me.
If you try it, please make sure your oils aren't too thick. If they are take a portion of them and heat it up in the microwave and then incorporate into the premix. Then stir.
So what do we call it?
update: Room Temperature Soap Making
Do you have a process that you'd like to share?
Email me :) or comment about it