DIY Hot Process Soap In The Crockpot

Image shows several bars of homemade soap on a table, with text that reads "DIY Hot Processed Soap"

If you’re looking for some easy, homemade holiday gifts, this is perfect! Who doesn’t love a bar of hand-crafted soap?

The usual cold process soap-making method takes up to three weeks to cure, and while I honestly prefer that method, we don’t have that much time left before Christmas.

With the hot process method, you can make a lot of stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and party favors in just a couple of hours. Incidentally, it’s also a great base for making homemade liquid soap.

FYI: the soap in these pictures are special order plain, nothing added, goat milk soap shampoo bars.

Image shows a stack of bars of handmade soaps

What you’ll need:

  • Lye
  • Water or milk
  • Oils
  • Stick blender (or non-reactive spoon)
  • Crockpot
  • Essential oils, colorants, botanical, ad infinitum.
  • Soap molds.

You don’t have to order soap making supplies from a specialty store. It’s easy to get reasonable prices on speciatly soap making items like  Lye , Palm Oil , essential oils, shea butter, and cocoa butter from amazon.com. (affiliate links)

A basic soap recipe includes 6 ounces of water or nearly frozen milk, 2 ounces of sodium hydroxide beads (lye), and 1 pound of oil. I use a combination of coconut, olive, and soy oils.

This is a really small batch, and you can double, or even triple it to get more bang for your buck (or time in this case).

You can use whatever you want for soap molds. Since the soap is hot-cured before being poured into the molds, it is no longer reactive, so you don’t have to be careful to use a non-reactive soap mold. I often use a bread pan, but I’ve had a thing for round bars lately, so I’m going to ask my brother to save his next few Pringles cans for me.

The method:

The actual making of hot processed soap is easy. The only “iffy” part is knowing when it’s done. I thought I’d get off easy by using ph testing paper to check it, but the particular paper we have doesn’t run high enough.

A common way to check is the “tongue test”, where you touch a small bit of soap to you tongue. If it zaps, like an electrical shock, it’s not done. Sound fun to you? Me either. I elected to cook it until it looked done – about an hour and a half.

So here you go:

DIY Hot Process Soap In The Crockpot

  • Place water or icy-slushy milk into a crockpot or non-reactive bowl. Stir in lye beads.
  • When the lye is dissolved, stir in oil. One of the great things about this method, is that you don’t have to worry about the temperatures of your ingredients. Still, if you use a solid oil (shortening or coconut), you’ll want to melt if first.
  • Using a stick blender, blend the mixture until it reaches a trace, which basically means, until it looks like a thinnish pudding. This should take 5-10 minutes. If you stir with a spoon, it could take a hour.
  • Image shows an immersion blender mixing soap ingredients in a pot
  • Turn crockpot on low, if the mixture is t already in the crockpot, pour it in.
  • Stir it every once in a while. I know, real scientific, right?
  • The mixture will eventually start to set up and get a little waxy looking. You’ll probably want to stir a little more often when that happens.The pot of soap starts to look waxy
  • When the Ph reaches 10 or lower, the soap no longer zaps, or you otherwise judge that it’s done, it’s time for additives!
  • Add your scents, colorants, and botanicals of choice, and pour into molds. Do it quickly, or it might set up in you!Image shows soap mix in a mold
  • Give the soap a couple hours to cool and set before you cut into bars and package. I recommend letting them air dry for a day or two before you package them as well.


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  1. I’m a soap-making novice: I’ve helped make cold process soap one time. The process sounds much easier as you no longer worry about temperatures. I understand that even 2 minutes makes a difference in this whole process. Could you please describe how the soap “looks” when it is ready to pour? I certainly don’t want to try the taste test, and I would like to avoid ordering pH strips. TIA!

    1. If you look at the picture of the soap in the crockpot, you’ll see that it’s kind of translucent around the edges. ALL of the soap will look like that when it’s done. Plus, it will be kind of waxy, and just behave like melted soap, rather than pudding when it’s done. HTH.

      1. Thank you! I hadn’t observed the picture closely on my phone. That’s wonderful advice…”melted soap” makes complete sense. Have a blessed day.

  2. I would love to try this. I have never tried making soap. May I ask why you prefer the cold process if this is so easy?

    1. Personally, I think the cold process soap is prettier, and usually, I don’t mind the wait period, which makes it easier. That said, I’m planning on making a batch of hot process soap either this week or next. 🙂

  3. Thanks for a great post! I’m going to try this process this weekend. This may be a silly question but do you put the cover on the crock pot while “cooking” the soap?

    1. You’ll probably want to keep the lid on between stirs to keep the temperature up, but if your slow cooker is hot enough without it, you don’t have to.

  4. I love the hot process (crock pot) because I like the rustic look and I don’t like waiting to use my soap. I use a drop of phenothalene to test my soap for doneness. Love trying new soaps.

  5. So I made this soap today. I was kinda worried that it wasn’t cooking right and I am pretty sure I over cooked it. It is for sure rustic, but its flaking away. Could you give me some advice? Its still great, smells awesome, my hands are super soft but I have ugly broken bars.

    1. It could be overcooking, but it’s most likely an excess of lye. I found a thread about it on the Homesteading Today forum here.

  6. I made one batch of crock pot soap and want to make a bunch more! I am curious how much scents and additives I should put in. I have been looking for actual measurements and can’t find any. Is it just up to personal taste? I don’t want to mess up the soap base by putting too much oatmeal or oil in.

    1. Yep, it’s pretty much up to your own personal taste. You would have to add a LOT of essential oil in order to ruin it. You can find some of my favorite oil blends here, but really, there are a million possibilities!

  7. Do you ever use shea butter in your soaps? Would shea butter be considered one of the oils – like a substitute for one of the other oils?

    1. I have put it in at the end of the hot processing (or remilling if it’s cold-processed soap) as a moisturizing agent, and it works really well!

  8. Does this recipe produce soap with a creamy lather? I can’t wait to try and make it! I really want a recipe that will lather well so that making the change from shower gel to soap won’t feel so extreme

    1. Yes. It lathers, but probably not as much as shower gel because it doesn’t have any lathering agents in it.

  9. Hello Elise I am going to try my hand at making some goats milk soap. You said this made a small batch, and I wondered how small? And if I use a loaf pan is there any prep to the pan needed?

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