You can make a batch of plain soap in just a few hours.
Making soap is fun. It’s fun to see the chemical reaction as the process unfolds. It can be a wonderful creative process as you choose which ingredients to use.
It’s also a lot of work for a product you have to wait a month to use. For many years I made my soap using the cold process method. I would stir until trace, add a few herbs, place the soon to be soap in its mold. And Wait!
And then I discovered hot process soap making and this 3 ingredient crockpot soap.
Suddenly, I can have soap in an afternoon.
If you are anxious to get into soapmaking, this no weigh recipe is super easy. All you need is water, lye, and vegetable shortening. Really.
Recipe for No Weigh 3 ingredient crockpot soap
This recipe will leave you with 3 pounds of unscented, uncolored soap. It can be used as is, or turned into future hand milled soap projects (more on that below).
- 1 can of pure vegetable shortening (the 3-pound size). Just make sure it is 100% vegetable shortening. No other additions and no butter flavor (yikes!)
- 6 ounces (that’s half a jar) of Red Devil Lye. Again use only 100% lye.
- 1 cup of distilled water
- 1 old crockpot with a low setting that still works.
- 1 large microwave safe bowl that you will donate to future soapmaking ventures. It should be big enough to stir 2 cups of a water/lye mixture without spilling or sloshing the contents.
- 1 large pot to melt the shortening. It can be something from your kitchen and you won’t have any lye in it so you’ll feel safe to cook soup in it tomorrow.
- 1 large wooden spoon that you’ll donate to your soapmaking supplies.
- a mold to hold the finished soap while it is cooling. This can be a plastic tub, small cardboard box, or actual soapmaking molds.
- gloves, eye protection, newspaper, vinegar
1. Protect your work area with newspaper, put on your protective gear, and measure your water and lye.
2. Prepare your molds by covering them with enough plastic to hang over the edge.
3. Pour water into a separate bowl, and then slowly pour the lye in the water. Always pour solids into liquids to reduce splashes. Don’t forget, there will be some fumes and heat! Stir the mixture until the crust on the bottom has broken up to make sure that it is mixed well. You should not be able to see or feel any granules and the mixture will go from cloudy to clear when it is completely incorporated. Set this aside to cool.
4. Melt the vegetable shortening on the stovetop until it is just melted. Take it off the heat.
5. Check the temperature of the shortening and the lye. They should be in the 150° range. You may have to wait a bit of time for each to reduce to the range you need. Consider placing your bowl of lye into a sink of ice water to reduce the temperature faster, but be careful!.
6. Add the melted shortening to the crockpot.
7. Once both the lye mixture and oil mixture each reach about 150°, pour the lye mixture into the crockpot with the oil mixture. (Again, I have a separate crockpot that I use only for soapmaking) Blend these together intermittently, with a stick blender, for a few minutes. You will be able to see the chemical reaction taking place. You can also use a wooden spoon, however, you may need to stir for up to 5-7 minutes. You are looking for the mixture to begin to thicken.
8. Once it begins to thicken, turn the crockpot on low and cover it. You are beginning to cook your soap. In approximately 30 minutes the mixture will begin to puff up. Give it a good stirring to mix it all together. Put the top back on the crockpot. You should be monitoring the whole process as it’s cooking. Do not walk away or forget about it or you just might have a hot mess on your hands. Hot process soap can puff up and overgrow it’s pot if you don’t keep an eye on it.
9. After another 30 to 60 minutes, the soap should be finished. How do you know? As the soap cooks in the crock pot, it will start to gel along the sides of the pot, because that is where the soap is hottest. You can tell the soap is processing nicely because it becomes translucent (which means you can kind of see through it and it looks like jelly). Once the soap is fully translucent, it is done cooking.
10. Now you can scoop the soap into your prepared molds and let it cool.
After this cooking process, the soap is completely safe to touch and has become soap. There is no waiting. Once it has cooled you can remove it from the mold and cut it into bar sized chunks.
Take your finished 3 ingredient crockpot soap and turn it into something spectacular!
Hand milled soap is my preferred method for getting great soap every time. All you need to do it grate it, melt it, add herbs and a scent, and let it cool again. Voila, soap! Check out these posts and books for more information
Hand Milled Acne Soap | PreparednessMama
How to Make Hand Milled Soap | PreparednessMama
Basic Soapmaking Instructions | PreparednessMama
101 Easy Homemade Products by Jan Berry | @ Amazon
101+ Food Scrap Projects | by Jes at Strangers & Pilgrims
Handcrafted Soap by Delores Boone | @Amazon
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