New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Monday, December 1, 2008

How to Make Soap In Your CrockPot


Day 336.

Soap! In the crockpot! woo-hoo!

The kids and I made soap yesterday with some glycerin soap-making stuff I bought at Michael's. I didn't have anything on hand, so ended up buying a 4-in-1 mold, fragrance, color, and the glycerin cubes.

I spent $25.21, and we ended up with 12 bars of soap. I have enough of the color and scent to last for quite a while, and the mold will supposedly last forever. Each new set of glycerin cubes costs $9.99.

We really enjoyed making this soap. The kids had fun picking out the colors, and are excited to use their creations. I pushed a holiday-themed foam sticker (minus the backing) into the soap while it was setting for some extra oomph.

The Ingredients.

--glycerin blocks (I used Life of the Party brand)
--fragrance (I did try peppermint extract and almond extract also, and so far they have a scent)
--coloring
--soap mold (I think silicone cupcake holders will work well, too)
--crockpot
--oven-safe dish(es) to put in the crockpot (ramekins)
--a few wooden skewers for stirring

The Directions.

Do not put the soap mold into your crockpot and add the glycerin cubes, and turn it on. The mold will melt. And you will be annoyed when your husband says something along the lines of "I thought that might happen."

What you should do instead is put an oven-safe dish (or 2) into your crockpot and add the blocks. You're going to have to use a big knife to separate the blocks.

Cover and cook on high for about an hour, or until the glycerin is all liquidy.

Using oven mitts (trust me), carefully pour the liquid glycerin into each mold. Add fragrance and color. A bit of fragrance goes a long way, but you do need quite a few drops of color. Stir with a skewer.

After the top of the soap starts to set, you can insert the foamie or other object into the soap. The foamie floats, so I held it in place with the skewer a minute or so until the soap set around it.

Let the soap cure for about an hour before removing from the form. If you wait until it's fully cool, it pops out of the mold MUCH easier than if you try to rush it (trust me again on this one).

Repeat steps until you run out of glycerin.

The Verdict.

I had more fun making these than I thought I would, and now that I know the steps, I'm excited to try again. I'd like to pick up some silicone molds after the holidays when they are deeply discounted and try to make larger soaps in fun shapes.

The kids are quite impressed by me. It only took 336 days.

updated 12/06: Glycerin soap sweats. It surprised me, but evidently this is normal. Wrap your homemade soap in cellophane bags for gift-giving, not tissue paper. :-)

44 comments:

Dianna said...

Very cute soaps! I made similar ones a few years ago using silicon muffin pans and small plastic toys and erasers - frogs, ladybugs and hearts. You can have the animals half in and half out and it looks like they are jumping out of the water. (Family Fun idea!) I might have to make some of these for Christmas!

Sarah said...

What a wonderful idea! I would have never come up with an idea like this :-) The soap would make wonderful X-Mas gifts! I love your blog! You hve saved dinner at our house many many times!

Scott and Jenna said...

OK - I misread the title "How to Make SOUP in your crock pot" & thought - everyone can make SOUP.

Thanks for sharing all of your great adventures.

Marni said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Between the candles and the soap my gift list is getting shorter. Now if only you can get a crockpot to make clothes for a 13yo girl, I'd be set. LOL

Cathy said...

That's awesome--I've got to try that!

Laurel said...

Look how adorable! And easy? Sheesh, woman. All you need is one kitchen appliance (well, in several sizes) and you have it made! What emptiness your cupboards must experience...

Ambitious Blonde said...

You are quite possibly the most creative woman to walk the planet. I humbly bow before your awesomeness. :)

Melissa said...

Cute! I have been impressed by you for a while. Glad that the kids finally caught up! ;)

Hippie Mama Kelly said...

Very cool idea! The hubby and I made soap one year for Christmas presents and we used diposable tin loaf pans from the store. Then you can slice them into whatever size you like!

NaDell said...

You could probably get the soap stuff at Michaels or Joanns with the coupons they send out to make the soap cheaper too. Looks like a fun project. I like reading all your fun ideas and combinations.

Sherryknit said...

What fun to do with kids.

Love your site. Thank you

RLR said...

Oh, these are so CUTE! This idea will have to wait until my daughter is a bit older, though. Perhaps you'll have this blog in book form by then? (hint hint...) Thanks for getting me so excited about crockpotting! I'm getting a 6-quart for Christmas - yay!

Joanne said...

I've been following your blog for a few weeks now and that little voice in my head is getting louder "Got to get a crockpot". After this article, its shouting!

Margaret Yang said...

Do you use a different crock pot specifically for non-food things (candles, soap)? Or do you just wash it really well and then cook food in it? I think it would be fine either way, I'm just curious.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Margaret,

it's my normal crockpot, and I use it for food (often!). For both the candles and the soap I used oven-safe dishes to hold the wax or the soap.

xox
steph

Megan said...

Hello!
Just a thought on soaping... brambleberry.com has a ton of colors and fragrances. Their bricks of soap are really cheap too, but the shipping can balance out. Making it better to buy soap at Joann with a 40% off coupon. Also, with getting things to stick in the middle, I too used the skewer technique as well. But you can pour the mold 1/2 full of soap. Wait a minute or 2, then spritz lightly with rubbing alcohol (takes out bubbles), put the sticker on, spritz again, and pour on the top layer. Don't know why it works, but it did for me (well with other soaps, but they recommend this for all things put in the middle). And I'm not sure about the 2 minutes, but you wait until it's tacky and very slightly set, might be closer to 10 minutes... Hope that helps!

Megan

Wendy said...

Oh you are such a cool mom!!!!! I'm sooo jealous! Go girl! ..x..

Crockpot Lady said...

Megan, those are great tips, thank you!
xox
steph

glory_and_grace said...

I love your blog, and I have used many of your recipes, but this is my first time posting. I got all excited today in Walmart when I saw they had 2 quart slow cookers (with the removable stoneware inside thing) for 4 dollars! They have low, high, and warm settings. I have been wanting a small one for a long time, but just could not pass up 4 dollars.

Jessica said...

This looks super cool. But I'm still scared to try it. I think I need more step-by-step pictures.

Meg said...

HI Stephanie! I am so happy I found your blog! Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do!

Bend Jennifer said...

Wow, what a great idea and your soap looks so cute - great job! A great Christmas gift idea - I love your blog! Thank you.

onemotherslove said...

Awesome idea! And just in time for Christmas gifting, too!

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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Emilee said...

Dear Amazing Blog Lady....I have a question on a recent recipe...For the oatmeal bars, do you have to do it in a 4 quart? Where is the best place to go grab one? Wally world? Thanks for you righteous blog. It is going to save my bacon!

Stephanie C. said...

How darling!

darien said...

I'm starting to get worried about what will happen after 365 days! I can't believe you found a way to use your crockpot every day but also, I can't believe that you did it in such a witty and creative and wonderful way. Just in case you decide not to continue, I want to let you know that your blog is on my daily read list, and you make me laugh. It can't get much better than that! Thanks so much!

Ina J Offret said...

Oh what a fun blog..came across your blog from somewhere..now I have to catch up on many of your yummy looking recipes. Love the comments too, very helpful! Keep going in 2009 please!

Canadian Saver said...

This is brilliant, I love it! You've gotten very very crafty!!

Jess said...

I found your site via LaurelPlumOnline and came over to check it out. I'm glad I did! I LOVE my crockpot but am always at a loss as to what to do with it. Now I have a few new ideas!

What a cool idea soapmaking is. I'm so excited to try this - what a cool little giftie idea for the holidays :)

THANKS for taking one for the team and giving us the little warnings (ie Use oven mitts - trust me) that only come with experience.

Jess Sanders

Tammi said...

You are super cool! I love your blog and check it every day at work. I just might have to make this with my son. Thanks for all your great ideas! What;s up for next year...a waffle iron? ;)

Anonymous said...

How fun! You should try lip balms- so fun, so easy. 2 T. carrier oil (I used sweet almond because it was cheapest from my co-op), 1 T. bee's wax, grated and lightly packed. You just let it melt in a little bowl that's in water in a pot (or crockpot!). When it's all melted you add 10 drops essential oil- I did peppermint and it's just like Burt's bees (sorry, Burt). I'm going to get some of those little glass mini jars for them. Holly

Amie said...

they're cute n' perty n' clean n' bright! nice job!

Just another SAHM said...

Those turned out terrific! Sounds like a great craft to try out with the kiddos. Thanks for sharing!

layla72 said...

Love your blog, and this is my favorite idea yet! The soaps look so professional, like you bought them at the store! Well done!

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

I love your soaps. How cute!

Rachel R. said...

You can actually make "real" (from-scratch) soap in the crockpot, too. Just Google "crockpot hot process." It's unbelievably easy. :)

dancingpandasoap said...

Tis a pity I didn't see this post sooner. Did you know that many soapers use crockpots for making soap the "old-fashioned way"? It's true! Instead of using an open fire (pioneer-style) we use crockpots to heat our fats, and then combine it with the caustic soda (i.e. sodium hydroxide) and water. Hit it with a stick blender and blend until it becomes soap!

Obviously, you don't want to use that same crockpot for food after you've made "old fashioned" soap in it, though. . .

As a soap nerd, I felt the need to share. :)

kim banks said...

I will have to try this! Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

I left mine clear and they became cloudy . Any advice? I had lots of bubbles too. My kids still thought they were FABULOUS and we are giving them as gifts to all of our family! Thanks and I love your blog!!!

dancingpandasoap said...

To the above commenter:

I can offer some tips, if you like. to avoid bubbles, keep a spritzer bottle filled with rubbing alcohol nearby during your melt-and-pour soapmaking. When bubbles form, spritz them, and the alcohol should cause them to dissolve.

You can find more tips and tricks at the Soap Queen blog, here on Blogger. HTH

Lu said...

hey what a neat idea!

can anyone tell me, are these like super natural crunchy type soaps? or are they ones like a shop would make with yucky stuff in - i dont know enough about products but would be great to gift these to a friend who is super natural earthy type...

CeltChick said...

Glycerin alone will not make the "crunchy" soaps, but you can add stuff like oatmeal and dried herbs to it for that "crunchy" feel.

Sara said...

Just our of curiousty- can you use cookie cutters instead of soap molds?
Thanks!

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