Monday, September 9, 2013

Making All Natural Chamomile Tea and Oatmeal Unscented Shea Butter Soap with the Hot Process Method

All Natural Chamomile and Oatmeal 
Unscented Shea Butter Soap



 The first thing I did was mix my lye and water together in a container and let it sit while I measured my oils and put them in the crockpot which was on High.  With this recipe I mixed in chamomile powder in with my oils in the crockpot and stick blended it together and let it sit about 10 minutes to sort of steep.  (I have a green tea soap that I make differently where I used green tea bags and brew them in my water and let it cool.  Then I mix in my tea with my lye.)  With this recipe I used chamomile powder instead of tea bags and I like the results.  It smelled like chamomile tea too, but very faintly.

  After my chamomile hasdsteeped in my oils, I added my lye water and stick blended to a light trace.  I scraped down the sides of the crockpot so I don't get overcooked bits in my soap and turned the crockpot to Low for the remainder of the cook.  I accidentally made a huge batch with this one and had two crockpots both of Chamomile and Oatmeal soap, so I have a ton of it, hence the black and white crockpots. 
 My crockpots cook slightly different.  One gets hotter than the other and one of them likes to do a lot of the cooking on one side.  A lot of people say not to stir your hot process soap.  If I did that, my soap would overcook and dry out on one side while not being cooked on the other.  I stir my soap every now and then and when I see it getting really cooked on one side (like in the picture above), or about to bubble over.  You don't want that to happen!  I find that when I stir it, it speeds up the cooking process because it's cooking more evenly and the heat is evenly distributed.  I don't have problems with big overcooked bits of soap this way either or my soap getting dried out and crumbly.  Just make sure that when you stir, you scrape down the sides really well and in the bottom corners of the crockpot.  I get overcooked bits there if I don't scrape all the way to the bottom and corners when I stir.

 With this soap, the soap separated into an oily mess unlike most of my regular soaps during cooking.  So far, I've found this to happen when I make tea and beer soaps and when I used pureed cucumber in my soap too.  It's fairly simple to fix.  If you know your soap is done cooking, but it's separated (like in the picture above), you just need to stick blend it back together.  This is a little tricky to do because it's thicker and harder to stick blend than at the beginning when you mixed the lye water and oils.  So, I find that I have to sort of swirl my stick blender very vigorously while stick blending to get it to incorporate.  It takes a bit of muscle, but it works. 
 This is after I've started to stick blend it.  You can see, it's not so oily and separated.
 It's getting much thicker now and becoming like the mashed potato consistency it's supposed to be.
 I continued to cook it just a bit more to make sure there wasn't any raw soap left.  It looked good to me!
 Now, I took my crockpot liner out of the metal part to help it cool faster and made sure to turn my crockpot off since I was done.  Here, I'm adding my colloidal oatmeal and my unrefined shea butter, which leaves the shea butter unsaponified since it's added after the cook and makes the soap super awesome feeling on your skin.  My skin is left so soft and I don't need to use lotion anymore.  The oatmeal makes the lather super rich and creamy and adds exfoliation, which I love in soap, especially hand or facial soap.  I love oatmeal soaps on my babies too and especially unscented soaps since my daughter has really sensitive skin.
 The soap turned very dark brown rather quickly as it was cooling. 
 It was interesting though since I had two crockpots going of the exact same soap, one was much darker than the other.  The crockpot that cooks hotter had darker brown soap than the other one.
 I've found that the only way I can get toppings to stick on my hot process soap (because it's not liquid like cold process is), I spray the top of my soap with distilled water.  This gets the top of the soap sticky like glue, and then I can sprinkle my toppings on.  I usually pat it down just to make sure it all sticks.
 As the soap cooled, it lightened significantly to a beautiful beige color which was more of what I was going for anyways.
 Here, my bars are sliced the next day and left on a baking sheet covered with wax paper to dry out more for the next several days.  It doesn't take too long for them to harden up. 
If I really need to speed things up, I leave them in front of our box fan overnight and they get hard really quick.  I love hot process soap because I don't have to wait 4 to 6 weeks or longer for my soaps to cure.  I have awesome soap right away.  Don't forget after you're done making soap to scrape out your crockpot really good and your mixing spoons.  I usually get a couple of good size hands soaps this way and you don't want to waste it.  You can use these right away to see how your soaps feel on your skin.  All of the soaps are immediately usable once it cools and isn't caustic at all.  It's just best to let the bars harden a bit so they last longer is all.


Here is the finished soap.  Looks good enough to eat and it smells like an English breakfast!  Although it's unscented (no added scent), it does have a faint smell of chamomile tea and oatmeal and is rather pleasant.  It feels amazing on your skin and is one of my personal favorites, especially for my daughter's sensitive skin.

It's available for purchase at the link below:

Thanks for checking out our post and hope you enjoyed it!

Melissa

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