Hot Press Vs Cold Press

Can’t decide whether you want to make Hot Press (HP) or Cold Press (CP) soap?

Here’s some of the pro’s and con’s of making both.

Hot Press (HP) Pro’s:

  • photo-13-02-2017-16-23-52-1It’s basically the same as cold press except you actively start the gel phase in a slow cooker, oven or hob. This means that once the whole process is done, your soap is practically ready to go. It may need a few days to harden and cure but that is quick compared to the weeks of waiting for cold press.
  • The fragrance, which is added at the end of the process, holds it’s scent for longer in HP
    which is helpful for soaps that sit around for a while before finding a forever home.
  • Once the whole process is completed, it is easier to clean up. You are literally using the soap you have just made to clean your equipment!

Cold Press (CP) Pro’s:

  • Photo 20-03-2017, 14 12 29 (1)You can work at a slower pace and take your time
    getting the right trace level for you soap as your CP will not start to set too quickly.
  • It is much easier to m
    ake intricate designs
    using CP as the soap mixture is more fluid. This makes swirls and drop patterns easier and it is clear to see when cutting the finished soap.
  • Adding the colour is easy as it mixes in with the
    liquid soap smoothly
    . No worries about colour blobs.
  • It is quick and easy. A CP soap can take as little as 45 minutes from start to finish.

Hot Press (HP) Con’s:

  • photo-11-02-2017-19-30-24It can take hours to complete. The heating process has to be done slowly and watched constantly. This is because when the gel phase starts, you need to be ready to remove the soap from the heat source to prevent burning.
  • The cooked soap is a lot harder to work with than liquid soap when it comes to the mould. Most HP soaps are found in a natural square shape rather than in fun, intricate shapes.
  • The colour can change quite dramatically when setting, therefore you sometimes have no idea until you unmould what the final soap will look like.

Cold Press (CP) Con’s:

  • Photo 26-02-2017, 11 42 01One word, seizing! All soapers will known at some point about how hard it is to recover a soap mixture that has started to seize. For CP this could be due to anything.
  • It can be tricky to wash up after CP as the oils are still present in the used equipment. I find it funny that I use my cured soap to wash my new soap equipment.
  • It can take up to 6 weeks to cure a CP soap. If you are patient, the waiting pays off. If you are impatient like me, it can be frustrating. I tend to want to show the world my beautiful new soaps, but it’s not ready to gift yet.
  • The fragrance can be short lived in some CP soaps. I personally know that if I use vanilla in CP it will fade after 3 months or so.

So there you have some of the facts when it comes to HP and CP soap making. It’s personal preference obviously but it’s always good to try both and see.

Take a look at all my cold press and hot press recipes here.

Do you have a preferred method? Let me know which one is your favourite and why in the comments section below.

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