What is cold process soap, hot process soap, and melt & pour?

Cold process soap is a term used in the soap making community to identify how the soap is made. There are three main terms that are used. Melt and Pour, hot process, and cold process.

OUR PROCESS ~ Cold process soap is made by heating oils and butters, and mixing them with lye, (we use food grade lye at E+H) to begin saponification. Lye is also known as sodium hydroxide. Soap CAN NOT be made without lye. That is what allows for the saponification, thus, turning oils into soap. In cold process, there is no external heat source, and heats from the inside out. This process takes approximately 24-48 hrs to cure initially, and at least 4-6 weeks to fully cure and be ready to use. 

Hot process is just like cold process, except there is an external heat source that heats from the outside in. The batter is usually thick and lumpy, and a lot harder to create designs, and allow for true creative expression. 


Melt and Pour is just as it sounds, melting a product that is purchased. Usually, people add there own fragrance and additives, such as activated charcoal, or botanicals. I liken this to a box cake mix vs making a cake from scratch. Melt and Pour uses lye as well, it’s just not used by the one melting and pouring, but by the manufacturer of the Melt and Pour. In this method, it is incredibly difficult to control, and know the quality of ingredients.