Soapers: Glazed Pickling Crock? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

am about to try soap making for the first time & am wondering if a glazed pickling crock would be an ok substitute for the glass or stainless steel pot I don't have (yet)? And along the same lines...if I were to buy a stainless steel pot does the soap making process pit or mar the surface? thanks in advance! what a great resource this site is. have made it my browser homepage. B. Lackie

-- B.Lackie (, December 22, 2001


My wife and SIL make our soap and have always used stainless steel. You have to heat the oils seperately, (from the lye, for cold process anyhow) and I'm not sure how your thinking of doing this with one pot. Will lye mar your pot is a good question. It might at that. Why not use your kitchen sink and heat smaller pots of oil on the stove to add to the activated lye solution in the sink? Make soap in your sink then clean up is easy! You'll have to remember to stir down into the drain plug though or stick blend it well over the depressed part of the sink.

-- Ross (, December 22, 2001.

I think I didn't ask my question as clearly as I should have - I have a separate container (pyrex measuring cup) to mix the lye in but am hoping to use a crock as the container holding the oils & the container that the stirring/tracing happens in. I use the crock for kraut & pickles & don't want to mess it up but was thinking it could serve double duty. Opinions?

-- B. Lackie (, December 22, 2001.

Sounds like a plan to me. I personally use stainless steel but I wouln't think the soap-making would mar your crock, though I would think it might be unhandy for pouring. I have not noticed any damage to my stainless steel from the soap-making process. I've also used an unchipped enamel canner when I didn't have anythng else available, so you might have some enamel ware that would work.

-- Rosalie (Dee) in IN (, December 22, 2001.

I used crocks for soap for several years until I managed to get ahold of a couple of enamel crisper pans from old refrigerators. They were great. Barb Fischer

-- Barb Fischer (, December 23, 2001.

Thanks for the answers. Made a crisco/olive oil/oatmeal/cinnamon soap today. Seemed to go ok but there was definitely some guesswork involved in deciding when the trace was "right". Time will tell - which leads to the next question... with a 50-50 olive oil/crisco blend how long before I peek and/or cut into bars? Recipes I've seen range from 1~5 days with this much olive oil. Voice of experience out there? (and yes, I read the entire Countryside forum Soapmaking Archive from start to finish this morning) the batch is in the back room wrapped in old towels & still generating heat. -- ah, for the days when my enameled pans were "unchipped".

-- B. Lackie (, December 23, 2001.

I think using a crock would be difficult because of the heaviness; having to tip it and scrape the soap out would be hard. Plus, it's another thing to wash. I melt the oils in a stainless pot, mix the lye in a pyrex measuring bowl, and then add the lye to the pot with oils. If you use a crock, you have to heat the oils and then add them to the crock. It would be safe to use, though. As for when to peek, and uncover, do that when the soap stops generating heat, usually overnight is enough. High percentage olive oil soap takes a longer time to set up, so you may not want to unmold it until the second or third day. It also will take a longer time to cure, but it will eventually get hard enough to trim and use. If you trim it when it's soft, you will take off too much soap, so wait until it's hard, which may be weeks. By the way, I would not use the sink as suggested because soap will clog your drain (I know by experience!). It would be hard to wipe out a sink completely. Plus, how would you get the soap to the mold? You should try to wipe out all soap residue from your utensils and pots with paper towels before washing. Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, December 25, 2001.

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