Red Wine Hot Process Soap

Red Wine Hot Press Soap

Some bright ideas don’t always end up quite as we expect them to. I knew that soap could be made with milks and teas, so when I heard that wine was an option I was all excited. I am quite the determined DIY’er. Join me in making this Red Wine Hot Process Soap.

If you have never made soap before please see my post about making a basic soap. Making soap isn’t really that scary but there are few things to be aware of for safety.

As with any use of a liquid that has some sugars in soap making, you need to keep the temperature down by freezing it before combining it with lye. However, it was also said to boil off the alcohol… But really? How much alcohol is there really? So I skipped that step.

The Red Wine Soap Recipe:

  • 4 ounces coconut oil
  • 7 ounces olive oil
  • 10 ounces canola
  • 9 ounces lard

  • 9 ounces of red wine (weighed & frozen)
  • 4.1 ounces lye
  • fragrance or essential oil of choice
  • (optional) 1/2 tsp red oxide at trace

Step #1:

If this is the first time you are making soap, you should read this post. If you want to change any of the ingredients you can check the formulation in the Soap Calc to make sure the amount of Lye is correct. It is very important that there is not too much lye as it could cause caustic burns to the skin.


How lovely is this frozen wine?! It is frozen to keep it at a lower temperature when mixing with the lye. Measure the amount of wine as the water component of the recipe.

3Step #2:

Add the lye to the frozen wine slowly and keep it over an ice water bath. This will keep the temperature down and prevent the sugars from burning. Work in a well ventilated space or use a fan hood.

4Step #3:

Weigh your oils and melt your solid oils first. I just add them to the same bowl and setting the scale to zero (tare) in between. I use pyrex bowls but there may be the possibility of breakage. Heat safe plastic or stainless steel will work as well, but do not use aluminum.


Step #4:

Once the oils are well combined, add the lye to the oils. Stir and then start mixing with the immersion blender. Be careful to not splash (wear protective equipment) onto skin or any surfaces.


This mix tends to go to trace very quickly… And I mean very very QUICKLY! I added some red oxide for extra red colour boost. I was quick to grab my mold…

Once I got back to the bowl, it had then turned to “soap on a stick”! That is the term for the premature solidifying of the soap mix. It had pretty well solidified! YIKES! Well, I read somewhere that you could save a solidified soap batter by putting into the crock pot and hot processing it.

I broke it up into some chunks and piled it into the crock pot (sorry, no pictures as I was in a bit of a hurry and panic)

I set the crock pot on low and went about my business. After about 1 hour, I was able to stir it although it was thick. Soap can be cold processed or hot processed. The final texture of the soap is different but will still be a great soap. Since the heat accelerates the chemical reaction hot process soap can be used much sooner than cold process soap.


I then plopped the thick mix into the mold with a lot of tapping to prevent air bubbles. Since it was hot processed, it was sliceable once cooled. It may not be what I thought I was going to get, but it did turn out quite lovely. The fragrance is quite earthy since I only added a bit of orange oil. It does also lather quite well.


This soap has a nice colour from the wine and also the red oxide. It would make a nice accompaniment to a bottle of wine hostess gift. The options for making soap are endless; so many different oils and butters can be used for so many varying qualities in the soap.


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  3. Hi – the soap sounds wonderful. Did you have to take the temperature of both the oils and the wine & lye mixture before you mixed them? I have always read that the temps should be about the same. Thanks, Cathi

  4. So This was a cold process attempt that failed so you turned it into a hot process soap? I have never made cold process soap, only hot process which I really love so I would rather have a hot process recipe that was tended to be hot process and actually worked. If I used this recipe it sounds like I would still have that rock hard mess before I actually put it into the crock pot. That does not sound like a good idea. Have you tried reworking this recipe with alterations that ended up with better results?

    1. Perhaps the alcohol made it come to trace so quickly, not sure. Hot process soap can be adjusted with the addition of a bit of water. I’ve made rebatched soaps as well. The recipe was fine in soap calc.

  5. I make wine soap too but even though it seems a waste of good alcohol DO cook it off by gently simmering more than you will need. Some wine will evaporate. If you don’t…soap on a stick. If you use any alcoholic beverage (beer) without boiling it off you run the risk of having your lye solution boiling up and over your lye container.