**If you change any of the ingredients at all, please run the recipe through a soap calculator to ensure you still have a safe ratio of oils to lye.
Weight out all of your ingredients using a kitchen scale. When you are making soap, you must go by weight, not by volume.
When you go to measure out the lye, be sure you are wearing your gloves and safety glasses.
Turn on your crockpot, and place the olive oil and coconut oil inside. Allow the coconut oil to melt completely.
In a well ventilated area (I usually do this on the top of my stove with the fan running), with your safety gear on, carefully stir the lye into the water. Do NOT reverse this and pour the water into the lye, as this can result in a bit of a chemical reaction.
As you stir the lye into the water, the mixture will heat up rapidly, so make sure you don't grab the container with bare hands.
Let the lye/water mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
Now, carefully pour the lye/water mixture into the melted oils in your crockpot. I stir gently as I pour, and then switch to my lovely stick blender. (Like I explained in this post, a stick blender is a MUST-HAVE when you're making soap!)
Proceed to blend the soap mixture until it starts to thicken. It usually takes 2-4 minutes.
We are looking for the mixture to become more opaque and develop a pudding-like consistency. This is called "trace".
When the mixture has achieved "light trace" (i.e. it's thickened and smooth, but not quite holding its shape yet), mix in the pumpkin puree.
Continue blending until you've achieved full trace. You'll know you've reached this point when you can drip the mixture on top of itself and it holds its shape.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and allow it to "cook" on LOW for 45-60 minutes. It will go through various stages of bubbling, rising, and frothing. I usually stay semi-close as it cooks, just in case it wants to boil over the top. If you see this start to happen, simply stir it back down.
After 45-60 minutes, perform the 'zap' test to make sure all the lye is reaction. You can do this by pulling a tiny bit of the soap out of the crock, allowing it to cool for a minute, and then touching it to your tongue. If it "zaps" you, you know it needs more cooking time. If it just takes soapy and bitter, you're good to go!
Remove the crock from the heat and stir in the spices and essential oils (if you're using them). (I swirled my spices in only partially, as I wanted some variations in my bars) The soap will want to start setting up, so work quickly.
Spoon the mixture into a mold, and set aside for around 24 hours to allow it to harden completely.
Now comes my favorite part-- unmold the soap, and cut it into bars.
You can technically use the soap immediately, but you'll have a harder, longer-lasting bar if you allow it to cure or air-dry for 1-2 weeks
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