This is my very first attempt at hot process soaping. I needed to have a few new batches ready in a as short a time as possible, so I tried it last night. It's an unusual process to adapt to if you're used to doing cold process. But, very efficient! I had this 2 lb batch of lavender soap in the mold and cleaned up in about an hour. The only drawback for me is the lack swirling, etc. I'd bet with practice layering could be accomplished down the road. The top seemed like alligator scales and I was afraid it would crumble, but it didn't. I even scraped the pot down and had a big "dragon's egg" sized soap ball, too!