People frequently ask me about getting started in making soap and what they need. So I have compiled a simplified list of things you will need, things that made it easier for me, things I look back and wish I had and none of the “extras” I thought I needed, but didn’t. This is for Cold Process Soap
You will need:
2 Stainless Steel Pots
You may not want to use pots from your everyday kitchen pans since you will be decommissioning these pans from being used for food preparation the moment it comes in contact with Lye or Soap Mixture.
Long Handle Plastic Spoons
You can get a pack of these at Walmart for around $1. These will need to be reserved strictly for soap making. Wooden spoons will absorb your Essential Oils and Fragrance oils leaving your spoon smelling good and your soap relatively scent free.
Stick Thermometer (Like a Candy Thermometer-Like the one in the picture).
A Meat Thermometer will not work since you will need to be able to read temps between 32°F (to calibrate your thermometer) to 190°F.
Small Stainless Bowls
These will be used for dividing your soap for adding additives like Clays, Powdered and Ground Substances.
Roll of Freezer Paper
This will be used to line your molds to prevent your soap from sticking to the mold and help make releasing your soap from PVC Tube Molds if you choose to use Pipe Molds. Look for it near Ziplock Bags.
Eye Protection (Just trust me on this one, Lye in your eye is not something you want to add to your ‘ BTDT’ list)
A Soap Mold
Most of the recipes I will share will be a 50 oz Oil Recipe (about 73 total oz) and fit into a home built mold that is 15 inches long x 3.75 inches wide x 2.5 inches tall. These are the inside mold measurements. If a recipe has a little extra that doesn’t fit into the mold I will pour the remaining into a brownie bite mold. If you want to build a smaller box you can do it by following THESE CALCULATIONS.
A Mitre Box
This will help you to cut straight, even bars of soap. Soap cuts similar to a block of cheese. Ideal at the top and a really thin (or thick) uneven bar at the bottom. Cutting with a knife is truly a great way to make a nice bar of soap look bad. If you are going to spend the time and money to do this, do it 100%.
A Soap Cutter
You can use a wire cutter or a blade cutter. I have both and prefer using the blade cutter. My blade cutter is a sharpened dough scraper.
A place to store your Soap while it cures.
I line my shelves with freezer paper to keep them clean and prevent particles from one soap bar transfering onto another soap bar.
And of course, you will need ingredients.
I order my Lye (Technical Grade Sodium Hydroxide-NOT FOOD GRADE) From AAA Chemicals. AAA Chemicals also carries a variety of Carrier Oils, Fragrance Oils and Waxes.
A great assortmemt of Soap Additives and Supplies can be ordered from Soap Molds N More. You can buy additives in quanities of as little as one oz upto as much as you need for a reasonable price. She carries suppies for Bath Bombs, Soap Fragrence and Essential Oils, Waxes and Soap Colorants.