Interested in making your own soap at home? It’s a satisfying and rewarding hobby. I will be listing the supplies for cold processed soap at home. You might even have everything you need in your kitchen!
The most important tool in soap making I feel is the stick blender. This tool allows you to quickly combine the lye solution and oils to reach trace. Doing this by hand could take up to an hour. The one I use is a normal kitchen one, but you have to be careful not to burn out the motor. I normally only reach light trace before I pour the batter into the mold, I also only use the low setting because I’m worried it might splash. Here is a link to the one I use.
The next most important item is safety gear, you must wear safety goggles and gloves while working with lye. Even when you are cleaning up afterwards you should still wear your safety gear. You should also wear long sleeves and long pants. Some people wear a face mask due to the fumes. Definitely take precautions when working with lye and work in a well ventilated area. Lye burns are very serious.
An accurate kitchen scale is essential to soap making. You need to weigh out the ingredients precisely. You should also double check your lye amount with a lye calculator prior to making any recipe. This is similar to the one I use. If you plan on making a lot of soap, you might want to get a commercial grade scale.
You will need a large bowl to measure out the oils into. This is the one I currently use. However I think I will get a glass mixing bowl to heat on the stove over a double boiler. This one is plastic which works okay but I have to heat the oils in the microwave, which is not ideal.
You will need a variety of mixing utensils and measuring spoons. I prefer to use silicone and plastic, as metal will react with the lye. These silicone spatulas are similar to the ones I use. It’s nice to have a variety of sizes to use. You will also need to measure out small amounts of powders and oils at times.
I invested in a wooden soap cutting box. It allows me to measure each bar and it cuts uniformly. I would also like to get a crinkle cutter. Some people use a cheese cutter or a knife. This is similar to the soap cutter I have, it also contains a lot of items that would be useful if you are just starting out.
This is an extremely important tool for soap making. You need to tell what temperature your lye is compared to your oils prior to mixing. I would like to get an infrared gun at some point however this is an old thermometer from a school science kit that works fine. You need a thermometer that reaches above 200 degrees, so you cannot use a thermometer meant for people. Here is a link to an infrared gun.
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Sodium hydroxide, or lye or caustic soda, is the chemical necessary to cause the oils to become soap. It is technically a drain cleaner. It is definitely a hazardous chemical. Make sure you wear your safety gear! You want to make sure you get 100% lye, do not use anything with additives, or else it will end up in your soap! Here is the one I got.
Never use anything that you might cook with when dealing with lye. Always use dedicated containers for lye mixing and measuring. I tried to draw poison on the big one with a sharpie just to make sure no one uses it by mistake. I keep all my soap supplies boxed up and put away when not in use also.
And of course you need some sort of soap mold! People get creative and use milk cartons or any other loaf shaped containers instead of buying one. You can line the mold with freezer paper. I currently use a silicone 2 lb loaf mold, but I plan upgrading to bigger molds. I’m hoping to make my own molds. Here is a link to the one I use.
Supplies For Cold Processed Soap at Home Summary
And that’s about it! Of course you will need a recipe and the ingredients. Some good oils to start with are coconut oil and olive oil. It is also fun to add colorants and fragrances. I prefer to use all natural colorants and organic essential oils.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful! Let me know any questions in the comments below. Tag me on instagram to show me your soap creations @xoxotinadesign.
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