Soap making can be a cheap and affordable hobby – or become very expensive. There may be a temptation to end up spending a small fortune on ingredients and special tools when we start thinking about making homemade soap. The good news is that you can find almost anything in the kitchen! Learn where to buy soap making equipment in this post – and what you can use from your kitchen!.
Table of Contents
- Molds for Soap
- Digital Scale
- Immersion Blender
- Crock Pot
- Containers and Utensils
- Safety Notes:
- Related Posts
As a first step, I recommend taking a look in the kitchen drawers and cupboards for all the necessary tools, before going out to buy:
Molds for Soap
Silicone molds are the easiest to use when starting to learn how to make soap, as they are the easiest to unmold your soap. The mold that I use is a silicone one with 6 rectangular shaped soaps (I have 4 of them). As I make small portions for testing very often, this is ideal.
With hard molds, like wooden boxes, you will find it almost impossible to unmold without damaging them, unless you use a liner. And pay attention to aluminum molds, because aluminum reacts with lye!
You can use any type of silicone molds for small cakes or cookies that you have at home. Silicone cake molds, like English cakes, or pie molds may also be used, but note that you will have to cut the soap into small bars.
Measurements for making soap should be accurate to gram (+/- 1g), namely, for the oils, water and lye. Therefore, you should use a digital scale. NEVER make soap eyeballing these ingredients, soap can have many issues this way. Soap can become lye heavy, or have too much superfat (too much oils). Your soap can have small bits of lye, and I can’t state enough times how dangerous that is. Or it can simply be too soft, not lather well, etc.
A thermometer is necessary to measure the temperature of the oils and the lye water.
It is possible to use a kitchen thermometer, provided it is stainless steel. I have started soap making with one, and still use kitchen thermometers, one of the lye water and one for the oils. They are very cheap and do the work they are supposed to.
A digital thermometer (infrared, gunlike, to measure the temperature) is much more expensive, but allows you to measure temperature without interfering with the soap batter. Still, only buy it if you plan to produce soap as a small business, it’s not worth the investment for small productions.
Ah, yes, it takes a stainless steel or plastic immersion blender to make soap from scratch. The alternative is to beat the soap batter by hand with a spoon for hours and hours … You should choose one that will not be used for cooking, but it’s not mandatory. This is absolutely essential to make handmade soaps!
A crock pot or slow cooker will be required if you want to make hot process soap, liquid soap from scratch, rebatch soap, render lard or tallow, infuse oils… Sooner than later, you will stumble with the need to have a crock pot at hand for your homemade products. And there’s nothing better to control temperature long term and just let the heat do its work, without burning anything.
Containers and Utensils
Big bowl for soap making: it must be resistant to temperature and caustic soda. It can be a 1lt or 2lt pyrex or stainless steel bowl, but the ideal is something like this 4lt pyrex bowl.
Measuring containers: 1 cup to measure lye, 1 glass to mix water with lye, some cups for measuring oils, measuring spoons for essential oils. Also, easy pour pitchers to pour soap batter, mainly to be able to do swirlings (design purposes). They must be made of pyrex, or temperature resistant plastic.
Spoons, spatulas, strainers: in stainless steel or silicone. Avoid aluminum or normal plastic utensils. Avoid using these utensils in cooking and serving food.
Microwave ou stove + double boiler: Personally, I always used the microwave. Many websites that teach how to make soaps indicate the heating process using a double boiler. I have never tried and I do not feel that my soaps suffer from the microwave heating process. What is not advisable is to heat the oils with direct heat, so as not to alter them with unwanted overheating.
Do not use the same utensils for making soaps and for preparing and eating food, as washing does not completely remove the lye and it can be ingested.
Do not use utensils in aluminum or any type of plastic other than silicone, as they can react with lye and contaminate / spoil the soap.
I advise you to inspect the kitchen before buying equipment to make handmade soaps. Check out what you have against this post’s list, most likely you will have a lot of it already.
Alternatively, the supermarket and online shops also have almost everything you need to get started. Or check the links along the post to learn where to buy equipment for soap making.