Where To Buy Soap Making Equipment

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

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.

Digital Scale

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.

Thermometer

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.

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.

Immersion Blender

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!

Crock Pot

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 containers1 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.

Safety Notes:

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.

Takeaway

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.

4 thoughts on “Where To Buy Soap Making Equipment”

  1. I’m really learning a lot from your posts – thank you so much! I noticed that you recommend a scale, which I haven’t tried yet. All measuring was done with the eyes and my results were not what I wanted them to be. I was hoping to get some decent results using a purchased soap base before I try to make my own soap base. 

    Is the soap-base-making what the thermometer is used for, or is that also required when using a purchased soap base?

    • Hello Aly, thanks for your questions, they are interesting ones.

      With soap base, you just need to be careful to not let the soap boil or use very high temperatures when adding essential oils or delicate plant extracts sensitive to temperature. Other than that, you don’t have to pay too much attention to temperatures. It’s actually a great way to start soap making as you will learn about fragrances, colorants, and other addictives (such as plant extracts or oils) before making soap from scratch.

      Bear in mind that many soap bases are as artificial as the soap you buy at the supermarket. Gotta read the ingredients list!! Check out my post Commercial Soap Ingredients – What Are They?

      As for making soap at home from the scratch, with lye, yes you DO NEED to measure the ingredients carefully. Recipes are formulated to neither have lye nor have too much oils in soap. You can err for 1-2 grams but not more than that. 

      Better start with a soap base (preferrably, one that is natural, or real soap and not made with surfactants) then, if you feel adventurous, try making a simple soap by cold process. I have simple and easy beginners recipes 🙂

      Cheers,

      Sofia

  2. Great suggestions for soap making. I’ve never done soap, but have tried candles before. (Never again, I’m still scraping wax off countertops). I love the fact that the writer didn’t immediately start suggesting high dollar supplies and equipment for beginners. She was very cautious to give us warnings about the reaction between certain types of molds and the chemicals involved in making the soap. I look forward to reading more about her candle making expertise.

    • Hello Cathy, thanks for your comment.

      My goal is to empower people to make soap at home, if they feel like it. To inform that you don’t need a plant installation, or weird chemicals to make soap. You can make it in your own kitchen! And as long as you have lye, you hardly need to buy anything. So, yes, I suggest equipment from the cheapest to the more professional and expensive, where you can get what you feel like.

      As for candle making I don’t plan to cover it in this blog, but I actually make candles as well!! I would advise you to start with soy wax, it’s made out of soy oil, so it’s actually a fat that comes out well with not too high temperature. Heat your equipment to around 60ºC – 140ºF and use paper towels, and you’ll see that is not so hard to clean 🙂

      Cheers,

      Sofia 

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