SOAP MAKING SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS
Rubber Gloves, Goggles and Mask – Rubber gloves and goggles are required if you are using lye. Again, these are just safety precautions that are necessary in the cold and hot process of making soap. You need to protect your eyes. You can also use a face mask if you prefer.
Some people also use a mask so that you aren’t inhaling the fumes of the lye. I prefer to mix my lye outside. Some soap makers mix their lye solution under the stove exhaust fan that vents outdoors
Water (Distilled) or chlorine free well water – When making soap bars, you should use water that is free of chemicals and contaminants. Distilled water is better than using regular tap water that has chlorine and other chemicals. This will produce the best soap bars if you’ll be able to control as many ingredients as you can in the final product.
Water (Regular) – You’ll need water to wash off chemicals or any other ingredients you get on yourself. You can just use your sink for this. This is different than the water you’ll be using for the actual soap making.
Stainless Steel Saucepan –or heat proof glass for the microwave– You’ll be using this to heat your fats, oils and other additives.
Heat-Safe Glass Containers/Measuring Cups – You’ll need these to start mixing your ingredients together. Do not use plastic containers as it may melt while making soap.
Measuring Spoons – Used to measure! Make sure you don’t use any plastic for hot solutions when you measure. You might melt the spoon. I use metal measuring spoons for my fragrance and essential oils
pH Paper – Phenolphthalein or litmus strips can be used to check the soap’s pH. It’s recommended for use to check the pH in the hot process soap method.
Digital Scale – Digital scales are most important when making soap using the cold or hot process method since you’ll need to be pretty accurate with your measurements of the chemicals. Find a scale that weighs to the tenth of a measurement in both grams and ounces.
Thermometers– Thermometers are important for cold and hot process methods as you’ll need to keep a good eye on the temperature of your oil mixture and your lye mixture. You also should ensure that the thermometers are made of glass or stainless steel so that the lye won’t react to it. I used a metal meat thermometer available from any grocery supply store
Silicone Spatulas – Silicone spatulas are used to help you mix. You can use wood for soap making. But the lye will start to erode the wooden spatulas if used frequently.
Mixing Spoons/Spatulas – You can use wooden or metal spoons for mixtures that don’t have any lye in
Electric Stick Blender – An electric stick blender will be used to mix your soap and bring it to trace.
Microwave – A microwave is typically used for the melt-and-pour or rebatch method as well as melting your oils
Crockpot – A crockpot is used for hot process soap making. It helps accelerate the saponification process. You don’t need to get a separate crockpot to work with the lye because the lye will cook out of the soap. A crockpot isn’t necessary for the hot process soap making either, it’s just one option you have if you decide to make soap using this process. Don’t think you can’t try the hot process method without a crockpot. If using an oven, do not go over 170 degrees F (just under 77 degrees C)
Plastic Wrap – This is mainly used for hot process soap making utilizing the crockpot method. Also used to lining molds
Soap Molds – Molds are used to create the solid shape of the soap. There are several types of molds that you can use.
Plastic Molds – Plastic molds are cheaper but not the easiest to use. They can be pretty difficult to remove from the plastic once the soap solidifies. If you want to be more cost-effective, you can try these and see if the risks are worth the benefits.
Silicone molds are my favorite. They are easy to use and still pretty affordable. The soaps are easy to unmold, which makes it easier to use than plastic ones. However, the silicone molds can be a bit flimsy and the shape of your soap may not come out exactly as you had desired.
Wooden Molds– Wooden molds are much more sturdier than silicone molds and provide more insulation. These types of molds will need to be lined with either a wax or parchment paper. These will be the priciest type of mold.
Paper – If you really want to be cost effective, you can use paper molds such as used milk cartons or pringles chip cans. They may be flimsy but the soap is pretty easy to unmold as you can just rip off the milk carton paper.
Lining Paper – These are used to line the wooden molds before you pour the mixture into it. You can also used plastic wrap to line the wooden molds.