Soap is a part of our daily life. Making soap at home can be cost-effective as well it can also be a great option for doing business. Soap making process involves a list of ingredients and supplies to be needed to begin. This may look too heavy but basics are an essential part of any process.
Three Main Soap Making Processes
There are many different soap-making processes. You can also have your own process as per your choice. Each process requires different supplies and materials. Here are the three main soap-making processes:
- Melt and Pour Process:
It is one of the easiest methods of soap making. As the name suggests it doesn’t require the process to be done from the beginning. You just need to melt up the soap base, add essential oil or any other add-ins into it – pour it into a mold and allow the soap to get hardened. Soap is ready to use within a few hours. You don’t need to handle the lye process in this method.
- Hot Process:
Hot process method involves making soap from the beginning. This leads to the handling of lye. In hot process Soap Making, the application of external heat speeds up the saponification process. This allows the soap to be used even the next day but it is ideal to use it after 1 week to get a harder one. The soap made through this process has a rustic look and homemade appearance.
- Cold Process:
Cold process method also involves making soap from the beginning. This leads to the handling of lye. It is one of the popular processes as it allows a great degree of customization. It is a different process as it uses internal heat that’s naturally produced during saponification. This is one of the longest methods of soap making as it requires the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks. The soap made through this process is more refined.
What is Lye?
In scientific terms, soap is a mixture of oil and alkali. The oil which is being used is a type of Essential Oil and alkali is a chemical called lye. The heated mixture of oil and lye results in soap. This happening of a chemical reaction is known as saponification. Lye is very essential to creating soap as without lye saponification is not possible. You need to be very careful while handling lye because it can cause damage to the skin, eyes and respiratory system.
Melt and Pour Soap Making Supplies for Beginners
The melt and Pour soap-making method is an easy-to-go method of soap-making method. Below are the various essentials that are to be needed for the melt and pour soap-making process.
Moulds: There are two types of molds available in the market. They are loaf molds or silicone molds. You can also use your own durable household object as mold.
Soap Base: This method requires the soap base to melt and pour the soap mixture into molds. The few known bases are Glycerin, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Olive oil, Honey, Goat’s milk and many more.
Thermometer: It helps to monitor the temperature of your soap base which avoids burning of the base.
Measuring Spoons: Any kind of measuring spoon will work.
Essential oil: Essential oils are an important part of customizing your soap. It adds flavor of your choice to your soap.
Soap Cutter: A knife or specific soap cutter is required to make proper pieces of soap.
Equipment to melt soap base: You can pick any type of container as per your choice which is made of stainless steel or glass or heavy-duty plastic.
Cutting Board: Cutting board is very useful that makes your work of cutting soap into pieces easy.
Rubber Spatula: Rubber Spatula helps to mix and pour the soap base effectively. You can also use a wooden spoon since you are not going to deal with lye here.
Plastic Pitcher: This can prove very useful as you can measure and mix the ingredients in the same container which shall eliminate the requirement of measuring elements.
Heat-safe glass measuring cup: Melt & Pour recipes require a microwave to warm up the soap base. This type of element will prove very useful as you can measure, mix and heat base in one container only.
Cold Process & Hot Process Soap Making Supplies
The equipment required for cold process or hot process soap-making supplies are the same except you will also require a slower cooker/crock pot for the hot process. Below are the essential supplies to be needed for the cold process or hot process soap-making method.
Lye: Whether it is sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, and can be termed lye. If you are making bar soap using a cold process, then the lye is sodium hydroxide. If you are making liquid soap using a heat process, then the lye is potassium hydroxide.
Digital Scale: Digital scale proves to be very useful for Soap Making as it can measure both in ounces and grams.
Thermometer: Candy thermometer is the one that comes especially for checking temperature during soap making.
Stainless steel pot: Pure stainless steel pot is required as it doesn’t react with lye. Choose a bigger one so you can easily melt oil and blend your mixture in it.
Plastic Bowls: Heavy-duty plastic bowls are a good choice to have for use.
Plastic Pitcher: Plastic Pitcher with Grade 5 (polypropylene) is a great choice to have for measuring and mixing your lye.
Immersion Blender: Having an immersion blender is bliss to blend your soap mixture into whatever container you are using.
Small bowls/ Containers: Plastic, glass or stainless steel containers are required for measuring lye.
Moulds: Consider the same molds which are being discussed in melt and pour soap-making supplies.
Soap Knife: If you are planning to use loaf molds, a Soap knife is an essential piece of equipment to be required.
Plastic/Stainless steel spoon: It is required to mix up your lye solution.
Heat-resistant silicone spatula: A silicone spatula is safe as you have to use it for mixing lye.
Ladle: A plastic or Stainless steel ladle is useful equipment for scooping out your soap mixture.
Essential Oil: Essential oil adds a fragrance feel to soap that makes its users feel mesmerizing.
Also Read: Buying Measuring Cups: What You Need to Know
Safety Equipment for Soap Making
Safety equipment is really important when you are opting for the hot process or cold process method. These are necessary to protect yourself from lye, as lye can cause damage to your eyes, skin and respiratory system.
Here are some of the valuable safety measures to be taken care of:
- Safety Goggles
- Rubber or Latex or Nitrile Gloves
- Oven Mitt
- Long-Sleeve Shirt or Lab Coat
- Well-Ventilated Working Area
Soap making becomes an easy task if you have every needed equipment and element with you. You can find a complete kit of soap making online as per respective methods or you can even find this equipment individually. So just buy it according to your preference but make sure to have every needed equipment before starting the soap making process. Be careful you are doing soap making process away from small children and pets.