If you are a beginning soap maker or you’re looking to start making soap as a hobby, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are so many additives out there that you can include in your projects, including emulsifiers, solubilizers, preservatives, thickeners, colourants and surfactants! If you’re not sure what any or all of those mean, don’t worry! Our list of soapmaking essentials will help you navigate the sometimes-confusing world of soapmaking supplies and help you get started.
- A Good Recipe
Before you go out and get supplies, look for a simple soap recipe that has been tested by other soapmakers. A recipe will give you a basic outline of what supplies and equipment you will need to get started. Look for a basic melt and pour recipe to try before you start making soap completely from scratch. Check out About.com for some easy, basic recipes.
- Measuring Equipment
The key to producing great soap is careful measurements. Soap making recipes call for precise amounts of each ingredient, and those measurements become even more important when you start making cold process soaps using chemicals like lye. Make sure you have a scale to ensure you’re adding the right amount of each ingredient for your recipe.
It is important to remember that soap making must be done by weight, not volume; therefore a scale is needed – not measuring cups/spoons. Recipes that call for cups and teaspoons should definitely be avoided.
- Safety Equipment
When you become more advanced in your soap making, you will be dealing with lye, which can be harmful to you if it comes in contact with your skin. Even if you’re starting out with a basic melt and pour recipe, it’s still a good idea to wear rubber gloves, long sleeves and safety glasses as you become comfortable working with the new materials.
- Fragrance Oils
The best soaps always smell great! Choose your favourite fragrance oils to add to your soap. Saffire Blue offers a wide range of fragrances, including fruity, floral, herbal and delicious scents. Make sure you use a fragrance that is safe for bath and body, and follow your recipe to know how much fragrance to add to your batch.
You can leave your soap a natural colour, but it’s always fun to add colour to your soaps. It is important to look for cosmetic grade colourants that are safe for your skin. Soap and cosmetic colourants come in a wide range of colours. Try Liquid Labcolours, oxides, ultramarines, micas and natural colours for different effects in your soap.
- Mixing Tools
Rubber spatulas, whisks or wooden spoons will come in handy to combine the fragrance oils, colourants or other additives you may choose to incorporate into your soap. Remember not to stir too hard, or you’ll get bubbles in your soap!
- A Soap Mold
Soap Molds are used to shape your soap and allow it to cool. They come in many different shapes and sizes which allow you to get creative. From basic rectangular bars to intricate designs and shapes, a mold can really set your bars apart from the rest! Try seasonal-themed molds for your favourite holiday or just a basic mold for everyday use soap.
Saffire Blue offers many supplies for beginning and advanced soap makers. Take a look at our soap making kits for an easy way to get started!