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Monday, March 28, 2011

Beginner Soap Makers Suggestions

What products, equipment and knowledge do you need to start making cold processed soap on a small scale?

Soap Molds:
Since at this point you aren't sure how much soap you will need to be making, we can start with one of our Stock Soap Molds. Even as your business grows, these Soap Molds can still be used for "specialty" batches or for test batches so nothing is wasted. We are suggesting either our Single Loaf Mold or our Triple Loaf Mold.

The Single Loaf Mold has one cell and makes a loaf of soap about 3 lbs. If you were to slice the loaf into 1" thick bars, you would have 15 bars of soap that were 3.25" x 2" x 1" thick. The Triple Loaf Mold has 3 cells so it would make 3 loafs of soap totaling 9 lbs and would yield 45 bars of soap if slicing the same 1" thickness.

Soap Cutters:
Depending upon your budget, you have two ways to go here.
1.The most basic, is our Single Bar Soap Box with either a Smooth Blade or Krinkle Blade (or both). This setup would slice one bar of soap at a time.

2. Our Loaf Soap Cutter which allows you to cut the entire loaf of soap into bars all at once. Our Loaf Soap Cutter can be traded in for full value at a later date as your business grows and upgrade to our Manual Soap Cutter or Air Soap Cutter ProMold System.

We would definitely invest in a high quality Thermometer because so much depends upon it. We recommend is the "Just Point Infrared Thermometer". If budget is an issue, check out the other thermometers on our Thermometers page.

We suggest investing in a good quality scale - again because everything depends upon it. The Soapers Scale is one that you will always use. Even when you are making large batches, you can still use it to weigh your essential oils. You want accuracy at low weights and this one will do the job. Check out our variety of scales here.

Power Wands (Mixers):
For small batches, this is the way to go. You don't want to hand stir for an hour when you can bring it all to trace in 3-4 minutes. We recommend the Light Commercial Power Wand - PB08 Model.

Safety Equipment:
It is definitely important to protect your lungs, your face and your hands. We consider these items essential: Half-mask Respirator, Face Shield Headgear, Disposable SoapMakers Powdered Gloves (not the same as Rubber Gloves). Check out our Safety Equipment page here.

Mixing Equipment:
See our Mixing Accessories Page for a number of items that you may wish to include: Some suggestions are: Spatulas, Measuring Cups, 2 Quart Stainless Steel Pitcher (great for essential oils, or mixing your lye or for pouring lip balm solutions and lotions later on -many different uses - has a fine pouring spout).

Soap Drying Trays:
After you make your soap, you will need trays to air dry the bars. These trays are stackable and vented which means they take up less room and the vents help speed up the curing time. Check Out our Soap Drying Trays Here.

We carry several books on Soap Making and the HandCrafted Body Care Business. A few that would be good to start with are; "The Soap Book: Simple Herbal Recipes" "Marketing Your Handmade Products" or "Creating An Herbal Body Care Business". Later on, you may wish to add other books to your collection. Check Out All of Our Books Here.

SoapMaker Software:
This Software enables you to take any recipe you like and resize it instantly to fit the batch you wish to make. It also will calculate exactly the amount of lye and water you need, etc. If you go with the Pro Version, it will even keep your Inventory of all of your soap oils, your lye, your scents, your boxes, packaging, etc so you know exactly how much that bar of soap "costs" you to make. You can take a guided tour of it by visiting Here.

There, - now you have the “bare” essentials. Later on, when your batches increase in size, we can add other equipment such as an Oil Heater, Pot Tipper, one or more of the larger ProMolds and a ProCutter to go with it. In other words, we have the equipment for you to go from making a few bars of soap a week to thousands of bars a week without you having to discard any of the equipment listed above. We believe one should be careful when they make an investment in their business. Why purchase equipment that will be useless as your business grows? It makes no sense to waste money which is the reason we offer what we do. It is better to have "quality" equipment that will last than to foolishly invest in equipment that will not withstand the test of time.

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