Soap Making Equipment
What will you need?
- Kitchen Scale
- The scale need not be expensive, but you must be able to readjust it to zero each time it is used.
This will allow you to weigh ingredients in a container (that you first weight empty and zero the scale thereby not counting the weight of the container when used). It should be large enough to weigh five pounds.
- Soap Pot
- This must be either an enamel or stainless steel kettle. Lye can be corrosive to most other materials. Note that soap made in deeper posts requires less stirring. Pick up an old pot at a tag sale-it will look brand new when you are done!
- Two plastic pitchers
- These will be used for mixing and pouring the lye solution. Make sure they have pouring spouts and lids that secure tightly. Each should hold two quarts. They should also be "dishwasher safe" to accommodate the solution that heats up to 200 degrees.
- Plastic Spoons (the same size as wooden spoons, but will not break down with use)
- Reserve these spoons, and any other items used with lye, for soap use only!
- Two Kitchen Thermometers
- Use only thermometers with glass or stainless steel probes. Aluminum will be
destroyed by the lye. Make sure they have attached hooks to secure on the containers. A candy thermometers will be sufficient.
- Safety Glasses and Rubber Gloves
- Always protect your eyes and skin from any contact with the lye or lye solution!
- Wood or Stainless Steel Ladle
- You will need a ladle to transfer the soap into the mold(s).
- Large Plastic Container with Lid
- This will be a large mold to hold your liquid basic soap and should be about 12 quarts. The lid should be secure and the shape a nice rectangle or square. This will make it easy to cut into bars for use or milling.
- While the basic soap sets it must be kept from cooling too quickly. Wrap your container mold with a towel. This is called "putting the soap to bed".
- Plastic Needlepoint Screen
- Once the basic soap is sliced it must cure-surrounded by air. The screen is a thin drying rack that doesn't leave marks behind. You can get this at any store that sells craft supplies.
- Kitchen Grater
- You will need this to make milled soap which requires the cured basic soap to be grated before melting.
- Soap Molds
- If you are going to all the trouble to make milled soaps, you should get some nice molds. Special molds are made for soap making but those used for candy or candlemaking will do just as well. You could also use tart pans, microwave containers, or even sardine cans! Molds
made for soap work best though when trying to remove the soap once it has set.
Weights and Measures
8 ounces=1/2 pound=226 grams
16 ounces=1 pound=454 grams
24 ounces=1 1/2 pounds=679 grams
32 ounces=2 pounds=907 grams
40 ounces=2 1/2 pounds=1.1 kilograms
Go to the links page to find suppliers to order what you need on
line. The materials listed above, such as ladles and needlepoint screen,
can be found at KMart, Walmart, et cetera. Soap molds and specialty
oils are more easily found at suppliers listed on the