Making your own cold process soap from scratch may seem daunting at first. Visions of laboratories, bubbling pans and science equipment spring to mind, but the reality is very different. Soap making is a science but getting started is easier than you might think.
You may have dabbled with melt and pour but are keen on the freedom to experiment a little more, or maybe you want to choose exactly what goes into your skin care products. Either way, take a look at our ‘Getting Started’ checklist.
At the very bare minimum, you will need the following:
- 2 x 1-litre kitchen grade plastic or stainless steel jugs or pans plus 1 x 3-litre size if you want to make larger batches.
- A silicone spatula or stainless steel spoon.
- A handheld blender ( these are easily obtained from a supermarket at a reasonable price)
- Gloves & Goggles
- Kitchen weighing scales
- Something to use as a mould - a cardboard box lined with greaseproof paper works well.
- A digital or jam thermometer.
- Non-serrated kitchen knife
Nice to Have But Not Vital Equipment
- Jewellery scales - better for measuring small amounts of fragrance/essential oils and colourants
- Silicone Moulds - available in all shapes and sizes.
- Soap Cutter
- You will also need a method of melting your hard butter and oils; a microwave or stovetop are both okay.
What Ingredients do I Need to Get Started?
Home-made soap can be as simple or complicated as you choose, like cake making in many respects. Your basic ingredients will consist of butter, oils, water, and sodium hydroxide; it is even possible to make soap from just one oil. Both coconut and olive oil can be used alone and are readily available in the supermarket.
Sodium hydroxide is a little harder to locate, and you must ensure it is not mixed with anything else, such as sodium carbonate. Here at Mystic Moments, we stock a high-quality sodium hydroxide suitable for soap making; you can find details HERE.
Most people make their soap using a combination of oils: coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil (responsibly sourced), caster oil, cocoa butter and shea butter.
Your soap can be fragranced using essential or cosmetic-safe fragrance oils. The range of available colourants extends from spices such as turmeric and paprika to clays, micas and oxides. The options are limitless.
When making all skin care products, you must ensure that the ingredients you use are of a cosmetic grade and suitable for the purpose. We at Mystic Moments stock a wide range of all the ingredients you will need for your soap-making. Additionally, you will find suitable applications within the description of each product and anything you need to be aware of, taking the guesswork out for you.
If this has inspired you to get started, keep an eye out for the next blog post! We will be giving you a simple one-oil recipe to get started with and how to make your first batch of soap.
Micas & Oxides
Written for Mystic Moments by Keri Squibb - The Soap Coach