Tools Needed to Make Soap
So every soap maker has a very similar set of tools, like so many artists have their paint brushes, right? So when you're making soap, soap making is a science, we always use a scale. You never do volume when it comes to soap making. And that's because different oils weigh different amounts for the same volume, right? They have different fatty acid profiles. I love to use a digital scale. However, you, if you're just starting out and you don't want to make the investment in a digital scale because they run anywhere between $30 and $70, you could do what I did when I was 16. I went to Goodwill and I got myself a Weight Watchers scale and just used that little Weight Watchers scale for $2.50, and that worked just fine. The reason I like to use digital scales is they're very precise. But you definitely need a scale. For this recipe we're making today, you need three heat-safe containers. And a heat-safe container is a chemical-resistant plastic or it's a giant, heat-resistant glass contai...
ner, but you need three heat-safe containers. And the reason we go with heat-safe, remember, is when we do our lye and our water, it heats up to 180 degrees, so it gets pretty hot. So you wanna make sure that whatever you're using can withstand the heat. So that would mean really very, unless it's a chemical-resistant plastic, you don't want to be using plastic containers, unless they're chemical-resistant. And there are some great chemical-resistant plastic containers out there, just make sure you know what you're soaping with. A stick blender, so this technically, (blender whirs) this technically is not necessary. You can make soap without a stick blender. However, it will take you three minutes to make soap with a stick blender, it will take you four hours to make soap with just a whisk, because when this chemical reaction is happening, one of the things we're trying to do is, we're trying to get the lye water and the fats to just dance around as fast as possible, so they can find a partner to mate with, right? Every lye water molecule needs a fat molecule to join hands with. The faster we can spin them, the faster that process happens. If we're just using a whisk, you can't spin that fast and your arms get really tired, and you also get bored after four hours. When I was making soap at the age of 16, in a small little apartment in Chehalis, Washington, my first six batches failed. Six failed, because I didn't have a stick blender. I didn't even know what one of those things were, because back then, there was only one book on soap making. And the internet was still basically dial-up and AOL, so I just didn't know. And now I'm so happy to have a stick blender. So a nice thing with stick blenders, if you have one that has a detachable head, that's really nice for being able to clean. So that's something to keep in mind and definitely something you want. Next you're going to need a wide variety of kind of whisks, spatulas, and spoons. And this is just for things like scraping the side of the bowl, for hand-mixing in your fragrance, for making sure your colorants are mixing in, for doing small fine work. General rule of thumb, have more tools that you think you're gonna need. And remember, no aluminum. Stainless steel or heat-resistant, chemical-resistant silicone. A thermometer is really handy, and you don't have to, I love my temperature gun but you don't need a temperature gun. You can totally use a candy thermometer or something that's relatively inexpensive. And the reason for that is, when you're first starting out soap making, remember, soap making is a science. We want your temperatures for your lye water and your oils to be around similar degrees. And if you pour your soap too hot, and we're talking like 170, 180 degrees hot, your soap can get really hot in the mold and volcano out. I have had that happen before, I have pictures on the Soap Queen blog, it's a very impressive chemical reaction. So you always want to be pouring your soap at least below 140. So I always am just doing a real quick temperature check to see, hey, what's my temperature, how am I doing? And again, you can do that with a candy thermometer, doesn't have to be an expensive temperature gun. Colorant mixing tool. You can do this with a fork, I like to use this little latte frother, I got this at brambleberry.com. Or else you can get yours at Ikea or any kitchen store. And this is what we're going to use to mix up our colorant and a little bit of oil to get rid of those clumps we talked about. Additionally to that, measuring spoons are super-helpful. When your soap is all ready to go, a non-serrated knife is going to be your friend. The reason we use non-serrated knives is because, if you had a serrated knife, it drags the whole serration all the way down. I'm also gonna show you at the end how to use this beautiful multi-bar cutter, so that you end up getting, you can cut 12 bars of soap at once, as opposed to doing individual. I don't know about you guys, but sometimes, I can't even cut a loaf of bread straight. So cutting an entire batch of soap sometimes feels daunting. So I love having a multi-bar cutter to use when I'm making soap. But that is definitely an additional thing that you don't need, just a non-serrated knife if you're just starting out. Finally we're gonna be working with this five-pound wooden mold with the silicone liner. If I wasn't using a silicone liner, I would be lining this right now with freezer paper, to make sure that the soap didn't ever touch the wooden mold. And a microwave, the reason I use the microwave is just that if my oils have gotten a little bit, a little bit too cool or if I need to heat anything up, I like to have a microwave on hand.