Soap making can be a very rewarding experience. But before you make your first batch you should be prepared with what you need so that your soap making experience goes as smoothly as possible. Here is a look at what you should do before you make that first batch.
Select a recipe. If you are planning on making soap, you have probably selected a recipe that you are interested in. Read the recipe carefully, noting the ingredients used in the recipe and the process used to make the soap. It is probably wise at this point to select a recipe that is simple, using only a few ingredients, and not expensive or difficult to obtain ingredients or supplies. You can always modify your recipe later, or select another recipes with fancier ingredients. But when you are starting out it is best to work with a simple inexpensive recipe so that if you make mistakes, it won't cost you a lot of money.
Obtain the ingredients to make the recipe. After you have selected the recipe you want to make, you will need to get the ingredients that are required to make your recipe. Some ingredients you may already have on hand, depending on the recipe, others you will have to buy either locally or online. Many grocery stores and health food stores are wonderful sources for small quantities of certain items such as vegetable oils and fats (olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, vegetable shortening, lard), aloe vera juice, dried herbs and grains, and small quantities of essential oils. I say wonderful because you can use your local grocery store to buy some items without paying shipping costs. Then, when you are ready to add fancier ingredients to your soap, or purchase ingredients in bulk, you can order online from a soap making supplier.
Obtain the equipment to make the recipe. Most of the equipment you will need to make your first batch of soap you will probably have on hand. You will need soap molds
, measuring tools (measuring cups and or spoons) and a scale. If you are making cold-processed soap, you should also have safety goggles and a safety mask, a plastic pitcher with a lid (to make your lye solution in). The tools you use to make soap should be separate from your food preparation tools. If you need to purchase additional kitchen items like measuring spoons and cups, the dollar store or grocery store are good places to shop. You can make your own soap molds by recycling plastic containers (like yogurt cups).
Select a work area where you can make your soap safely. You should have a work space that has a countertop where you will make your soap, access to a sink with running water so that you can wash your tools when you are done, and is high enough off of the ground to keep little children or pets away from what you are doing. For safety, if you have kids or pets, you should make your soap when your kids are at school or asleep, and when your pet is in a separate area from where you are making soap. You should cover your counter to protect it from spilled ingredients. Brown paper bags cut open and taped onto the counter work well.
Set aside an area where you can store your finished soap. When you are done making soap you will need an area to store it. It should be in a dry, cool area that has some ventilation and that is away from people who might want to touch or sample your soap without asking your permission first. A shelf in your garage or closet works well for this.
Now you are ready to make soap. Have fun!
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