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Basic Soap Equipment

Basic Soap Equipment


Making soap at home does not require a lot of equipment but there are items that are absolutely essential.  You probably have most of these already in your kitchen but a word of warning, because you are dealing with lye (an extreme caustic) in soap making, your best choice is to have separate equipment that you only use for cheesemaking.  Even if you clean thoroughly, don’t risk it!


Additionally, you will want to wash all your equipment by hand.  Do not use your dishwasher.  The lye can possibly contaminate your other dishes and any left-over soap can cause a dishwasher overflow.  It’s just not worth it.


With that said, here is a list of the basic equipment you will need.  Based on the amount of soap you plan to make in a batch, you may need to go with larger sizes.


  • Safety Equipment – Make sure you have a pair of rubber gloves and goggles whenever dealing with lye.  These are easily attainable at your local hardware store and a must have.  Don’t ever make soap without these!


  • Scale – Get a scale that will measure in both ounces and grams


  • Large Stainless Steel Sauce Pan – this will be used for heating some of your ingredients to liquid form.  Many ingredients, such as coconut oil, are solid at room temperature and require heating before you work with them.


  • Large Stainless Steel Pot or Mixing Bowl – This is where you will actually be mixing your ingredients and making the soap.


  • Silicone or Wood Utensils – Over time you’ll find that the wooden utensils will need to be replaced.  For this reason, silicone utensils are the best.


  • 3-5 Quart Heat Safe Container:  This is what you will be using to mix your lye solution.  Make sure that if you use plastic it is heat resistant.


  • 2 Soap Making Thermometers – You will want one for your fat/oil ingredients and one for your lye solution.


  • Soap Molds – This can be anything from PVC Pipe to fancy decrative molds.  Our favorite are the wooden loaf molds.


  • Wax Paper – If using a wooden mold, you will need to line it first with wax paper or it will stick.  It is best to tape it in place ensuring that there is no exposed wood on the inside of the mold.


  • Soap Cutter – unless you are using individual molds.