Trying to come up with a fun and addictive pastime? Making soap could be a great option for you! As with any new endeavor, the first thing to ask is how much it will cost.
Is soap-making an expensive hobby? Soap-making is only pricey because you make it so. It’s easy to get started making soap right away using only the necessary supplies. However, if you begin to use additives like aroma or preservatives, it may become prohibitively expensive to produce..
Is soap-making an expensive hobby?
It can be costly, but it can also be inexpensive, just like any other hobby. As with any new pastime, it’s best to start small and work your way up until you have the hang of it. This is especially true when it comes to soap making.
The only exception to this is if you go out and spend a lot of money on high-end scents and equipment. So, when you begin creating soap, the cost is completely up to you.
What do you need to start making soap?
If you’re like most people, you’d prefer to begin with less expensive tools when taking up a new activity. Begin with a simple bar of soap to gauge your interest in soapmaking.
Making soap requires perseverance, and beginners may find it difficult to wait to utilize the soap they have created. And if you think it’s a good fit, you can begin to add perfumes and chemicals to it.
Soap making requires the following materials if you are just getting started:
- Safety Gear:
Your primary priority should always be safety. Making soap should be avoided if safety equipment is lacking. Prior to beginning any project, make sure you have safety gloves and safety goggles on hand. Because you’ll be working with sodium hydroxide lye, a caustic chemical, you should wear gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes from irritation.
- Sodium Hydroxide Lye:
Cold-pressed soap is made with sodium hydroxide lye, as previously mentioned. This is due to the fact that soap cannot be made without the addition of oils (or fats) and lye water. Saponification is the technical term for this procedure. Just a brief reminder: only use lye that has been labeled for soap-making purposes.
It’s possible you’ll get unexpected results if you use the ones from the hardware store because they contain other chemicals that will have an impact on the outcome.
- Stick Blender:
Investing in a stick blender is most likely the best option. People who have never worked without will not understand what I am saying. To make soap, you’d have to mix oils and lye by hand for a long time without a blender. So, unless you truly want to experience what it was like to stir for hours back in the day, I would recommend buying a blender.
In this scenario, a stick blender is the best option because it can quickly emulsify oil and lye.
- Easy Pour Containers:
Containers are a need for every soap maker; without them, you’d have a tremendous mess to clean up, but you’d also have difficulty pouring. Having different colored easy-pour containers (or labeling them) makes it much easier to identify which one is which. The best type is one with a long pour spout, which aids in precision pouring and is extremely useful when it comes to swirls of liquids in the container.
- Infrared Thermometer:
The temperature has a significant impact on several aspects of cold process soap. To clarify, if your soap is too cold, it could result in soap ash in the final product (which looks like white powder on the surface of your soap). To prevent your soap from cracking, don’t let it get too hot. A thermometer is a must-have for everyone who wants to make a beautiful final product time and time again.
Different thermometers are available, so you may pick and choose what you want. However, you will want something practical, such as a non-cleaning infrared thermometer. However, less expensive options like a candy thermometer are also an option if you so desire.
- Silicon spatulas & Whisks:
Most kitchens include a whirlpool and silicone spatula, but if you want to use them for soap making, I recommend purchasing an extra set. However, using them to remove chocolate mouse from a bowl without first cleaning them can be deadly if you don’t know how to properly clean them.
While you can use any whisk, I prefer using silicone spatulas when mixing with liquids. This is the best group out there. Choose one that has a distinct hue so you’ll know which one is for soap and which one is for cooking. Make sure you buy one.
- Silicone and wood molds
Soap making is pointless without a mold to pour your finished soap into. Despite the fact that I have included it on the list, you may be able to do without it. Instead of purchasing one, why not construct your own mold using repurposed materials?
If you’re just starting a new hobby and want to keep the costs as low as possible, using a mold made of thick paper (or a milk carton) for your first batch of soap is fine. Yes, silicon molds are easier to use, but when saving money, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
How can you avoid having too many costs in the beginning?
The greatest method to avoid incurring expenses when starting a new activity is to refrain from purchasing anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. For example, instead of purchasing new spatulas and whisks, you may reuse those in your own kitchen.
Colorants and perfumes can be omitted from the soap-making process if you like. Fragrances are the most expensive component of the soap. What’s the point of manufacturing soap if it doesn’t have a pleasant scent, you ask?
Soap is meant to clean, not to make you smell wonderful. Even if it is true, it’s still preferable if it smells pleasant as well. As a beginner in soapmaking, you run the risk of making something that isn’t what you expected, and if that occurs a few times, you’ll end up throwing away a lot of money.
Start with cheap ingredients:
Using less expensive products such as oils can also help to drive the price down. If you’re just getting started, I recommend starting with low-cost oils rather than high-priced ones. If you only want to use one type of oil, you can do so, but keep in mind that the end result may not be pleasant because some oils, such as coconut oil, require a blend to prevent your soap from drying out your skin when used alone.
Start with small batches:
Okay, so far this makes sense. Yes, starting with smaller batches can help you learn how to process and from the mistakes you may make with your initial batches. Trust me, you don’t want to produce large quantities of something just to have to toss it away.
Using tested ingredients:
People who are just getting started creating soap add stuff I would never consider using in soap, and this is something I see a lot of when browsing the internet. What was the end result? That is, after all, the question… I’m clueless, and it’s completely unplanned!
For this reason, you should only utilize ingredients that have been tested and proven to function in soap. Ask a specialist before doing anything if you want to use something no one else has, so you don’t take any risks.
Saving your failed batch of soap:
Failure teaches you how to do better next time. This holds true for the vast majority of situations in life. Restart if your batch fails and try again. You’ll perform better next time. If you have a failed batch, don’t despair. However, what will become of the batch you just prepared?
Depending on the type of soap you manufactured and the reason for its demise, there may be a way to salvage it. A fast internet search will almost always turn out a solution for preserving your soap.
Buy your ingredients in bulk:
If I tell you to buy simple ingredients and make simple soaps with no additives, you’ll think I’m nuts. However, there’s a compelling reason why this should be included. It’s okay if you’ve never made soap before if you want to create some for friends and family or sell some to customers who are interested in your products.
This is how huge manufacturers do it, so why not you? Buying in bulk will save you a lot of money over time. For example, if you want to buy Bramble Berry fixed oils, you can do it in one of three sizes: one pound, seven pounds, or 35 pounds.
Buy in bulk to save money, but be sure to plan ahead and have a system in place beforehand to avoid having an excessive amount on hand. On the other hand, buying in bulk has the drawback of necessitating early usage because bulk oils have a shelf life similar to that of other products. Check this before making any purchases.
It depends on what you wish to do with your soap.
To begin with, as previously stated, the expenses will rise if you begin to use additives such as colorants or scents. And your expenses will rise as you add more. Several people I know have experimented with using natural ingredients in their soaps. I totally get the desire to go natural. However, many of them wind up with DOS soap or, even worse, mold soap!
Due to the fact that you’re using fresh ingredients, this is what’s going on. The shelf life of fresh ingredients is extremely limited, which means that everything has an expiration date. To avoid this, add preservatives to your soap, but be aware that this may raise the price. So keep in mind what you’re putting together as you make it.
However, if your soap will be used immediately after preparation, using fresh components is not an issue. Preservatives can be added if you think it requires a longer time, or you can use fewer fresh ingredients.
Second, there’s a world of difference between making soap as a pastime for yourself and selling it. Because it’s intended to be sold, this hobby will be dirt cheap. In fact, I’d suggest it’ll be a good investment in the long run.
The primary motivation for taking up a new hobby should always be to relax or have fun. It’s merely an added bonus if your hobby also happens to be profitable. Start with the simplest soaps and work your way up as you become more confident.
It will save you a lot of time, frustration, and most importantly, money, if you ask for help from experts or forums where more experienced individuals can give you guidance.
There is no need to go all out when you are making your first batches of soap; in fact, this is sometimes too much for many people, which is why they give up so quickly.
The best advice is to start with small batches and work your way up. Because you’ll be able to try out different things and observe what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be less upset if you fail. There is no way to salvage the soap in this situation.
Making soap as a pastime is both addictive and enjoyable, and if you’re skilled at it, it’s possible to earn money from it.