What products, equipment and knowledge do I need to start making cold processed soap on a small scale?
Below we have what we consider the “bare” essentials. Later on, when your batches increase in size, you can add other equipment such as an Oil Heater, Pot Tipper, one or more of the larger ProMolds and a ProCutter to go with it.
In other words, Willow Way has equipment for you to go from making a few bars of soap a week to thousands of bars a week without you having to discard any of the equipment listed below.
We believe one should be careful when they make an investment in their business. Why purchase equipment that will be useless as your business grows? It makes no sense to waste money which is the reason we offer what we do. It is better to have "quality" equipment that will last than to foolishly invest in equipment that will not withstand the test of time.
Since at this point you aren't sure how much soap you will need to be making, we can start with one of our Stock Soap Molds. Even as your business grows, these Soap Molds can still be used for "specialty" batches or for test batches so nothing is wasted.
We are suggesting either our Single Loaf Mold or our Triple Loaf Mold.
Single Loaf Mold
The Single Loaf Mold has one cell and makes a loaf of soap about 3 lbs.
If you were to slice the loaf into 1" thick bars, you would have 15 bars of soap that were 3.25" x 2" x 1" thick.
Triple Loaf Mold
The Triple Loaf Mold has 3 cells so it would make 3 loafs of soap totaling 9 lbs and would yield 45 bars of soap if slicing the same 1" thickness.
Depending upon your budget, you have two ways to go here.
Our Loaf Soap Cutter™ allows you to cut the entire loaf of soap into bars all at once.
We definitely recommend investing in a high quality Thermometer because so much depends upon it. We recommend the "Just Point Infrared Thermometer".
If budget is an issue, Willow Way offers many other thermometers. See our Thermometers page for the variety of choices.
We suggest investing in a good quality scale - again because everything depends upon accurate measurements.
The Soapers Scale is one that you will always use.
Even when you are making large batches, you can still use it to weigh your essential oils.
You want accuracy at low weights and this one will do the job. Check out our variety of scales here.
Power Wands (Mixers):
For small batches of soap, a power wand is the only way to go. Do you really want to hand stir for an hour when you can bring it all to trace in 3-4 minutes?
We recommend the Light Commercial Power Wand - PB08 Model.
It is definitely important to protect your lungs, your face and your hands.
We consider these items essential: Half-mask Respirator, Face Shield Headgear, Disposable SoapMakers Powdered Gloves (not the same as Rubber Gloves).
Check out our Safety Equipment page here.
See our Mixing Accessories Page for a number of items that you may wish to include.
Some suggestions are: Spatulas, Measuring Cups, 2 Quart Stainless Steel Pitcher (great for essential oils, or mixing your lye or for pouring lip balm solutions and lotions later on - many different uses - has a fine pouring spout).
Soap Drying Trays:
After you make your soap, you will need trays to air dry the bars.
We manufacture the ultimate Soap Drying trays that are stackable and vented. They take up less room and the vents help speed up the curing time with optimum air flow. Check Out our Soap Drying Trays Here.
We carry several books on Soap Making and the HandCrafted Body Care Business.
A few that would be good to start with are; "The Soap Book: Simple Herbal Recipes" "Marketing Your Handmade Products" or "Creating An Herbal Body Care Business".
Later on, you may wish to add other books to your collection. Check Out All of Our Books Here.
This Software enables you to take any recipe you like and resize it instantly to fit the batch you wish to make.
It also will calculate exactly the amount of lye and water you need, etc. If you go with the Pro Version, it will even keep your Inventory of all of your soap oils, your lye, your scents, your boxes, packaging, etc so you know exactly how much that bar of soap "costs" you to make.
You can take a guided tour of it by visiting Here.