Soap Making Supplies
Melt and Pour
and Cold Process

What soap making supplies do you need in order to make your own homemade soap?

Well if you stumbled into this zone, you probably know that, handmade soap is as good as homemade bread, Mom’s chicken soup, and you’re Grandmother’s jellies and jams. Once you try it, you will see – mark my word.

So if you want to do your own soap making, here are the soap making supplies you’re your going to need. But first, one thing you’ll need to consider is if you plan making soap using the Melt and Pour method or the Cold Process. Take a look at the difference if needed,and then come back here for your soap making supplies.

Soap Making Kits


It is probably a good idea to try soap making out on a small scale to get a feel for it. You may already have most of the soap making supplies. Yes, if you have the tools to make a cake, you have most of what you’ll need for soapmaking.

Melt and Pour Soap Making Kits
Melt and Pour soapmaking kits won’t make you use lye and generally you can use a microwave or a double boiling pot to do the melting. You will need a bowl and mixer or blender. Follow the Melt and Pour recipes and in no time at all you’ll have a beautiful bar of homemade soap complete with your own creative touch. And, if you give some away, your popularity will climb significantly too.

Melt and Pour Soap Making kits will typically include the following soap making supplies:

  • Several Fragrances (essential oils)
  • Clear base soap
  • White base soap
  • Possibly some additives such as seeds, herbs, flower pedals
  • Molds
  • Oh yeah, and Instructions

Cold Process Soap Making Kits
Now for those of you that want to get a little deeper into the Art of Soapmaking, and begin your work on the Soapers Degree, there’s the Cold Process soap making kits.

A typical Cold Process soap making kit will contain some variation of the following soap making supplies:

  • Oils – some combination of olive oil, coconut oil, or palm oils
  • Lye – also known as sodium hydroxide
  • Essential oils or Fragrances
  • Tools such as: Lab quality thermometers, stirring utensils, and containers
Except for safety equipment, most of anything else you would need are common household items.

The Cold Process soap making kits I’ve seen typically make 2 to 10 pounds of soap, and cost $25 to $60 depending on the amount of soap yielded and if a lab quality thermometer is included.

A word of caution: Because the Cold Process requires Lye (sodium hydroxide), which is a very caustic chemical, shipments can usually only be made to addresses in the United States.

If you’re into the chemistry of the whole cold process, check out our page on Saponification.

Kits have a fairly wide range costing between $9.99 for a kids birthday party kit to $265.00 for a very cool kit that has tools and can be replenished very easily.

Don’t forget that Soap Making Kits are also great Christmas Gift Ideas as well. Fantastic for that Do-It-Yourself – er.

Soap Making Books

There are many good books to steer you along the way. Check out the soap making pages on our site first. This will help to guide you in the right direction as far as going after the melt and pour or cold process. Maybe you like soft soap or bathtub fizzes; yes you can make them too. The sky is the limit. But for serious soapmaking, you’ll want to be sure to have a book by a serious Soaper.

Ok, you’ve decided you’re going for it. Here are a couple other soap making supplies you will need:

Melt and Pour
Soap Making Supplies

  • Base Soap
    Your base soap likely will be made of Olive oil, Coconut oil, Palm oil, Safflower oil, or Glycerine (of vegetable origin), or some combination of those. You can get base with a percentage of goats milk, honey, and a variety of other additives included as well. Typically base soaps are either clear or white. If it is called a ‘Castile’ base soap that indicates it is made from olive oil.
  • Sauce Pan
    A Sauce Pan can serve as a makeshift double boiler. Add about 2 inches of water and then place your 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup in the water with the base soap in the Pyrex cup. A good way to melt your base soap under very good control.
  • 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup
    Great for a makeshift double boiler (see saucepan above). Also can be used for melting your base in the microwave, however, be careful not to allow your melting base soap to spatter in the microwave.
  • Rubbing Alcohol in a Spray Bottle
    Rubbing alcohol is often sprayed on top of the cooling bars of soap to help prevent the soap surface from bubbling.
  • Molds
    There are a variety of molds into which you pour your melted soap. Some are in very fancy shapes, or can be personalized with your name. You can even make your own out of PVC tubing, wood, or cardboard.
  • Fragrances or Essential Oils
    Essential oils contain volatile aroma compounds originating from plants. They get the name ‘essential’ because their fragrance is the ‘essence’ of the plant. Not all ‘fragrances’ are essential oils, but they all provide a scent to your handmade soap.
  • Visual and Textural Additives
    Here’s where the real fun and creativity occurs. Let your imagination run wild. In our Melt and Pour recipes we have quite a variety of additives that provide interesting visual and cleansing characteristics such as: bentonite clay, cornmeal, fine pumice, oatmeal, ground almonds, wheat germ, orange peel, various seeds, peppermint leaves, and on and on.
  • Colorants
    Again the sky’s the limit, but use colorants conservatively. Remember you can always add more, but removing color is a problem. You may choose to make a soap with a lime aroma, light green in color. Or you may want to have swirls in your soap. Be creative.

Cold Process Soap Making Supplies

Soap Making Safety Equipment soap making supplies safety goggles
  • Safety Goggles
    You only have two eyes (in most cases). Don’t mess around with this one. Protect those eyes, as Lye is a very strong caustic that can do great damage to your eyes. This soap making supply is carried at the big hardware stores, or even easier, get them online when you purchase your other supplies.
  • Rubber Gloves
    Again, have we mentioned that Lye is very dangerous. Strong caustics such as lye (sodium hydroxide) penetrate body tissues like eyes and skin, deeply which makes for a dangerous situation when these tissues are exposed.
  • Apron
    Most of us have skin under our clothes, therefore, protect both your skin, and your clothes with an apron.
  • Vinegar
    This mildly acidic solution can help to neutralize spills of caustic solutions like Lye.
  • Running water
    Always good to have very close by to flush any unintended lye spills or if you get lye on your body. If you would get lye in your eyes, you would flush with large quantities of clean water, and seek immediate medical attention.
  • pH test strips
    Instead of the “Zap Test” (using your tongue) use pH test strips to check your alkalinity, and make sure the soap is not too alkaline.
Soap Making Hardware

soap making supplies scale

  • Scale
    You will need an accurate scale on which to weigh your ingredients. Most soap recipes including ours, require measurements of lye and oils to be by weight (not volume). Scales range in price starting around $20 to $200 depending on range, precision (how small of an increment they measure, e.g. 0.1 lb, 0.01 lb), materials (like stainless steel), and other bells and whistles. It’s a good idea to get one that measures in grams and ounces. Get a scale that can hold up to 10 to 12 pounds on it at once. It should be accurate anywhere from +/- 0.01 grams to +/- 0.1 ounces.
  • soap making supplies stick blender
  • Stick Blender
    Great for mixing your ingredients. Expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 plus for a good quality stick blender. Be sure that the attachments are stainless steel or heavy duty plastic and not aluminum. There are a variety of stick blenders available online. Pick one up when your getting your other soap making supplies online. Then you'll have more time to do cool things like figure out the next, completely outrageous, ridiculous soap recipe the world has ever seen.
  • Thermometer
    A candy thermometer is the thermometer of choice for Soapers. Make sure it can handle high temperatures between 200 – 300 degrees F. They usually come in around $10-$40. Grab this soap making supply online (when you get your other supplies).
  • Rubber Spatula
    Used to scrape the sides of your mixing bowls.
  • Stainless Steel Spoons
    For dipping and mixing, and swirling to check trace.
  • Stainless Steel Whisk
    In combination with your spoons, whisks can be used to stir in your fragrances and other additives once trace is formed.
  • Mixing Bowls
    Either Stainless Steel, Glass, Enamel, or Pyrex. DO NOT use regular metal or Aluminum with cold process soap making.
  • Molds
    There are a variety of molds into which you pour your melted soap. Some are in very fancy shapes, or can be personalized with your name. PVC, Wood, or Silicone will do. You can also make your own mold. One popular mold is a PVC tube with one end closed off with plastic wrap or other closure. After the soap has setup for about 24 hours, you can pop your soap out of the PVC tube and cut.
  • Freezer Paper or Plastic Wrap (Not Wax Paper)
    This is used to line your soap mold making it much easier to remove your newly minted soap when the time comes. I'm thinking that you already have this and many of the other soap making supplies.
  • Soap Cutter
    Again stainless steel knife about 6 to 8 inches long with a wooden handle across the top. Makes the cutting a whole lot easier. It also works as a spatula. $4-$10, Used for chopping up your bars of soap from a larger mold.
  • Soap Drying Rack
    Your newly made beautiful (in a mother’s eyes) soap will need a quiet place to sit for 2-3 weeks while it cures. A wood slatted rack is nice. But for this soap making supply, you can use a variety of racks including a clean rack used in a grill or oven, or a wooden frame with screen stretched across it. The key is to allow air to circulate around your soap while it cures. It’s also a good idea to turn your soap over once a day to help prevent impressions from the rack.
  • Droppers or Disposable Pipettes
    Droppers or disposable pipettes are used for transferring fragrances and scents. They’re fairly cheap. A couple of bucks will do it.
  • Pencil and Notebook
    If you’re going to do this more than once, you’ll want to keep close notes on quantities of ingredients you used, times for trace to form, times for curing, additives, etc. As you go along experimenting with different recipes, you’ll want to repeat what works, and avoid or adjust what doesn't. Keep that paper and pencil near by.

Other Soap Making Supplies

  • Rubbing Alcohol in a Spray Bottle
    Rubbing Alcohol is often sprayed on top of the cooling bars of soap to help prevent the soap surface from bubbling.
  • Fragrances or Essential Oils
    Essential oils contain volatile aroma compounds originating from plants. They get the name ‘Essential’ because their fragrance is the ‘essence’ of the plant. Not all ‘fragrances’ are essential oils, but they all provide a scent to your handmade soap.
  • Visual and Textural Additives
    Here’s where the real fun and creativity occurs. Let your imagination run wild. In our soap recipes page we have quite a variety of additives that provide interesting visual and cleansing characteristics such as: bentonite clay, cornmeal, fine pumice, oatmeal, ground almonds, wheat germ, orange peel, various seeds, peppermint leaves, and on and on.
  • Colorants
    Again the sky’s the limit, but use colorants conservatively. Remember you can always add more, but removing color is a problem. You may choose to make a soap with a lime aroma a light green color. Or put swirls in your soap. Be creative. (Hey, I know, if you read this from the top, you’ll see we just repeated this paragraph. Well, we did, except this part is new).

-Enjoy the heck out of soap making,

... and the soap that is made-




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