The popularity of homemade soap has recently hit a new high. Whether you’re interested in learning to make soap for personal use or as a business venture, buying soap making supplies wholesale will save both money and time. Soap making is a fun, creative outlet and is easier than you might think. It only takes a few basic tools and a small investment to get started. Here you will study 5 easy steps to make soap.
There are two basic ways to make soap at home. You can purchase blocks of pre-made plain soap known as “melt and pour” base (M&P), or you can mix various combinations of fat with lye and water to make it completely from scratch, known as “cold process” soap.
The deciding factor for most people is whether or not they have a safe, well-ventilated place and the desire to work with lye. Start with the melt and pour method if you’re completely new to soap making. It requires fewer tools and ingredients while still allowing you to create unique blends you can’t find at the store.
To start, you will need:
- A melt and pour base
- Scents (essential oils or fragrance oils)
- A dedicated microwave-safe container
- A spoon, whisk, or other stirring utensils (choose metal or silicone for easy cleaning)
- Isopropyl alcohol (91% or higher) in a fine-mist spray bottle
- Laser-style food thermometer
Even though soap is sanitary, take a moment to wipe down your workstation and tools with rubbing alcohol before you get started. Maintaining cleanliness throughout the process will help ensure your soaping supplies are free of contaminants.
Melt and pour soap base is made of the same ingredients as homemade soap, but it has already been through the chemical process known as saponification. Saponification occurs when fats and oils are mixed with lye and are needed for the liquid ingredients to harden.
Rely on well-established suppliers for purchasing your M&P base. You cannot add enough special ingredients to turn a cheap, drying soap into a luxurious, creamy bar. Wholesale suppliers offer bases that have been made with aloe vera, honey, goat’s milk, oatmeal, shea butter, and more. There is no shortage of variety when you make M&P.
If you’re just getting started, it’s best to follow a tested recipe. Soaping supply sites provide free recipes and instructions for melt and pour and cold process soaps. Because an M&P base has already gone through saponification, the types and amounts of things you can add are limited.
Too much liquid will prevent the soap from setting up. Many fresh or dried botanicals will cause mold to grow in the soap. Fragrance and essential oils need to be added in recommended amounts and when the melted soap is at a certain temperature.
The process is easy when you start with a good recipe. Think of it like making a box cake. It’s simple, but if you don’t add the right amount of eggs or cook it at the right temperature, you won’t have a good cake.
Use a large knife or soap cutting blade to chop the base into approximately one-half-inch cubes. Cut as much soap as the recipe recommends. Place the cubes into a microwave-safe container. If using colorants, add them as directed by the recipe.
Melt on high temp. for about 30 seconds at a time. Stir between each round in the microwave. Overheating the soap can cause it to burn and affect the finished product.
Keep stirring and melting until the soap has reached the desired temperature. Add scents and other ingredients as the recipe directs.
Alternatively, you can melt the base in a crockpot or a double boiler. Follow the same instructions for adding coloring and fragrance.
There are dozens of molds to choose from when you shop for soap making supplies wholesale. Silicone molds are favored by beginners for their ease of use and easy cleanup. The recipe you choose may suggest a specific shape of the mold.
Carefully pour the liquid soap into the mold cavities. Spritz the top of each bar with isopropyl alcohol to burst the bubbles and create a smooth, shiny finish when the soap hardens.
Let the soap cool for several hours or overnight, depending on the size and style of the mold.
Once the soap has completely cooled, remove it by pulling away the silicone to break the seal. The soap will pop out easily.
There are as many creative ways to package your soap as there are to make the soap itself. The only “must-do” is to wrap the soap in some type of plastic if you plan on storing it for more than a few weeks. The glycerin in soap is a humectant and attracts moisture from the air, which settles on the soap, creating what is known as “dew.” Dewy soap is still completely safe and effective, but it is unattractive.
Special shrink wrap bags, including non-toxic and eco-friendly bags, are available. Plain kitchen cling wrap will also work to prevent dew.
Should You Buy Soap-Making Supplies Wholesale?
Even if you only plan to make soap for friends and family, you’ll get the best prices and the best variety of ingredients by shopping at a wholesale outlet. Start slow, and build your inventory with care. With so many fun and exciting choices, it is easy to end up with a whole store full of supplies before you realize it.