Are you a regular user of handmade soap but find it expensive to buy? Have you thought about making your own soap but wondered if it is cost effective to do so? Have you wondered what equipment you need to make your own soap at home?
Here is a break down of your start up costs for making your first batch of handmade soap. (UK only at August 2020)
You will need some basic equipment to get you started.
A hand blender - around £10 - £15 from the local supermarket
Kitchen scales - most people will have these but otherwise £10 for a basic set.
Protective googles. Less than £5, try a DIY store for these.
Infrared, digital thermometer, around £13 currently on ebay.
3 x 1 litre plastic jugs and 1 x 3 litre, less than £5 from your local supermarket.
Protective gloves, kitchen washing up style are good £2
A small ceramic or glass dish for essential oils, you can repurpose a small glass jar for this.
Soap mould - line a cardboard box with greaseproof paper or alternatively you can buy a soap mould on line for around £13
Silicone spatula £3
So in effect you can buy everything you need for less than £50 and possibly a lot less if you have some items already. I do suggest that if you are looking to make soap frequently you buy separate utensils from those you use in the kitchen but if you are just trying your first batch you could use your existing equipment as a one off.
Cocoa butter can be purchased online in button form as above which makes it much easier to work with.
My basic recipe is as follows.
450g Olive Oil around £1.50 in somewhere like Lidl
135g cocoa butter £10.39 for 500g from The Soap Kitchen
315g coconut oil £4.19 for 500g from The Soap Kitchen
Sodium Hydroxide 130g £3.11 for 500g from The Soap Kitchen
Water - free from the tap!
Essential oils vary wildly, a good basic starter combination would be lavender and peppermint and you need 27g in total and I would suggest 17g of lavender and 10g of peppermint so 2 x 10ml bottles of lavender essential oil from Freshskin is £3.78 and 10ml of peppermint is £1.89. Whilst ml to g is not always accuarate it is a reasonable guide and if you are slightly under that is fine.
So ingredients bring us to £24.86 however you will see that some of those, particularly cocoa butter will have enough to make 3 batches so you can reduce the sum by around £7 to obtain a more accurate figure of £18 for the sake of argument. This £18 of ingredients will make you around 1.2 kg of soap in total which is a lot of soap.
If we were to create an even simpler, but still in my view, lovely soap but with just coconut oil you could get that figure down a little further.
Any coconut oil you can buy in the shops is suitable, I use unrefined coconut oil but generally you will only find virgin coconut oil in the shops. Unfortunately the lovely coconut scent will not carry through to your finished soap.
900g Coconut Oil £7.59 for 1kg from The Soap Kitchen
Sodium Hydroxide 132g £3.11 for £500g from The Soap Kitchen
Water - free from the tap.
Essential oils £3.78 as above from Freshskin
Total £14.48 or you could even consider going fragrance free and just popping a small handful of porridge oats in your soap batter (trust me - this produces the creamiest bar of soap) giving you a total figure of £10.70
As you can see, soap making does not have to be expensive at all. After a little initial investment (and I really recommend you invest in a training course of some sort - I will explain why in next weeks blog) you can turn out handmade soap at a very reasonable price and you only need make it 3 or 4 times a year if you make a large batch like this at a time.
If you are thinking yes yes yes tell me how, then I can help you with that too. Just pop over here where you can find my online soap making course. Step by step videos delivered to you within minutes talking you through everything you need to know to get started with making your own gorgeous soap at home.
Good luck and if I have inspired you be sure to let me know.