Contrary to what you may expect you can make soap with very little equipment that you won't already find in your kitchen.
As a guide if you can gather together a couple of 1 litre plastic jugs, a 3 litre plastic jug, weighing scales, a silicone spatula, gloves and goggles the only things you may need to buy are a stick blender and a digital thermometer. The stick blender is common place in larger supermarkets and the thermometers are easy to find online for less than £10.
You don't even need to buy a mould - just line a cardboard box with greasproof paper and you are good to go.
Hot process soap making is very similar but you do need a slow cooker for that method. And a stainless steel or silicone spoon to scoop your soap in to the mould.
But as hobbies go it is fair to say you can set yourself up relatively cheaply.
Can I use the same equipment for soap making as I use for my food preparation?
I would suggest that you do the first time - rather than invest in new things not knowing if you will carry on. It won't do any harm as long as you wash everything thoroughly but if you continue with your soap making then it is well worth having dedicated soap making utensils, not only do they tend to end up a little discoloured from the lye solution but you will not have to worry about cross contamination.
So now I have answered that question for you 'Go forth and make soap!'
If you would like to book in for one of my soap making workshops held in Dorchester or take a look at the online video course or eBook then you can find out more here