The Essential Tools You Really Need When You are First Starting Out
Well Hello There Once Again!
This week I wanted to share the most important tools you will need if you are justing starting out to make soap. I know it can feel like there is so much that you need, and you will have spend a lot of money, but that isn't necessarily the case.. I'm going to list the actual essential that you must get, and also break down the cost of these items and you'll see that it's probably not as big as an investment as you think.
One thing you should keep in mind is that many of these tools are probably already in your house. Look into your drawers or the back of your cupboards. You'll likely find something there that you can use, and designate for making soap from now on. Also, you can always check with friends and family if they have any of these items that they don't want anymore. Who said your tools have to be brand new? If you're just starting out and don't even know if this is really going to be your thing, there's no need to invest in brand new items. When I first started out, I asked my friend if she had an old stick blender she didn't want. She said Yes, and to this day I still use that stick blender. She used it for making soup, but I washed it thoroughly and from that day on, it was for making Soap :) . I eventually ended up buying an extra one, because I like to have a spare incase something happens to the first one while I'm in the middle of making soap, but there is no need for you to do that now.
Let's take it one day at a time and just get started. Here is a breakdown of what you'll need and the price I found on Souq.com. You don't have to get these exact same things and you don't have to buy them online. All of these items can be found in your local supermarket (except for the goggles which you can find in SACO). So yeay for saving on shipping.
1. Hand Blender
Price: SR 209
Link: Braun Hand Blender
Pro Tip: Get one with a stainless steel shaft. Plastic will deteriorate with time.
2. Kitchen Scale
Price: SR 100.8
Pro Tip: Get a scale with a stainless steel surface. Easier to clean. Also, consider how much it can weigh. Get one that can weigh at least 15kg which is good for starting out and for making bigger quantities later on. Get the 40kg scale if you think you will need it.
3. Long Handled Silicon Spatula
Price: SR 91.8
Pro Tip: Silicon is the best. I prefer this type of spatula after trying out many. First of all it’s easy to clean. Second, plastic and wooden handles will deteriorate over time. You need at least 2 spatulas
4. Silicon Mold
Price: SR 83
Link: Set of 3
Pro Tip: This is a great value for money. You can also search Silicon Molds and find a different shape you like. Another Pro Tip: When you pour the soap in the mold, it will be very hard to move the mold after that. Either place the mold in a tray before you pour, so you can carry the tray, or place the mold exactly where you’re going to keep it until the soap sets.
5. Stainless Steel Pot
Price: SR 173.25
Link: Tefal Pot
Pro Tip: Remember you will need stainless steel, not aluminum. You can also find some options in IKEA. Or find a pot that you are not using at home, and designate it as your soaping pot.
6. Plastic Jugs for Measuring NaOh and Oils
Price: SR 9.49
Quantity: 3 or more
Link: Small Plastic Jug
Pro Tip: You need something "like" the jug in the link. I couldn’t tell from the website what kind of plastic this is because we only want to get something that is HDPE or with the Number 5 or Number 2 triangle on it. But the good news is that similar products are available in most supermarkets like HyperPanda and Danube in the kitchen ware sections. You will need 2-3 of these for measuring the Sodium hydroxide and your oils.
7. Jug for Lye Solution
Price: SR 30
Link: Large Plastic Jug
Pro Tip: You need something "like" the jug in the picture. I’m not sure what the type of plastic is, but again look for HDPE or Triangle 5 or Triangle 2. Get something long and with a lid because you will need to let the lye solution cool for a while. Having it in a different type of container is good practice so you can tell it apart from the others.
8. Safety Goggles
Price: SR 18.95
Pro Tip: Something like these goggles or similar is fine. You want something comfortable that will fit the size of your face. You will have them on for a long time and you don't want them being too tight or sliding off your nose. YOU MUST WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES. Prescription glasses are not the same. If you wear prescription glasses, get goggles that are big enough to fit over your glasses. You can find safety goggles in SACO.
Price: SR 29
Pro Tip: When I first started out I used these gloves. They helped me feel safe working with sodium hydroxide. I recommend these or similar ones when you are first starting out. Make sure you get them in your size. You want to be able to grip things without them slipping from your hands
10. Paper Towels
Price: SR 17.44
Quantity: 1 Roll
Link: Kleenex Paper Towel Roll
Pro Tip: You can use this to cover your surface, wipe spills, and to wipe away excess soap from your pots and tools before you actually try washing them.
11. Infrared Thermometer
Price: SR 189
Link: This one or this one
Pro Tip: This is a very important tool! Not much else I can say. Keeping track of your temperatures is very important.
Now let's add it all up.. if we consider purchasing 2 silicon spatulas and 3 jugs, the total will be around SR 970 SR. (Not including shipping) . Now consider if you could actually find some of these things around the house or reuse something a friend doesn't want. You can save here and there. The point is for much less than SR1000 you can start making soap. The price of the oils and the sodium hydroxide will not exceed SR100 depending on the quantity and number of oils that you want to use.
I hope you found this article helpful. I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.
I'll speak with you again next week..