I have made few batches of CP soap so far and have thoroughly enjoyed the each process of making them as much as the soap itself. As such I am still a beginner at this CP soap making, my soaping supplies are still very limited so far and would very much like to add more to the list 🙂 But here are all the items I keep in my cp soap box:
- Base Oils and Butters
These are the oils that are gone through the saponification process to create a soap bar. I have only very few base oils, namely olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, castor oil, and sweet almond oil. Palm oil is another base oil that is very common used to make cp soap, but since my soap are all palm oil free, I have never bought any. I just simply tweak the recipe that contains palm oil and replace with other base oils that have similar properties, such as cocoa butter or shea butter. Butters are also packed with vitamins that helps to nourish our skin, I have cocoa butter and shea butter which I normally use just either one in a single soap recipe.
The other most important ingredient for cp soap is of course lye or caustic soda or sodium hydroxide. This is what trigger the saponification process when mixed with base oils. It is harsh when comes in contact to skin, hence you need protecting clothing when making cp soap, to ensure no splash of this lye mixture will be come in contact to your skin/eyes.
- Essential and fragrant oils
These oils are the contributor to how your soap smell like. The difference between those two are essential oils are natural, whereas fragrant oils are synthetic. Being non-natural does not necessarily means fragrant oils are not good, there are many good qualities fragrant oils that have tested for safe to skin. And we can not extract natural oils from every plants/fruits, for example strawberries, pears, and many others, which we can have now with fragrance oils. I only have a very small collection of essential/fragrance oils: coffee, oat and honey, jasmine, rose, lemongrass and ginger. I have just placed an order for couple with citrusy notes which are yet to be delivered.
Clay are additions to your soap, which not only acts as natural colorants but also produce soap bars that have good properties to your skin. To my knowledge there are white, pink, red, green, bentonite, beige and black clay. Each color has different purpose on the skin; for example white clay is very gentle for sensitive and dry skin, pink clay helps to firm and tone the skin, red clay for dehydrated and matured skin, green for detoxification and acne prone skin, bentonite for tissue repair, beige clay for detoxifying, and lastly the black clay known for its oxygenating properties nourishes the skin. Some people also added clay to help the fragrant to stick to the cp soap better. I have just ordered white, pink, beige and bentonite clay which are also yet to come.
- Ground coffee, oats, honey
These are just other additions I add to the soap for color, fragrance, or simply for the goodness it brings to the soap.
- Soap molds
If you read my first posts on cp soap making here and here, I used cleaned soy milk carton as soap mold. I only used a real soap silicone log mold when I made these soap bars. I am actually thinking of getting some other models, but haven’t decided yet.
- Other equipment, such as stick blender, spatula, plastic spoons, several containers, measuring jug, digital weight, and knife for cutting up the soaps.
Where do I get my supplies from?
Some of the oils, lye and the last mentioned additives (coffee, oats and honey) are from local supermarkets. The other ingredients are mostly from Australian online soap supplies shops. I tend to get them from those located in NSW mainly due to shipping cost consideration 🙂 As for the soap molds, I bought my silicone log mold from eBay. The equipment came from various shops from hot dollar shops to Daiso to Kmart.
Hope this information might be of help to you who just starting on CP soap making and happy soaping! ^̮^