Soap making is one of my favorite hobbies because you get to be creative and inventive, while still making things that can be useful to you and your loved ones. If you’ve been making soap for a little while now you probably have the basics down, but there may be some small issues you run into from time to time. Or you could be considering selling your soap, and want some tips and tricks to make your bars look more professional and ready for store shelves. Either way, here are my five best hacks for successful soap making!
Everyone knows it’s the little details that take your soaps from homemade to ready-to-sell or gift. You can start practicing your focus on the details by greasing your molds with oil before pouring your soap, so that it doesn’t stick to the edges or even worse break in half when you’re releasing it. This is a small step that makes a huge difference in your process. Once the soap has cured you can use a steamer to get rid of soda ash on the top of your soaps for a better visual appearance, and do little things as simple as beveling the edges of your soap for a professional look.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Have all of your soap making supplies, even the mix-ins, pre measured and laid out ahead of time. This way if the rest of the process takes less time than expected you won’t be scrambling to get dyes and essential oils ready while your soap base is needing to be mixed. It’s the same concept as used in cooking: “mise en place”, or everything in its place. Without this rule, your cooking will be less successful. This applies to soap making as well.
Use Color Wisely
There’s something special about making something that doesn’t just serve a purpose, but is visually stunning as well. Some companies benefit from extremely paired down and simple branding, if that’s the look you’re going for, it might be good to purchase some titanium dioxide and make all of your soaps one color and shape. Sometimes going so stark and simple with your branding can have a dramatic impact. You could also go in the opposite direction completely and make soaps that look as beautiful and complex as their creation process!
Test, Test, Test
It’s easy to get ingredient-happy and shop for every single colorant or oil that’s out there, but don’t forget to test each new element first. This includes smelling fragrance oils, testing colorants on a sheet of paper, and making an extremely tiny batch of soap with ingredients you haven’t used before. It’s a huge waste of money and time to just grab an ingredient and throw it into your big batch of soap without even considering how it might react. Working with and understanding your components on an individual level first will help you create a better final product.
My final tip is to just have fun! Even the most experienced soap makers will make mistakes at times, but it’s important not to get discouraged. Part of the enjoyment of creating anything is to experiment and try things you haven’t seen before, after all, few amazing things would exist without the courage to create something that could totally fail. If you do happen to fail, it doesn’t mean you aren’t good at what you’re doing, it just means you’ll need to take a new approach and try again. Improvement only comes through lots of mistakes and lots of research, so have fun and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty (or clean!)
There you have it, my five tips for successful soap making! Let me know your best hacks for making bath and body products, and help out my readers (and myself) by telling us about your biggest mistakes. Now it’s time to take a shower and wash ten times to test out your hard work (am I the only one?). Good luck!