Hi from Chicago IL !

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:


Jan 11, 2015
Reaction score

hello my name is Lauren, Im from Chicago IL
i literally started making soap yesterday.
Im slightly scared, highly curious, and super excited.

I have been interested in soap making for quite some time. I used to buy a lavender handmade soap from a shop near my, the woman who made it told me about how much fun she had trying out different recipes and fragrances and how she saved money by DIY.

A spark went off in my head, you know how much money i could save making soap and giving it as presents, party favors etc.??

but its not just about money
its about having fun.
I have successfully only made 2 batches of soap.
sadly both turned out brown.
happily both smell great.
mixing by hand killed me, thank god i get paid again Wednesday to buy a mixer.

Ive been pouring over google searches and youtube for ideas, how- tos tips and tricks.
I think I have became a little obsessive (darn you ocd)

I am just so excited, and know I still have a lot more supplies to buy, things to prepare before the real fun starts.

oh and btw i started straight CP soap making.

and i suck at math so the actual calculations is difficult for me, so i just have been going off other peoples recipes :lol: (the water to lye to oil ratios)
wish there was like a standard for that lol, cant seem to figure out if a mold is 5 lb or 10 lb or 1 lb :problem::problem:

and i cant figure out where mostly to buy stuff i have just been shopping on amazon right now lol buying essential oils and butters and stuff.

havent tried coloring anything yet.

so yeah basically im a soaptard...

i wont ramble anymore, any tips would be highly needed and appreciated!

Aug 1, 2013
Reaction score
Hey and welcome!

Let's start with the basics, shall we?

First, you don't need math, we have lovely lye calculators that do all of that for you. And you MUST learn to use them if you don't have the math gene(I don't, either) Here is a super helpful tutorial on using SoapCalc.net, which is what most of us use for CP soap making:


It may look a bit overwhelming at first, but read the tutorial, and play with lots of "practice" recipes so you get comfortable with it. Start by putting your first batch recipe through it. Then see if you put the correct amount of NaOH(lye) or not.

Second, you are going to need other things other than just a stickblender, aka immersion blender(not a mixer). You first need a good digital scale. Be sure it weighs at least grams and tenths of ounces. Don't buy a postal scale as they weigh once, not as you add to whatever you are weighing. This is not optional. Then you need gloves(I prefer nitrile disposable gloves.) and safety goggles. These are also not optional. You are going to need some other items, so here are a couple of videos that give you cheap options:



There is no end to the learning process on making soap, so this is just to get you started.


Staff member
Supporting Member
Oct 14, 2007
Reaction score


Supporting Member
Aug 16, 2014
Reaction score
Near Charlotte NC
Congratulations on joining our soap making cult, er family! It is a ton of fun and there is a bunch to learn. I'll second what the others said in making sure you are safe while enjoying this super addictive hobby.

There are a bunch of soap makers on the interwebs making lovely looking things. They don't always practice good safety though... Make sure you have gloves and eye protection (regular glasses do not count). Kids and pets should not be nearby. If you have a spill, rinse with water - not vinegar. Everyone makes mistakes and typos so get familiar with a lye calculator and run every recipe through it (there are recipes floating around on blogs that would burn the beejesus out of you).

I'll also second: Soaping101 is an excellent teacher. Watch a few videos (oldest ones first) to get an understanding of the process. Soap Queen has some excellent safety videos as well.

Essential Oils are typically less expensive/reliable quality when bought from a soaping supplier. You do not need those tiny, expensive bottles that make outrageous claims. Seriously.

Above all, welcome!


Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2014
Reaction score
Welcome new soaper! I'm new too! The Internet, particularly soaping 101 and this fabulous group of people are awesome teachers, supporters and overall great people! If I'm correct, length x width x height of pour x .40 will give you total ounces for mold. Don't quote me though. Check yourself. Always run recipe through soap calc. There could be a typo etc... As a retired RN, we were always taught to double check. Or if you're a sewer, measure twice, cut once. Check wholesale, as well as Costco or Sams for some stuff as well as dollar stores and thrift stores. Use what you have at home before investing in fancy molds. Pringles containers make cool stuff, and I hear they taste pretty good. Read, read, read, and watch as many tutorials as you can. Also, keep a journal of everything you do. What worked, what didn't etc...