mini blender? digital scale?

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

lauratryingsoap

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
26
Reaction score
9
Hi I'm just starting cp soap and I am still a high school student. I've made mp soap for years and have been interested in starting cp soap for quite some time. Unfortunately I have a tight budget. Do you think it's fine to use those mini mixers used for mixing colourants to achieve trace with cp soap? I can't find any inexpensive stick blenders even in thrift stores... also for a digital scale is it alright to use one that measures to 1gram instead of 0.1gram? I'd really appreciate an answer. Thanks:)
 

Arimara

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,423
Reaction score
2,533
Hi I'm just starting cp soap and I am still a high school student. I've made mp soap for years and have been interested in starting cp soap for quite some time. Unfortunately I have a tight budget. Do you think it's fine to use those mini mixers used for mixing colourants to achieve trace with cp soap? I can't find any inexpensive stick blenders even in thrift stores... also for a digital scale is it alright to use one that measures to 1gram instead of 0.1gram? I'd really appreciate an answer. Thanks:)
1. A mini frother is a fragile little thing from what i've read. Just don't spend too much on one and follow another soaper's advice for which type to get if they should recommend one. I don't have one and would likely tell you to get one from Wish.com.

2. If you can save $20 or so (and ask your parent), you can get this stickblender:

https://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-59765-Speed-Blender/dp/B003NQE8B0/ref=sr_1_5?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1475377750&sr=1-5&keywords=stick+blender

or this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Proctor-Silex-59738A-Proctor-Silex-Blender/dp/B00TJTASYG/ref=sr_1_4?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1475377750&sr=1-4&keywords=stick+blender

The latter may actually be cheaper in a store but the first one would be a little better for your needs if you clean it well after use.

3. As long as the scale can read grams by the ones increment at the least (.1 is better technically but not really needed for a hobbyist), you're fine. When it comes to measure your NaOH, you would just want to measure to the lower full gram amount.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,694
Reaction score
9,179
Location
Texas
Save up for a real stickblender. It need not be the most expensive, but mini mixers are just not going to hold up long term.

Also, don't buy a postal scale, no matter how much cheaper they are. But at least a kitchen scale that will weigh in 1 gram increments.

This is my stick blender (I don't have the bowl, though.): ttps://www.walmart.com/ip/Hamilton-Beach-Hand-Blender-w-Chopping-Bowl/14711461

Here is a decent (not great, but it will get you down the road a piece: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozeri-Pr...d-Scale-1g-to-12-lbs-Capacity-Chrome/37531698
 
Last edited:

BattleGnome

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
1,635
Reaction score
1,427
My first CP batch was mixed with a kitchen mixer (I had a spare). It is possible to hand mix a batch of soap, I would probably do some research into a fast moving recipe and not expect to do any swirls for a while. All that is based on needing/wanting to make a batch now.

If you can wait a bit.... Christmas is right around the corner. When you get the inevitable question about what you might like this year you can ask for amazon gift cards (or point them in the direction of the specific model you want). The waiting also gives you time to save on your own and look for the Black Friday sales. Those sales will probably be your best friend for wanting to save some money while getting the proper equipment.
 

apples

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
109
Reaction score
48
I started making cp/hp with just hand mixing manually with a whisk. It took about 1hour to trace (whisk 10mins, wait 10mins, whisk 10mins and so on...). Depends on whether you make a lot or frequently. If it's a hobby and you make like once a month and just a pound of soap each time, it's OK not to buy stick blender. Give it a try to see if it's worth your effort.

Those mini mixer, doesn't help much. I recently made some test soaps (only 100g each individually made) and thought the mini mixer would help but it doesn't, well maybe a bit but not really...most of the time I just leave it to thicken up by itself after ensuring the batter is emulsified. Then occasionally stir it with a small spatula. Took hours with soft oils but I was not in a rush so it's OK for me.

I use digital scale that measures up to 1g. Seems fine so far.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
7,923
Reaction score
7,943
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Hi I'm just starting cp soap and I am still a high school student. I've made mp soap for years and have been interested in starting cp soap for quite some time. Unfortunately I have a tight budget. Do you think it's fine to use those mini mixers used for mixing colourants to achieve trace with cp soap? I can't find any inexpensive stick blenders even in thrift stores... also for a digital scale is it alright to use one that measures to 1gram instead of 0.1gram? I'd really appreciate an answer. Thanks:)
I don't know if you have one near where you live, lauratryingsoap, but I just recently bought a $13.00 stick blender at WalMart. It's not my primary at home SB, but I travel a lot and wanted one to keep with my travel gear along with a few other soaping essentials. It's a regular SB, just a bit shorter than the good one I use at home and less powerful. But as long as I only do short pulses when I use it, then it should last well enough. At least that is my hope.

So you can find a regular SB for a cheap price.
 

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
17,237
Reaction score
11,056
Location
Right here, silly!
Welcome, Laura! :)

The mini-mixers are great for mixing colorants, but they will burn out very quickly if you try to use them to bring a CP soap to trace.

Good news, though- although a stick-blender is a wonderful thing for soap-making, it's not a 100% absolute necessity. You can most certainly make soap without one, and it won't necessarily take an hour to come to trace if you use the right kind of recipe- i.e., a fast-tracing recipe- or you can use any kind of recipe but just don't add as much water to it (i.e., use a water discount), or you can add a fast-moving FO to your batter. Either of the above will bring your soap to trace in a timely fashion with just a spoon or whisk as your stirring implement.

A digital scale, on the other hand is a necessity. A digital scale that weighs accurately down to 1 gram is perfectly fine just as long as you keep to batches that are at least 1 pound in oil weight. If you want to make batches smaller than that, you'll need to invest in a more sensitive scale that can weigh accurately in fractions of a gram.


IrishLass :)
 

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,910
Reaction score
3,040
Location
Near Charlotte NC
Ditto to everyone's advice on the stickblender and digital scale.

If you dig around on amazon, a stickblender can be found for under $15. A lot of folks have unused ones sitting in their kitchen cabinets - ask your family/friends if they have one collecting dust.

A good scale will cost a little more. I've had this one forever and really would not do without it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VEKX35Y/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20 It lets you tare (zero out) while measuring. You can also disable the automatic shut off. That's a really good feature to have. If your scale doesn't have that option, make sure to write down the weight of your empty container so you can figure out where you were if your scale unexpectedly shuts off.

A couple of other pieces of equipment you must use... Goggles and Gloves. They are both inexpensive and really the most important things you can buy. Safety first!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,854
Reaction score
11,327
Location
Southern California
If you happen to use Palm Oil and shortening I can give you a recipe that you can certainly mix with a stainless whisk to trace, in fact I always whisk it. It is a nice soap.
If you have some thrift stores that you or your mom can check regularly you may come up with a used SB. I look every time I go to one and it took about a year before I found one. Granted I did not go weekly, just sporadically because I was just keeping my eye out for a backup one. Also check yard sales, or maybe you can talk mom into this one https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=stick+blender. Good luck to you and your endeavors
 

lauratryingsoap

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
26
Reaction score
9
Thank you for the suggestion! I actually already have a mini blender but was scared that you could only use a emulsion blender. I am going to try out with the mini blender today but if it fails, I will buy a stick blender. Thank you for the suggestions especially because I heard a soap maker saying that you MUST use a scale that weighs to 0.1g and didnt really want to invest in one. Thank you!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,980
Reaction score
9,076
Location
Austria
If you keep your batch size to a minimum of 599g (1lb) then the 1g scale is perfectly fine.

My worry with the mini blender is that it could end up breaking, meaning that you are then looking at a stick blender and a mini blender on your shopping list instead of just a stick blender
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,092
Location
New England
If by mini blender you mean a frother, I can pretty much guarantee that it won't work. I have a frother, and it's meant for just that, frothing milk for a cappuccino. It uses one little battery to power it...there's just not enough power, it just kind of wiggles back and forth. People do use them for mixing oxides and micas into oils sometimes. That's what I bought mine for, but truthfully, I never use it, it's just easier and less messy to mix them with a spoon. I don't know where you live, but if there is an Ocean State Job Lot, or a Big Lots near you, check them for stick blenders. I got my current one at Ocean State, and it cost about $10. I bought it as a back up, but ended up liking it better than my more expensive one. As suggested above, thrift stores are always a good option, too. But a scale is one piece of equipment I wouldn't skimp on. I'd buy a cheaper stick blender, and spend the money I saved toward a better scale Good luck! :)
 

lauratryingsoap

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
26
Reaction score
9
Hi everyone! I wanted to update this thread incase anyone else came across this. So mini blenders DO NOT WORK. If you use one that it is very high in quality it might, but a mini mixer is pretty much useless. It gets the mixture to thin trace (practically separating thin trace) and then the motor is too weak to continue to emulsify the soap. Hand mixing also sucks. You get grainy soap, and my hand mixed soap never emulsifies properly. So yea... I have to say that it has to be a stick blender. And as for the scale, you can get a $5 one on aliexpress or ebay. They are pocket scales. Mine measures up to 500g with an accuracy of 0.1g. You can also get 1000g 0.01g ones for $10. So I'd say its a steal. For other cheap sopaing supplies, you can get a silicone loaf mold for...wait for it...$6! Yes they are fabulous
 
Top