New, have some basic questions.


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Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2013
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Need help with a few things.
I haven't even made my first batch yet (waiting on supplies to arrive).
So far here is what I have:

silicone spatula
2 quart pyrex with pour spout
1 quart pyrex
stick blender
rubber gloves


oils I have purchased (just small amounts at the grocery store for now):

coconut oil
olive oil
canola oil
sunflower oil

still need:

mold of some kind (was going to just makeshift one with corrugated cardboard for now) and freezer paper to line it with.

So, what else do I need?

Also, I am struggling to understand how big to make a mold and how much of each oil to use to yield the right amount for the size mold I make. Can anyone help me with that part?

Recipes are confusing me a little also ~ when I look at some charts saying things like 50% olive oil, is that 50% total of ALL liquids (including the water?) Or 50% of the OIL content.

I have researched non-stop for a few days now and read an 85 pg book but still struggling with those things. Sorry if I am repeat asking things :/


Lifetime Supporter
Jan 31, 2009
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

I don’t recommend using Pyrex for soapmaking. Over time, the lye causes etching in the glass and the Pyrex can shatter. I recommend plastic containers made of polypropylene (PP#5) or stainless steel for dissolving lye and PP#5 plastic or hard plastic bowls for mixing the oils and lye together.

The percentages of a recipe are based just on oil content. For example, if you were making a 32 ounce recipe which is 50% olive, 25% coconut and 25% palm, the ounces would be 16 oz olive, 8 oz coconut and 8 oz palm. You would enter these amounts into a lye calculator to find out the amount of liquid and amount of lye needed for the batch.

“How to figure out how much oil for the mold” sticky --> http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=2909

This is just a suggestion but I’d keep the percentage of canola on the low side since people have said it’s got a short shelf and will go rancid. I recommend the same for regular sunflower. However, some sunflower oil in stores is high oleic which is a little more stable so it has a longer shelf life. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with regular sunflower oil but I only used it at 10%. High oleic sunflower oil I use at a higher percentage and haven’t experienced any DOS. However, this doesn’t mean your soap wouldn’t develop DOS since there are other variables like the age of the oil and the environment. There’s more of a chance of rancidity is you live in a hot, humid area.

People have mentioned you can also use a milk carton (waxed on inside) for a mold. Also, people have mentioned using cottage cheese, yogurt and butter containers as long as they have the PP#5 code on the bottom and are flexible enough to get the soap out. You don't need a lot to get started. I'll post back if I think of anything else.



Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2009
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I often use yogurt containiers. I also have used silicone ice trays from dollar store.for things like that I cheat and fill with water weight it and that tells me how much soap it will hold for cardboard box well gotta do the math poster above gave you link to sticky. welcome to soaping it's fun . You can also use things like tupperware as a mold. I even used plastic gontainer lunch meat came in worked pretty well.


Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2013
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Magstatt-le-bas, France
You've already got some good advice here, but I just thought of another tip that I find useful wrt your molds being the "right" size.

Sometimes I forget to consider the additives when I work out how much soap I need for my mold, so I find it helpful to keep an additional container at hand - just in case! I use either a small tube mold (which was a liquid soap bottle in its previous life) or some silicon cupcake forms close by, so that there's no panic if there's more soap than expected.

For your first few batches, its easy and cheap to make a mold or modify a container you already have. I made a log mold out of carton packaging (i think it was a carton from Amazon, in fact, and i still have that "mold"!) and then graduated to a champagne box (have that too!) before buying my acrylic mold. And I still regularly use lined Pringles cans because the size is great for round soaps, and they're easy to get the soap out of because you can just tear the can away to release the soap. One type of container to avoid though is a milk carton, because no matter how many times you wash it there still seem to be traces of milk on the surface ..... and this can discolor the soap. Plastic milk or yoghurt packaging is OK, as long as its washed really well.

Regarding your oils, if you haven't ordered any yet, you may want to buy some butters to increase the proportion of your solid oils. I don't use palm oil at all, so use either Shea or cocoa butter (or a little of each) to add to the hardness and moisturizing quality of the soap. Shea is my personal favorite, but both are lovely.

Good luck, and we'd love to see some photos if your first bars!

Sent from my iPad using Soap Making


Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2010
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US Southwest
An easy great first recipe is 30% coconut oil and 70% olive oil, at 7% superfat/lye discount. Great for getting your feet wet and easy to get ingredients locally.

I recommend a batch side of 1.5-2 lbs of oils. This will give you 6-8 bars - not so small that small measurement errors become a problem, not so big that if your batch fails, you've wasted a lot of ingredients.

Good luck and enjoy!


Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2013
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South Florida
Welcome! I made my own wooden mold with a latch and hinge for easier removal of the soap, but I have also used boxes and Ceaser dog food containers.


Dec 1, 2012
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I like my book"The Everything Soapmaking Book" AS for the molds I use "Rubbermaid takealongs" It's just a 12 X 9 plastic with a lid. It's a lot easier that trying to pour raw soap into a lot of little molds, And then when it's cool, I cut the bars out with a putty knife.(I don't care if they are all different sizes) I also use a pyrex quart glass picture for my lye combination and a stainless steel bowl for the oils. (I pour from the Pyrex into the large stainless bowl) I combine the oils in the Stainless Bowl, and( carefully) put it over a Hotplate on very low heat. Also I have a digital thermometer, wooden spoon, stick blender, scale, etc. I believe my soap is very good, I use a quart of frozen evaporated milk (or frozen goats milk) in every batch, and my family raves about it. If I can help in anyway, contact me.
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