New Soaping Area.

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TashaBird

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I’ve decided to repurpose one of my art areas in my garage to a soaping area. No more soaping in the kitchen! There is a sink, but no stove or microwave. I may have to get a heating element for melting oils, plug in preferred. Recommendations?
 

GemstonePony

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Hello! What are your current/expected soaping methods? Cold process? Hot process? Melt & Pour? And what is your expected maximum batch size? Those might influence the answers you get.
 

Megan

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I bought a Cusimax Infrared portable electric stove from Amazon and I am very pleased. It heats up really fast, but also has low heat settings for when you need that. I don't have to worry about the type of pot I'm using being compatible...and I feel it's affordable.
 

TashaBird

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Hello! What are your current/expected soaping methods? Cold process? Hot process? Melt & Pour? And what is your expected maximum batch size? Those might influence the answers you get.
Cold process. Currently 2-2.5 lb loaves, but I’m eye balling a 5lb loaf.

I bought a Cusimax Infrared portable electric stove from Amazon and I am very pleased. It heats up really fast, but also has low heat settings for when you need that. I don't have to worry about the type of pot I'm using being compatible...and I feel it's affordable.
How low does it go?
 

Megan

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I was going to say a microwave or a hot plate should be adequate, but the infrared stove sounds pretty nifty.
technically it's just a hot plate with a fancy name as far as I'm concerned...but I specifically wanted to make sure that it wasn't induction because I despise induction burners (It's what I have for my normal cooktop haha! I was not prepared to switch out all of my old pans when I moved.)
 

TheGecko

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I’ve decided to repurpose one of my art areas in my garage to a soaping area. No more soaping in the kitchen! There is a sink, but no stove or microwave. I may have to get a heating element for melting oils, plug in preferred. Recommendations?
I’m looking to move out into our garage when it gets cleaned up and I’ve been eyeing: https://www.amazon.com/Elite-Cuisin...d=1595988106&sprefix=Hot+plate,aps,227&sr=8-3

I’ve come to really enjoy melting my oils/butters on the stove instead of the microwave. I won’t have a sink, but a wash bucket will work fine for me.
 

TashaBird

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I’m looking to move out into our garage when it gets cleaned up and I’ve been eyeing: https://www.amazon.com/Elite-Cuisin...d=1595988106&sprefix=Hot+plate,aps,227&sr=8-3

I’ve come to really enjoy melting my oils/butters on the stove instead of the microwave. I won’t have a sink, but a wash bucket will work fine for me.
I can always carry my bowl of oils up stairs to the microwave. It’d sure be easier than carrying each of my oils upstairs to my kitchen to measure, and then back downstairs to store them again!
The more I think about moving my operation to the garage, the more excited I’m getting about it!!
The hubs loves a good building project!! He does stress carpentry! I’ve got shelves in places I never knew I needed shelves!!! 😆😆😆

I’m looking to move out into our garage when it gets cleaned up and I’ve been eyeing: https://www.amazon.com/Elite-Cuisin...d=1595988106&sprefix=Hot+plate,aps,227&sr=8-3

I’ve come to really enjoy melting my oils/butters on the stove instead of the microwave. I won’t have a sink, but a wash bucket will work fine for me.
I wonder what temperature low is on that hot plate.
 

Cosmo71

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I keep all my supplies in a tough box in the garage. I also mix my lye in the garage...I guess it won't be long and I'll be soaping out there as well. Why not?
 

TashaBird

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I keep all my supplies in a tough box in the garage. I also mix my lye in the garage...I guess it won't be long and I'll be soaping out there as well. Why not?
I have a small kitchen and keep all my soap supplies downstairs in the garage. I have been making soap int he kitchen upstairs, which means a LOT of trips up and down the stairs. That’s not too bad, exercise and all. But, can’t make food if I’m in a project. Also, stains and spills and stuff. I’m getting super excited for my new space.
 

Adobehead

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I melt in a crock pot. With bigger batches (like 8 pounds) i do the whole thing in there. But for smaller batches it is nice to just use an electric teakettle to heat some water and make kind of a double boiler, the hard oils melt really quickly. I like to keep it simple, but plan on building a bigger space, too. Going back and forth to the stove is the scourge of the earth!
 

dibbles

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I can always carry my bowl of oils up stairs to the microwave.
If you plan to do this, I'd recommend using something with a tight fitting cover. I soap in my basement, and used to take my oils upstairs to melt them in the kitchen. It only took one time with a small misstep resulting in a good sized oil spill to put a microwave in my basement.
 

MGM

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I’ve decided to repurpose one of my art areas in my garage to a soaping area. No more soaping in the kitchen! There is a sink, but no stove or microwave. I may have to get a heating element for melting oils, plug in preferred. Recommendations?
I think you've mentioned wanting to sell so I'm reposting this very interesting cautionary tale. There may be some useful information for you :
A Surprise Visit from the FDA - Soap Queen
 

Cosmo71

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I think you've mentioned wanting to sell so I'm reposting this very interesting cautionary tale. There may be some useful information for you :
A Surprise Visit from the FDA - Soap Queen
I had read this "a surprise visit for the FDA" I think the main issue that caused the inspection was the lady was labeling her soaps as medicinal! I have been soaping for about 2 weeks and even I know you shouldn't do that. Making soap and selling soap are 2 completely different entities and if selling interests you, you better do your research before you try to market and sell a product that will be used on skin and sometimes looks like food. I want to sell soap but it sounds incredibly risky...definitely wouldn't do it without insurance.
 

TashaBird

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I think you've mentioned wanting to sell so I'm reposting this very interesting cautionary tale. There may be some useful information for you :
A Surprise Visit from the FDA - Soap Queen
Thanks! Yikes!! Good reminder to stay on top of the rules and regs. Just registered for HSCG, they seem to have consolidated good info on the requirements. Are they a good source? Any other sources you recommend? I’m gearing up to sell, but want to take my time and do it right.
 

TheGecko

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I had read this "a surprise visit for the FDA" I think the main issue that caused the inspection was the lady was labeling her soaps as medicinal!
No she wasn't: "the inspector came across her website and noticed several problems with the way products were described. Specifically, Robin described a scent as “medicinal,” and stated that tea tree and lavender essential oils contained antibacterial properties." Even though what she wrote is correct as far as scent and properties are concerned, what makes it a problem is that folks are going to think/assume/presume that those properties will be IN the soap.

It's something that I struggled with when I went to work on my Ingredients page of my website. I knew I couldn't I label my soap as anything but soap without crossing over, but I thought I could talk about the various 'benefits' of the ingredients that I used...like how I see a lot of YouTube soapers describe theirs. I was quickly set straight that I cannot...if I am just selling "Soap".

BUT...when you go on to read the story, there were issues with her overall manufacturing "facility", storage, and processes. I think just about every soap maker starts out in their kitchen and while they are probably taking the same care and concern in making soap as they make supper for their family, the requirements for making a consumable products are much, much higher.
 

TashaBird

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This is great advice! I’d rather comply from the start. So, I’m looking to see how I can ready this new area as I’m organizing it. Is the HSCG insurance (Veracity) what most soap sellers have? Also, HSCG seems to be a good resource for requirements. Any others?
 
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