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Goldenapple

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Hey all.

I'm new here and in the gathering and research phase of soapmaking. Now, I don't have an extra stainless steel pot to use but at the local hardware store I was able to get lye and was told a rubber (mason) bucket (the kind masons use to carry wet cement) would do fine for mixing lye and water together. I was also told that a plastic pitcher could be used to mix lye and water as well, so what I wanted to do was to use the pitcher for lye and water then to use the rubber (mason) bucket to mix the oils and lye water together.

Would that be fine?

The bucket looks like this.

 

CTAnton

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GoldenApple there's others more scientific than myself on here but I'll chime in.I worry that over a short period of time your rubber bucket might be difficult to clean thoroughly, picking up scents from prior batches and things of that ilk. Most of us here glean the thrift stores for second hand stainless steel pots, the narrower and deeper the better. This helps prevent air bubbles from your stick blender if your making small batches.
In terms of a plastic pitcher for mixing your liquid and lye well, that's what I use. Just make sure theres a 2 or a 5 in the triangle on the bottom of the container. Mine has a tight fitting lid so after I pour the lye in to whatever liquid I'm using I put the lid on and my kitchen doesn't smell like a chemical plant.
And welcome!
 

Seawolfe

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I somehow doubt that Wallmart and our typical dollar stores are common in Barbados :)

I used to use buckets like that black one for my horse, and I think the interior surface is too rough and would be hard to clean. It might even react with the lye, and will certainly hold scent as posted above.

If you can find a paint or hardware store, or even ask at restaurants, look for buckets like these



 

annalee2003

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Whoops! I didn't see that they were from Barbados (didn't catch their intro thread until just now).
Dang tapatalk app doesn't show me users locations (if they put them in) under their usernames either.
 

Goldenapple

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Thanks so much for the replies! The bucket was really cheap so I didn't mind buying it but I checked and saw I had a pretty tall plastic container and it had a 2 and 5 on the bottom of it (first time I found out about that was today) so I will use that to mix my lye and water in and see if I can get a bigger bucket to mix the oils and lye water in to blend together.

Yes, Barbados doesn't have a wallmart and stuff like that so buying stainless steel pots here can get expensive and we don't have a lot of thrift sales unless someone's leaving the island and selling their stuff.

But we do have a $3 dollar store! My friend said she got some plastic pitchers there so I will check it out! Will a plastic spoon be okay? I found a place here selling silicone ones at a bakery.

I also have a scale but not a digital one. Should I save for a digital scale?
 
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Seawolfe

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You need a digital scale that can at least weigh to grams, and a decent stick blender will save your sanity.

Silicone works well, SOME plastic spoons work fine, but not the ones that you use for tableware - those melt into funny shapes....
 

penelopejane

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Thanks so much for the replies! The bucket was really cheap so I didn't mind buying it but I checked and saw I had a pretty tall plastic container and it had a 2 and 5 on the bottom of it (first time I found out about that was today) so I will use that to mix my lye and water in and see if I can get a bigger bucket to mix the oils and lye water in to blend together.

Yes, Barbados doesn't have a wallmart and stuff like that so buying stainless steel pots here can get expensive and we don't have a lot of thrift sales unless someone's leaving the island and selling their stuff.

But we do have a $3 dollar store! My friend said she got some plastic pitchers there so I will check it out! Will a plastic spoon be okay? I found a place here selling silicone ones at a bakery.

I also have a scale but not a digital one. Should I save for a digital scale?
Do you know what amounts you will be mixing? I make 1kg loafs of soap and I only need 2x 2 litre plastic jugs (2 or 5 on the bottom) one for lye and water and one for the batter. The good thing about these is that the handle and spout makes it easy to pour.

I guess it depends if you are making cold process or hot process soap (you need a crockpot or stainless steel saucepan for hot process soap).

You should be able to get a good digital scale on ebay for under $20. http://www.ebay.com.au/bhp/electronic-kitchen-scales

It's good to have a stick blender with a stainless steel stick and cowl. If it is Aluminium it will not withstand the lye and if it is plastic it will not last long.

The silicone spoon and spatula will probably be worthwhile because they don't melt, don't transfer chemicals (like melamine) to a batter and they last for along time.
 
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Goldenapple

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Do you know what amounts you will be mixing? I make 1kg loafs of soap and I only need 2x 2 litre plastic jugs (2 or 5 on the bottom) one for lye and water and one for the batter. The good thing about these is that the handle and spout makes it easy to pour.

I guess it depends if you are making cold process or hot process soap (you need a crockpot or stainless steel saucepan for hot process soap).

You should be able to get a good digital scale on ebay for under $20. http://www.ebay.com.au/bhp/electronic-kitchen-scales

It's good to have a stick blender with a stainless steel stick and cowl. If it is Aluminium it will not withstand the lye and if it is plastic it will not last long.

The silicone spoon and spatula will probably be worthwhile because they don't melt, don't transfer chemicals (like melamine) to a batter and they last for along time.
Great info to know! Well I'm hoping to start off with 2lbs as well, nothing too big and I want to stick to cold process for now. I will check out that digital scale, I just may not get it til next month though and was hoping to start sooner than that. I believe the hand blender is stainless steel in the stick and cowl but will double check to confirm and I will definitely get those silicone things then!
 

penelopejane

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Great info to know! Well I'm hoping to start off with 2lbs as well, nothing too big and I want to stick to cold process for now. I will check out that digital scale, I just may not get it til next month though and was hoping to start sooner than that. I believe the hand blender is stainless steel in the stick and cowl but will double check to confirm and I will definitely get those silicone things then!
As long as you have a really accurate scale it doesn't have to be digital. It has to measure small amounts to the gram. You can test this by trying different small amounts and ensuring the scale gives the same weight if you take it on and off and on again.

Especially with small lots of soap batter this is really important.
 

Goldenapple

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As long as you have a really accurate scale it doesn't have to be digital. It has to measure small amounts to the gram. You can test this by trying different small amounts and ensuring the scale gives the same weight if you take it on and off and on again.

Especially with small lots of soap batter this is really important.
Ah, thank you. I made sure it had grams and ounces on it but I shall test what you suggest. I only did a test in store but not of small amounts.
 

houseofwool

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For testing small amounts on the scale, use coins. You should be able to google what a specific coin weighs and use that to check accuracy.
 

PinkCupcake

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I use those plastic buckets meant for mixing paint. I have small ones for my lye water, and bigger ones for oils and mixing. They do retain the scent from the last batch I made, but I have never had the scent transfer to the next batch.
 

Goldenapple

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I use those plastic buckets meant for mixing paint. I have small ones for my lye water, and bigger ones for oils and mixing. They do retain the scent from the last batch I made, but I have never had the scent transfer to the next batch.
I was actually looking for those! That's how I ended up with the bucket. lol! I really have to see if I find them, if not, I guess the plastic pitchers will work too.
 

Goldenapple

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Do you know what amounts you will be mixing? I make 1kg loafs of soap and I only need 2x 2 litre plastic jugs (2 or 5 on the bottom) one for lye and water and one for the batter. The good thing about these is that the handle and spout makes it easy to pour.

I guess it depends if you are making cold process or hot process soap (you need a crockpot or stainless steel saucepan for hot process soap).

You should be able to get a good digital scale on ebay for under $20. http://www.ebay.com.au/bhp/electronic-kitchen-scales

It's good to have a stick blender with a stainless steel stick and cowl. If it is Aluminium it will not withstand the lye and if it is plastic it will not last long.

The silicone spoon and spatula will probably be worthwhile because they don't melt, don't transfer chemicals (like melamine) to a batter and they last for along time.
Hey,

I hope to make 2lb to begin. I got a digital scale now but couldn't find a crockpot here and stainless steel is really expensive local and even to ship in but I'll keep looking. I do have a stick blender now that's stainless steel so was happy about that and I have silicon spatulas. Only need to gather my oils now but those will be easy to get and plan to start end of the month.
 

JuneP

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Hey,

I hope to make 2lb to begin. I got a digital scale now but couldn't find a crockpot here and stainless steel is really expensive local and even to ship in but I'll keep looking. I do have a stick blender now that's stainless steel so was happy about that and I have silicon spatulas. Only need to gather my oils now but those will be easy to get and plan to start end of the month.
Check all your local charity shops. I found a crockpot for $5
 

dixiedragon

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You say stainless steel is really expensive. Are you looking at nice-quality cook ware? For example, my favorite soup pot was $75 - it is really nice, good handles, the bottom has a layer of copper sandwiched between layers of stainless steel. But it's not necessary for soaping.

Whatever cheap, thin-bottomed stainless steel you can find is fine. Test it with a magnet. If the magnet sticks, you're good!
 
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