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Using a Paint Mixer

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DianaMoon

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Hello everyone,
Suddenly I got the urge to make soap and a week later, after reading like crazy and getting over my fear of lye, I'll be taking the plunge. The only concern I have is mixing to trace. I get bored easily & I won't have the patience to do it manually.
I've got a drill with variable speed, and I'd rather not use an immersion blender (they scare me). Does anyone here use a painting drill bit such as this:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Warner-5-gal-Heavy-Duty-Power-Driven-Paint-Mixer-30388/205052759
 
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earlene

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I don't, but I can tell you that an immersion blender is far lighter and easier to use than a heavy drill. Of course you may be quite a bit younger than me and not suffering old-lady-who-looses-her-youthful-strength-and-stamina syndrome. (Hey, we need a tongue-in-cheek smilie!)

Still, if you already have the drill, the cost of that attachment is pretty cheap and could easily come in handy if you decide to give a stick blender a try.

BTW, I just purchased an immersion blender at the Goodwill today for $3.88, still in sealed plastic, so never used. It is the first time I have ever seen one at any thrift store in 3 years, but others here say they see them fairly often at thrift stores.

Welcome to the forum, DianaMoon.
 

DianaMoon

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LOL, I'm 62. (I think I look younger.) But I've always been impatient, and I just don't trust my manual mixing ability. I might well buy the immersion blender. It's true, you find the most amazing stuff in thrift stores but it's almost always when you are not looking for what you want. (I purchased an All-Clad skillet at my local Good Will for $6 - at Williams Sonoma it would have cost $100.)
Yes, it was the cheapness of the paint mixer, plus the multiple use feature. I really don't like buying a utensil that is dedicated to but one use. I certainly would not use an immersion blender that I've used for soaping in food.
PS I don't know why my computer won't allow me to put in an extra space between paragraphs. I apologize for how my posts look.
PPS Thanks for the welcome! This looks like a great forum.
 
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bathgeek

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I definitely recommend the stick blender over the paint mixer (I have both). Paint mixers tend to create a vortex that climbs the side of the pail a little too fast for my liking, if your drill spins fast enough. The stick blenders have a guard that forces the vortex downward.
 

shunt2011

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If you are just starting out. I highly recommend using a stick blender. Especially with making smaller batches. Using a paint mixer will not give you the same control. If doing massive batches, yes I can see where a paint mixer would help but not regular sized batches. I make 15 lbs and still use my stick blender. You'll have much better control and outcome I think as well.

Also, you could use it for food as your only making soap with it. Just need to give it a good wash. Mine has a detachable stainless steel shaft so I can wash it well. However, I also use mine to make body butter and scrubs so keep it to just B&B stuff.
 

DianaMoon

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Thanks to everybody!!
I am so grateful for the hands-on advice. Nothing substitutes for actually doing it. I've only been here for a day and have gotten sage advice about lots of things. You can't believe everything you read in soap-making books. :(;):rolleyes:
 

Steve85569

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The problem with using other tools is getting enough shear.
I sometimes use a battery powered dremmel for smaller batches BUT if the battery is a little too low the batter will go in to emulsion ( not trace) and then not saponify correctly.

I thought at first I might have a bad batch of lye but the problem was shear.

Get a cheap stick blender and try it. You'll be back for a better SB soon. They make all the difference in the world. My hair is white.

Just 'cause there's snow on the roof doesn't mean there aint a fire in the kitchen.
 

Roselyne

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Just 'cause there's snow on the roof doesn't mean there aint a fire in the kitchen.[/QUOTE]

Love that saying!! Will have to throw it at my husband when he's teasing about my white hair
 

jcandleattic

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the batter will go in to emulsion ( not trace) and then not saponify correctly.
If it's a true emulsion it should saponify just fine, it may just take a bit longer is all. I try to rarely get my batter to a true trace, and just a true emulsion and my soaps always saponify beautifully without any separation. I also use silicone molds, so I can never unmold my soaps before 18-24 hours even with gelling them, but it's because I pour so thin.

What's an SB? Stick blender? Why would I need a better one?
Yes, SB = Stick Blender. And I think what Steve mean by you will need a better one, or get a better one later is if you buy a cheapie, you will want one that is of a bit better quality once you are familiar with soaping.
 

dixiedragon

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SB = stick blender.

Some of us can be VERY picky about our stick blenders, lol. Generally speaking, we recommend one with a detachable stainless steel wand. So you can put it in the dishwasher. Wipe it down first! But if you find one for cheap somewhere, it will be fine for your first batches. Some people get very picky about theirs - the shape of the bell, the motor, the grip, etc etc. Some people soap for years with a $3 SB that's all plastic and are perfectly happy.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
SB = stick blender.

Some of us can be VERY picky about our stick blenders, lol.
Cough, ahem, croak .....Gee, I'm not sure who you could possibly be talking about, heh heh, heh.

Okay, I guess I should fess up- I'm one of those that's VERY picky about my stick blender.

I'm especially picky about the design of the bell, because some are more prone to causing unwanted air bubbles in ones soap batter. Here's a link to a post I made (complete with a photo of different bell designs) that explains/shows what I've found though trial/error to be a really good stick-blender for my soap-making needs. For what it's worth, the one I consider to be the best is happily also one of the least expensive: my favorite stick blender


IrishLass :)
 

Steve85569

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Yes that is what I was talking about. False trace or emulsion so the batter would come back into it's parts. I use a lot of lard so that contributes. OO will also do the same thing if the water content is high.
I have a Stick Blender that never leaves the soaping zone. There is a SB that DW Jan has for making soup and doing other weird things with. Everybody here knows that SB's are for soap. Right?
 

Zany_in_CO

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Everybody here knows that SB's are for soap. Right?
Right... except the one I use for lotion; the one with a SS shaft for glycerin LS; and the one that does double duty for CP and pancakes/waffles -- a garage sale find that came with a bunch of attachments. My first SB, $10 from Target, lasted 9 years, lost a tooth and kept going until it finally melted in a glycerin LS batch. Boo hoo. That's when I got the SS shaft Cuisinart. I also have 2 back-ups from the thrift store... :cool:
 
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