Top 4 things I wish I had known before I started soaping!

I am a member of a ton of soap making groups on Facebook and it seems here lately there is a TON of drama mostly relating to helping new soapers.

Some experienced soapers have an attitude that they have worked hard and are not "giving" their secrets to newbies. Others feel that we have an obligation to help others.

I fall somewhere in the middle. We all got a start by help from someone more experienced but we have all put in a lot of time and effort developing our products and just giving away our recipes is like giving a part of ourselves!

I do think that sharing some of my beginner recipes is absolutely FINE and I am happy to do so. I don't agree with being rude or giving a lecture just because someone asks for a recipe. Either give them a recipe or don't post! Easy. They did not ask for a condescending lecture on the importance of research, they asked for a recipe, give them one or SHUT UP! Sorry. See why all the drama? It drives me bat shit crazy and I have left a bunch (and got kicked out of a few) soaping groups because people don't know how to act.

Off soap box.

Anywho..............

All that led me to to think about when I started making soap. What do I wish someone had told me before I started?

Well, I am so glad you asked!

Here is my Top 4 list:

4. It can get expensive quick! It is VERY important to plan your soap making so you can get the best bang for your buck purchasing supplies. Shipping is a KILLER so shop local as much as you can and look for companies close to you that may have a better rate on shipping. Sodium hydroxide (lye) is a hazardous material and the shipping costs more than the lye unless you buy in bulk, so look at your local mom and pop hardware store or Lowe's for 100% lye drain cleaner to make your first few batches. You can see if you like it before you make a serious investment! If you have a GNC close to you they sell a limited amount of essential oils to get you started. DO NOT use Young Living or DoTerra for your fragrances! Their claims of "theraputic" grade essential oils are bs since there is not a scale to grade essential oils. It is a marketing ploy and it will cost you about four times as much to use their oils. See if you even LIKE to make soap before you get caught up in chasing down the premium ingredients.

3. You don't need to buy EVERY little thing you read about! You don't need a bunch of fancy exotic ingredients to make great soap! There is a ton of cool stuff to add to soap but start small and find a basic recipe before you get carried away with additives. If you can make good soap with basic ingredients then soap with exotic ingredients will be even better!

2. Research is KING! To make good soap you need to understand what makes soap great! Learning what individual oils bring to a bar of soap is important. There is so much information available it can be quite overwhelming but just pick a few basic oils like olive, coconut, palm, lard, castor, soybean (vegetable oil), canola (rapeseed oil), sunflower and study those first. They are usually available at local grocery stores so you can get your hands on them easily. Oils are only a small part of the research you need to do. Get a notebook and get ready!

AND MOST OF ALL:

1. Not everything online or in books is accurate! There is a lot of conflicting information out there and you will need to look at more than one source to ensure you get the best information! See #2!

There is a ton more things I wish I had known but these were the biggies for me. If you are starting this journey, good luck and happy soaping!

Peace out!
Wendy