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Topic: alternatives to a stick blender for cp soap?  (Read 1719 times)
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TexasThistle
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« on: February 23, 2009 06:45:34 AM »

I just spent a lot of money on soapmaking supplies and tools. I have the digital scale amd the lye and safety gear and whatnot, but what I do not have is a stick blender. I looked them up and everywhere I go, they are pretty pricey.

I know they didn't use them in the olden days of soap making, so could I just stir the mixture at this point?
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009 07:07:26 AM »

Yup, just stir until your arm falls off.  On of the bad things about hand stirring is if you use a lot of solid oils in your recipe, your soap mixture may cool off, causing the solid oils in your recipe to resolidy and causing false trace.

If you do hand stir, place you soap pot in a sink of hot water to keep the temps up.

As for SB being expensive, Rival brands are around $10 at Walmart or Kmart, or you may find one in a resale shop like Goodwill.

Don't use the SB continuously when stirring your soap.  Have it on for about a minute, then hand stir, use SB, hand stir.

I've had 4 Rival brand SB in the last 10 years.  Only one was new, the rest were from Goodwill.  Only one of them had died on me.  The other 3 are going strong.
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009 07:11:04 AM »

I used my coupon and bought one at bed bath and beyond..you could also try thrift stores and craigslist..people are ALWAYS selling them..oh,and garage sales..

good luck..

I have heard of using a regular hand mixer but theres something about adding air and such I am sure there are others that can comment on using that though..
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009 08:06:49 AM »

Yeah just buy one, you won't be sorry. I used to pick them up at the Meier and Frank home store when they were having their ridiculous sales and coupons and usually got 2 for $15. I have a bunch now. The only one I ever burned up was my mom's fancy schmancy Wolfgang Puck one! Oops!

I tried the hand mixer thing before and it didn't do a whole lot for me. Plus I was worried the mixer attachments were aluminum.
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009 07:24:36 PM »

Don't use the SB continuously when stirring your soap.  Have it on for about a minute, then hand stir, use SB, hand stir.

I actually SB continuously (except for when I'm checking trace levels)...  But I do agree that you can pick up a SB for $10-20 and they'll last you a good long while. The $10 PoS ones last about 2-3 years, if you soap a LOT. Maybe longer if it's just a side hobby. It's not a bad investment and you won't be sorry.

HOWEVER, I did hand-stir for the first 3 years of soap making. The key is to stir at the same, brisk speed and fairly forcefully. You will get a helluva workout if you hand stir! Just be sure to use a brisk, continuous force; pretend you are rivaling a hand mixer at low-medium speed. Depending on your oils it'll take anywhere from 1.5 - 2 hours. I used to pop in a movie and sit on my couch with my soap pot (in a big plastic wash bin for safety). The only problem was if I chose a movie that was too short and it would end and I couldn't get up to change it because you have to continuously stir... oh the "good ol' days."  Roll Eyes

I know some people who use hand and stand mixers and it DOES put air into your soap. Which means lots of air bubbles and different consistency.

ETA: I should say there are some VERY pricey stick blenders on the market but you don't want those for soaping. Like Kitchen Aid and Cuisanart; those are for serious chefs. Not people who are dunking them in lye and oil! The cheapies are just fine!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009 07:26:33 PM by Nymeria » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009 06:40:50 AM »

Don't use the SB continuously when stirring your soap.  Have it on for about a minute, then hand stir, use SB, hand stir.
I actually SB continuously (except for when I'm checking trace levels)...  But I do agree that you can pick up a SB for $10-20 and they'll last you a good long while. The $10 PoS ones last about 2-3 years, if you soap a LOT.

Maybe the $10 PoS stick blenders will last 2-3 years, if you soap a LOT and you use the SB continuously.

Of my four $10 PoS stick blenders (only one was new, the other 3 were bought used) I still have 3 going strong after 10 years of soaping a LOT (at least 100 lbs of soap a month).

I think I've spent about $15 in stick blenders over the last 10 years.  If I used them continuously and had to replace them every few years, I would have spent $40-$50 in SB and have only 1 of them.

Just think of the EO/FO I have been able to buy with the extra $$ I've saved just on SB!!!!
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2009 08:08:07 AM »

Of my four $10 PoS stick blenders (only one was new, the other 3 were bought used) I still have 3 going strong after 10 years of soaping a LOT (at least 100 lbs of soap a month).

I think I've spent about $15 in stick blenders over the last 10 years.  If I used them continuously and had to replace them every few years, I would have spent $40-$50 in SB and have only 1 of them.

Just think of the EO/FO I have been able to buy with the extra $$ I've saved just on SB!!!!

I always tell people about 3 years because I did have two crap out on me. But they were the really cheap $9.99 model I found at Big Lots! or something. I sprung for the $15 and have had no problems since. Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2009 08:50:59 AM »

All I'm saying, Jenn, is if you use them in an off/on manner, they last years longer and it only takes a couple more minutes for your soap to come to trace.

Mine are all the cheapo $9.99 brand (Rival) and two of the surviving were bought used 8 years ago!!!
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TexasThistle
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2009 10:18:52 AM »

i might invest in one when I go to buy the second half of my soap making supplies. I still havent decided yet
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2009 10:52:39 AM »

i might invest in one when I go to buy the second half of my soap making supplies. I still havent decided yet

Getting your supplies together initially can be daunting and can cause your debit card to randomly burst into flames (true story). But the good thing is that once you get the big ticket items, you're set. If you stick with grocery store oils to begin with, you'll have a nice, affordable craft that is a lot of fun. Soaping is definitely my "zen" moment. Smiley
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