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Topic: What's the average startup cost for soapmaking?  (Read 1743 times)
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hayatiggs
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« on: February 28, 2009 07:59:16 AM »

CP or HP? I've always been interested in it, but lately my mother in law keeps bringing it up because she has goats. She keeps saying, "You and I should start making soap and lotion with the goats milk."

I love the idea, but neither she nor I have an idea of cost. Also, I haven't really started researching it yet, but is there a site maybe that shows everything you need to start with? Thanks in advance Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2009 07:45:56 PM »

heres an awesome starting up thread that would be a great resource for you..

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=202977.0

as for the price of startup..it would depend on where you got your supplies..for me I spent more on the scale than really anything else..

good luck...and I am so jealous that you have goats..I'd love some but I dont think DC is too fond of goats.. Angry
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009 11:02:25 AM »

Thanks so much for the link Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009 12:41:09 PM »

This would be my hypothetical cost analysis. Keep in mind ALL of these things are subject to where you live and what you have on hand (obviously it'll be cheaper if you have some of these things in your kitchen and don't mind parting with them). Also your feelings on shopping at Wal-Mart. (this also assumes you will ONLY be using said materials for soaping and nothing else!!)

Soap Pot:  $20
Plastic mixing bowls:  $15
Plastic spatulas:  $2.99 (set of 4... I love you WalMart)
Stick blender:  $15
Digital Scale*:  $30
Coconut Oil:  $5.99 for 2 lbs. at Walmart (LouAna brand)
Vegetable Shortening: $4.99 (cheaper if you buy your local store brand)
Olive Oil (not EVOO): $6.99
Lye: $10-25 (depending on if you have to order online or if you have a local chemical supply company)
Fragrance oil: $6 (depending on shipping)
Colorant: $6 (again, shipping)

Total:  $112-137 (approximately)

Now this list does not include a lot of things. It does not include a mold because a great first mold is a shoe box lined with freezer paper. The prices also assume you buy as much as you can at the grocery store, save the few specialty items you may have to order online. As far as lye goes, whip out your yellow pages and see if there is a chemical supply company near you. Call to see if they have sodium hydroxide. There is a place here called Rocky Mountain Reagents that supplies schools, industrial and other "scientific" places. They also like their local soapmakers. Smiley

But that would be what I would tell people to expect -- at the very least -- to spend. Again, if you have a battered pot (I use  plastic paint mixing pails that cost about $3-5 at the hardware store and are AWESOME!) at home you don't mind sacrificing, that'll be cheaper. Maybe you have a stick blender you never use and can sacrifice. Maybe you already have a digital scale laying around.

*The digital scale is your BIG ticket item and yes it is necessary. I used a non-digital scale initially and what a disaster that was. But this is an item that does not have to be reserved for soapmaking, so I look at it as a home investment. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009 12:57:04 PM »

Also try getting as much as you can from thrift stores and Dollar Tree in the ways of pots, plastic bowls and mixing spoons, etc.
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009 08:04:05 PM »

Thanks so much. That total isn't as high as I thought it would be, especially since I do have a couple of things already (like the digital scale) and because I DO love Wal-Mart! Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009 02:47:53 PM »

Also try getting as much as you can from thrift stores and Dollar Tree in the ways of pots, plastic bowls and mixing spoons, etc.

I second this.

If you end up...oh, I dunno, getting distracted and leaving it on the burner to suffer a melty death (don't judge me! *hides*), it was a DOLLAR and easily replaced.

I agree with the digital scale. With melt and pour, I use the trusty measuring cup/eyeball method, which (probably by sheer luck) has worked out fine. Cold Process, though, requires a bit more precision (though I haven't ventured into it myself, trust the fine Craftster people!).
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