Inside: a curated list of all the best places to buy soap making supplies: everything from fragrance to molds to oils.
Soap making is one of those hobbies that can get expensive…fast.
The good news is, once you invest in basic tools and oils, you’re set for a while and can make dozens of bars. The bad news is, the more you make, the more you’ll want fancy molds, new fragrances, and pretty colors!
That’s okay! Let’s go over the best places to get all of these things! There are a few items that are essential for beginners and you’ll find those marked with a star.
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Soap making ingredients
- ⭐️ A digital scale that can measure in ounces and grams (essential)
- ⭐️ A stick blender (essential)
- ⭐️ Safety gear, including gloves and goggles (essential)
- ⭐️ A mold of some sort (essential, but you can make your own)
A word about molds
You can use a box lined in parchment paper if you really want to, but I recommend a basic 10-inch mold or 12 cavity bar mold for your first batch. Keep an eye on the batch size of your recipe.
- Recommended bar mold available on Amazon (requires more pouring work but you don’t have to slice anything.
- Nice quality loaf-style mold (Easy to pour but you’ll have to cut the bars)
If you find that you love this hobby, there are many beautiful choices out there. You can find silicone molds that imprint designs, solid wooden molds for making swirls, and much more.
Best lye for soap making
You have a few options here. Lye typically comes in either flakes or little bead-like pellets. I find the pellets easier to pour and measure.
⭐️ Nurture is my preferred source for lye, as they carry the pellet form and I can be sure I’m getting the right thing.⭐️ (Yes, lye is an essential for making cold process soap!)
You can also find lye at hardware stores, where it is sold a drain cleaner. You must be very sure that you are buying pure lye (it might also be labeled sodium hydroxide).
Sourcing bulk oils
When you’re looking for bulk oils such as olive, palm, or coconut, make sure you do not order food grade oils. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but because they are extremely expensive!
The best source for affordable bulk oils
- Their coconut oil comes in two convenient sizes that aren’t too big but are will still make dozens and dozens of bars.
- They also carry sustainably sourced palm oil at a competitive price.
Other good choices
- Brambleberry.com is more expensive and has expensive shipping, but their products are very good quality and their customer service is wonderful. They also have a great selection of harder to find oils and butters.
- For smaller quantities of things like castor oil or shea butter, Amazon is a good choice.
Finding soap bases
If you prefer melt and pour soap, all you need is a base, a mold, and any additional products you want. Melt and pour bases can be pricey, but they are a great choice if you don’t want to deal with formula percentages, new supplies, and other somewhat complicated elements of soap making.
- Bulk Apothecary has a great selection of melt and pour soaps to customize, everything from goat milk to shea butter to clear glycerin soaps. They are purchased by weight and this can be a very affordable way to make a small bar size.
Where to buy fragrance oils
The world is your oyster here! You can find fragrance oils on Amazon, in some craft stores, and of course, from reputable soap making companies such as Nurture Soap and Brambleberry.
You can often find collections of smaller sizes of fragrance to test out what you like, or even email the companies and ask for samples.
Fragrance in soaps is totally optional, but one of the most fun parts of the process.
Some personal favorite fragrances:
- Comfort and Joy, from Nurture Soap, is a complex Christmas scent that I actually use all year.
- Mango Mango is my number one fragrance, a sweet fruity fragrance that I add to my popular shower soap recipe.
- Sweet Pea, from Amazon, is a sweet floral that’s super feminine but young.
- Awaken, available here, is a fresh citrus perfect for shower soap.
Colorants for soap making
- Color is, of course, mostly personal preference, but I find that the micas found at Nurture Soap come through very well. You can order very small sizes and build up a library of colors to choose from
Other body supplies
Most soap making suppliers also carry what you will need to make lotions, bath bombs, homemade hand cream, and lip balms. A lot of these ingredients will be used in all of these products, so if you are interested in making homemade items beyond soap, don’t be afraid to buy in bulk.
Keep in mind, each company mentioned here is full of kind people who can help you with any specific question you have about ingredients or supplies, and you can always leave me a comment here.
Start with some recipes! See what oils appeal to you, and go from there.
Some of my most popular: