Ingredients for Soap – Where to Buy Quality Supplies and Ingredients Cheap
Save Money on Soap Making Supplies
For several years I created and sold a variety of soaps from melt and pour to hot and cold processed soaps. I spent a great deal of time trying a variety of supplies for making soap and eventually narrowed it down to a few key suppliers who offered consistently high quality products combined with affordable prices.
You will always get a better deal for soap supplies ordering online rather than going to a craft store or specialty shop, especially when it comes to bulk oils, MP soap base, fragrance and essential oils.
Essential oils in particular can get very pricey. It's important to find brands that don't seize up hot and cold processed soaps. Nothing is more aggravating than using a brand labeled “safe for soap making” and have it ruin a batch! I have had it happen periodically, so when I finally found a company where that wasn't an issue I stuck with them.
Sodium Hydroxide (lye) is another tricky ingredient. When you purchase it locally, expect that you will pay more and likely be questioned about your use of the chemical. Unfortunately, it is also used as a key ingredient in the illegal manufacture of meth and as such it is regulated pretty heavily, depending on the state you live in.
There are ways to order Sodium Hydroxide online however that even with the higher shipping costs are still less expensive than buying it at the hardware store. Food grade lye is also more pure and you don't run the risk of getting added fillers that don't saponify into your soap.
Since I am no longer running a soap making business, I have decided to share my favorite resources for getting great deals on your soap supplies. I hope hobbyists and professional soap makers alike will find these resources useful.
Purchase Bulk Oils for Soap Making
Columbus Foods / Soapers Choice
Base oils and superfatting oils can get pricey really quick if you don't buy them in bulk. My favorite supplier for Coconut oil, Shea butter, and Hemp oil that I use in my cold and hot process soaps happens to be the same supplier I used for bulk melt and pour soap base. That of course was very convenient. Columbus Foods has any oil you can possibly need and all of it is very high quality and very reasonably priced and I have not found a better price anywhere on melt and pour soap base of this quality.
I had customers that loved the more artsy soaps best made with melt and pour. Many others, myself included, are purists and desire the old fashioned "lye" soaps. I was able to cover both demands with supplies from Columbus Foods (Soaper's Choice). This company has outstanding customer service and lightning fast shipping. They are located in Chicago and I am downstate closer to St. Louis. I once ordered supplies at 8 pm on Thursday and they were there at 2 pm on Friday with standard ground shipping option - very impressive!
The only time I ever had a problem with an order, the owner personally called me and made it right immediately and even helped me troubleshoot my soap recipe! I will always use this company when I make batches of soap for friends and family in the future.
Soaper's Choice offers 25-pound blocks of soap base in 4 different varieties in the $43.00 to $45.00 price range. A 7-pound bottle of coconut oil is around $15.00 which is a major deal compared to buying it in a retail store. 10 pounds of Shea Butter will run you around $36.00. You can make a lot of soap (and lotions!) with supplies purchased here and relax knowing the ingredients are all top quality so you aren't skimping on your customers while you save money.
If you make candles or other items that use beeswax you can also find that here for a reasonable price. Everything from shortening and tallow to any superfatting oil you might need can be bought here in bulk and there is no minimum purchase required. Here is their product page. Be sure to check them out and see the wide variety of products they carry.
Where to Purchase Wholesale Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils
I have a couple of favorite suppliers for my fragrances. My first choice is BulkOils for their awesome customer service and product quality.
BulkOils never disappoints. My order is always correct, they combine shipping to save me money and they ship in a timely manner. They have a larger variety of fragrance oils than they do essential oils, but for either one, their prices are affordable.
I have used their lavender essential oil with great results. I also love their fragrance oils. They are potent and hold up well in all kinds of soap. My customers raved about the delicious scents, particularly the coffee and gingerbread. I have never had a problem with their oils in my hot process soap except for one batch, and I can't even be sure it was their fragrance that caused the problem since it never had before.
Check out their website www.bulkoils.com or check out some of their auctions on eBay. You won't be disappointed.
I enjoy the GreenHealth essential oils. They are high quality and very affordable in a wide range of sizes. In addition, there is an extensive variety of essential oils to choose from. They have great customer service and also offer a money back guarantee if you aren't satisfied with your purchase.
I have ordered many essential oils from them and their Clary sage oil is absolutely heavenly in men's soaps. Blend it with a bit of lemongrass or other citrus essential oil and the soap sells like hotcakes for both men and women.
I have always been satisfied with the essential oils I purchased from them. I also appreciate that they ship in glass amber bottles so that the oils don't degrade.
You can view their products at www.wfmed.com
Where to Find Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
Sodium Hydroxide can be purchased very inexpensively at Essential Depot. Red Devil Lye used to be the favored brand of soap makers and once they went out of business people were scrambling to find a new product that was that high in quality.
Ironically, I found this company quite by accident. I went searching for a place to purchase Xanthan gum in bulk for my gluten free pantry. This company had the best deal I had found for this usually expensive product. I was thrilled and continued to surf the rest of their site. I noticed they sold sodium hydroxide and that they said there's was comparable to Red Devil Lye. The price was so low I was skeptical and figured that the shipping would be the killer. I was pleasantly surprised there as well.
They ship using 2lb containers which is not as restrictive and allows them to ship at more affordable rates. I ordered a couple of pounds and was very impressed at the quality and how beautifully my soaps turned out.
Today they are selling a “food grade” sodium hydroxide over the less expensive brand I purchased before. This lye is still VERY reasonably priced. I doubt you will find it cheaper - at least I never have. Their shipping is reasonable as well. I recently ordered 4 pounds and the total with shipping was $17 dollars. Four pounds of lye makes several batches for me so I am pleased with the price. They always ship quickly as well.
Hopefully you have found this hub helpful and it will allow you to save some money on your soap making supplies. Be creative, have fun and save money doing it!
Where do you buy most of your soap supplies
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Christin Sander