I get asked all the time what my favorite soap related “things” are… Here’s my list! Leave your list in the comments! I’d love to know what your current favorites are!
My favorite soap making molds.
Right now I’m loving anything from Bramble Berry with a liner! I used a 18 bar with liner last year at the Soap Guild conference to do a peacock swirl in and have loved it ever since. The liners are super affordable! So if you have a handy dandy woodworker near and dear…you can purchase the liners and make your own wood boxes. I love the loaf mold and liner, but I think my favorite is the 18 Bar Birchwood Mold with Silicone Liner.
It’s my favorite because it is so versatile! You can use it as a slab mold (pour only 1-1.5” deep) for swirling or you can pour to the top and use it as a block mold (will make bars that are 2.5” tall). If you use the high pour, you cut into logs and then into bars.
My other favorite mold, the 12 bar square silicone mold, comes from Bramble Berry also. I use it for testing colors.
My favorite place to purchase lye.
I’ve been using Essential Depot for a while now and they have remained my go-to supplier for lye. Superfast shipping, always having a sale and I love getting lye in the 2 pound bottles.
My favorite base oil.
Besides the dynamic duo, coconut and olive…my favorite oil is rice bran oil. I put it in almost every recipe that I make. It can replace a bit of the olive and gives the soap a bit of a sheen.
My favorite place to purchase base oils.
Hands down… always has been and probably always will be… Soapers Choice! I place an order from them and it usually ships THE SAME DAY, arriving at my door step a day or two later. You can’t beat that. And for the world’s best procrastinator (me) who doesn’t order oils for bootcamps until the week before… their speedy turnaround time is awesome! I can always count on them!
My favorite fragrance oil.
Energy from Bramble Berry. I’ve been touting the greatness of this fragrance oils for years! Being swirling obsessed, I need something that is slow moving when I’m trying out a new design. This is the one I grab every time. Energy almost seems to reverse trace and it smells great.
My favorite essential oil.
Litsea! Litsea is just so uplifting and happy smelling to me. It also blends well with many other essential oils (tea tree, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, patchouli…really anything) and helps to anchor citrus or other flighty oils.
Some of my favorite essential oil blends with litsea.
1 part litsea | 2 parts lavender
2 parts litsea | 1 part tea tree | 1 part rosemary
1 part litsea | 3 parts orange | 1 part patchouli
My favorite colorants.
I’m all about the natural colorants these days. My current favorites are yellow dock and annatto. Check out Ruth’s guide to natural colorants here. It is one of the best I’ve seen with swatches showing colorants in soap – gelled, ungelled and added at different times.
My favorite soap recipe.
Olive oil – 16 oz
Coconut oil – 16.8 oz
Avocado oil – 4 oz
Castor oil – 3.2 oz
Rice bran oil – 4 oz
Shea butter – 4 oz
Lye – 6.82 oz
Water – 12 oz
My favorite packaging.
I recently found this box place while searching for boxes for our groups in Haiti. You can get smaller runs and they also offer box printing.
But…I still LOVE Paper Mojo for wrapping small orders of soap. I’m a bit obsessed with Paper Mojo. Its where I got the idea of doing the peacock swirl in soap from!
So what are your current favorites?
Happy Soaping, -Amanda Gail
I’m brand new at soaping and a Friend of mine just gave me five of ED silicone liners with the stainless steel stabalizers, five drying racks, 50 pound no stir sustainable palm oil along with just about everything I need to make soap, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how much oils it will hold using the lye calculator – can you please give me any direction? I’ve already ruined and thrown out three batches!
Thanks for any help!
My favorite soap-related thing is. . . getting others excited about soap! I’m too new at soaping to have found all my favorite molds, scents, and recipes. My first attempts were tricky, but my mantra became, “listen to the experience of others, listen. . . . ” Recently my friend lost her husband at a young age. No one expected her to be a widow in her 40s. Because I felt so helpless, I told her she was going to learn how to make soap. (Making things — anything — is my solution for anxiety, depression, you name it.) Anyway, she still has bad days, but soaping gives her an entire day to be involved and think about something else. Amanda, without you I never would have tried this. You and yours have inspired me to look at “making things” in entirely new ways. Thank you!
I love BB energy and have purchased 8 of the 5lb silicone liners and love them. My husband made the molds for them to fit into and they have made my soaping so much easier. I also purchase my lye from Essential Depot (just got 64 lbs) and a lot of my oils and butters from from Soaper’s Choice.
Amanda – unfortunately people forget that we are all entitled to like what we like. BB and ED are two of my go to places for supplies. I’ve been a loyal BB customer since I started making soap and they’ve only gotten better. Lower prices sometimes mean lower quality. The only issue I usually have with BB is shipping, but I know that is not their control.
I don’t use a lot of fragrances, but I like to use BB, Rustic Escentuals, and Nature’s Garden to buy the ones I do use. And all of them have great turn around times. I’m glad you mentioned Soaper’s Choice because I have been meaning to look into their pricing to evaluate how well it would work for me with costs.
Thanks for posting!!
Hello Amanda =) Thank you for your consistent support of Bramble Berry and we love our molds just as much as you! I am happy to hear that our customer service is satisfying your needs, they loved hearing that. Thank you again and happy soaping =) A-M
I live in Mexico and i get my supplies where i can. There is one store that sells olis and essentias but they are kind of expensive. i found a way to bring BB stuff to the Mex border so now i am using some fragances from them. whish you had published this note before so i could order the listea and the energy from them too along with the dark chocolate, lemongrass, strawberry, fresh bamboo, oatmeal, milk and honey that i recently ordered for my soaps. The supplier that i use here in Mexico is Drogeria Comopolita just in case that you have mexican audience and they could be searching for local suppliers. my husband put together two molds made of wood and i use linners instead of silicone. your tutorias had helped me a lot with my soap making learning process…thanks for teaching.. 🙂 regards from Chihuahua, Mex
Amanda, my favorite fragrance oils are BB, they smell so good, the one I like best is lemongrass, I love it. I only wish they had a better delivery service
I have older Upland molds with silicone liners, which I love because the soap is so easy to unmold. I just got a wire cutter from Bud’s Workshop on Etsy, which makes cutting my soap loaves oh, so easy. No more wonky cuts! I like that the weight of each bar is much more consistent now.
Another favorite tool is my handy dandy milk frother which perfectly mixes natural oxides and ultramarine colors in a little oil before adding the soap batter.
Thank you for sharing a favorite soap recipe! I may have to try it out. I’ve enjoyed hearing about your and other soap makers favorites. I, too, appreciate how so many soapers share their knowledge with others, including Amanda, the Soap Queen at BB, and all those who take the time to upload videos to YouTube, answer questions on soap making forums, and write books and blog posts about their soap making experiences.
Amanda wishing you continued success in your teaching and reach out adventures! Thank you for a fantastic palm free recipe!
My current favorite thing is also a mold. A mold made of clear acrylic material. I love seeing into the mold as I play with color and embeds. They clean easily and leave such wonderful silky sides to my soap when unmolded.
Amanda, thank you for your great recommendations! I agree that Brambleberry has generously shared recipes and how- to tutorials and they have great products. That said, I think we all look for oils and things we can get cheaper. The shipping costs for companies are what make some purchases just not worth it to buy from them, not their product costs themselves. My favorite scent from BB is Yuzu!
Thank you so much for sharing your favourites. I tend to stick to BB for most of my purchases, so it’s good for me to learn about other companies that are also good.
Hi Amanda, I love your blog, this article is so important for me, I´ve learned to make soap by myself, without somebody telling me what´s right or wrong so you teach me a lot. I need a nice hard bubbly soap recipe with the oils I can find here in south America: olive pomace, palm, castor, soybean, sunflower, cocoa butter, would you help me with this?
Thank you so much in advance!
I agree with everything Amanda said about brambleberry. I would love to buy from them, their prices are competitive especially their moulds. I’m in the UK and shipping would be too pricey (not brambleberrys fault) otherwise I would absolutely buy their silicone moulds, (my new fave item) fragrances, colourants and more as they are way cheaper than suppliers over here.
Secondly I think its great Amanda gave a shout out to soap queen, their videos are immensely informative, friendly and completely free.
Also thanks to Amanda for generously sharing your wealth of information. I love looking at your blog and have learnt a lot from you.
Lastly, to Patricia, I’m curious that you didn’t share any of your favourites, also having pointed out that there are cheaper suppliers are you going to share that information?
Love your blog and I am always referring to it for reference.
This blog is extremely timely for me. I have been asked by my son to make soap favours for his wedding in May. It has overwhelmed me as I will need to make about 280 cakes of soap. My husband has made me three 9lb log moulds. I have worked out the volume but haven’t settled on a recipe – I also needed to use a recipe that was not too costly.
I have never used fragrance oils before, only ever using eseentials. I will need to use fragrance oils this time because of the cost. So after reading your blog I thought of using the Energy F.O. for the males and could you perhaps suggest something girly or would the Energy be a good fragrance for both genders?
I live in Sydney, Australia, and am fortunate enough to be able to purchase Brambleberry products from a company here.
I would love your recommendations on an economic soap recipe for a 9lb mould and what fragrance oils you would recommend.
Thanking you so, so much.
Kind regards from a hot ‘down under’ Sydney, Australia
Hi Carmen! I actually like energy because it is great for girls and guys. But something for the girls…I also love BB’s Champagne Fragrance oil. That would go with the wedding theme also. Do you know what oils you want to use and I can recommend something. I love the recipe I posted in this blog post. You could reduce the price by upping the coconut oil a bit and maybe the rice bran oil. You can reduce the shea. But let me know what oils you have available and maybe I can suggest something else. Thanks for your kind comment! -Amanda
Wow – what a quick response! Thanks so so much.
I have lots of olive oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, castor oil. I have avocado oil (but this is a much dearer oil of course). I also have beeswax. (Maybe this would be more cost effective than using a butter). I would like a nice hard bar of soap as well!
Kind regards Amanda
My favorite mold is the one my hubby made me. He made it from Oak. It’s just beautiful.
I buy my oils and other supplies from wherever I can get the best item for the best price. The cost of something doesn’t mean that it is the best. I used to buy from Starrville Soap and candle Supply, but I’m don’t know if it will remain open under new managers or not. I don’t think it hurts to suggest a place to buy your supplies. You don’t HAVE to buy from there, and it costs nothing to look.
promoting BB and Essential Depot is in poor taste. There are cheaper and better places. One has to wonder what’s in it for you.
Hi Patricia! BB and Essential Depot are two of my favorite companies to order supplies from, so of course I’m going to promote them! (Half the tutorials on my blog use BB products.)
Cheaper and better? I mentioned Bramble Berry’s silicone liners…which cost $15 and $20. You can’t beat that price. And to keep it even cheaper, I mention making your own wooden frame.
Better? Nobody beats Bramble Berry for customer service. They might not have the fastest shipping, but they are the best in working with customers and the best in providing FREE tutorials and training to the industry.
Same with essential depot. They have great prices and great shipping.
This blog post was about favorites. Mine aren’t going to be the same as yours. 🙂