If you are new to soapmaking it is very important to pick the right mixing containers and bowls for making soap. The #1 rule when choosing a mixing container is to make sure it is not aluminum. Sodium hydroxide (lye) reacts with aluminum. Stick with stainless steel, heavy duty plastic and glass. Here are some options.
When it comes to plastic, choose plastic with the plastic code #5 on it, which means that the container is made from polypropylene. It can take high heat and is sturdy.
Containers for Mixing Your Soap
Stainless Steel Pots
A stainless steel pot is great to make soap in. Lye does not react to stainless steel. When you get into making bigger batches of soap, a big stainless steel pot is a lifesaver. Make sure your pots are stainless steel and not a blend of stainless steel and aluminum.
These Rubbermaid bowls (6.2 cups) hold two-pound soap recipes perfectly. I use these all of the time and even use them in all of my classes that I teach. Look for the triangle with the #5 in it.
I find these at the dollar store and grab them every chance I get! I also use these bowls for multi-batch prep! Check out my video on YouTube.
Plastic pitchers are great for mixing soap in. You can find them at dollar stores, Walmart and even thrift shops. Stay away from hard brittle plastic pitchers, such as those used to serve tea and water at restaurants.
Stainless Steel Bowls
You can make soap in a stainless steel bowl. Make sure that it is stainless steel and not a blend of stainless steel and aluminum.
Buckets are great to make soap in. You probably get some of your raw materials in buckets. A gallon bucket will hold up to 6 pounds of soap. Once you up your production (learn about master-batching), you can use five-gallon buckets to make batches of soap up to 40 pounds.
Glass Measuring/Mixing Bowls
Large glass measuring bowls are great for mixing soap in. You can get up to 4 pounds of soap in the larger ones. (Never mix your lye in glass containers, even Pyrex).
Containers for Lye Solution
You can use any of the above containers, EXCEPT for glass containers. Never mix your lye solution in glass. Even Pyrex has been known to etch and shatter when used with sodium hydroxide.
Here are some other options for containers to mix your lye solution in.
Paint Mixing Containers
You can find these paint mixing containers in the paint section of home improvement centers. The small ones are great for mixing up your lye solution. Overtime the plastic seems to get a bit brittle and you should replace them.
Plastic Measuring Cups
These containers are great for mixing lye solution in. You can find them at dollar stores, Walmart and kitchen stores.
Again, I can’t stress enough to not mix your lye solution in glass. The heat of the solution shoots up to 160+ degrees F and this quick fluctuation of temperature can make your glass shatter.
Containers for Fragrance/Essential Oils
Glass Jars and Measuring Cups
You should only measure fragrance oils and essential oils into glass or stainless steel. We love to use mason jars as we always have some on hand. Fragrance oils and essential oils can eat through plastic and Styrofoam, so never measure into plastic drink cups.
For my more experienced soapmaker readers, what are you favorite containers?