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A Soap Maker’s Kitchen – Once upon a time – it was normal.

January 20, 2016

Once upon a time, I bought a small brick ranch house built in the late 60’s for my home. I had no idea what the future would bring.  Most likely, my home will never be featured in a classy decorating magazine or win awards for design. Some women my age are remodeling kitchens with granite counter tops, I lust after stainless carts with wheels.

soap kitchen 123 l

My dining room table is gone, replaced with rolling stainless tables. Baby quilts used to insulate soap are stored in large baskets. Coconut oil is easily handled on re-purposed rolling stools. A new shelf has been added for my distillation equipment that I use for distilling rose geraniums.

soap kitchen 123 e

The chalk board captures my thoughts for the year as well as weekly goals. The tall rolling cart holds clean molds all covered and ready to use.

soap kitchen 123

I have three tables with heating mats. I like these for two reasons:  the night before production day, I measure  the ingredients into plastic buckets. The mats gently melt the solid oils like shea butter and coconut oil into liquid. I use blankets to help insulate the buckets. In the morning, I’m ready to go. The second reason, is after the soap is poured into the molds, I can quick start the reaction that makes the ingredients turn into soap.  The molds are insulated with baby quilts on the mats. The benefit is the soap can be removed from the mold much sooner.  On the right is a shelf for holding stainless steel pots for mixing lye.  Inside is a Pyrex cup for mixing essential oils.  They are covered to stay clean.  I will add one more shelf for other equipment soon.

soap kitchen 123b

This photo shows coconut oil in buckets with the needed tools to open and close them.  Next to the hutch is a whole room HEPA filter  that helps (somewhat) when working with strong essential oils.  To the far left is a tall rolling cart that holds cubes of mostly olive oil and bottles of lye.  The upside down buckets are containers that I like to use for creating the soap.  They are made of HDPE which handles the reaction of soap making very well and yet are very light weight.  My beloved pine hutch was made in the 1800’s and will stay. The combs located on the shelves are used for creating designs in my soap.

 

soap kitchen 123 i

I use a lot of cloths to reduce the use of paper towels. These are washed separately from my personal laundry.

soap kitchen 123 f

Drips are caught with a stainless steel bucket and the spout is kept covered.

soap kitchen 123 g

Soap is beveled here. I injured my wrist and could only use one hand, so this was my solution and it really helps!

soap kitchen 123 h

I have several of these carts.  This one has equipment to cut logs and bars of soap.  The bottom has spare equipment. I use carts to move the soap back and forth to the soap curing room.  They really save my back.

The future may bring a lye tank for storing lye solution and another tank for a master batching of soap, drums of oils instead of 50 lb buckets.  I currently could easy use them up before spoiling.  As I grow, my thoughts will no doubt change.   Right now, I’m in a happy place, and I never wanted to be normal anyway.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. deltamoonsoap permalink
    January 21, 2016 4:17 AM

    I loved the cool lamp, light is an issue in my studio, always standing in my own light. Also loved the idea of reusable towels, I have been using those thick blue paper towels, your idea is more earth friendly.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  2. January 21, 2016 2:26 PM

    You have created a really nice work space there, well organized and pleasant to work in! Char

    Like

  3. January 23, 2016 7:57 AM

    Well organized, I love it! Great idea to use cloths to reduse paper towels – thumbs up 👍🏼

    Like

  4. January 23, 2016 1:33 PM

    Thanks Yvonne! I love your triangle soap!

    Like

  5. January 24, 2016 11:36 AM

    Sweet space. I don’t get it. Yes, it looks so very… “uh, normal”. So “normal”. I love it. Right down to the same air filter. Can’t live without stainless steel racks on wheels. Just wish I had your square footage. Looks big enough to park a truck in it. I think I could walk out of mine into yours and be working in two minutes. Spend most of that time looking for the coffee pot.

    Thank you for sharing this part of yourself and Magellan’s “port-of-call”

    Like

  6. Dianne Finnegan permalink
    March 21, 2016 7:40 PM

    I am inspired, not only by your soaps, but also by your studio! I have a building behind my home and my studio will be set up there hopefully by the end of the year, It was an old garage and I need to tile all the walls and floor and have electric run, but I love the idea of all the moveable shelving and tables! BTW YOUR SOAPS, THEY TOTALLY ROCK!!!!!

    Like

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