Before Colgate and other companies like it set up industrial shop, soapmaking was a home industry--and for me, it still is. I’m lucky enough to have a space totally dedicated to run my home business. And the best part of the space is the fragrances infused in everything, which makes coming to work an enjoyment every morning. It is seriously the best smelling room in the house!
After the holiday, I did some re-organization of my soap room to find a better & more effective layout, and here it is:
Pots, pans, molds, scales, cutters and other tools of the trade are stacked up on the top of the shelves, where I also keep the mean & dangerous lye-caustic soda (Oils + lye (with some water) = soap + glycerin). On the middle shelves, I keep cured soaps that are ready to be wrapped, other finished products, and raw materials. Soapmaking vegetable oils and butters go on the lower shelves.
I use the cold process method of making soap, which means that I don’t cook the soap over a heat source. Rather, I stir the soap until it thickens, pour it into molds, and allow it to sit quietly for 24hs before I remove it from the molds and cut it into bars. Then, I allow the soap to cure for several weeks on the curing racks.
Curing racks above. When the bars nice and firm, I put them on another shelf until I'm ready to wrap them, opening space for more soap to cure. I make most of my soap in small 3-pound batches and I do this so I can make many different scents and still have room to walk around my workspace. (On the picture above you also see a bookshelf filled with fragrances and essential oils, followed by storage units packed with containers for my body products)
I keep the “assemble table” in the middle of the room so it’s easy
to grab products from the shelves, pack them up and fill orders The packaging shelving is right there, too. (below)
And finally, a picture of my worktable (below). This is is where I house my microwave, mixer and utensils used to prepare lotions, creams, whipped body butters, deodorants, etc.