Monday, July 28, 2014

Creating a Home-Based Soap Business

Creating a Home-based Soap Business

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Like most home-based businesses, small-scale soapmaking for profit often begins as a hobby. What usually starts out as an on-the-side undertaking for personal fulfillment, or for meeting particular needs of the individual or the household, turns into an enterprise that may occupy you part-time or full-time.

Friends or relatives who try out your home-made items may find them to their liking, then request to be supplied on a more or less regular basis. They may even ask you to make them according to their own unique specifications. Word spreads around, and before you know it, your have more orders than you can handle.

 

Market for Your Home-Based Soap Business

Handmade soap making perfectly fits this pattern of development. The question is, is there a big enough market for the soap you make at home in bulk quantities? The answer of course will depend on your location, the appeal and quality of your product, and other factors. What is certain is that there are numerous ways of making handmade soap a marketable item—this is one product that’s rather flexible. It can easily be tailored to meet certain consumer needs or wants. Often it’s just a matter of adjusting ingredients.

Furthermore, handmade bar soaps have several real advantages over commercially produced ones. One of these is that they tend to be free of potentially irritating chemicals such as foaming agents. They are also usually high in glycerine, a natural humectant or moisturizer released by vegetable oils during soapmaking, particularly if the cold process method was used in production.

 

Cold and Hot Process Methods for Home-Based Soap Business

There are basically two ways of making handmade soap from scratch: the so-called cold process and hot process methods. Cold process is the more common of the two, and may simply be described as the mixing of 1) lye or some other alkali and 2) fats or oils. A batch made by this traditional approach takes a few hours to saponify (the process of becoming soap), but may take as many as four weeks to cure completely.

Hot process is a variation of this first method. It is different in that it involves cooking the soap. Advantages of this procedure include a nearly non-existent curing time and easier handling of added scents and colors. Downsides include high energy consumption and difficulties in molding large batches of the low-fluidity soap pastes produced by cooking.

If you are out to sell out of your home-based soap business, several things considered incidental in soapmaking as a hobby become musts. Superfatting is one of these. You cannot afford to omit this additive part of the saponification process which improves the soap’s moisturizing property, brings it closer to its correct pH level and make it less irritating to the skin. The addition of coloring elements and scenting oils also becomes essential, to ensure your product’s chance of competing with the various fancy and highly refined commercial soaps.

With a bigger scale production in mind for your home-based soap business, you may also have to invest in certain equipment, such as a blender or amalgamator, or a microwave oven which you can use with the hot process method of soapmaking.

 

Home-Based Soap Business: Marketing Your Soap

You may also have to be creative with the way you mold your soap. You can try and be fancy yourself with the way you shape the soap bar or engrave or emboss your product name on it. Or you may opt to be deliberately “crude” but homey with your presentation, and reduce appearance and packaging to their barest essentials.

The following are selling points you’ll want emphasized when you market the product of your home-based soap business. Your handiwork is: 1) an inexpensive luxury that everyone is entitled to, 2) a benefit to individuals with sensitive skin, and 3) an earth-friendly commodity.

April 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Soap Making Business

Comments

4 Responses to “Creating a Home-Based Soap Business”
  1. Dawn says:

    I found this article very helpful. I have been working with soaps for a year now and love it very much. The hardest part for me is how to cost effectively package my products. The other is how to mold my brand into my bars? Don’t even know how to start, who would do that? I know what I want but just how to achieve that outcome now? Maybe you could point me in the right direction. Thank you in advance for any further pointers. Thanks again for your excellent article.

    Regards,
    Dawn
    Rockypath.co

  2. I really still dont understand superdfatting. I see a recipe I like and I make itl How do I know if it has been superfatted?

  3. kambui says:

    where can i find Ingredients to make shea soaps and african black soaps. i would like to market both brands. it is in high demand where i live?

  4. Carol says:

    Go to Hobby Lobby in their scrapbooking section. They sell sheets of colorfully printed paper in books of 200 sheets, in a variety of themes and styles. The cost is $20 for the 200 sheets, but if you find one of their $40 coupons it is $12. Cut a strip of the paper to make a “cigar band” around the soap, and tape the end snugly. If you have a brand label, or just an adhesive label saying “home made”, center it on the paper band. This by itself will do if you’re in a dry climate. Here on the Gulf Coast, the exposed soap could become sticky from the humidity. Cover the “cigar banded” bar with plastic wrap and heat the raw ends with a heat gun, pressing down to get the ends to make them adhere to each other. It should seal the bar well enough.

    To mold them into bars, use a loaf mold. Cut the soap like you’re slicing bread from a large loaf. To keep the slices uniform, buy a miter box from the local hardware store for less than $5. Use a vegtable peeler to bevel the edges of the bars and make them look more professional.

    Have fun!!

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