Safety comes first… This has always been our motto when we teach candle and soap making classes. In fact a large chunk of time is spend teaching how to make candles and soap safely.
While the art of soap making is relatively easy, there are times depending on what you are making when you will work with extremely hot substances and in the instance of hot or cold process soap making an acid called sodium hydroxide or lye.
Because of these two potential hazards in soap making, safety should always be observed and made to be a part of your work flow.
Safety gear is mainly to protect your body from potential harm. Beyond clearing the area and ensuring pets and small children are not present, the only other potential danger lies with you the soap maker.
You must protect your eyes, arms and hands, torso, legs and feet from any potential accident.
Protecting your eye has always been the number one protective body part whenever a person works with their hands.
Of course you will not willingly damage yourself however simple accidents do happen where materials can splash up and somehow get in your eye.
To avoid this you wear protective eye wear. If you wear prescription glasses this can double as protective eye ware however there are protective glasses that will protect your eye ware as well.
3M Safety Glasses Solus 1000 Series
Glasses Side Shields For Eyeglasses
Anti Fog Safety Glasses Safety Goggles Over Glasses Protective Glasses
Protecting your hands may seem like a good place to start as pretty much all of your work will be done using your hands.
There are a few gloves that we have used over the years. The typical yellow dish washing glove is a good starting point. it has all the protection you will need not only for you hand but for your wrist and a bit of your forearm
The others that we have used over time as you may see in our videos are the black vinyl gloves. These are light weight and easy to use and are disposable after use or can be reused if not damaged or have too much ingredients on them.
Black Vinyl Disposable Gloves
Synthetic Nitrile-Vinyl Blend Gloves
Yellow Cleaning Dish Gloves, Professional Natural Rubber Latex
Protecting your arm may seem redundant especially when you already have your hands covered. Trust me there have been many times that the soap batter will plop up while I’m mixing with the stick blender.
Arm protection will help avoid any nasty burns from the heated sop batter or the un-saponified lye. Arm sleeves can be worn when you work with soap and wear short sleeve shirt.
Other times wearing a long sleeve shirt will make this product useless. It all depends on your environment, for me living in a hot climate, short sleeve shirts are a normal thing.
Compression Arm Sleeves
Cooling Skin Protective Cover
Arm Sleeves Covers, Reusable Waterproof Arm Protector
Protecting your torso refers mainly to your clothing but also your body.
Short story I once use a thin non tempered glass container to mix my lye water. The good news is that I placed it in a larger metal container so as to not scorch my counter top.
About less than a minute the bottom of the container cracked completely off and all the scolding hot lye water spilled out into the larger metal container.
Had I not placed the container in the larger pot I would have been burned about my torso with caustic hot water.
To prevent this and be safe aprons can be used. I prefer the cloth aprons as they can be cleaned however the light weight plastic aprons work just as well.
Adjustable Bib Apron
100 White Plastic Disposable Aprons
Bib Apron, Utility Aprons
Protecting your legsis as important as the rest of your body but similar to your torso. When thhings spill they tend to fall downward toward your thigh or legs and feet.
To avoid bodily harm its best to wear lonh pants just in case some corrosive matirial may fall or splash out of its ocntainer.
This is another reason why we recommend heat tempered glass containers and or hard plastic.
Protection of your feet is quite simple. The best way to do this is to wear closed shoes. Slippers are not safe as everything eventually ends up on the floor.
No need for steel toe shoes as regular shoes or tennis will do. Make sure that the shoes worn do not have holes such as crocs or exposed skin such as slippers.
Keep in mind the story about the broken container. If for any reason one of your containers should break you want to be safe as possible to avoid skin injury. You may feel the heat a little but it will not give you skin burns.