Soap Making Equipment – Choosing The Essential Stick Blender
Posted on August 07 2011
Every soap maker I know has their own favorite tools and supplies.
I would have to say my favourite piece of soap making equipment is the stick blender.
To me, out of all the other tools, this one is essential.
I remember making my very first batch of soap over 14 years ago. I followed a book and used a wooden spoon to stir the batch of soap. It was cold process soap, so I needed to stir it until it thickened (traced). After about 1 hour or so of vigorous stirring, the soap finally reached trace. My arm was quite cramped, so I did some research and discover that the stick blender was the easiest way to make cold process and hot process soap.
I purchased my first stick blender and never looked back.
The other day as I was making soap, my stick blender started falling apart right in front of me. I heard some crunching as if the blades were hitting something solid, then the whole blade insert fell out.
This was my back up blender, since I burned out my main one just a week before. This new back up blender only gave me 3 batches of soap.
I thought this would be a good time to analyze what makes a good soap making stick blender, and what you should avoid when choosing this very handy piece of soap making equipment.
Price to me is not relevant. I have tried more expensive models and over all they might last a bit longer, but not long enough to justify the extra expense. I don’t need a fancy stainless steel stick blender, since it is generally the motor that wears out first unless the blender is poorly designed.
I stick to blenders that are under $15. Most are under $10. Don’t spend extra on purchasing a stick blender that has all the mixing containers and jars. You won’t be using those.
Take a look at the bottom of the blade area. If there are screws holding a plate behind the blades, this will be the first part of the stick blender to go. Leave that one on the shelf.
Look for a really simple design where the blades are connected to the rest of the blender and it is one solid piece behind the blade.
The height of the blade area is also important. If the round part of the blender is too high, you will more than likely be splashed by your soap batch. Look for a lower, shorter head for these soap making tools.
Pay attention to the side holes near the end of the blender. If they are too high, the soap will end up splashing you through the opening.
The bottom rim should not have grooves on it. Look for a stick blender that is smooth all the way around the bottom edge.
The soap seems to trace quicker and more evenly with the blenders that don’t have the grooves.
Dual speed blenders are not necessary. Sometimes this is the only feature that sets the model apart from the less expensive stick blenders. It’s not worth it.
Some stick blenders allow you to take the head off the motor. This is a nice feature if you are short on time and just want to leave your stick blender to soak.
Personally, the first thing I do when the soap is in the mold is to plug the blender in and run it while it’s in a container of fresh hot water.
This cleans off the blades and the under area of the blender quite well.
I then unplug the blender and clean up the creases with a toothbrush that is a dedicated part of my soap making equipment.
PLEASE remember to unplug your blender before doing this.
The removable head is a bonus feature for me though; I don’t go out of my way to find this type of blender since I don’t leave my blender to soak.
So this is a personal preference and does not affect the life of the blender one way or another.
I hope you find this information helpful.
I have gone through 5 to 10 stick blenders each year for the last 14 years.
I have tried so many and have learned to avoid certain design aspects that just don’t benefit soap making and cosmetic making.
The Stick blender really is an essential part of my soap making equipment.
It is used in all of the soap making techniques that I teach in the Soap Making School classes.
This includes cold process, hot process, natural liquid soap making and transparent glycerine soap making.
To learn more about the classes at soap making school, check out Soapmakingschool.com