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SoapEquipment.com - Frequently Asked Questions

Select a Category to view the associated Frequently Asked Questions

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Bath Bomb Presses

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Lip Balm and Pouring Trays

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Shrink Wrap

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Beginner Soap Makers Suggestions

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Liquid Soap

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Soap Making Tools and Accessories

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Candle Wax Equipment

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Loaf Soap Cutters

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Soap Making Questions

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Custom Single Bar Mold, Shapes, Graphic Designs

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Lye Tanks

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Soap Molds & Liners

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Drying Trays

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Oil - Wax Tanks (Melters)

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Soap Shaper

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Financing

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Pot Tippers & Pot Whippers

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Soap Stampers

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Formulation

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Professional Air Soap Cutter System

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Soapmaker Software

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General Information - Cutters & Molds & Mold Liners

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Professional Manual Soap Cutter System

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Start Up Questions

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General Questions

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Pumps

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Warranty

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Hot Process Soap

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Scales (General) - (Troubleshooting)

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Ingredients

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FAQ - General Questions

Warranty

Financing

Oil - Wax Melters...

Water Jackets - Why?

Question:

We have been asked many times if our tanks are water jacketed, they definitely are. We have also been asked why.

We have also been asked why we do not make “Direct Heat” tanks.

Why are your tanks water or (liquid) jacketed? By liquid, this can also be oil or a glycol solution.

Answer:

Here are some of the reasons:

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What does “Direct Heat”, referring to a tank mean?

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If it doesn’t have a Liquid Jacket….It is a Direct Heat Tank. There is no other way around it. Direct heat is where there is no liquid jacket surrounding the inner tank of a double jacketed melting tank.

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Basically Direct Heat tanks have two jackets or tanks. One inside the other. Some are square, some are round.

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Direct Heat tanks have heating coils, band heaters, etc. surrounding the inner tank. These coils or bands are attached to the inner jacket in some manner. They generally have some insulation surrounding the coils.

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This direct contact of the heating coils can create “Hot Spots” that can burn your oil or product.

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85% of our customers are involved in making some type of body care product.

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Body care products should not be made in a “Direct Heat”, (No liquid jacket). You are asking for trouble.

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At some point in the heating and making of the product you will get hot spots along the perimeter of the tank.

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Any liquid, such as a vegetable oil, lotion, herbal tincture, etc. that may come in contact with direct heat surface can get overheated, scalded, burned. Once this happens there in no going back and your product has now become inferior.

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There are certain tried and true methods that cannot be cheapened or disposed of in handling, natural, organic, or vegetable based materials.

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This is why your how-too books and formulas online require you to use a Double Boiler for balms, liquid soaps, lotions, etc. A double boiler is a good start for beginners to make small batches and it helps eliminate the possibility of “Overheating”

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Direct Heat tanks have a much higher incidence of fire hazard. Coils and band heaters can burnout. This can result in electrical sparks.

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Direct Heat, is more energy efficient…< not true >. It may heat a little faster (about 27% faster) but requires more energy to stay warm and looses heat much faster (78% faster).

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Where would you use one of these direct heat melters?

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Candle wax is okay to use with one. Caution must be used if a band or coil burns out and sparks.

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They cool down quickly so they work well for short runs. Not so well for day after day use because you have to heat the air space around the tank and actually some heat is lost on the outer shell. A liquid jacket tank with an insulation jacket can stay warm for many, many hours, definitely overnight.

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Petroleum products would do well in one.

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Heating water, mixing fertilizers, chemicals unaffected by hot spots, etc. would be fine in a direct heat tank.

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You can, with constant stirring, get by using these tanks for delicate materials. Just make sure you do not stop until the process is complete.

Make no mistake about it….if it does not have a “Liquid Jacket, then it is a “Direct Heat” melter.

And, if you are going to be making any M&P, CP, HP soap, lotion, balm or body care product where you care about the quality of….Do Not use a Direct Heat melter.

 

Question:

Does your soap making equipment work only with Cold Processed soap?

Answer:

No. Most of our equipment crosses over in to other uses. For example the Pot Tipper can be used for Cold Processed as well as Hot Processed, lotions, Melt and Pour, butters, etc. Our Oil/Wax Heaters for Hot Processed, Liquid Soap, lotions, CP soap, almost every product requiring heating oils and materials carefully.

Batch Size

Question:

How does one determine the batch size?

Answer:

With our custom soap making equipment and soap molds, the batch is determined by the type of cutter used, the bar size and finding the most efficient mold configuration to match that bar size. We will provide you with a very close estimate of your batch size to start with and will help you in sizing your batch ingredients. We offer excellent software for this very thing; it is free with each Professional Soap Cutter.

Electricity

Question:

Can you also tell us about electricity requirements on your soap making equipment so we can calculate local electricity cost to us. I use 220 voltage, common in Africa

Answer:

The Air Soap Cutter™ runs off of a small Air Compressor that will take about 1500 watts. The 65 Gallon Oil Heater takes 5000 watts and the lye tank 3000 watts. Your scales and mixing drill is very little. My guess is that you will need, when making 20,000 bars a week, about, 50 kilowatt hours a day. This includes some for lighting, computers, etc. You will have to get the cost of a kilowatt hour from there.

Bars Per Week

Question:

When we talk about number of bars per week, is it a 5 day week, 6 day week or 7 day week.

Answer:

We base the production on "pour days" and "cut days". One experienced person can measure, mix and pour, 10 molds (approximately 350 bars per mold) in one day if they have an efficient system. They can cut this in one day if they have an Air Soap Cutter™ and a racking system that is easy to stack bars on. Remember you will have packaging, shipping, etc. to consider.

Water

Question:

Do you have any idea about water consumption needed to make about 20,000 bars a week?

Answer:

Using 100 grams bars, 20,000 a week, about, 600 liters. Around 30% of a bar is water.

 

Same as:

3.5 oz bars, 20,000 a week, about 132 gallons of water (U.K) or 158 gallons water (US)

Bar Size

Question:

What do you recommend is a good bar size? I have never made soap before and don't know which bar size is best.

Answer:

A nice size that fits well in the hand and is popular in most markets is a 100 gram bar (3.5 oz).  When cured, this bar would be about  5.4cm x 8.7cm x 2.4cm  or 2.125 in x 3.425 in x .944 in.  The wet-cut weight would be approx. 110 grams (3.88 oz).

Temperature

Question:

At what temperature should soap be mixed?

Answer:

There are many opinions on this. We always poured between 90F and 100F, usually trying for 95F. Had one failed batch in hundreds of 89 pound batches poured. However, many experienced Soapmakers pour at around 80F and 85F, some having decades of experience and producing 100's of thousands of bars.

 

There are some schools of thought that you must pour at much higher temperatures, 120 and up. We have found that high temperatures can create problems not encountered at the lower temperatures, especially when working with some Fragrance oils, certain Essential oils, honey and beeswax.

 

To each their own; try different temperatures. Experiment and find what works for you. Write everything down, taking notes on temps, times and conditions.

Warranty

Question:

Do you provide a warranty on your equipment?

Answer:

Yes, read more information on our website at http://soapequipment.com/service

Financing

Question:

Does Willow Way do any financing?

Answer:

Not directly. However, we do work with a very good leasing company. Here is the link to the information on our site. http://www.soapequipment.com/leasing/

Small Item Shipping

Question:

Why is the shipping on this cutter blade so much? It was more than the blade.

Answer:

Just a quick note to acknowledge your question regarding shipping. There are a couple of things worthy of note:

(1) We do not have a minimum order amount even though we probably make very little to nothing on orders of this size by the time we pay for the accounting - need to enter the order into our books and record the payment; get the order to shipping. Shipping has to pull it and then pack it. Not having a minimum order is our way of trying to help our customers, trusting they will come back to a site where they have received good service and good products.

(2) If you had ordered several items, the shipping per pound would be much less. UPS has a minimum shipping charge, which was already more than the cost of your item.

(3) The shopping cart defaults to residential, since most of our customers are in this category. If you are in a Rural area then that adds some regardless if residential or commercial.

We appreciate your business and trust that this explanation helps.

 

Willow Way, LLC - Home Office

Sales, Design & Engineering

Phone: 765-530-0307

Click Here to Contact us

Home Office & Shipping Address:

520 W. Main St.

Hagerstown, IN 47346

Willow Way LLC - Arkansas Office

Custom Large Production & Systems Sales

Phone: 870-429-8230

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Willow Way LLC - Billing

This Address is for Billing Only:

12873 W E Oler Road

Hagerstown, IN 47346

Company Phone Listings

General Sales Questions and Ordering:

765-530-0307 ext.101

Custom Large Production & Systems Sales:

870-429-8230

Tech Support:

765-530-0307 ext.105

Shipping:

765-530-0307 ext.103

$30 minimum purchase (excluding shipping and tax)

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