History Of Soap Making Equipment
In the early 1800s, Colgate & Company was opened in New York and became the first major soap company in America. The company's equipment was essentially a huge kettle which could hold 45,000 pounds of soap.
Soon after, Proctor and Gamble became a major soap making company. Its biggest contribution was beating air into its soap batches with a mixing machine which created the first known soap which floated.They called the soap “Ivory.”
The next major soap company was Palmolive. Interestingly, Palmolive grew tremendously and was renowned for its use of making soap entirely of vegetable oils, palm and olive. However today, Palmolive’s recipe contains primarily animal fat.
In time, these companies led to way to innovation in soap making equipment and techniques. However, as these companies began to produce more “commercial” soaps, the handcrafted quality and ingredients seemed lost among the general public. As mentioned above, even Palmolive which was a successful company turned to using essentially animal fats for its soaps, joining the majority of commercial soap makers.
After decades of almost being forgotten, a renewed interest in health, nature and the environment during the late 1960’s allowed American to re-discover handcrafted soap. Along with handcrafted soap, Americans became more concerned with overall nutrition, body and health care and the environment. By the late 1990s, according to the Natural Foods Merchandiser, the overall “natural” industry grew by 11% from 1998 to 1999 and total sales in 1999 exceeded 28 billion dollars. With respect to handcrafted soap makers, some have experienced sales growth of over 35% for several years.
Fortunately, to accommodate this growth, several handcrafted soap making equipment businesses were formed to accommodate the particular and specific needs of handcrafted soap makers. These companies emphasized affordable equipment which required handheld instruments to keep the soap as “handcrafted” since it was not a pure industrial process.
One of the pioneers in this field was CES, Inc. (Candle Equipment and Sales) which is now today known as Melting and Filling Equipment, Inc. It was featured in books regarding handcrafted soap and candle making and is today known in the handcrafted soap industry as SoapMelters.
Unlike other companies, SoapMelters focuses on only solutions for the handcrafted soap industries heating and melting tank needs as well as heated filling of candles. Some of the most important advances in the Soap Melting industry have been SoapMelters' customization of melting tanks to the handcrafted soap making industry. Soap Melters' melting tanks have an exclusive proprietary inner surface which is polished, non-reactive, non-porous and corrosion resistant for better quality soap making without cross-contamination and easy clean up. Melting tanks are generally classified as either direct heating and water jacket heating. Direct heat melters are generally made from aluminum and can heat up to over 500 degrees F., but Wax Melters candle wax melters only heat to a maximum of 300 degrees. The heating element is directly on the aluminum which is directly against the substance to be melted. Hence the name direct melter. Water jacket melters function more like a large, commercial double boiler and keep substances evenly heated. They can be made of aluminum, but are generally made of stainless steel. SoapMelters will again be revolutionizing the industry in 2008 with the development of the Primo Melter, the most unique and advance melting tank ever designed.
SoapMelters and SoapMelters.com revolutionized the handcrafted soap making equipment industry in six significant ways:
- SoapMelters is the first mainstream wholesaler of handcrafted soap making melters and heated soap filling equipment
- SoapMelters is the first company to successfully develop a handcrafted soap filling system which can be attached to your existing melting tank. Not including custom soap filling systems, SoapMelters offers 5 handcrafted soap filling systems that attach directly to existing melt tanks: 1) EZ-S Gravity Soap Filling System 2) EZFill 800 Soap Filling System 3) EZFill 1200 Soap Filling System 4) EZ SOAP 2400 Soap Filling System 5) AutoShot 3000s Automated Soap Filling System.
- SoapMelters was the first company to pioneer and develop affordable handheld soap making equipment with the original EZ-1 Wax Dispensing System, which now goes by the name EZ1, EZ-1, EZ-Wax, EZWAX, EZSOAP.
- SoapMelters was the first to pioneer an affordable, fully automated soap making machine called the Autoshot which used compressors to pour perfectly timed amounts of wax for candle making. As a result of technological developments in microchip technology, German engineering and the heating and insulation industries, the newest Edition called the AutoShot 3000s Precision Soap Filling System is 100% electronic and can be used manually or automatically with repeat “On” and “Off” filling.
- SoapMelters is the first company to develop an affordable, 100% electronic handcrafted soap making machine which is fully automated on a cycled flow for “On” and “Off” filling.
- By moving to an on-line, direct distribution channel for its products, SoapMelters was able to eliminate sales agents to sell handcrafted soap making equipment directly to the public.