Help with superfat

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HLN80

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Hello, I’m a newbie, no soap made yet, I just want to keep learning and figure all this out, I’m interested in using our Goat’s milk to make CP soap and have checked on a few recipes but I do not understand what superfat is, when it goes in and how to calculate it. If someone could explain this to a dummy, I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance
 

Alfa_Lazcares

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To transform oils to soap you need a certain amount of lye. So lets say you have 100 grams of oils and your recipe with 0% superfat calls for 10 grams of lye. Those 10 grams of lye will make the 100 grams of oil in to soap. To superfat you would need to add more oils than what the lye can make in to soap. So insted of 100 grams of oils you would use 105. Those 5 extra grams are your superfat. You dont need to figure this out by yourself, once you input your recipe in to a lye calculator you can choose the amount of superfat and it will give you the numbers. On cp you dont separate the “extra” oils. You just use the amount the calculator tells you. Hope that helped. So superfat is just the extra oils the lye wont “transform” in to soap. The “standar” is 5% superfat, but it can be more or less, depending on your preference and the recipe.
 

HLN80

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To transform oils to soap you need a certain amount of lye. So lets say you have 100 grams of oils and your recipe with 0% superfat calls for 10 grams of lye. Those 10 grams of lye will make the 100 grams of oil in to soap. To superfat you would need to add more oils than what the lye can make in to soap. So insted of 100 grams of oils you would use 105. Those 5 extra grams are your superfat. You dont need to figure this out by yourself, once you input your recipe in to a lye calculator you can choose the amount of superfat and it will give you the numbers. On cp you dont separate the “extra” oils. You just use the amount the calculator tells you. Hope that helped. So superfat is just the extra oils the lye wont “transform” in to soap. The “standar” is 5% superfat, but it can be more or less, depending on your preference and the recipe.
To transform oils to soap you need a certain amount of lye. So lets say you have 100 grams of oils and your recipe with 0% superfat calls for 10 grams of lye. Those 10 grams of lye will make the 100 grams of oil in to soap. To superfat you would need to add more oils than what the lye can make in to soap. So insted of 100 grams of oils you would use 105. Those 5 extra grams are your superfat. You dont need to figure this out by yourself, once you input your recipe in to a lye calculator you can choose the amount of superfat and it will give you the numbers. On cp you dont separate the “extra” oils. You just use the amount the calculator tells you. Hope that helped. So superfat is just the extra oils the lye wont “transform” in to soap. The “standar” is 5% superfat, but it can be more or less, depending on your preference and the recipe.
thank you so much for this awesome explanation! I really appreciate it and completely understand now
 

Dawni

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To add to that, you also superfat higher if your soap might have a tendency to be very cleansing, like if you use a higher amount of coconut oil and/or very less conditioning oils.

Coconut oil once it's saponified is very good at stripping skin off dirt and oils, which unfortunately you still need to not get that tight feeling.

Some have made recipes with low coconut and therefore low superfat, because there is not much need to compensate for the stripped off oils. Some soap which require a high percentage of coconut, like salt soaps have a higher superfat.

It's all about learning what works for your skin. Once the calculators have computed your superfat for you, just remember that the numbers don't account for the superfat. So let's say you have a very low cleansing number to begin with, a high superfat might lead to a greasy feeling soap.

Here's a great read on superfat, by this forum's very own DeeAnna, and while you're there I suggest going through the whole site. There's a ton of info that will help you get started on trying your first soap :)
 

HLN80

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To add to that, you also superfat higher if your soap might have a tendency to be very cleansing, like if you use a higher amount of coconut oil and/or very less conditioning oils.

Coconut oil once it's saponified is very good at stripping skin off dirt and oils, which unfortunately you still need to not get that tight feeling.

Some have made recipes with low coconut and therefore low superfat, because there is not much need to compensate for the stripped off oils. Some soap which require a high percentage of coconut, like salt soaps have a higher superfat.

It's all about learning what works for your skin. Once the calculators have computed your superfat for you, just remember that the numbers don't account for the superfat. So let's say you have a very low cleansing number to begin with, a high superfat might lead to a greasy feeling soap.

Here's a great read on superfat, by this forum's very own DeeAnna, and while you're there I suggest going through the whole site. There's a ton of info that will help you get started on trying your first soap :)
Thank you so much!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Aye, I think it's better to look at it in the other direction, which is what the online calculators will do -

You have 100g of oil and that will need a certain amount of lye to be saponified. The calcs then lower that lye amount by 5% as a default, which means that 5% of the oils will not be turned in to soap. That's why it is also called a lye discount when talking cold process.

Selective super fat is only close to possible when doing hot process - cooking the batch with a very low lye discount and then adding in more oil once all the lye has reacted.

And this is also all very approximate - the actual amount of lye needed to saponify the exact oils in your pot is not often what is on the calculation. They use an average figure only
 

HLN80

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To add to that, you also superfat higher if your soap might have a tendency to be very cleansing, like if you use a higher amount of coconut oil and/or very less conditioning oils.

Coconut oil once it's saponified is very good at stripping skin off dirt and oils, which unfortunately you still need to not get that tight feeling.

Some have made recipes with low coconut and therefore low superfat, because there is not much need to compensate for the stripped off oils. Some soap which require a high percentage of coconut, like salt soaps have a higher superfat.

It's all about learning what works for your skin. Once the calculators have computed your superfat for you, just remember that the numbers don't account for the superfat. So let's say you have a very low cleansing number to begin with, a high superfat might lead to a greasy feeling soap.

Here's a great read on superfat, by this forum's very own DeeAnna, and while you're there I suggest going through the whole site. There's a ton of info that will help you get started on trying your first soap :)
Thank you , thank you!! I really appreciate this great information
 

dixiedragon

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Welcome to the forum! The previous answers are all correct. To add to that:
5% is a good standard starting point. People who deviate from 5% generally have a reason for doing so. For example, when most of us make a bar that is 100% coconut, we will superfat higher - 15% or 20%. I have a recipe that is 50% shea butter - I superfat that at 2%.

You will also see the term superfat used to describe a "special" oil added at the end of the cook in HP (hot process) soap making. This is calculated the same way, it's just a matter of when you add things. In CP (cold process), the lye takes what it wants, as we say. So it doesn't matter if you add a "special" oil at trace (the way I learned almost 20 years ag0), because the lye will take what it wants. But in hot process, the lye is used up during the cook, so you can add a special oil at the end and have less of that oil saponify (turn into soap) because the lye has already been used up during the cook.

We need a new word for one of the concepts, but both uses are so firmly entrenched I don't think it will happen.
 

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