This is for the newbies who are new to the world of soap-making. soapcalc.net is actually my favorite online calculator to use. It is intimidating with all the things that you have to enter, but it gets easier to use as time passes. My hope is that this post helps to demystify soapcalc, section by section (listing numbers correspond to the section): 1. Type of lye is where you select the lye you want to use. You may already know this, but sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is used for making bar soaps whereas potassium hydroxide (KOH) is used for making liquid soaps. 2. Weight of oils simply allows you to select the measuring weight you want to use. There is also a green box below to enter the amount of oils you will use if you choose to view the recipe in percentages. Details about that will be addressed later. 3. Water as % of oils asks you for the amount of water you plan to use. If you are a newbie, I'd suggest you stick with this option until you feel more comfortable using the water:lye ratio or the lye concentration options. Also note that the soap will trace faster if you use a lower percentage of water. That is referred to a water discount. 4. Super fat is where you enter how much of a lye discount you want for your soap. The higher the SF%, the more oils will be left in the soap for the conditioning. However, higher SF% may also make your soap prone to DOS, depending on the oils used and how much you are superfatting. As a note, superfatting with a specific oil can only be done in the HP method of soap making. Lye converts oils indiscriminately into soap, so the SF is often referred to the lye discount. Below Super Fat is Fragrance. By default, .5oz/lb is figured into the recipe. 5. Soap qualities in the white column describes the qualities that each oil, butter, or fat contributes to the soap. Additionally, the white column also provides information on the fatty acid molecules that is found in a particular oil, butter, or fat. The numbers in the green column shows the properties of the soap based on which oils, butters or fats are found in the calculated recipe. More information can be seen when you hover the mouse icon over each of qualities listed, but I'll probably post a link for further explanation. Oils, fats, and waxes is a list of many ingredients that can be used to make soap. Below that list are two boxes that show the saponification values for both NaOH and KOH. You may already know that saponification is the process that converts oils and lye into soap and glycerine. The values below the list will vary depending on the oil you select. 6. Recipe oil list is where the selected oils will be listed. The add button will add the selected oil to the list while the remove button will remove the oil from the list (depending on the number entered in the green box next to it). Please note that the red plus and minus signs will allow you to swipe out an oil from the recipe much more easily than using the remove button. That is just my opinion, however. The two columns with the dots above them give you the option of viewing the recipe in percentages or by the weight you selected in section 2. In whichever column you select, you can enter the amount of oil that you plan to use. The drop-down box that reads recipe 1 is available for you to save multiple recipes. You can save up to 8 recipes, but be careful as you will lose the recipes if you are on a private browser or if you delete your cookies. 7. When you are done making your recipe, press the calculate recipe button so that you can view the recipe. You will also be able to see the soap's qualities in section 5. After the recipe is calculated, you have the option of viewing the recipe on another page (from which you can print it if need be). Two selectable options are also available for easier viewing. Multiple tabs allow you to view multiple recipes in different tabs while bold adds a bold effect to the number values. Lastly, the reset all button will send your page into the default setting. That said, be careful not to press it. Here are some additional links that I hope will be helpful: Post #8 on this thread gives a good overview on how the type of lye and oil used in soap-making effects the outcome of the soap. Simplified information on the fatty acids can be found here and here. Soap dish also has a chart of what fatty acid is found in a specific oil.