How To Use Soap Calc Tutorial

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by LunaSkye, Oct 27, 2014.

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  1. Oct 27, 2014 #1

    LunaSkye

    LunaSkye

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    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):


    soapcalc.net tutorial.jpg


    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:
    1. 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.
    2. Simplified information on the fatty acids can be found here and here.
    3. Soap dish also has a chart of what fatty acid is found in a specific oil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  2. Oct 27, 2014 #2

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    A great overview. I think soapcalc looks worse than it is which causes a panic and a mental shutdown on it.
     
  3. Oct 27, 2014 #3

    Susie

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    Thank you! Good job and great timing! I just gave this link to the newbie in the intro section, and I am bookmarking it! I can see lots of linking this in my future!
     
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  4. Oct 27, 2014 #4

    snappyllama

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    Nice post! SoapCalc is a great tool, but the interface is a bit intimidating for first timers. Thanks for demystifying it. :)
     
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  5. Oct 27, 2014 #5

    Dahila

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  6. Oct 28, 2014 #6

    LunaSkye

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    28.3495231 is the magical number to convert grams to ounces (through division) or ounces to grams (through multiplication). Thanks for sharing that link, BTW. :D

    Thank you all for you thoughts and support. :) Happy Soaping!
     
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  7. Oct 28, 2014 #7

    cmzaha

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  8. Oct 28, 2014 #8

    Susie

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    I use the summerbeemeadow advanced calculator, and yes, it is very intimidating. I also really, really wish that it would be able to use grams. But it doesn't. There are many conversion tools on the internet. I just type convert ounces to grams, and get my answers.

    As far as using the calculator, just add what you need, and leave blank the other boxes. I also ignore all the part about neutralizing because I use 0-3% superfat.
     
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  9. Oct 28, 2014 #9

    KatieShephard

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    Nice tutorial LunaSkye! :thumbup:
     
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  10. Oct 28, 2014 #10

    grumpy_owl

    grumpy_owl

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    Thank you so much for this, LunaSkye! I have looked at the soapcalc but then I get a headache and run away terrified. My 5% SF soaps are coming out soft and I plan to use this calculator in future so I don't have mushy bath balls.
    Mushy Bath Balls is the name of my band, of course.
     
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  11. Oct 28, 2014 #11

    Dahila

    Dahila

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    Susie you are awesome so are the others. I downloaded and will try use the calculator again. I got everything for Irishlass gliceryne soap but i do not need numbers. I will hopefully figure it out:) thank you!!!:p
     
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  12. Oct 30, 2014 #12

    LunaSkye

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    I've been trying to find the time to apologize for not really answering your question. I misread your first post and didn't realize it until after I read the other posts. cmzaha and Susie had the best suggestions for using Summer Bee's calculator. I thing their help icon would be more helpful than I could be as well.
     
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  13. Oct 30, 2014 #13

    Dahila

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    I checked a few of calculators and they all give me
    max about 375 ml of water for a 1000 grams of oils (35.2 oz) and Summer bee meadow gives me the number of 22.41 oz of water, which is 635 g. I put superfat as 3%
    Am I doing it wrong?
    Is it possible that the number is wrong? Susie help:) please
    could you take a look , please:)

    summerbeemeadow.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  14. Oct 30, 2014 #14

    Susie

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    OK, something did not look right, so I ran that through the advanced calculator. And the numbers are different. Close, but not quite right. And SBM uses more water than other calculators. That is why it works so much better for liquid soap.

    My results call for 22.21 oz(629.6 g) of water, and 7.4 oz (209 g) KOH.

    So, your recipe would look like this:

    Castor oil-99g
    Coconut oil, 76 degree-250 g
    Olive oil, pomace- 649 g

    KOH-209 g
    Water- 629.6 g

    If I were going to fragrance that, I would use 28 g of EO, but use according to your FO or EO usage rates.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
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  15. Oct 30, 2014 #15

    Dahila

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    Susie thank you so much, you are a jewel. I will copy it. I actually used regular calculator and is not so much of but it is somehow.
    In grams it looks like that
    Olive oil 650 g\
    castor oil 100 g
    Coconut oil 250 g

    KOH 211.7 g
    Water 635
    Thank you so much, I am going to use Irishlass way with the glicerin. It is my fist shot at liquid soap, I will update when done. It is probably going to be a disaster :))
     
  16. Dec 31, 2014 #16

    Lambandpeach

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    Soap very very newbie

    Hi everyone
    I see the soap calc online but how do you know how much the recipe will yield? I have a 4 lb loaf mold and would like the recipes to fit that. Thanks. Any info would be helpful
     
  17. Jan 1, 2015 #17

    Dahila

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  18. Jan 7, 2015 #18

    LunaSkye

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    The total yield of your recipe will be shown after you choose to view your recipe. It will display the total weight of the oils, liquid, lye, and fragrance used in the recipe. Keep in mind:

    1. You should set the fragrance amount to the exact amount you want to use, otherwise the total weight shown will reflect the wrong weight.

    2. You may want to use less than 4lbs of oil in the recipe to minimize the amount of leftover soap batter you will have. It may sound redundant, but some people (like myself) use residual batter for soap balls and/or samples. The may not worry too much about how much batter is left over (I know I don't).

    3. The water discount will affect the overall weight, but lowering it will also affect how fast the soap reaches trace. I've found that a lower discount resulted in a faster trace.
     
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  19. Feb 1, 2015 #19

    claryza

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    I use the soapcalc.net and I do calculate my oils randomly. I think that if my soap at the end , the Hardness, bubbly, creamy, iodine number between those numbers shown its good enough to be made. Or this is wrong?
     
  20. Feb 1, 2015 #20

    Susie

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    Each oil brings certain qualities to soap. If you randomize your oils, you are never going to get a reliable recipe that you can then compare your other soaps to. For instance, if you made a soap that took a long time to unmold, then you used random oils after that rather than increase the hard oils, then you would only hit on a good recipe by happenstance.

    You need to identify what you like about a recipe(or what you don't), then improve it using systematic changes to achieve good soap that behaves like you want it to.
     
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