How To Use Soap Calc Tutorial

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Claudette Carignan

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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):


View attachment 10182


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.
This is going to be so helpful! Thank you for sharing.
 
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DeeAnna

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Hi, Looking for specification on "Weight of oils" section. My mold holds 40 liquid oz.... To my knowledge I calculated everything correctly and came out with only enough soap to fill half of my mold. Am I missing something here?....
Estimating the total weight of oils to fill a mold with soap batter is done a different way than the approach you're taking. Briefly put, the usual way the estimate is done is using this formula --

Weight of fat, ounces = 0.40 X Mold volume

...where the mold volume is in cubic inches, not fluid ounces. The 0.40 is a factor that also includes the volume of the lye and water for a basic soap recipe that uses 28% lye concentration without any additives. Just water, fat, and alkali (NaOH).

If your mold holds 40 fluid ounces, convert that to cubic inches --

Cu in = Fl oz x 1.8 = 40 x 1.8 = 72 cu in

Putting that into the formula at top --

Weight of fat = 0.4 x Cu in = 0.4 x 72 = about 29 weight ounces

Here's a tutorial with more info about how to do this -- https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/how-to-figure-how-much-oil-for-mold.2909/

Here's my article with more background information -- https://classicbells.com/soap/moldBatchSize.asp
 
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gorio

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soapcalc.net still down as of 2 march I am using soapee and find that great --though admit if you add titles and desc.then you run on to 2 page print
 

dianaabuela1

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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):


View attachment 10182


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.
Can I substitute the water for star anise water?
 

cmzaha

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Can I substitute the water for star anise water?
I am not sure what star anise water is but any water, milks and thin purees can be substituted for water. It is alcohol and chunky purees that can cause issues.

While Luna Skye gave a good breakdown for using soapcalc.net I do not totally agree with her #3 recommendation. Most of us here soapers use Lye Concentration of 33% which is quite workable while I know one uses 40%.

Using lower liquid does not cause the overheating issues of the recommended 38% Water as % of oils, which is around a 27% lye concentration ( full water) which is considerably more liquid in your recipe than a 33% lye concentration. The higher liquid, many times, leads to a hotter gel which can cause separation, volcanos, glycerin rivers, and crackling. In other words, it can be pesky, not always and some soapmakers always use what is considered full water but it always gave me problems.

A lot of tracing issues are recipe dependent and fat choices. For example, Lard and Olive Oil will slow trace considerably. Hope this was not to much information.
 

Ron Martinez

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Hello everyone please forgive me, but I am a total newbie. I am a dad with an autistic daughter who has taken to Soap Making for a hobby, but is now obsessed with it.
We started with Melt and Pour then she wanted to make real soap (her words). We have looked at countless you tube videos about Soap Calc, and tried to follow instructions, but we continue to either make too much or too little.
our mold is 3x3x10=90 Then we multiply by .40 = 36oz Soap Calc reads 55.60 total which included Lye and Water this was too much for our mold.
Then I saw on you tube someone said to subtract the water and lye basically keep lowering weight of oils on option #2 in soap calc until you get the 36oz in total. This turned out to be too little.
Please help I really don't want my daughter to lose interest since it's her calming time when we do this together.2020-03-26_15-05-39.jpg
 

Arimara

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Hello everyone please forgive me, but I am a total newbie. I am a dad with an autistic daughter who has taken to Soap Making for a hobby, but is now obsessed with it.
We started with Melt and Pour then she wanted to make real soap (her words). We have looked at countless you tube videos about Soap Calc, and tried to follow instructions, but we continue to either make too much or too little.
our mold is 3x3x10=90 Then we multiply by .40 = 36oz Soap Calc reads 55.60 total which included Lye and Water this was too much for our mold.
Then I saw on you tube someone said to subtract the water and lye basically keep lowering weight of oils on option #2 in soap calc until you get the 36oz in total. This turned out to be too little.
Please help I really don't want my daughter to lose interest since it's her calming time when we do this together.View attachment 44753
There are three options to choose from, one of which is the lye concentration and the other is the ratio. You can choose the ratio and use 2:1 water to lye. Also, from your pic, you can use double the amount of water from the amount of lye you need (you need almost 5oz of lye, so you would use about 10 oz water).
 

Ron Martinez

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Thank you for the fast response. So would I keep everything the same just change lye and water ratio? Would this make my soap batch reach top of mold?
 

Arimara

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I've never calculated a recipe from measurements so this was a first. I used SoapMakingFriend.com to help me out. If you want the total batch weight to be about 36 oz, you would want to use 22oz of oils. So instead of the 36 you put for your oils, you would put 22 and then input your percentages.

By the way, your soap recipe will need at least a 3 month cure. This is only due to the amount of Olive oil you have in it.
 

cmzaha

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The 36 oz is the amount of oil you would use for your mold this is what the calculation gives you. You may have a little extra so just have a little mold or even a deli cup etc you can pour any extra in. The number soap calc gives you is the total batch weight, which your mold should hold. Since you are using such a high percentage of OO I would use option #2 (Lye Concentration) in Section 3 and type in 33%. This will reduce your water usage by giving you a lye concentration of 33% instead of the 25.9% your recipe shows.

The mold I use takes 59 oz oils according to the formula you used
H x W x L x .40=oil weight but my total batch weight is 101 oz
 

Ron Martinez

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The 36 oz is the amount of oil you would use for your mold this is what the calculation gives you. You may have a little extra so just have a little mold or even a deli cup etc you can pour any extra in. The number soap calc gives you is the total batch weight, which your mold should hold. Since you are using such a high percentage of OO I would use option #2 (Lye Concentration) in Section 3 and type in 33%. This will reduce your water usage by giving you a lye concentration of 33% instead of the 25.9% your recipe shows.

The mold I use takes 59 oz oils according to the formula you used
H x W x L x .40=oil weight but my total batch weight is 101 oz
Thank you this helped me tremendously!!!
 

Chach

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Just found this this morning after churning out a quick batch. I had been using BB soap calculator but was a little miffed that I could not get any feedback or input on what my recipe might yield (Im new and would LOVE a spot where i can show a recipe and have experienced folks or a calc weigh in on what my bar might be like...). Then I went to SoapCalc and YIKES it is intimidating but I put in the recipe and Soap Cal's recommendation for amount of water and lye were slightly different from BB's. Am I in trouble or is that usual?
 

DeeAnna

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You're okay.

The various calcs use slightly different data and assumptions, so you're going to see some variations if you compare results.

My advice is to pick one calc, get familiar with how it works, and don't worry that its answers are a little different than the other calcs.

Have you looked at the Soapee.com calc or the Soapmaking Friend calc? I like them better than Soapcalc, not because they're better or more accurate, but because I like their user interfaces better than Soapcalc.

"...would LOVE a spot where i can show a recipe and have experienced folks or a calc weigh in on what my bar might be like ..."

There's the recipe feedback forum. Would that work?
 
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Zany_in_CO

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I calculated the weight of the oils alone today for a recipe. To my knowledge I calculated everything correctly and came out with only enough soap to fill half of my mold. Am I missing something here?
To figure the amount of soap I end up with based on the amount of oils/fats, I use a factor of 1.37:
40 oz X 1.37 = 54.8 oz. soap (approx.)

To calculate the amount of soap my mold holds, I use Summer Bee Meadows
Calculator and Recipe Resizer

First use the calculator to calculate 40 oz. of oils.
The water and NaOH are calculated on the next page.
Scroll down to where you can resize your batch based on the size of your mold. Enter the Length, Width and Height of your mold and hit calculate to get the amount of soap your mold holds. There you have it.
PS: Can you tell I'm not only math-challenged but a bit of a lazy-daisy as well? :nodding:

HTH & HAPPY SOAPING!
 
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