# Lye concentration/ water discount

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#### Dharlee

##### Well-Known Member
Are they basically the same thing? When someone says "I used a 30% lye concentration" are the meaning the water setting in soap calc? I know what that basically means, IF they are the same thing. IF not, I am confused.:crazy:

#### cmzaha

Supporting Member
No, they are not the same. Many soapers including myself will soap with a 33% lye concentration which will give you around 27% in the water to oil. Lye concentration is exactly that, "lye concentration". Go to soap calc put in your formula at the default 38% calculate, view print check what the lye concentration come out. Now go back enter in 33% in the lye concentration box, calculate, view/print and check what the percent is for water to oil, in will be somewhere in the mid 20's. DeeAnna has some posts on this

#### IrishLass

Staff member
Moderator
If it's any consolation, I was once as confused as you, but the answer is as Carolyn said- no- they are not the same.

I think a lot of the confusion stems from there being 2 different ways to calculate one's water amount on SoapCalc. You can either calculate it as a percent of your oils amount ('water as % of oils'), or you can calculate it as a percentage of your lye amount (lye concentration)- both of which are very different methods of calculating water amount that will give you totally different results if you try to use them interchangeably (so don't ever make that mistake).

I personally hate the term 'discounting water'. The only person to whom it has any real meaning is the person actually using the term at any given moment. Since there are 2 different ways of calculating water which lead to different results, I'm always tempted to ask one who says they discounted their water, 'Discounted from what?" lol

I myself prefer to measure my water amount in terms of my lye amount, therefore I prefer to talk in terms of 'lye concentration' when discussing my water amount instead of 'water discount'.

IrishLass

#### mymy

##### Well-Known Member
Is it safe to soap around 29-30% lye concentration?

#### DeeAnna

##### Well-Known Member
Mymy -- Definitely it is. I routinely soap anywhere from 30% to 33% lye concentration. I pretty much never go below 30%. I would use as high as 40% lye concentration for a castile (100% olive).

ETA -- And I agree 100% with Irish Lass that the "water discount" idea is a bunch o' hooey. It doesn't really mean anything.

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#### mymy

##### Well-Known Member
Thank you so much DeeAnna. Now I am using lye concentration instead of weight of water to oil but for my last batch I used 29% lye concentration. Next time I will up the value.

#### Dharlee

##### Well-Known Member
Mymy -- Definitely it is. I routinely soap anywhere from 30% to 33% lye concentration. I pretty much never go below 30%. I would use as high as 40% lye concentration for a castile (100% olive).

ETA -- And I agree 100% with Irish Lass that the "water discount" idea is a bunch o' hooey. It doesn't really mean anything.
Thank you all. Especially for this post!

#### DeeAnna

##### Well-Known Member
"...for my last batch I used 29% lye concentration. Next time I will up the value...."

While you're getting used to this and figuring out what works best for you, just change the lye concentration a percent or two at a time. A little change can make a noticeable difference.

#### mymy

##### Well-Known Member
"A little change can make a noticeable difference."
I am glad that I found this forum to begin with. If I didn't, I guess I'm still using water to oil percentage. Tried 30% of lye concentration last night. I couldn't see any differences, gonna try 32% next. I always use the same recipe to experiment this.