Need math help recreating my lost recipe


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Supporting Member
Jan 14, 2014
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I made a small recipe to use up some olive oil, pko and cocoa butter but I didn't save the recipe because I just knew I wouldn't like it. Well, I was wrong. I have the ingredient label done in order of most ingredient to least, so I thought maybe someone could help me pinpoint the oils percentages better than me just guessing. You see - my brain keeps telling me that 20% cocoa butter is a wise amount - but I may have used more because I don't like high olive oil soap.

Here's the label: Olive oil, water, pko, coconut (probably 50/50), lye, cocoa butter, castor (5%), sodium citrate. No fragrance or color.

Since I never go over 20% coconut type oils, my guess is this recipe is 20% co/pko 20% cocoa butter, 5% castor, and 55% olive. But since my labels says there's more lye than cb, 20% cb seems too high. However, the way this soap works, doesn't act like a typical high olive oil soap - so I'm confused. Or does the pko or cocoa butter do something magical here? (they're ingredients I don't use often)


Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2015
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South Dakota
I don't know if you've figured this out yet but where I would start is by figuring out how much water you used. Without knowing exactly how much lye you used it could be a bit difficult, but you could probably guesstimate it pretty close. If you always use the same lye concentration and superfat for all your recipes, that will at least give you an idea of much water you might have used in this recipe. That would give an idea of how much Olive oil you used at least in terms of "more than x grams".

Because your Cocoa Butter is less than lye, I would guess it's in the 6-15%, just assuming that if it were 5% then the castor and cocoa butter would be listed in alphabetical order, so it must be more than 5%. I use Shea at 15% and it's the ingredient before lye on my labels, so that's where I got the top %, it might be more like 13 or 14%.

Probably not much help, but I do enjoy guessing at reading labels as to how their recipe might look percentage wise. I had a member complain once that a soap I sent her has too much CO. She was guessing based on the fact that CO is the third oil listed on the label and so "it must be" more than 20%. She guessed wrong as I use 18%, but refused to use the soap because it possibly couldn't be the third ingredient on the label and be less than 20%... according to her math.