Please check my notes on additives

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Feb 1, 2022
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Arizona, USA
For a year now I have been making notes and collecting wisdom from web sites, books and mostly this forum (thanks everyone). So today I decided to condense and simplify all my handwritten notes onto one page. I plan on laminating it and keeping it handy when I soap.
Please, especially check my arithmetic. Feel free to add or correct anything I got wrong (but be gentle please).

Citric Acid – A Chelator
1-2% TOW. Add 6gm extra lye for every 10gm Citric Acid. Mix with some batch water, add to lye solution.
Experienced soapers are adding 1.5%. Could see crystals on soap at around 4%. Very economical.
Multiply TOW by 0.01 or 0.02

Sodium Citrate (Na Citrate) – A Chelator
1-1.5% TOW. No changes to lye solution. Most soapers use 1%. Some use 1.5% or more. No crystals on soap.
Multiply TOW by 0.01 or 0.015

Sodium Gluconate (Na Gluconate) – A Chelator
0.5% to 1% TBW, best chelator, grabs more metals than citrates, prevents DOS. Use per Total Batch Weight, not TOW! I like 0.7%
Safe for the environment, biodegrades in 48 hours.
Multiply TBW by 0.005 or 0.01

Sugars - Enhance Bubbles And Lather
Sorbitol: Use 1-4% TOW. Reputed to give best bubbles and lather, but expensive. Buy online.
Table Sugar: Use 2-4%, very cheap and available everywhere. I like 2%.
Honey: Amount ? Can burn and discolor soap, can cause volcanoes, expensive, not vegan. Has label appeal.
Wine or Beer: Can burn, can cause volcanoes, expensive, can add/change colors. Has label appeal.
Aloe Vera Juice or Gel. Can replace all or some of the water. Prices vary. Can grow your own in the right climate.

Rosemary Olio Extract (ROE) - An Antioxidant
Add 0.02% to 0.05% to fresh containers of oil to prevent rancidity. Shake well, it settles. Is a dark green but such small amounts don’t change the color noticeably. Too much can cause DOS. Pricey but goes a long way. Read up on dilution tips for easier dosing.
Multiply the weight of oil by 0.002 to 0.005 to get amount of ROE.

Sodium Lactate - A Salt For Hardening
Add ½ to 1 teaspoon per pound of oil (PPO) Use ½ tsp if 60% or more saturated fats in recipe. Hardens soap for faster unmolding, better for fancy shapes and impressions, firmer set for soft oils, too much makes soap crumbly. I use crafters choice in liquid form for easy dosing.
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I would check your usage rates on the citric acid and the sodium citrate - the extra sodium hydroxide you need when adding critic acid is because the citric acid and the sodium hydroxide combine to make sodium citrate! If you use as much citric acid at 1-2% you're ending up with more sodium citrate than 1-2%
Aha! Thanks @The Efficacious Gentleman (love that name). I combed through my notes and see soapers that I have come to respect are actually using 1.5% sodium citrate or 2% citric acid. I get the names mixed in my head. Thanks for pointing that out. I will go up and correct that on my original post so nobody copies the wrong info.
I still find those numbers confusing.

The citric acid and the extra sodium hydroxide will give you sodium citrate. So let's take your two % and make a fixed amount - 15g of sodium citrate or 20g citric acid. When you use citric acid and more lye the resulting sodium citrate will be heavier than the citric acid alone, so when using 20g of citric acid you are going to end up with more than 20g of sodium citrate. So why when using sodium citrate itself would you use just 15g?
I still find those numbers confusing.
Thanks for following up @The Efficacious Gentleman. This list is not scientific. I see you understand the chemistry better than I do. It is a list of collected information offered up by other soapmakers that have had success with these amounts. Maybe the larger amount of citric acid used compared to sodium citrate might be related to costs--I don't know. I have done my own testing and found 1% sodium citrate is the sweet spot for my recipe---quick and simple to calculate. I would like to think I could successfully substitute one for another if I had to, so I kept citric acid on my list. Now that you have pointed it out, I will use less of it. I have some testing to do.
:dance: Many thanks.
I think it was simply as the topic was covered here and someone (most likely @DeeAnna !) pointed it out.

To summarize, in both cases the chelator is actually sodium citrate. Citric acid is not the chelator. When you use citric acid you're just making sodium citrate yourself rather than having to buy it (which I love as I can buy critic acid and sodium hydroxide much easier than I can buy sodium citrate itself)
@The Efficacious Gentleman, so is the citric acid increased by 60%? That's the amount of extra lye called for in most examples. If that is the case, multiply 1.25% citric acid by a factor of 1.6 to get 2% citrate. Does 1.25% citric acid equal 2% citrate in the soap solution?
I have hung around the forum for a year and read that the citric acid is "converted" into sodium citrate--that being the actual chelator. I must have missed the part that said the amount is increased. Am I getting the main point, that citric acid combines with the sodium from lye and gives more weight in citrate than the initial dose of citric acid?
Has anyone made a conversion chart for people who want to use either one? By what factor is the citric acid increased?
Forgive all the questions but this is the Beginners Soapmaking section. I am sure there are others here who would benefit from this information.
Many thanks!