# Question: CP calculations for adding nutrients at trace?

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#### orangeblossom

##### Well-Known Member
So I've been making CP soap for about 7 years, but I've mostly used other peoples recipes. I've started tinkering with my own recipes using soap calculators and I can't figure something out. If I want to add a fat at trace, so only that fat (ex. shea butter) is the superfatted fat, then how do I calculate that? I can't seem to figure that one out on paper or soap calculators. If I want, say an 8% superfatted soap, with just the shea butter being superfatted at trace, then how do I figure out how much shea butter to add? Do I do a percentage from the total weight of oils, or total weight of everything? I hope I'm making sense.

What I"m thinking about doing it taking a soap recipe I have, that has no discounts, then adding shea butter at trace to make it superfatted with just the shea butter, because the other oils have been saponified. So, I'm thinking that if I have 5 lbs. of oils, then I would use 6.4 oz. of shea butter added at trace, which is 8% of the total oils.

Am I making sense? Does anyone know how to do what I'm trying to do? Or know of a soap calculator that can help me figure out how to add fats at trace, and what their % of supperfatting would be?
Thanks!

#### soapbuddy

##### Well-Known Member
I used to do something similar, but then I found out that the lye is still active 12 hrs. later and lye does not discriminate. So you wouldn't actually know what oils the lye has "eaten" up.

Irena

G

#### Guest

Very true, (agree with Irena) there is not way of telling what precentage is left in the soap.

#### orangeblossom

##### Well-Known Member
Okay, I see. But still, do I do a % of the total fats to decide how much to superfat or do I do a % of the total of fats, water & lye, to figure out how to superfat?

#### soapbuddy

##### Well-Known Member
You superfat according to how much lye you add.

Irena

#### Soapmaker Man

##### Well-Known Member
It takes XXX amount of lye to completely saponify XXX amount of oils/fats in any given recipe. Superfatting, or lye discount simply means you are using, say 5 to 8% LESS lye needed to saponify 100% of the oils/fats in the recipe. Since I use goat milk, I choose to only take a 5% lye discount (superfat) for most of my main recipes.

IE: If a certain recipe say takes 10 ounces of lye to get a 0% lye discount (0 superfat) then a 5% lye discount would mean using only 9.5 ounces of lye in this recipe, thus ensuring a safe amount of oils/fats are left in the finished cured soap.

Paul.... :wink:

ETA: After rereading your post I see what you are asking in a better light. I agree with the ladies, some feel that XXX amount of saponification has taken place at med trace. I disagree. Like Irena says, there is no absolute method, that I know or have heard about, that you can safely say how much you are supperfatting a batch by adding oils/butters at trace. I guess one could safely do, say a 4% lye discount, then add XXX amount of butters at light to med trace and arrive at a XXX supperfatted soap, but to say exactly how much, I don't think one can accurately assume a specific figure. :wink:

G

#### Soapmaker Man

##### Well-Known Member
smellitlikeitis said:

LOL LOL LOL Your very funny!

Paul....

Irena

#### NEASoapWorks

##### Well-Known Member
Soap Calc

SoapCalc will automatically adjust the amt of lye, based on the superfat percentage you enter in the box, right?

G

#### orangeblossom

##### Well-Known Member
Thank you Paul, and everyone else, for the detailed information. I really want to understand the science & math behind soapmaking. This has been extremely helpful.

#### Soapmaker Man

##### Well-Known Member
Not a problem OB! I love talking, learning, challenging information about soap! I'm just a soap junkie. I sure don't know that much about the chemical aspects of the saponification process, but read and try to learn as much as I can...

Paul.... :wink:

#### itsmeroro

##### Well-Known Member
Someone please clear up this confusion -- "superfatting

I searched "superfatting" tonight, as I had a similar question as was posted several months ago - as it seems, these other oils such as shea, cocoa and such - could be added in when all of the other oils are melted - as long as the discount is entered - not at trace?? Is this the proper time to add these, or does it matter -- I wonder this also when mixing my fresh goats milk, aloe vera juice and water with lye - is there a reason some people are adding the milk in at trace - or is it proper to add it in over an ice bath (which seems to be working great)??

I have figured my recipes at a lye discount of 6% and a water discount of 6% - which brings my solution percentage to 30% or a 1 to 2 ratio.

I hope my question and point (if there is one) make sense, as there is a misconception "supperfatting" means adding oils and such at trace, and from what I gather, if you have a discount for your lye, this addition at trace is not needed anf the recipe can be adjusted??

#### Becky

##### Well-Known Member
If you're like me, a lazy soaper , I don't bother mucking about with adding anything but 'additives' (fragrance, colour, oatmeal, milk, honey etc) at trace. All my oils are put in the pot & melted together to begin with. I am of the opinion that the lye is still active and will still work on any oil or butter added at trace.

I have my lye calculator set on a 6% discount, and work out the lye required for all oils & butters in the recipe.

If you are discounting your lye in your reciepe, then I am of the opinion that superfatting, or adding oils at trace, is unneccessary, and may increase your chances of your soap developing DOS.

Both superfatting and lye discounting mean the same thing - using less than the total amount of lye required to 100% saponify your oils. The only difference is if you adjust your lye at the beginning, or add extra oil at trace. If you look at this thread, I've given a much more detailed explanation that may be helpful:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/forum/vi ... ight=#9911

#### soapgardener

##### Active Member
Orangeblossom - there are a few ways that you can add shea to your soap so it will remain shea:

1. Make your normal basic recipe with 3% or so lye discount (0% is tricky due to tiny variations in the accuracy of your scale- better to err on the side of caution). About a month later, after this soap has fully cured, re-batch it and add your shea at this point.

2. Make your normal basic recipe using the hot process. Cook your soap until all of the lye is used up. (there are a few ways to determine this- some people "tongue test"; I use pH paper and a pH meter - the paper should read "7" and the meter should read somewhere between 9 and 10). Now you can add your shea butter and be reasonably confident that it will remain shea butter.

You had asked how to determine the % of superfat - this gets a bit complicated, chemically speaking. You can estimate based on the total weight of your oils.

#### itsmeroro

##### Well-Known Member
Becky said:
If you're like me, a lazy soaper , I don't bother mucking about with adding anything but 'additives' (fragrance, colour, oatmeal, milk, honey etc) at trace. All my oils are put in the pot & melted together to begin with. I am of the opinion that the lye is still active and will still work on any oil or butter added at trace.

I have my lye calculator set on a 6% discount, and work out the lye required for all oils & butters in the recipe.

If you are discounting your lye in your reciepe, then I am of the opinion that superfatting, or adding oils at trace, is unneccessary, and may increase your chances of your soap developing DOS.

Both superfatting and lye discounting mean the same thing - using less than the total amount of lye required to 100% saponify your oils. The only difference is if you adjust your lye at the beginning, or add extra oil at trace. If you look at this thread, I've given a much more detailed explanation that may be helpful:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/forum/vi ... ight=#9911

Thanks Becky, I think this answers my question... I am glad to know that I am actually understanding what I am reading here (and absorbing it!) lol. I just got sorot of confused last night at the pot with all of the different oils!

Rachelle (roro)

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