# Soap calculator to help with mistakes in batches?

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#### nsmar4211

##### Well-Known Member
Is there a soap calculator out there that lets you put what ingredients you actually used (instead of what you should've used) and lets you see the percentages of superfat, etc?

In other words, I think I left out an oil. I know how much lye, water, and other oils I used. I want to find out what the superfat of the batch will be given what I actually used (that way I can rebatch if need be or let it stay as it is). Soapcalc doesn't let you input how much lye you used, just oil....

#### The Efficacious Gentleman

Most can do that with trial and error - put in the recipe as you think you made it (so leave out the missing oil) and adjust the superfat until the lye amount that it calculates is the same as the amount of lye that you used.

#### nsmar4211

##### Well-Known Member
Ok, so I've been using soapcalc for 5 months and never realized you could input a *negative* superfat!!

So if I messed up, I'm at a negative superfat of 10%....yes.... -10% SF. Blech. I see a rebatch in my future.....

Problem is, I swearrrrr I didn't mess up. But my mold is not as full as it should be. I'll have to wait until the batch hardens enough to unmold and then see if I can refigure exactly how much the mold should've held... but at least I know the amount of oil I left out if I did.

Ignore me... *grumble*... who would've thought to input a negative superfat into soapcalc.....

#### The Efficacious Gentleman

What sort of water amount did you use? If it's a lot, it might well cure out. Might......

#### nsmar4211

##### Well-Known Member
This whole thing was a fiasco.

Ok, recipe should have been 3% SF, 30% lye concentration which is 28.65 water as a percent of oil weight.

Should've been
6.88 oz of water
3.39 lye

1.2 castor
3.6 coconut
14.40 lard
4.08 olive oil
.72 shea.

When I was pouring out the lye, a gigantic CLUMP went PLOP and dangnabbit I had 4.0 oz of lye. Came inside, refigured the batch to get it to using 4 oz of lye.

30% lye concentration, 5% sf (oops), 32.25 water as a percent of oil weight.

Should've been...... 9.35 oz of water, 4.01 of lye (close enough).
1.45 castor, 4.35 coconut, 17.4 lard, 4.93 olive, .87 shea.

I had already mixed my oils so I did match and add in the difference (.25 castor, .75 coco, 3.0 lard, .9 olive, .15 shea).

When I went to pour into my silicone Crafter's Choice mold, I was thinking I'd have leftovers because I thought I usually make a 36 oz recipe to fill it. I had no leftovers after filling it to what I thought was my normal height.

Then, I couldn't remember adding the original 4 oz of olive oil. So now I have myself confused if I did indeed mess up, or if my perception of my mold is off. Arg . If I did leave out the 4 oz of olive, I'm at -10% superfat. If I didn't, and there's something goofy with my mold, I'm fine.

My brain hurts.

(I left my soapy notebook at work so I can't look at past recipes and go find a bar from that mold to compare filling heights)

#### The Efficacious Gentleman

Ouch! I know it doesn't help after the matter, but I measure my lye out in to another pot and not my water pot - that way I can put back any lye that is over the amount required. If you add directly to the water, you have to go with what you pour.

#### Susie

Supporting Member
Yeah, I weigh my lye into a little plastic container before adding to the water. Matter of fact, I weigh all ingredients out separately before mixing together. This has saved me countless problems as I have often had too little of this or that, and this allowed me to recalculate.

#### nsmar4211

##### Well-Known Member
I was originally doing all seperate containers but I was ending up with a ton of oily dishes . I think I'll go back to my original method of printing out three copies, one for the note book, one to get measurements off, and an extra one where I can cross off the stuff as I measure it. That would fix the "did I do it or not" issue.

As for the lye in it's own container, I'm using the essential depot beads. What are you measure into that doesn't have the lye clinging to it like crazy? When I used recycle plastic containers (sour cream, etc) I always had little lye beads hanging out/caught on the rims/etc waiting for tender skin....yeoooowwww...that's what started me measuring it into the water pitcher instead~!

#### lionprincess00

##### Well-Known Member
I was originally doing all seperate containers but I was ending up with a ton of oily dishes . I think I'll go back to my original method of printing out three copies, one for the note book, one to get measurements off, and an extra one where I can cross off the stuff as I measure it. That would fix the "did I do it or not" issue.

As for the lye in it's own container, I'm using the essential depot beads. What are you measure into that doesn't have the lye clinging to it like crazy? When I used recycle plastic containers (sour cream, etc) I always had little lye beads hanging out/caught on the rims/etc waiting for tender skin....yeoooowwww...that's what started me measuring it into the water pitcher instead~!
I wipe everything down with a dryer sheet and have no static problems.

#### cgpeanut

##### Well-Known Member
I was originally doing all seperate containers but I was ending up with a ton of oily dishes . I think I'll go back to my original method of printing out three copies, one for the note book, one to get measurements off, and an extra one where I can cross off the stuff as I measure it. That would fix the "did I do it or not" issue.

As for the lye in it's own container, I'm using the essential depot beads. What are you measure into that doesn't have the lye clinging to it like crazy? When I used recycle plastic containers (sour cream, etc) I always had little lye beads hanging out/caught on the rims/etc waiting for tender skin....yeoooowwww...that's what started me measuring it into the water pitcher instead~!
you could measure the lye in one container the water in another, add the lye to the water and once deluted pour the combined solution to pick up any stray beads left in your original lye container.

as for the oils I use one large container to hold the oils but I use just one measuring cup or smaller container to measure each individual oil and once weighed place it into the larger. I do my oils one at a time usually hard first and then liquid oils, but I only dirty one measuring container.

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#### Susie

Supporting Member
I wipe everything down with a dryer sheet and have no static problems.
^This. I keep one in my soaping equipment box. I have been using the same one for over a year, and it still works fine.

#### Dharlee

##### Well-Known Member
Just a small plastic measuring cup might work to contain your lye, then after it's measured out and your water (or liquid) is measured, add the lye to the liquid. It's a lot easier that way and insures you don't have to re-figure your recipe.

#### Obsidian

##### Well-Known Member
For measuring lye, I either use a disposable plastic cup or small glass bowl. I prefer the glass bowl, the lye doesn't stick to it and a quick rinse with water and its clean.

#### newbie

Zap test your soap as soon as you cut. If you've gelled, there should be no zap so if it does, you know what to do. If it doesn't, you may have a lower SF but it should be fine. If you didn't gel, you may have to wait 3 days or so to be certain of your zap test. Lye is not 100% potent and if you had clumps, some moisture got in there and will have further decreased the potency of your lye. It's possible with the natural decrease and the extra, that you got away with it this time. (Just trying to be positive here.) Test before you assume it's a bust!

#### IrishLass

Staff member
Moderator
Ever since I had something similar happen to me as the OP (but with oil, not lye) I measure everything out separately. I'd rather have a few extra bowls to clean than a sore butt from kicking myself. lol :razz:

I use stainless steel to weigh my lye (wiped down with a dryer sheet first). Removes all static.

For my oils, I do what Cgpeanut does. I use one large bowl/pot to hold the main bulk of oils, and then use just one smaller bowl to weigh out each oil individually before adding them to the larger bowl/pot.

IrishLass

#### nsmar4211

##### Well-Known Member
Well, it's official. I did leave out the olive oil.

Came home last night from work, couldn't wait, poked the soap and it was rock hard. This recipe usually takes 18 hours before I can unmold (which I proved by unmolding the other batch and getting mush). Hard as a rock. Went to cut into slices and the cutter went THUMP...crumbly soap.... Yep, lye heavy. I think I managed to get only 1mm of my tongue zapped (was bareeeelllyyyy touching it).

Well, at least I know what I left out! So at midnight I shredded it up, added in the missing 4 oz of olive oil, mixed well, sprayed about 10x with a water mister, crockpotted until melted, back into mold. Will cut later...

Well, now I have 2 lbs more soap for myself.....cleanest person on the block!

The dryer sheet trick I will be trying for sure! This was a brand new bottle of lye so I didn't think to shake it like I usually do, I know at the bottom of the bottle I have to watch for clumps but not usually the top...and it wasn't a hard clump so I'm not concerned about the rest of the bottle at this point. More of lye beads holding hands and going WHHHHheeeee let's mess her up! :shock:

I think I will also clear a space on the soap table to line the oils up in a row instead of haphazard like I have them now....

#### penelopejane

##### Well-Known Member
I measure lye into a separate cup first. I measure the bulk of my oils into the main mixing jug but when I'm adding the last little bit I put it in a disposable cup first as, for me, it's easier to pour tiny amounts accurately. Solid oils are so easy if you put them in your mixing jug first because you can just scoop the back out again.

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#### Steve85569

Supporting Member
Walmart sells 4 cup plastics that are microwave safe for less than a dollar each. They are stackable too! Keeps the soap making stuff easier to store and makes measuring ( weighing) almost foolproof. I weigh all oils by themselves and then combine to check. Lye and water are then weighed alone prior to slowly combining.

An old habit from working in a materials lab that helps me make fewer mistakes.
It's a variation on the old measure twice cut once.

Steve

#### Susie

Supporting Member
An old habit from working in a materials lab that helps me make fewer mistakes.
It's a variation on the old measure twice cut once.

Steve
^Exactly! I learned the hard way that I would rather wash extra dishes than to play the, "Did I add the ______?" game.

#### Steve85569

Supporting Member
They have a set of stackable cooling ( drying) racks at Wal - Marche' now for \$8.00 . I picked one up and when I saw how well it save space I went back for two more. Now it doesn't look like I've been compulsively making soap. I even have completely empty space that needs soap in it.:twisted: