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Professor Bernardo

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Mar 13, 2021
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Moved to The Oort Cloud...
Welcome to the Forum first of all Claudia! I hope you find your experience here enjoyable, fruitful and rewarding.
I see that Zany_in_CO is greeting you too.

Your questions are legitimate.
Are you a Newbie to the soap making world? Expanding your horizons as a soap maker? The calculator you've highlighted is an excellent one to use. It's simple, easy to comprehend and the visual graphs are a great tool to better understand the aspects of any formula you choose.
If you have never used a soap calculator, take baby steps and work with simple formulas. Perhaps a two or three oil ingredient soap at first, such as Coconut, Palm and Lard. Maybe just coconut and olive oil which is real close to a true Castile soap, but the curing time is longer.

You want your INS number to around 150-165 if possible. That's not set in stone and not all soap that fit in that range are what some may consider "good" soap.

You want your formula or recipe properties to something similar to this attached chart. This is NOT SET IN STONE it's just a guideline for you and you may change your oils any way you see fit. Just remember to try an stay within the recommended percentages and your first batch should be okay.

recipe properties.png

Next here is a photo of the properties in a bar graph format, which makes it easier to visualize for some folks. Also you'll note that if that bar is Green... you're good, if it is amber or red, then you might want to adjust the formula to get into the green zone.

graph properties.png

Next in the calculator is the Fatty Acid Properties bar graph. It always shows an amber color, so don't let that distract you. It's best, if possible to keep the linoleic and linolenic percentages low as they have a tendency to cause rancidity.

fatty acids.png

Claudia I am not implying that what I am showing you here is GOSPEL by an stretch of the meaning. These are just simple guidelines to help you along. Twenty years ago when I started making soap, there were not many forums out there to help Newbies such as yourself.

I am not the Grand Poobah of soap, nor am I a self-proclaimed expert by any stretch of the imagination.

Just get into the calculator and start playing around with it. You can't hurt anything or crash the NSA website or such. Plug in some mold sizes or just start with a batch size say of the default shown which is 500 grams. My first batch of cold process soap was made in an 8x8 Pyrex casserole dish lined with Saran Wrap! LOL!

Remember... baby steps, take it slowly, be sure to wear personal protective gear. Don't sweat the small stuff just do it and see what happens.

If you have a FUBAR... learn from it and keep moving forward. I have always said that if I didn't make a mistake at least once a day I wasn't learning anything.

Good Luck! Welcome! Have Fun!
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Mar 9, 2017
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SE Denver CO
I am not the Grand Poobah of soap
No. That would be @ResolvableOwl ! 🤣 (Sorry, dear Owl. I couldn't resist.). :goodbye1:

ETA: @ResolvableOwl Please don't be offended. The Mikado's Grand Poobah makes me laugh out loud, as you do when I read your posts and I hear this "WHOOSH" as your comment flies way over my head. 😂
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