Soap/Lye Calculators; A guide

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by IanT, Mar 31, 2008.

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  1. Mar 31, 2008 #1

    IanT

    IanT

    IanT

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    I thought it would be helpful to everyone to put together a little guide to the soap calculators that were available online, as well as some relevant information.

    I would like this to be an evolving thread because I realize that there are quite a few calculators available, and there are most likely some more to come with the new development of technology. My advice is to read as much as you can on each of these websites to gain an open perspective, and as much information as possible, as well as ask questions on the SMF.

    For now, I have included the calculators I have found to be most popular within the forum. Feel free to post any questions you may have as well (we realize that these calculators can be quite confusing at first glance), so don't be shy!! The only stupid question is a question that is never asked!

    Should you wish to add anything to this thread, please feel free to PM me and I would be happy to oblige!

    Note: The calculations may vary from calculator to calculator.

    First, I highly recommend that you read this introductory post by our lovely site admin (Thank you Mandy!):

    Using a lye calculator

    As well as read the info posted on this website about oil properties that may help with getting a general idea for the oils that you will use. Many of the calculator websites have similar listings:

    http://www.soapnuts.com/indexoils.html


    Soap/Lye Calculators:



    1.) SoapCalc

    http://www.soapcalc.com/default.asp

    Description:
    This site offers a wide range of possibilities, the user is able to enter ingredients as a weight or percent as well as adjust properties of the soap such as super fat/discount %. This site has loads of useful information, one link I found particularly useful when i was first starting out was the "what will I need" link, which gives the inexperienced soaper a concise list of supplies needed to start soaping with.


    2.) 'Majestic Mountain Sage' lye calculator

    http://thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php

    Description:
    In this calculator, users are able to input the amount of oils in percent of total oils, there are also clickable links leading to oil properties as well as suggested amounts of use in recipe's. This site also includes a table after the recipe is calculated that lets the user choose a super-fat percent to be used in the recipe.


    3.) SoapMaker

    http://www.soapmaker.ca

    Description:

    Note: this is a free trial, users must purchase the full program after trial period expires.

    "Create your own recipes, selecting from more than 50 types of base oils. Include your additives too. SoapMaker calculates lye and water, as well as the cost per bar using your ingredient costs. Experiment with recipes and see how they'll turn out before you make the soap... SoapMaker's unique recipe qualities graph shows you the predicted hardness, lather and moisturizing qualities. Compare different recipes and see the results of changes instantly using the dynamic graph feature .Store all your recipes and organize them by category, type, date and cost With SoapMaker Professional, manage your stock of ingredients and products made... your inventory adjusts automatically whenever you "make a batch" (quoted from soapmaker website"


    4.) Maple Springs (added by Paul)

    http://www.maplesprings.com/soapcalc.html

    Description:

    "To use the Maple Springs Farm soap lye calculator... simply enter in number of ounces per oil and the amount of lye, water, fragrance, and pigments will be automatically calculated for you...The Calculator is for Sodium Hydroxide = NAOH " This site is quite useful, it gives feedback regarding the size of the recipe as well as how many ounces of essential oils, and oxide/pigments are recommended for the given recipe size. This is quite a valuable tool to if you input recipes that have already been formulated to determine the right coloring amounts and essential oils, or formulate your own!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2013
  2. Jun 8, 2008 #2

    pjdxxxwa

    pjdxxxwa

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    Hi Ian. I just wanted to add a little advice to your listing. It is wise to not jump about using calculators. Look them over, perhaps try each one with the same recipe and see which one works best for you. There could be slight differences in the Sap Numbers and using only one calculator, in the end, will help you to tweak recipes as you see how fast/slow each recipe hardens and sets up.

    As an added thought, staying with the same brand of any oil will help keep your soap batches consistent, also. :)
     
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  3. Jul 18, 2008 #3

    cambree

    cambree

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    Thanks for making the list Ian. At the moment, I'm really liking MMS.

    Yes, I will do that too. :)

    Soap making Oils and their Characteristics by the Cole Brothers - I really like how they explain the different characteristics of oils and how well they mix together.
     
  4. Jul 18, 2008 #4

    IanT

    IanT

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    no worries :)
     
  5. Sep 28, 2008 #5

    soapdope

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    i use mms for increasing batches and soapcalc for everything else
     
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  6. Oct 2, 2008 #6

    MsBrenda

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    Does anyone know if there is a soap calc designed for HP soap making?

    So far all the calcs seem to be for CP for the lye/water ratoi.

    I usually take the lye amount recommended and round it off to the nearest .50. Take that number x 4 and that will be my water amount to mix the lye.

    The soap takes a couple weeks to dry but at least it's workable to swirl and fill fancy molds. I haven't had any problems so far with smaller batches. 3 to 6 pounds.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2008 #7

    robindeb

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    Hi Brenda,

    Just sent you an email. But in case anyone else could benefit I use soap calc for my HP batches as well as CP. I do change the water down to 32 % of oils and super fat to 7%. I came up with the change in the caluclations from loading several recipes that I had tried from Delores Boone's book on HP. Hope this helps.
     
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  8. Oct 15, 2008 #8

    earthmother99

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    ? soap calc

    kk I'm really confused I have managed to get my oils in where i want them to be but im having problems with the lye and water part not sure what I am doing wrong other then puter doesnt seem to like that site. Any way I cant seem to figure out how much water and lye i need to use. Am I not clicking or entering something that I should????? Thanks Di
     
  9. Oct 16, 2008 #9

    ballininthamix

    ballininthamix

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    Re: ? soap calc

    Yeah that part was confusing to me too. I'm also curious about a couple other things that may belong elsewhere(please let me know):

    I understand how to super-fat my soaps and have done it before, but I have made enough to really know why I'm doing it. Can anyone elaborate on why I would want to super-fat a particular soap and what it does?

    The same goes for water-discounting for me although this I have yet to try. I understand how to do it, but what is the point?
     
  10. Nov 27, 2008 #10

    dagmar88

    dagmar88

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    hi
    superfatted soap is less drying on your skin, because the extra oil is not saponified and keeps it's moisturizing properties. also, the oil used, keeps its specific characteristics.
    water-discounting makes your soap harden faster. for example, a 100% olive oil soap should be harder and less sticky with less water.

    Xx- dagmar
     
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  11. Dec 14, 2008 #11

    Cattleyabubbles

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    Anyone know of a lye calculator available that includes all the oils & butters; especially some of the uncommonly used specialty oils (i.e. Argan, Copaiba, Manketti, Yangu) :?: Most of the lye calc.(s) that I've come across, all have the same base oils (e.g. Castor, Coconut, Olive). I want to be a little more adventurous in using some of these specialty oils (veg./fruit oils/butters) in my soaps without having to figure out how much lye is needed, water discount or what % of oil is need to superfatten the soap.
     
  12. Dec 14, 2008 #12

    Deda

    Deda

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    I use Soapmaker, you can add any oil you want as long as you know the SAP value and the profile for the fatty acids.
     
  13. May 12, 2009 #13

    rupertspal42

    rupertspal42

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    Ok so I sent this posting to my SSG because he's really good with EXCEL.. he's going to try to make me a soap and lye calc using the info posted and the soap calcs as examples.. this way I can modifify things.. now i'm going to have to see how well this works before I seriously use it but I hope this turns out like planned... :?
     
  14. May 29, 2009 #14

    sweetcreekherbs

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    how much lye?

    I know this is all personal preference, but I sure do prefer to use my little hand calculator and figure this out for myself.

    It is not that I don't trust machines...

    But, when I'm working out a new recipe - and I am trying to get it to fit certain parameters, especially the INS value, I want to see my work.

    So, I do this on paper, and have a few variations before I find the one I think is "perfect" (a very relative term). And, best of all, I can see all my work. Keeps the confusion down for me.

    :wink:
     
  15. May 30, 2009 #15

    mariejeanne

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    Agree - Old fashion calculator

    I agree, I am very new to this but no matter how many times or different types of online lye calculaors I have played with, I end up grabbing my pen and working it out on my own. Sometimes I will compare my own computations (is that a word?) to what the online calculators come up with. So I think they are a great tool, but I just have to double check everything anyway. Make that triple....Online Calculator > Sit down with pen using mental math > check with hand held calculator.
    Ummm, maybe I am my own problem here. To each their own I guess. I like them as a starting point.
     
  16. Jun 19, 2009 #16

    flyingpig

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    Re: how much lye?


    I did this too, for years. For every batch I did the math by hand (with a calulator of course) and then did it again to be sure I hadn't made mistakes. One reason for this is that as you all will have noticed if you've compared online calculators, they tend to vary a little. This is because the numbers are averages. So over the years I've evolved my own SAP chart that still gets refined a little from time to time.

    Recently I set up a database in Excel that figures all that math for me. What a timesaver! And I know it's right, every time.
     
  17. Nov 26, 2009 #17

    diochobi

    diochobi

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    Re: how much lye?

    Would you like to share that Excel file with me, the newbie?
     
  18. Nov 27, 2009 #18

    ohsoap

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    I had no idea there was a soapcalc that took colouring into account, that will save me alot of guess work on new soaps!
     
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  19. Nov 28, 2009 #19

    anneli

    anneli

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    I took a peek at the http://www.soapmaker.ca website.. it looks very tempting but also expensive. Is it worth the money it is asking for? Like I said, it sounds good, but I would like to be sure before spending 89.- dollars on it. (I could not find a link there for a FREE TRIAL.. did I miss it?)
     
  20. Dec 13, 2009 #20

    Guest

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    I didn't see the free trial either. Plus, they have a new version and to upgrade the older versions is another cost. I looked thru it briefly, but nope, I wouldn't spend that kind of money when there are free calcs out there. I use one and make wonderful soaps with very few messed up batches...which aren't really messed up, they become personal/laundry soap. ;)
    IDLaura
     

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