# why use different water lye ratio?

### Help Support SoapMakingForum:

#### umeali

##### Well-Known Member
hello every one ,few days back I read about 1.7:1 (water:lye ratio) and 1.4:1(water:lye)ratio.
I want to know why some experts change their ratios during soap calc ? instead of 38% which is by default shown on soap calc?
do you thing purpose of these ratios is to minimize the reaction time ?(usually we de mold after 24 hours).I am curious ,can any one help me ?

#### snappyllama

##### Supporting Member
There are numerous reasons to adjust the water amount in your lye solution: full water for extended swirling times, accelerating FOs, encouraging gel, or fast tracing recipes. Folks use less water for simple pours, reduced unmolding times, discouraging gel, and less warping.

#### DeeAnna

##### Well-Known Member
"...why some experts change their ratios during soap calc ? instead of 38% which is by default shown on soap calc?..."

I agree with Snappyllama. There are many reasons for using different lye concentration than "full water". The "38%" you're referring to is "water as % of oils", not lye concentration. It's easy to get them confused, but they're not remotely the same thing.

For an introduction to using lye concentration rather than "water as % of oils", please see this thread:
and

...and read the full explanation of why you want to do this here:

#### IrishLass

Staff member
Moderator
Ditto what Snappy and DeeAnna said.

I calculate my water amount based on the lye amount (lye concentration), as opposed to calculating it based on the oils amount, and mostly use a 1:2 lye to water ratio (33% concentration), although I vary it depending on my FO and/or what kind of formula I'm making.

Calculating water based on lye is an all-around much better way to calculate the water amount, if you ask me, because it helps me to better determine how my soaping-session will go, which results in much more consistent batches for me. It keeps most, if not all the so-called 'soap fairy' incidences at bay.

If I'm working with an accelerating FO, I'll use more water than my normal 33% concentration- about a 30% to 31% lye concentration- and if I'm working with a 100% Castile formula with a well-behaved FO, I'll go in the opposite direction and use much less water- a 40% lye concentration.

IrishLass