Instead, they were chosen to illustrate how lye calculations and lye discount calculations work. More water does not make the process safer either for soapmaker or soap so it’s not worth adding extra water for that reason. Your email address will not be published. Again, I recommend that you don’t try to make this recipe at home; it’s only formulated to illustrate lye calculation – not to make great soap. Auntie Clara, thank you for this very helpful post. 650g of olive oil – and show me her calculation. For this bar soap recipe we are planning a total oil weight of 3270g with the following oils and proportions: Instead of going through all the steps separately, let’s just look at the full calculation here: Here my oil weights came up as numbers with fractions of a gram. Then I told her to google ’superfat’ and a few minutes later she was able to tell me what superfat is. I’ve never encountered “liquid caustic soda” unless it was some sort of liquid drain opener. The water activates the lye and makes the saponification reaction possible. Thank you again! In addition soap properties like hardness, lather and cleansing numbers are broad but valuable guidelines for formulation. Thank you. Anyway, my question is, how do I calculate fragrance? Wear gloves and goggles when handling lye. This is something that is usually not in the books I have seen. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I enjoyed your blog. Place these ingredients on the stove top over medium high heat. (Please note my error here: the saponification coefficient for tallow is 0.143 as per my saponification chart – not 0.140 as written down in this example. Allow the lye to cool to a temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. For beginners it’s usually prudent to stay in the middle of the range and use water at 1.5 or 2 times the weight of lye. Getting the ratio of sodium hydroxide to oils right is critical. Add about 2Lr of water into a bowl and follow by 1kg Caustic soda & stir very using a stick and keep for 24 – 48hrs. In order for lye and oil to combine lye crystals need to be dissolved in water. I saw a a recipie of another you tuber, and she shared all her ingredients, but not the proportions. Different oils and combinations of oils will affect how much water and lye is required to make soap. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The upper limit is a little more fluid but in general when making coldprocess soap you don’t want to go higher than three times the weight of the lye. As you say, it’s a reminder how important it is to check information because typos happen easily. Yet, being familiar with the steps involved in lye calculation gives a more detailed understanding of the soapmaking process. It also inhibits lather to some extent. She did say pine tar was a 30% ingredient, so are you saying if I identified the other ingredients, I could put them into the chart and figure out my own recipie? A couple of weeks ago, just as I was pulling into a parking bay at the local mall here in Cape Town, my niece #4, who is in her final year of high school in Finland, called me on the phone. Learn how and why to water discount below. I’m doing it on the calculator on my phone: 30% = 30/100 = 0.3 so if you don’t have a handy %-button on your calculator you can do it like this and it will give you the same answer: There we go. Many soapmakers regard it as a additive rather than an ingredient. I will be sending folks here for this. Instead I told her what I’ve told many others: good soapmaking is not about having a good recipe, good soapmaking is about understanding what makes the recipe good. The use of caustic soda, commonly referred to as lye, makes soaps that need to cure for nearly a month before you can use the soap. E.g. by Kim Vander Helm Thank you so much for this explanation. Yet, the differences confirm the value of a slight superfat as a safety margin in soapmaking. And unless you have remarkable computing skills, making adjustments, tweaks, and changes to formulations will be a lot quicker on a lye calculator than by means of pen and paper. Wrap the mold with a towel, and allow it to cure for 18 hours. Informative, but I would like to know how to make soap, all kinds of soap, Laundry soap, bar soap with fragrance, pretty soap. An excellent and very clear explanation! You have done well explaining this and how to do soap making. of olive oil and your desired fragrance oils. Thank you again for sharing with us all! // Leaf Group Lifestyle, Kitchen Doctor: Soap 101: Making Your Own Shampoo and Soap, Super Soak Making: Making Your Own Soap Recipe. I did want to mention that in your second example, the incorrect saponification value was written down for beef tallow. Let’s see what it is that your lye calculator does when it calculates lye for your recipes. Thank you Clara. Keep it up. I enjoy your posts. You can purchase these inexpensively at craft supply stores. ****************************************************Kim,In the good old days you could get caustic soda at your local supermarket. zero point something. Join in and write your own page! Join in and write your own page! That is the most simple and elegant explanation of the process I have ever read. Total water 342g. In the first case the total will be 100% and in the second the total will be 130% as it were. In reality saponification values for oils vary depending on factors such as growing conditions, varietals, extraction method etc. I am thinking of using pre-made fragrance blends. However, unfortunately, the makers of Red Devil have discontinued making it. A very famous brand Red Devil Lye used to be readily available because it is used to unblock drains and was always used by soap makers. Note: Before the soap making proper, a very important process called fermentation takes place. I’ve added a note to the text accordingly. What a wonderful Aunt you are! Fragrance oil, vitamin E oil and such additives are typically not part of the lye calculation. This should be a must read for all just starting out. In contrast, the NaOH weights are added up including all the decimals and the total is only rounded down after the lye discount (superfat) has been calculated. Thanks for spotting the error! You are a very good Auntie, Clara. Here I get a number with fractions of a gram, but since my scale will not weigh units smaller than one gram I will simply round down that number: To make this recipe with a 5% superfat I need 89 grams of sodium hydroxide. Let the soap cure for 3 to 4 weeks for best results. But wait, there’s more. For convenience I’m using values from on this saponification chart of the most common soaping oils and fats: We are making bar soap so from the chart above let’s pick out the NaOH values for our chosen oils and add them to our table: Then it’s time to multiply our SAP values by our oil weights to get the amount of NaOH needed to saponify each of our oils: If we take a look at the NaOH weights we can see how it takes a lot more lye to saponify 219g of coconut oil than to saponify 219g of lanolin. That’s the whole calculation and that’s how simple it is. You will only need to add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture. Remove the soap from the mold. In this pandemic of covid 19, im planning to make soap for my online shop to have an extra income. I Really enjoyed reading your blog and as an Occupational Therapist, I applaud you for be an excellent teacher and role model for your niece. Hi clara. Thank you Clara. To make sure that we never end up with an excess of lye, e.g. Many thanks for your blog that has gotten me back up and running. It makes the soap more conditioning while making it less cleansing. Soap making requires practice and a certain level of skill. Combine 24 oz. Pine tar is a bit tricky since very little of it is saponified. I really like your article. Though a small difference, it’s just a reminder of how important it is to double check, not just your calculations, but the other given information as well. Choose different oils, add your favorite scents, and try new techniques. Making your own soap allows you to add your preferred ingredients such as different fragrance oils and herbs for a one-of-a-kind concoction. Water facilitates the process where sodium picks up carbon from the air and slows down saponification making the window of opportunity wider for ash to form. All the best, Gordon (P.E.I. The lye calculation is for fatty acids.