Type the total weight of all the oils and fats you will be using in the recipe.
Also, check the appropriate box to show what units of weight this number is measured in (e.g. pounds or ounces).
Bear in mind that when the recipe is calculated, all the quantities will be expressed in this unit of weight.
If part of the lye (sodium hydroxide) does not react with the oils but continues to remain in the soap after the saponification, the resulting soap will be caustic and harsh to the skin. To avoid this, most soapmakers use an excess of oils and fats in their recipes than the amount theoretically required to react with the lye. This process is called superfatting. You may also hear the term "Lye discount", which is practically equivalent.
Apart from ensuring that no free lye remains in the soap, superfatting also benefits the skin because the excess of oils in the soap forms a protective, moisturizing layer on the skin.
Superfatting is expressed as a percentage. The common range is 1-10% (with the recommended value around 5%). However, many soapmakers apply considerably larger superfatting percentages. In general, the higher the superfatting, the softer the soap becomes, and the harder it produces lather. Also, soaps with higher superfatting tend to go rancid more quickly.
We would therefore advise you to experiment with different superfatting percentages to find what meets your preferences.
If you check "percentage", you will be required to enter the quantity of each oil in the recipe as a percentage of the total (e.g. 50% olive oil, 30% palm oil, 20% shea butter).
Otherwise, simply check the unit of weight in which you wish to express the quantities of the oils in the recipe (e.g. pounds or ounces).
Select your oils and fats from the list.
To add an oil to your recipe, double click on the oil in the list (or click it once and click 'Add this oil' button). Then, type the percentage (or weight) for this oil in the appropriate text box.
If you are entering the quantity of each oil as a percentage, make sure that the sum of all the quantities equals 100%.
You can right-click on an oil in the list to view its properties.
Select your additives (herbs, fragrances, essential oils, etc.) from the list.
To add an additive to your recipe, double click on the additive in the list (or click it once and click 'Add ingredient' button). Then, type the quantity (weight) for this additive in the appropriate text box. The quantity must be expressed in the weight unit which you have selected in the options above (e.g. pounds or ounces).
Welcome to TheSoapCalculator.com.
TheSoapCalculator is a handy, user-friendly utility to help you create and print soap recipes and calculate the lye required.
Start from the top, answering the questions in each section by checking the appropriate boxes and filling the required fields. Don't worry, if you forget anything, TheSoapCalculator will help you!
By clicking on a section header you can get specific help for each section.
Once you have filled all the required fields and selected all the oils and fats (as well as any fragrances, essential oils and/or herbs), click on the button "Calculate", at the bottom of this form.
TheSoapCalculator will then calculate the required lye, estimate the properties of your soap recipe and show you the results. You may then enter a name for the recipe and (optionally) add your notes and go ahead to print the recipe, OR you may go back to the recipe, make changes and re-calculate until you are satisfied with the results.
Happy soap making!
The amount of water you will use in your recipe to dissolve the lye (caustic soda) determines how fast your soap thickens (reaches "trace"), how soon you can cut it, how fast it dries (cures), etc.
It is commonly expressed as a percentage which shows the ratio of the amount of water to the a mount of oils/fats in your recipe.
Although you may use values within the range 22% to 40%, choose a larger percentage (above 33%) if you are new to soap making, because this gives you more time to handle your soap until it reaches trace and is more forgiving in case you make any errors or delays.
Even for the experienced soap makers, we still suggest a larger percentage if you are trying a recipe for the first time, or if you you are using a fragrance or essential oil for the first time, because these might cause your soap to thicken too fast for you to pour in the molds, especially if the water percentage is low.