How do I use this thing? It looks complicated!
  • Well, we did say that the SBM Advanced Soap Calculator was intended for the more experienced or adventurous soapmaker. Then again, learning and trying new things is what keeps you in this hobby, isn't it?
  • And really, by following the thread for the type of soap you want to make, you'll find that key concepts are explained and quantified along the way.
  • The result? You'll get calculated recipes with specified amounts of ingredients and instructions to eliminate the uncertainties and confusions that can get in the way for those who try new soapmaking processes for the first time.

Select the kind of soap you want to make and click on the link below:


Solid Soap, step-by-step inputs:
  • For future reference, enter the name of your soap recipe.
  • Tell the calculator what kind of soap you will make, so that it knows what to calculate Otherwise, you'll get an 'indigestion error'.
  • Note that solid soaps are always made using only sodium hydroxide (NaOH) as 100% of total alkali used. No other option is afforded for solid soaps and any contrary input here will be ignored. Leave this input blank.
  • Solid bar soaps do not use alcohol in their processing.* Leave this input blank. Any contrary input here will be ignored.
    *Making transparent solid soap is an exception, but this calculator is not presently configured to address transparent solid soaps.
  • Glycerin is not a required additive in solid soap formulas. It is included as an input because if added, it should be included in the calculation of fluids.
  • Some superfatting is necessary in solid soaps to ensure that all alkali (lye) is used up in saponification. Note: If using oils purchased from Summer Bee Meadow, you may choose to superfat at as low as 1.5%.* If using oils purchased elsewhere, we suggest selecting superfat levels from 3 to 6%.
    *This is because the accuracy of our SBM soap calculators has been verified using oils from our own suppliers. As SAP values may differ some among various suppliers of oils, using other oils supplies ources requires a higher 'uncertainty margin'.
  • Soapmaking pot and utensil weights are irrelevant to solid soap making processes. Leave this input blank. Any contrary input here will be ignored.
  • Enter the types and weight amounts of the oils your soap formula calls for.
  • For future reference, enter the names, quantities and measuring units of any other ingredients you will be adding to your soap.
  • Note that all measurements other than for "Other Ingredients" are in weight ounces. This includes all fluids, especially the output water amounts*.
    *A fluid ounce of water is not equal to a weight ounce.
  • Next, click on the "Click here when done" button to see your calculated recipe with correct alkali and fluids amounts needed.
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For best results and to support this online soapmaking calculator:
PLEASE PURCHASE YOUR SOAPMAKING SUPPLIES FROM SUMMER BEE MEADOW

Liquid Soap, step-by-step inputs:
  • For future reference, enter the name of your soap recipe.
  • Tell the calculator what kind of soap you will make, so that it knows what to calculate Otherwise, you'll get an 'indigestion error'.
  • Enter the percentages of total alkali for sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) to be used. While liquid soaps have been traditionally been made only with potassium hydroxide, the SBM Advanced Calculator makes it possible to mix alkalis with accurately calculated results. Using a small percentage of sodium hydroxide can provide a thicker, more viscous final product* We recommend using 0-10% NaOH & 100-90% KOH.
    *Viscosity will depend on the percentage of NaOH used, the types and proportions of oils used and the presence of other viscosity modifiers such as borax, etc.
  • Liquid soaps can be made with a water-only process or with a water-plus-alcohol method. The calculator uses the 'Failor' computation of initial water used if the water-only process is chosen*. If the water-plus-alcohol method is selected, the initial fluids are computed to provide a 30% alcohol content in enough water to bring the initial total batch weight to equal the computed final batch weight. The use of alcohol provides accelerated saponification in a more diluted initial broth mixture for easier processing.
    *Failor method provides a constant 25% alkali concentration in solution, no matter the recipe formula used.
  • Glycerin content in the initial batch broth is not a necessity in making liquid soap. However, glycerin is often added to provide moisturizing, clarity and a good 'feel' to the final product and to provide product viscosity in combination with borax and a percentage of 'harder' oils (such as palm oil). If used, glycerin should be added to and computed with the fluids in the initial batch composition. Glycerin is actually a viscous alcohol and is neither changed during saponification nor boiled off during processing.
  • Superfatting is not needed in making liquid soaps to ensure total saponification (as it is in solid soap making), as this is controlled during neutralization of the final product. Superfatting of liquid soap can result in cloudiness that may be indistinguishable from cloudiness due to unfinished saponification and excess superfatting will result in oils content that will separate in the final product*. We strongly suggest using 0% superfatting in liquid soap making. You may enter "0" or simply leave this field blank or if you wish, enter percent superfatting desired.
    *Hint: Superfatting can be provided by adding 'turkey red' oil. This is a modified castor oil that is also 100% soluble in water, without clouding.
  • Weigh the soap making pot and any stirring utensils you will use and enter their weights here. The calculator will use these weights to calculate the final target batch+pot+utensils weight needed. The SBM Advanced Soap calculator presents a method of making liquid soaps that results in a final soap base paste consisting of 50% neat soap. This allows a consistent computation and process of neutralizing and dilution among all liquid soap bases produced this way, eliminating uncertainty and confusion in finishing your liquid soap that is well worth the hassle of making these weight measurements.
  • Enter the types and weight amounts of the oils your soap formula calls for.
  • For future reference, enter the names, quantities and measuring units of any other ingredients you will be adding to your soap.
  • Note that all measurements other than for "Other Ingredients" are in weight ounces. This includes all fluids, especially the output water amounts*.
    *A fluid ounce of water is not equal to a weight ounce.
  • Next, click on the "Click here when done" button to see your calculated recipe with correct alkali, superfat and fluids amounts needed.

    (Back to index) or (Close Window)


For best results and to support this online soapmaking calculator:
PLEASE PURCHASE YOUR SOAPMAKING SUPPLIES FROM SUMMER BEE MEADOW

Cream Soap, step-by-step inputs:
  • For future reference, enter the name of your soap recipe.
  • Tell the calculator what kind of soap you will make, so that it knows what to calculate Otherwise, you'll get an 'indigestion error'.
  • Enter the percentages of total alkali for sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) to be used. While cream soaps have traditionally been made with potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide in a 5:1 KOH : NaOH ratio (83.33% KOH : 16.67% NaOH), the SBM Advanced Calculator makes it possible to mix alkalis in any proportion (as percentages) with accurately calculated results. Using a higher percentage of sodium hydroxide can provide a thicker, stiffer final product, if desired.
  • Cream soaps can be made with a water-only process or with a water-plus-alcohol method. The calculator uses the 'Failor' computation of initial water used if the water-only process is chosen*. If the water-plus-alcohol method is selected, the initial fluids are computed to provide a 30% alcohol content in enough water to bring the initial total batch weight to equal the computed final batch weight. The use of alcohol provides accelerated saponification in a more diluted initial broth mixture for easier processing.
    *Failor method provides a constant 14.3% (approx) alkali concentration in solution, no matter the recipe formula used.
  • Glycerin content is a necessity in making cream soaps. If this entry field is left blank, batch glycerin coontent will be auto-calculated at 55% of the stearic acid content in the recipe formula of oils entered. As desired glycerin content may differ, you may enter a different amount as weight ounces glycerin to be used. Glycerin is actually a viscous alcohol and is neither changed during saponification nor boiled off during processing.
  • Superfatting is not needed in making cream soaps to ensure total saponification (as it is in solid soap making), as this is controlled during supercreaming of the final product. Excess superfatting of cream soap can result in oils content that may eventually separate or 'layer' in the final product*. We strongly suggest using 0% superfatting in cream soap making. You may enter "0" or simply leave this field blank or if you wish, enter percent superfatting desired.
    *Hint: Superfatting can be provided by adding 'turkey red' oil. This is a modified castor oil that is also 100% soluble in water, without clouding.
  • Weigh the soap making pot and any stirring utensils you will use and enter their weights here. The calculator will use these weights to calculate the final target batch+pot+utensils weight needed. The SBM Advanced Soap calculator presents a method of making liquid soaps that results in a done-batch (before supercreaming) base paste consisting of 47% neat soap or the minimum fluids content that still allows a workable batch consistancy. This allows a consistent computation of supercreaming and final dilution amounts to be displayed in the calculator outpuit page. This is well worth the hassle of making these weight measurements.
  • Enter the types and weight amounts of the oils your soap making formula calls for. Note that cream soaps require large percentages of stearic acid among the oils composition. There are no hard rules on this, but percentages of 50-70% stearic acid are common. Enter the value you desire here for stearic acid content along with other oils in weight ounces.
  • For future reference, enter the names, quantities and measuring units of any other ingredients you will be adding to your soap.
  • Note that all measurements other than for "Other Ingredients" are in weight ounces. This includes all fluids, especially the output water amounts*.
    *A fluid ounce of water is not equal to a weight ounce.
  • Next, click on the "Click here when done" button to see your calculated recipe with correct alkali, superfat and fluids amounts needed.

(Back to index) or (Close Window)


For best results and to support this online soapmaking calculator:
PLEASE PURCHASE YOUR SOAPMAKING SUPPLIES FROM SUMMER BEE MEADOW