Super-fatting Soap and Lye Calculators
I have a small batch soap recipe I would love to try out.
170 grams milk or water
56 grams lye
453 grams lard
15 mls essential oil
The recipe says I can substitute another oil for the lard. I would like to use olive oil.
I tried that lye calculator but I don't understand it yet.
It wanted to know what the super-fatting level is and I don't know this.
How do I get to know this? I guessed 8% and the lye came out the same. The olive oil level stayed the same but the liquid content is less.
Do I go by what the calculator said or by the recipe and will this ever make sense???
What is a good super-fatting level for bar soap?
I like a soap to lather up and I don't want to go leaping forth not really understanding what I am doing.
I hope this has all made sense to you.
I've run the recipe you posted through SoapCalc and it looks like the super-fat is about 12 % which I consider a little high.
Standard recipes usually have a 5%-8% super-fat. Too much free oil in your soap will inhibit the lather considerably and too little will be drying.
If you want to make a single oil soap, here are the quantities of ingredients needed for a batch using 453 grams of olive oil.
Keep in mind that straight olive
oil soap does not have a big fluffy lather. The lather is quite thin and can be a bit slimy but it is super gentle on the skin.
Olive oil - 453 grams
Distilled water - 150 grams at 33% or 172 at 38%
Lye - 58.3 grams
The water is set at 33% and the super-fat is set to 5%.
I've given you a reduced water amount and a full water amount for the recipe since olive oil takes quite some time to come to trace. Using the reduced water will help it trace faster.
Recently, Anne-Marie posted on her website, soapqueen.com, some single oil lather tests
and she found that Pomace olive oil produced a nicer lather that regular olive oil when used on it's own. You may want to consider using it.
Visit SoapCalc's Directions
and read them over. Use the recipe I've given you and plug in the numbers. Play around with it to see how it works. When using the calculator, you can click on the boxed numbers for help on those sections as well.
Also read up on my page about Soap Making Oils
. Scroll down below the oils lists for information on what the different types of oils are and how to formulate a recipe.
You can also try some of the basic recipes
that are already calculated out for you.
Hope this helps you out.
Good luck and keep at it...it will make sense eventually!