I know this is my second post today but I’m rather pleased with myself and wanted to share. That’s okay, right?
One of the things I’ve noticed about a lot of soap recipes is that they give the ingredients by percentage. For instance, my latest soap has this formula:
- 50% tallow
- 25% coconut oil
- 25% olive oil
at 6% superfat
And that’s it. At first, that put me off. However, having done a bit of research and reading, I’ve come to really like the percentage way of doing things. Why? Good question.
At the moment, I have two log molds; each holds a batch of soap that has 30 ounces of oils. How do I know? Well, there’s a formula for that… width of the mold, times length of the mold, times height of the mold, times .40. (i.e. 9.25″ long by 3.5″ wide equals 32.375… times 2.5″ tall equals 80.9375. Now take that number and multiply it by .40. That equals 32.375; that number would be the total number of ounces of oil you would need to fill your mold. Are you confused yet?
Length times width times height times .40 Easy, peasy.
So, I have a mold from years ago especially geared to children. It has lions, elephants, and geese in a grid (cut marks). I’d show you but it’s full of soap at the moment and I really can’t turn it upside down to take a picture. I measured it, easy to do as it’s a square mold; I figured that it would take 19.75 total ounces of oils to make a single batch that would fill this mold.
Not very exciting from this angle, is it?
Edited to add:
Using the percentages above, as well as an online lye calculator (I’ll post links at the end of this post), I came up with the following recipe:
- 9.75 oz. beef tallow
- 5 oz. olive oil pomace (the cheapest olive oil you can find)
- 5 oz. coconut oil
With a superfat of 6% (the percentage of oil that will not be saponified by the lye, to put it simply), I would need:
- 7 oz. water
- .5 oz aloe vera extract
- 2.8 oz. lye
And that is exactly what I used. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla oil that I still had from way back and, after all was mixed, poured it into my mold, where it is now waiting to firm up.
I’m not going to go into the entire process; there are more than enough good tutorials out there if you’re interested in making cold process soap. I’m just so pleased that I now know how to size a recipe for any mold I might have. Using the percentage method, it doesn’t matter the size of the mold or the size of the batch; it’s easy to size it to fit.
As for the soap, as I wrote, I’ve scented it with vanilla but, other than that, it’s plain… no colour added. It should be a fairly hard, white soap with good cleansing and good lather. Hopefully, it’s something that the grandchildren will like.
Where to find lye calculators:
- Soap Calc (the most used lye calculator apparently)
- MMS Lye Calculator
- The Soap Calculator (the one I use)
- Brambleberry’s Lye Calculator
These are by no means the only ones; a Google search will bring up others. From my own research, these are the most popular lye calculators.
Next step? Design my own soap recipe…. one day.