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Admin
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Hot process olive oil/water calculations

I would like to know if the soap making calculator on the Summerbeemeadow web site is for cold process soap only. I would like to make Hp olive oil soap but I am not sure that the water amount given by the calculator is correct. My grandmother from Sicily used to make olive oil hot process soap, and she is telling me that the water amount should  always be double the amount of oil, example, one pound of olive oil to two pounds of water. She could not give me a precise amount on the lye, therefore I thought I use the calculator. Although I have to say that the calculatore is very easy to use compared to others, it only gave me 10.18 oz of water for 32 oz of olive oil, maybe I am missing something. Your advice is very much appreciated!

Sofia

Posted by sofiaroma
(Carried forward from summerbeemeadow.com for continuity)

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Thank you kindly

Thank you kindly for taking the time to help. I will defnitely use no less then the amount of water given by the calculator. I may use a larger amount at first and then fine tune it. Thanks again, your advice is very much appreciated.

Sofia

Posted by sofiaroma
(Carried forward from summerbeemeadow.com for continuity)

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The SBM online calculators

The SBM online calculators work with solid or liquid soaps using cold or hot process. The water amounts are calculated to be the minimum recommended amounts for solid (NaOH) or liquid (KOH) soaps (calculations differ between solid & liquid soaps).

Note that water is the only ingredient for which the exact measurement is not critical. Water undergoes no chemical changes and comes out of the saponification reaction the same as it went in. Water's importance is to act as a solvent to allow the saponification reactions to occur.

Physically, too little water will result in a dry, brittle and possibly not fully saponified bar of soap or a liquid soap base that is too dense to stir well. Excess water will make saponification somewhat slower and will leave excess water in the resulting soap. This will make liquid soap easier to stir but take longer to saponify in the pot. In solid bar soaps, it will make the soap batch take somewhat longer to get to trace and longer to fully saponify ("cure") and will likely result in the finished, dried bars becoming a bit deformed (shrinking) as they dry

The bottom line is that we recommend not using less water than our SBM calculators state, but using more water is not critical at all. If you are more comfortable using more water, do so. If any of the resulting effects that I've noted above are unacceptable to you, then lower the water proportion in your next batch. One caveat - if your hot process involves a lot of stirring of an uncovered pot, you might want to increase the water a bit to account for evaporative water losses while stirring.

We make our own solid soaps by a hot process in the mold method using a soapmaking oven of Steve's own design. To prevent excess water loss by evaporation and to prevent white sodium carbonate deposits from forming on top, we cover the soap with Saran Wrap after pouring it into the mold.

Posted by Admin
(Carried forward from summerbeemeadow.com for continuity)

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