As mentioned before, soapcalc.net is a handy little device for figure out exact proportions of ingredients needed for any soap recipe. The software also indicates the quality of soap when using a single oil or combinations. Every oil will definitely have its strengths and weaknesses so a combination is encouraged in order to get as close to the quality of soap as you would like.
Step 5 inside the calculator, on the left is a table that compares the soap quality (It will be the bottom of the print out shampoo bar recipe – see image 1). These numbers are just suggestions for beginner soap makers to help create a good bar of soap. Artisans tweak the numbers for various reasons. I would recommend trying to stay within the range because at least you know you will have a decent soap. The overall soap bar quality is determined by the fatty acids in the recipe. See here for information on soap quality.
The ingredients options also include waxes (waxes are used to make soap bars hard without added properties) and some weird fats like chicken fat, which I certainly will not be using but to each his own. I ended up with 6 oils; 2 fats and 4 oils. Coconut oil and Shea butter make up 50% of the formulation, followed by castor oil at 20% and finally moisturizing olive, avocado and macadamia nut oils.
The calculator is laid out in 7 easy steps and your job is just to fill out the minty green parts and afterwards the software provides weight amounts for each of your individual ingredients. The amount of resulting soap is predicated on how much the total weight of oil is. The higher the weight of oils the more soap you will end up with. Since we are just at the developing stages of the shampoo bar, I chose to make a small batch of 1lb (you could even make half that) and go from there.
PS: I skipped step no. 3 (left it as the default, which is dummy proof) because it’s very technical and I haven’t fully grasped it or it’s significance yet. My suggestion would be to work with the defaults until you understand how changing them will affect your soap. But if you are inclined to experiment then by all means.
Tea from the dry hair blend will be replacing the 6.08 ounces of water. I shortlisted some fragrances but I will not be using all of them. Not all essential oils take to the soap; some are completely absorbed. 5fold oils are recommended for soap making. Also, be careful around potent oils like mints and basil..a little goes a long way. Maybe even go fragrance free for the first batch?
You are welcome to this recipe but it’s much more fun to play with the calculator and make your own. If you do, please share your recipe with us.
I’m excited…let’s make some soap next week. Yes?