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Lye percentages


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I was looking at this post, then went to MMS Calc. It says it calculates a 38% solution. When I look at the table in the link above it says a 38% solution is L x 1.6 = 38%. Is this 1.6 water?

The MMS calc says:

Water as percent of oils 38

% Lye of Water and Lye 27.43%

Lye:Water Ratio 2.65:1

My question is, if Lye to water ratio 2.65:1 is 38% and Lye X 1.6 = 38%, Wouldn't this actually be 1.6:1 ratio.

As you can see I'm a bit confused about this.

Anyone care to clarify, please!

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The MMS 38 is water to oils

The other 38 is water to lye (or lye to water, whatever)

Different thing

That's the difference, when you talk about lye solution, you are only comparing the water to the lye amount calculated in the recipe. Water has nothing to do with oil directly.

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Geesh, reading this, I'm thinking maybe I don't want to try my hand at CP soaping!! I'm all confused! :shocked2: LOL

I've never been very good at math, and I'm thinking you have to have a good math head to do this, right?

As a matter of fact, the night before last, my daughter who's in 8th grade, was asking me for help with her math, and I looked at the problem, and just sat there feeling very very stupid. :( Seriously, she's doing major algebra, and I flunked PRE-algebra TWICE in HS. :(

I'm rethinking my decision to do homemade soap now.......

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Don't let the math discourage you - find a recipe you like and run

it through the lye calculator http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php

and have at it ( with the neccesary precautions of course ) and have fun.

There are some out there that have to know the complete chemistry behind soap ( and I am not putting them down at all) but then there are others (like myself) who can not comprehend that all but just want to make soap.

A warning - after you do one batch you may get hooked!!

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This topic - lye solutions - is really an advanced topic - so I wouldn't worry about it just yet.

What you have to understand at minimum to make soap safely is how to deal with the lye, and how to use at least the MMS lye calculator. *Never* take a recipe as gospel, always run it through a calculator and understand what it says. Even a recipe from millersoap.com or from here, you never know when there's been a typo.

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Thanks Robin! I didn't realize that more subjects were added to the FAQ. Last time I was in there, this subject wasn't there. I see now it appears to be an ongoing contribution which is very helpful. I think this is something that I just need to sit down and try to really work out so that I may completely get my arms around it. Thanks again. :smiley2:

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Thanks Robin for your continued help.

Another question for you, if you will.

Let's say I'm using MMS Calc. I want to make 2 batches. One with a 33% lye solution, and one at 38% lye solution. What changes do I make on the calc to accomplish this?

:smiley2: I probably don't even need to know this, at my experience level, but my curiosity gets the better of me. I always want to know more about the details of how things work.

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