screenshot from Soapmaker 3

How to Efficiently Create a Masterbatch of Oils for Soapmaking in Soapmaker 3

soap science and info

When I originally wrote Efficiency in Scaling: Introduction to Masterbatching, available exclusively to Next Level members, Soapmaker 3 didn't have a lot of the great features it does now, so the workaround for creating a masterbatch of oils for soapmaking in Soapmaker 3 was a little messy. Nowadays, it's super easy to create a masterbatch of oils and account for inventory, all while making your recipes seamless and easy to maintain.

 Creating a Masterbatch of Oils or Essential Oils for Soapmaking in Soapmaker 3

Today, we're going to walk through the best way to create a masterbatch of oils in Soapmaker 3. This method assigns a batch number to the masterbatch of oils (and if you enter your lot numbers for your oils themselves, be able to track the originating ingredients). In addition, this method of creating a masterbatch of oils in Soapmaker 3 allows you to use the masterbatch in your recipes while accurately deducting inventory and keeping track of costs.

If you have production help and don't want to disclose your recipe, another major benefit is that the formula is not shown on the recipe printout by creating a masterbatch of oils! Rather than showing the full formula, the printout uses the name you apply to your masterbatches rather than disclosing the actual recipe itself.

In order to get the most out of this tutorial, you'll want to make sure your version of Soapmaker 3 is up to date with the most stable recent version. You can do this by opening Soapmaker 3 and going to Help > Check for Updates.

Creating a Masterbatch of Oils in Soapmaker 3

In the My Supplies window of Soapmaker 3, click on the Blends tab. If you haven't created a blend before, it will look like the screenshot below.

Click the New button to create a masterbatch of oils.

 Create a new masterbatch in the Blends tab of My Supplies

Enter your soap recipe that you wish to masterbatch. If you typically make a masterbatch of 10 batches worth of oils, you can set the masterbatch to a total weight of ten batches. Or you can set up your masterbatch to be a single fill of your mold. However you want to do it!

 Enter your recipe for your masterbatch of oils in the blend formula window

If you want to account for waste that happens you make a masterbatch, you can do that when entering your soap recipe as a blend, as well.

To do so, enter each of your oils twice. In the second instance of each oil, enter the amount of waste you expect and check the Exclude Weight checkbox. What this does is use the oil from your inventory without adding the weight of the excess oil that is lost to your final masterbatch when you make it.

On average, I find that you lose about 2% to 4% of the masterbatch. However, it depends on how you measure and melt your oils, combine them in your masterbatch, and use your masterbatch.

After entering your soap recipe, click the Save button. Save the blended ingredient as a Base Oil, and then enter a name for your masterbatch of oils. Click the Save button.

 Save your masterbatch oil blend as a Base Oil to use it in recipes properly

I personally name my masterbatches of oils based on the recipe I would use it for. For instance, if it's a standard recipe that you use for your body soaps, you could name it Body Soap Masterbatch. Once you have saved your masterbatch recipe as a blend, it will show up in your Blends tab of My Supplies. From there, you can Make it. It will also show up in My Supplies as a Base Oil, so you can use it in recipes.

Making a Masterbatch of Oils in Soapmaker 3

Before you can use a masterbatch of oils, you have to physically make it! Soapmaker 3 is no different!

In order to use up the oils in your inventory and replace them with your masterbatched oils, you need to open My Supplies, select the masterbatch you are making in the list, and click the Make button.

 Before you can use your masterbatch, don't forget that you need to make it!

You can adjust the amount of masterbatch you make by changing the percentage of the total as shown below. For instance, if you entered your masterbatch blend as the total oil weight you need for 10 batches of soap, but you only make 1 soap batch worth of a masterbatch, you would enter 10%.

However, if you make a double masterbatch instead of a single (so 20 batches worth rather than 10 batches), you can adjust this by changing it to 200%.

A blend automatically gives a Best Before date a year from the date you make it, but you can also adjust this if you use oils that are not as shelf stable. For instance, if you use an oil with a six month shelf life in your masterbatch, you will want to adjust this date.

 You can adjust the amount of a masterbatch and its best before date when making the masterbatch oil blend

When you are done making any adjustments to the masterbatch of oils, click the Save button. This will reduce the inventory of the oils you used in your masterbatch and increase the amount of masterbatch available to use.

If you accounted for waste in your masterbatch oil blend as noted above, it will also use the waste amount of oils but will not include their weight in your amount of masterbatch available to use.

 Success! Creating a masterbatch of oils has never been easier!

Now that you've made your masterbatch of oils in Soapmaker 3, you now have inventory available to use in a soap recipe. Your inventory stocklist in My Supplies will also reflect how much masterbatch you have available in the Base Oils list.

Using a Masterbatch of Oils in a Soap Recipe in Soapmaker 3

When you are done creating a masterbatch of oils and making that masterbatch, you can use the masterbatch in your soap recipes, which makes it a lot faster to input and maintain your standard recipes in your product line.

To create a new recipe using a masterbatch, open the My Recipes window and click the New button.

Since you saved your masterbatch as a Blend in the Base Oils, you can use it in your soap recipes as well as your non-soap recipes, just like any other base oil in Soapmaker 3.

 Use your masterbatch in a recipe just as you would any other oil without worrying about proper SAP calculations or fatty acid profiles

Simply enter the name of the masterbatch you assigned in your recipe where you would normally enter your base oils.

This is extremely helpful if you use a base recipe and want to masterbatch, but use herbal infusions a lot or add different oils for label appeal on a per recipe basis. You can masterbatch all of your oils as a Blend except your infusion oil or varying oil, and then enter the masterbatch Blend and the infusion/extra oil on each individual soap recipe. Assign the proper percentages to the masterbatch and the extra oil, and voila.

 Masterbatched oils show up in the Base Oils of your inventory, so they are available in the same location as base oils in your recipes

Since you entered your masterbatch as a Base Oil blend, Soapmaker 3 knows how to calculate your SAP value and fatty acid profile accurately for your soap recipes! Hurray!

**Please note that the costs will be accurately reflected in your formulas if your original ingredients have the costs associated with them. This is a clean version of Soapmaker 3 for example purposes, so there is not any cost information.

Creating an Essential Oil Blend Masterbatch in Soapmaker 3

Don't forget that you can use this same workflow to create masterbatches of other ingredients in Soapmaker 3! For instance, if you use an essential oil blend in a product, you can create a masterbatch of the essential oil blend in the same manner. (This also applies to in-house colorant blends, too!)

Masterbatching your ingredients is a great time saver for production efficiency, so use it whenever it makes sense to do so.

Like with creating a masterbatch of oils, you want to open the My Supplies window, navigate to the Blends tab, and click New to add a masterbatch. Enter your essential oil blend recipe in the Blend Formula window.

 Creating a masterbatch of essential oils or other ingredients is a snap

Like before, if you expect waste, you can account for it by doubling each essential oil in the blend, adding a waste amount on the second instance of each essential oil, and clicking the Exclude Weight checkbox.

When you are finished, click the Save button, except this time, you want to save the blended ingredient as an Additive. I have an additive category for essential oil blends called Blends and I save my essential oil blends there.

Name the essential oil blend, and click Save. Now the essential oil blend masterbatch will show up in the Blends tab of My Supplies so that you can make it clicking the Make button. After doing so, it will show up in your Additives inventory under the category that you saved it under.

 Just remember to save blended ingredients as Additives if they aren't base oils!

Remember, you can adjust the amount of an essential oil blend you make when you officially make it in Soapmaker 3 as well as adjust the Best Before date.

Side note: this essential oil blend is one of my recommended starter essential oil blends found in this article! Yum!

Using an Essential Oil Blend in a Soap Recipe in Soapmaker 3

Hurray! Now you can use your essential oil blend masterbatch in recipes in Soapmaker 3, just like you did with your masterbatched oils. The only difference is that your essential oil blend will be under the Additives tab on a soap recipe formula rather than the Base Oils tab.

 After creating a masterbatch of essential oils, you can use it in the Additives tab of your soap recipes

**Please note that the costs will be accurately reflected in your formulas if your original ingredients have the costs associated with them. This is a clean version of Soapmaker 3 for example purposes, so there is not any cost information.

The Final Soap Recipe

When you've updated your recipes to use your masterbatches, they will show the name of the masterbatch rather than the ingredients and the formula itself. As long as you enter your masterbatches correctly, the fatty acid profile will accurately reflect the content of the soap recipe (as well as the Qualities graph in Soapmaker 3).

 The final recipe printout created with the masterbatched oils and essential oils from this tutorial

Soapmaker 3 will also accurately reflect costs based on the ingredients you used in the masterbatches, if you are entering your inventory and invoices as appropriate! As long as you remember to click that pesky Make button every time you make a masterbatch or any other recipe, Soapmaker 3 will be able to accurately track your inventory.

And there you have it: a step by step workflow for creating a masterbatch of oils or essential oil blends (or other ingredients!) for usage in Soapmaker 3Are there any other parts of using Soapmaker 3 that completely stump you? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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