A lot goes into soap making. First step is to figure out the design and how I want the soap to look. And this goes along with having to figure out which mold to use – do I want a slab? Do I want individual loaves? Do I want a slab with dividers?
When I’m ready to start my soap I use a soap calculator and run all the ingredients I’m going to use for that soap in the soap calculator. I figure out the size of my bars, which will also depend on which mold I’m using, calculate the amount of oils that mold will hold, and enter my numbers in my soap calculator. I have to enter the water percentage I want to use for that specific soap, percentage of superfat (this is the amount of oils that do not get saponified which makes a more moisturizing soap), % of fragrance oils, and enter which oils I’m using, etc. The calculator will tell me how much lye and water I will need for those oils and butters in my recipe. It will also tell me how hard, how bubbly, how creamy, and how cleansing this specific soap will be. Using a soap calculator to make cold process is CRUCIAL. You should never attempt to make soap without using a soap calculator, and you should always weigh your ingredients by GRAMS, not by measurements such as 1/4 cup, etc.
I add any notes at the bottom, such as additives I’ll be using, colorants, and notes to myself on how I want to construct this soap.
Then, I print that recipe and I place it in a sheet protector, and then I start measuring out my oils, butters, lye and water for that soap and start making the soap. As I’m making the soap I write down notes on my sheet, batch numbers of ingredients, etc.
When I’m done making and cutting the soap, I write down any other notes that I want to remember for next time, any issues I had, how the soap performed, etc. And then that soap recipe in my sheet protector gets placed alphabetically in my soap recipe binder so it’s easy to find in the future.
And I keep them forever! I print out a new sheet even for soaps I’ve already made, because they all get dated and will all have new batch numbers for ingredients. If I’m making the same soap, I will add my new sheet to the same sheet protector and keep them all together.
I hope this answers your questions on how I keep track of my soap recipes!