SoapMaker Logo The Software for Serious Soap Crafters Presented by Woodman Designs

SoapMaker 3 Support

Click here for Version 2.x Support...

Knowledge Base and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(Last updated October 2, 2016)

Choose a topic area, and then click on a question to see the answer...
Or use your browser's Find on this page feature to search for a word or phase.
Click this topic: For answers to questions about...

Initial Purchase and Download

Will SoapMaker run on a tablet computer?

I can't install SoapMaker - the SMinstaller won't run!

How do I upgrade from SoapMaker 2.x to SoapMaker 3?

Is there a free trial available before purchasing?

Where should I put SoapMaker when I download it?

I downloaded SoapMaker and now I can't find it on my computer...

I just purchased SoapMaker, but when I try to register it says my registration number is not valid. What do I do?

I have two computers; can I install SoapMaker on both of them?

Can I run SoapMaker on my Mac or Linux system?

I downloaded SoapMaker to my Mac but I can't install it.

When I try to run SoapMaker, I get the message 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file...'

When I click the Download button, nothing happens.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Updating and Recovery from System Problems

How do I backup and restore my database of recipes and ingredients?

My computer was repaired (or I've had system problems), and now I need to re-install SoapMaker.

I have a new computer. How do I move my SoapMaker over from the old one?

Where is my database stored?

I re-installed SoapMaker as instructed, but it still has problems. What now?

I'm unable to log in to download the latest update..

How do I know my registration number, and what version of SoapMaker I have?

How do I uninstall SoapMaker?

Whenever I try to run my newly installed SoapMaker, the Windows Installer keeps running instead.

Error message: Unable to use the database at .... Would you like to open a saved backup copy of your database?

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Initial Setup

How do I begin entering my own ingredients and costs?

The program came with ingredients I use, but the costs are wrong. How can I correct them?

How do I delete example ingredients I don't want?

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Recipes and Blends

Why do the recipe costs seem to be slightly off for ingredients I purchase by volume?

Can I use SoapMaker for lotion recipes or for melt and pour soap?

I don't see goat milk in the oil list. How can I add it to a recipe?

What do the graph numbers mean?

How do I set my bar size and quantity?

How can I size a recipe to use exactly X oz. of lye?

What's the difference between recipe groups and recipe types?

I'd like to input my additives as a percentage of the base oils. Is there a way to do this?

How can I include my labor costs?

The lye amount recommended by SoapMaker is slightly different from another calculator I've used. Which is right?

I purchase lye in liquid form. Can SoapMaker handle this?

I use a base oil which is not in SoapMaker's database. How can I add it?

If I enter a water discount in a recipe, what is it discounting from?

Why does my recipe cost per bar go up when I increase the water discount?

My supplier of oils provides SAP values which are very different from those in SoapMaker. Can you explain?

Why doesn't the graph include a cleansing quality?

What blend of oils does SoapMaker use for Shortening properties?

The volume of a drop in SoapMaker does not agree with the drop size of my pipette...

Why isn't Lanolin included in the base oils list?

I want to enter a recipe which calls for 15% superfat. Do I simply set the lye discount to 15%?

How can I make a layered soap with different oils for each layer?

When I make an oil infusion, how do I account for oil waste in the Blend formula?

How should I include loofah sponges in a soap recipe?

How do I include eggs in recipes?

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Inventory Management

Why does an ingredient's unit cost not match what I paid for it?

Why do the lists in MySupplies show only dashes in the In Stock and Value columns?

How do I change MySupplies to show the units I use in recipes?

When I Edit a purchase record to change the quantity, I'm unable to change the units...

How do I record the price of an ingredient I bought on sale while remembering my regular price?

Why does the cost/bar in a recipe differ from the same recipe's batch cost/bar?

Why does the total cost shown on a recipe differ from the cost of batches made with that recipe?

When first setting up my inventory, how can I record batches made before SoapMaker?

Is there a way to copy my SoapMaker record of purchases and sales to a spreadsheet program?

When I buy more stock, should I enter the new price right away, or wait until I use up the old stock?

I buy supplies in bulk, and then resell them. How can I track them in my inventory?

When I delete a batch, why can't I re-use the batch number?

How do I handle different local sales tax rates when I sell at different venues?

Why does the total of products sold in the Sales History report does not match the total sold in MyProducts?

How can I account for products which I give away, use myself, or waste because of flaws?

How can I sell and track gift baskets?

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Hot Tips

I make one large batch of soap base, then split it into smaller batches to add different scents and additives. How do I record this?

How can I give a customer free shipping, but still record the shipping cost for my records?

I purchased a blend of oils - how can I determine the properties?

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Error Messages

I get a warning message when I try to download or install SoapMaker.

I just purchased SoapMaker, but when I try to register it says my serial number is not valid. What do I do?

I downloaded SoapMaker, but when I try to install it I get an error. What should I do?

When I try to run SoapMaker, I get the message 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file...'

I'm unable to backup my database to an external medium (CD, DVD, Flash drive, etc.)...

I got an error message saying SoapMaker has encountered an error. What should I do?

I got a system error message. What should I do?

A message says I have missing Blend formulas - how can I recover?

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page



Following is a list of know problems with the current version of SoapMaker: 3.11.5.
If you have an earlier version, we recommend updating to the latest - you can do this by logging in to your account...

Known Problems

Q:   When updating from a version prior to 3.10, I received this error:
'The field is too small to accept the amount of data you attempted to add...'

A:   This error can occur while updating the database if you had saved a batch with very small portion sizes in fl oz.

Your database will have been left in an usable state. To correct this, please contact us by posting a trouble ticket and attaching a copy of your latest database backup. We will attempt to repair it for you so you can use the new version of SoapMaker.


Q:   Some of my product costs look very strange - not at all like the recipe cost.

A:   Recent Problem:
If you had previously deleted a batch, choosing the option to restore ingredients to your supply stock, SoapMaker looked for purchase records to which stock could be restored. If it found no purchase records for an ingredient, it created a 'dummy' record with supplier name 'Cancelled Batch'. However, due to a program bug, this dummy record may have a nonsense cost.

This problem was fixed in release 3.7.2. However, you may still have previous records affected by that bug. If you then make new batches using an affected ingredient, the batch cost will not be correct. To resolve this, you need to delete the dummy purchase record in the Purchase History for that ingredient. Look for a purchased lot with supplier name 'Cancelled Batch'.

Previous Problem:
Between release 3.6.0 and 3.6.3, the New Batch form was not calculating costs correctly when drawing stock from an older purchase lot which had different units than the most recent lot of that ingredient. The batch was then saved in MyProducts with an incorrect cost, affecting the total product value.
This problem was fixed for new batches in update 3.6.3, but it does not correct batches saved after 3.6.0 and prior to the 3.6.3 update. If you have recorded batches since first installing version 3.6, and the costs look wrong, you may want to delete and re-record those batches.

Q:   When I export a report in CSV format, it doesn't open correctly in Excel. There is only one column.

A:   SoapMaker exports files using TAB as the separator (because commas are used as decimal point in many countries). Excel defaults to comma as separator, but you can choose which separator you want. In Excel go to DATA -> Text To Columns -> Choose delimited: then choose your separator "Tab" and you should see the correct format immediately in the "data preview". Then click FInish. Once you have the correct format, save the document and it will be permanent.


KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page




Purchase, Download and Installation

Q:   Will SoapMaker run on a tablet computer?

A:   If the tablet runs the full Windows operating system (i.e. with support for legacy apps), SoapMaker should run fine. You may want to consider adding a mouse and keyboard (USB or wireless).

Note: Tablets using the Windows RT version do not support legacy apps like SoapMaker.
iPad and Android tablets are not compatible with SoapMaker.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I can't install SoapMaker - the SMinstaller won't run!

A:   If you have Windows 8 or later, when you first run the downloaded SoapMaker installer you may see a message saying... 'Windows prevented an unathorized app from starting!' If you see this message, click the More Info link and then click Run Anyway.

If you failed to do this initially, right-click the SMinstaller icon and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. On the General tab, if there is a Security section at the bottom with a button labeled 'UNBLOCK', click this and then click OK. Right-click the icon again and choose Run as Administrator.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I upgrade from SoapMaker 2.x to SoapMaker 3?

A:   If you currently own SoapMaker 2, you can purchase an upgrade to version 3 at a special price. You will be able to import your database of recipes, ingredients, etc. into the new version once you have installed it. See Upgrade to SoapMaker 3 for details.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Is there a free trial available before purchasing?

A:   Administering a trial version is difficult, so we have not offered a free trial since SoapMaker3 was introduced at the beginning of 2009.
Users seem very happy with SoapMaker - you can check out some comments in the user testimonials...

For an overview of the program, see the Guided Tour...

You can also see our refund policy...

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Where should I put SoapMaker when I download it?

A:   You can download the installer to your desktop and then run it from there. It will install the SoapMaker program and related files in Program Files/SoapMaker3. It will also make shortcuts in your Start menu and on your desktop.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I downloaded your SoapMaker software and now I can't find it on my computer...

A:   The SoapMaker installer program you downloaded is called SM3installer*.*.exe. When you downloaded it, there should have been a dialog showing the destination folder, and giving you a chance to change it if you wanted. It's probably either on the Desktop, or in the Downloads folder, depending on how your browser preference is set. Try using the Search or Find tool in your Start menu to look for SM3installer*.*.exe.

If you still can't find it, perhaps the download did not complete successfully. You can try again.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I have two computers; can I install SoapMaker on both of them?

A:   The SoapMaker licence agreement entitles you to install SoapMaker on one or two computers for your own use.

If your computers are connected by a local network, you can set up a shared database so that either can access it. See the Users Manual topic 'Sharing your Database' for instructions.

If your two computers are not network connected, the databases will be inconsistent unless you regularly copy the database files between computers using the Backup Data and Restore Data commands.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Can I run SoapMaker on my Mac or Linux system?

A:   You may be able to use SoapMaker on your Mac or Linux by also running Windows. Click here for more information...


KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   When I try to run SoapMaker, I get the message 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file...'

A:   Things to try:

  1. Open the folder where SoapMaker is kept; C-drive / Program Files / SoapMaker3.
    Right-click the SoapMaker3 program file, and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
    If you see a button labelled Unblock in the lower right corner, click it.
  2. If the Properties dialog window has a Security tab, click it and make sure you have read and execute permissions.
  3. If you are running Windows Vista or later, try right-clicking the SoapMaker program and choosing Run as Administrator from the pop-up menu.
    With Windows XP, right-click and choose Run as..., then uncheck the box labelled 'Protect my computer...' and click OK.
  4. Try turning off your anti-virus software. If this solves the problem, get a different anti-virus program, or see if there is a setting that will allow SoapMaker to run. (don't leave yourself unprotected).



KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   When I click the Download button, nothing happens.

A:   If you are using Firefox as your browser, there may be download manager plug-ins that are interfering, or some other setting you can change. See this page for more info... mozilla support

If you are using another browser, try searching the web for download problems with your browser version. There may be a simple fix by changing settings, or clearing history.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page




Getting the latest Update; Recovering from System problems

Q:   How do I backup and restore my database of recipes and ingredients?

A:   Your database of recipes, ingredient costs and inventory could be lost forever if you experience a computer failure! To guard against this, you should make a regular backup copy of your database. In your SoapMaker program, see the HELP topic Preserving Your Data in the Reference section.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   My computer was repaired (or I've had system problems), and now I need to re-install SoapMaker.

A:   If you are a registered owner of SoapMaker 3, follow the steps below to restore your SoapMaker:

  1. Download the latest version from the download page. You will need to log in with your email and password. (If you have forgotten your login credentials, see I'm unable to log in to download the latest update..)
  2. Once you have logged in, you will see your registered name and registration number which will be needed after SoapMaker has been installed. Make a note of them now!
  3. Click the Download button, and save the SM3installer file on your hard drive.
  4. If the previous version of SoapMaker is still installed but was causing errors, un-install it by opening your Start menu, and choosing All Programs/SoapMaker3/Uninstall SoapMaker3. (If it is no longer installed, or you just want to update to a newer version, you can skip this step.)
  5. Locate the downloaded SM3installer icon and right-click it - from the pop-up menu, choose Run as administrator to start the installation.
  6. When installation is complete, open SoapMaker. If requested, enter your name and registration number as noted in step 2.
  7. If your data (recipes, supplies, etc.) are not showing, restore your latest backup copy using the Restore Data command under the File menu.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I have a new computer. How do I move my SoapMaker over from the old one?

A:   NOTE: If you are changing from a Windows computer to a Mac, please see For Mac users...

If you are a registered owner of SoapMaker 3, follow the steps below to restore your SoapMaker:

  1. Preserve your Data
    Make sure you have a backup copy of your Database on a portable medium (e.g. memory stick, external HD, CD-R).

    If you do not have a backup copy ready, and you still have access to your old computer, then:
    1. If you can still run SoapMaker on your old computer, use the Backup Data command under the File menu. Save the database file to an external device. Then copy it to your new computer's hard drive.
    2. If SoapMaker is no longer working on your old computer, you may be able to recover your primary database file - see Where is my database for assistance.

    If you do not have a backup copy, and can no longer access the old computer, you will not be able to recover your data. You can still replace the SoapMaker program as follows...
  2. Install SoapMaker on your new computer
    1. Download the latest SoapMaker version to your new computer from the download page. You will need to log in with your email and password. (If you have forgotten your login credentials, see I'm unable to log in to download the latest update..)
    2. Once you have logged in, you will see your registered name and registration number which will be needed after SoapMaker has been installed. Make a note of them now!
    3. Click the Download button, and save the SM3installer file on your hard drive.
    4. Locate the downloaded SM3installer icon and right-click it - choose Run as administrator from the pop-up menu to start the installation.
  3. Register SoapMaker on your new computer
    When installation is complete, open SoapMaker. Enter your name and registration number which you noted in step 2b.
  4. Restore your Data
    With SoapMaker open, choose the Restore Data command under the File menu and browse to locate the database file you saved in step 1a.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Where is my database stored?

A:   Normally you do not need to access your database file directly. However, if you are re-installing SoapMaker on a new or repaired computer, and do not have a backup copy of your database file, you may be able to recover the primary database file from your old computer or the old hard drive content.

The primary database file is called SM3data.sdb, and is normally located in a folder called SoapMakerData. On Windows Vista or later, this folder is in the AppData/Roaming folder. On Windows XP, it's in the Program Data folder. You may have to set your Control Panel Folder Options to show hidden files and folders in order to see this.

Note that if you had previously used the SoapMaker Move or Share Data command, the database location will be wherever you specified at that time. If you cannot find the file, try using the Windows Search feature to look for 'SM3data'.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I re-installed SoapMaker as instructed, but it still has problems. What now?

A:   Normally when you uninstall and re-install SoapMaker, it does not affect associated entries in the system registry. However, if the registry entries have become corrupted somehow, it may be necessary to clear them and allow the program to re-build them.

Here's how to clear the SoapMaker registry and re-install the program:

  1. Uninstall SoapMaker: On the Start menu, choose All Programs/SoapMaker3/Uninstall SoapMaker3.
  2. Open the Registry Editor as follows (be careful to change only the items described below!)
    • In your Start menu choose Run...
    • In the Run command box, type RegEdit and click OK
  3. When the Registry Editor has opened, click the little plus signs to Expand the hierarchy...
    - HKEY_CURRENT_USER
      - Software
        - VB and VBA Program Settings
          - SoapMaker3
  4. Right-click the SoapMaker3 item and choose Delete
  5. Close RegEdit
  6. Download the latest SoapMaker update by logging in to the download page. While logged in, you can see your registration number, which you will need in step 8.
  7. Run the downloaded SM3installer to install SoapMaker.
  8. The first time SoapMaker is run, you will need to enter your name and registration number.
  9. If you have a backup copy of your database, you can use the 'Restore Data' command to load it into SoapMaker.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I'm unable to log in to download the latest update..

A:   If your email has changed, you can log in using your old email address, and then change it in your account record.

If you have forgotten your Password, you can request a new password on the updates page. You will have to identify yourself using the name and email registered in your account, and you will get a new temporary password which matches the last 5 characters of your SoapMaker Registration Number. This new password will be sent to your account email address.

After logging in with the temporary password, you can change it. Please write it down and keep it in a safe place.

If you have forgotten your password, and you no longer have access to your regsitered email address, you will need to contact us for assistance by creating a trouble ticket...

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I know my registration number, and what version of SoapMaker I have?

A:   Open SoapMaker, and choose About SoapMaker under the Help menu.

If you are reinstalling SoapMaker and have forgotten your registration number, you can log in to the download page - your latest download version, and your registration number are displayed there.

If you can't log in, see I'm unable to log in...

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I uninstall SoapMaker?

A:   To uninstall SoapMaker 3, go to your Start menu and select
Programs/SoapMaker3/Uninstall SoapMaker3.

To uninstall SoapMaker version 2.5 to 2.8, go to your Start menu and select
Programs/SoapMaker/Uninstall SoapMaker.

For earlier versions, use the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs to remove SoapMaker. You can then delete the folder C:\Program Files\SoapMaker.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I downloaded SoapMaker to my Mac but I can't install it.

A:   Make sure you are running in the Windows environment on your Mac before you download and install SoapMaker.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Whenever I try to run my newly installed SoapMaker, the Windows Installer keeps running instead.

A:   This is a known problem with Windows which can occur if the initial installation was aborted or interrupted for some reason. See this for a possible solution: Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Error message: Unable to use the database at .... Would you like to open a saved backup copy of your database?

A:   This indicates that SoapMaker cannot find the database file in the expected location, or the file has been corrupted. If you have a backup copy, click YES and browse to find that copy.

If you do not have a backup, you can restore the original sample database as follows: When SoapMaker asks if you would like to open a saved copy of your database, click YES, then browse to this location:

C:\Program Files (x86)\SoapMaker3\Sample Data\SM3Data.SDB

This will restore the sample database that originally comes with the program. Then you can start adding your own data. Please make a backup copy regularly and save it on an external medium like a memory stick or writeable CD.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page




Initial Setup

Q:   How do I begin entering my own ingredients and costs?

A:   See the HELP topic Inventory Management: Initial Setup for step-by-step instructions.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   The program came with ingredients I use, but the costs are wrong. How can I correct them?

A:   See the HELP topic Q and A: Changing unit costs.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I delete example ingredients I don't want?

A:   In MySupplies you can delete any or all of the example Additive and Packaging ingredients that came with SoapMaker. See the HELP topic Q and A: Deleting example data.

The Base Oils provided with SoapMaker cannot be deleted. Instead, you can customize the list of oils available in recipes and displayed in MySupplies by clicking the More Oils... button.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page




Recipes

Q:   Why do the recipe costs seem to be slightly off for ingredients I purchase by volume?

A:   When converting between weights and volumes, SoapMaker considers the specific gravity (SG) of each ingredient. When you create a new Additive ingredient in MySupplies, you are required to enter its SG. If you use an incorrect value, conversions between weight and volume will be off.

See the HELP topic Specific Gravity in the Reference section for more information and a list of SG values for some common ingredients.

Also, see this knowledge base article: Unit costs incorrect...

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Can I use SoapMaker for lotion recipes or for melt and pour soap?

A:   SoapMaker is intended to be used for all your recipes, including lotions or M&P soap. When you open a new recipe you can set it's type to "non-soap". The recipe form is different for non-soap recipes; there is no lye area, water is handled like any other ingredient, and percentages are calculated across the whole recipe, not just the base oils. (The "Qualities Graph" only applies to soap recipes, as it's based on the properties of various oils when saponified.)

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I don't see goat milk in the oil list. How can I add it to a recipe?

A:   Whole goat milk contains only about 4% fat, so even if you replace all the water in a recipe with goat milk, it will have a very small effect on the amount of lye. For this reason, we did not include goat milk in SoapMaker's list of base oils. For example, if you made a tallow recipe and replaced all the water with goat milk, it would require only 1.6% more lye.

You can define goat milk as an Additive, and include it in your recipes in the Additives section. Check the Adjust Water box to reduce the calculated water amount accordingly. Goat milk can be used to super-fat, or you can reduce the lye discount by one or two percent if you prefer.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   What do the graph numbers mean?

A:   The Predicted Soap Quality numbers displayed on SoapMaker's Qualities Graph depend on the characteristics of the base oils which make up the recipe. The base oil characteristics, and the resulting soap qualities, include:

  • Hardness - the degree of hardness of the soap
  • Fluffiness of lather - the ability to form lots of large bubbles
  • Stability of lather - the ability to maintain a long lasting creamy lather in use
  • Moisturizing (Conditioning) - the degree to which the soap will prevent dryness and leave skin feeling soft

The Soap Quality numbers are intended only for comparing recipes with different base oil combinations, so they do not reflect lye discount (super-fatting) or additives, even though these may affect the resulting soap qualities somewhat. The numbers are relative, and have no absolute meaning.

Each base oil's soap-making characteristics arise from its unique composition of different fatty acids. The base oils are rated, for each property, according to the proportion of fatty acids which have that property. For example, the base oil which has the highest proportion of fatty acids contributing to hardness is given a hardness rating of 10. An oil with half that amount of those fatty acids will have a hardness rating of 5.

The rating numbers are derived from each fatty acid's molecular weight, carbon chain length, number of unsaturated double bonds, and iodine value. SoapMaker's proprietary algorithms have been verified by comparing the predicted qualities for many base oils with the actual subjective experience of dozens of soapmakers.

For more discussion about fatty acids, see this...

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I set my bar size and quantity?

A:   SoapMaker provides several places where you can set the size and quantity of bars (or portions) for recipes:

  • When you create a recipe
  • When you resize a recipe
  • When you use the Make Batch command to record a new batch (Pro edition ony)
  • In MyProducts, you can edit a batch later to change these

Following is a discussion of each of these, suggesting how they should be used and any limitations you should be aware of.

Recipe bar size

In MyPreferences, you can set either the Bar Size, or the Number of Bars you normally make. This setting will be the default value for all new recipes of the same type. (Changing this value in MyPreferences only affects new recipes - any existing recipes will not be affected.)

On the Recipe Form Options page, you can override the default setting, and specify either the Bar Size or Number of Bars. When you set one of these parameters, the other is automatically calculated from the total recipe weight.

Limitations:

In a recipe, you can only set one bar size - this serves as a rough guide to what the recipe will make, but if you want to divide each batch into sub-batches with different bar sizes, you have to do this as part of the batch recording process as described below.

The recipe bar size is the un-cured size before any shrinkage.

Resizing a Recipe

When you use the Resize Recipe command, you have several options for specifying the new recipe size. Unless you use the option to set a different bar size, the resized recipe will have the same bar size as the original, and the number of bars will be changed to suit the new total size.

Limitations:

When you resize to fit a mold, SoapMaker only considers the total volume of the mold. It does not use the bar size or quantity you may have used when defining the mold - these are only tools to assist you in calculating the total volume.

Resizing to fit a mold may require some experimentation because of the variables involved. After making a batch with the resized recipe, you may have to adjust the mold volume specification a bit to get the desired result with future batches. (For more information about this, see your Users Manual topic 'Why is my resized recipe too large (or too small) for the mold?' in the Frequently Asked Questions under the SoapMaker HELP menu.)

Recording Batches (Pro edition only)

When you use the Make Batch command, the New Batch dialog provides options for setting the bar size and number of bars. It is possible to divide a batch into as many as 4 sub-batches with different bar sizes.

The bar size options are:

  • As per recipe - this is the default option if there are no previous batches made with this recipe.
  • Same as previous batch - this is the default if there are already saved batches made with the same recipe. This makes it easy to ensure that you have consistent product sizes for your standard products which are made often.
  • Custom - this option enables you to change either or both of the bar size and quantity for this batch. (This will then become the new default for future batches made with this recipe.)
    If the total weight of the bars or portions you define is less than or greater than the recipe total weight, you will see an Excess value. If the Excess is positive and greater than one bar's weight, increase the number of bars. If the Excess is negative, you may have to decrease the number of bars, or change the nominal size (but see the important note below).

Editing Saved Batches

Batches that have already been saved can be edited in MyProducts to change the nominal bar sizes or quantities made of each.

IMPORTANT: The Cured Size (after shrinkage) is what defines each of your unique products (along with the Product Descriptive Name). Especially if you use the Price List feature, you will want to make sure that subsequent batches of your standard products have the same Cured Size. This is determined by the nominal sizes you set, and by the Shrinkage Factor. So when adjusting either of these, keep in mind that a different Cured Size will effectively create a new product in your Price List.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How can I size a recipe to use exactly 6 oz. of lye?

A:   You can use the "Resize Recipe" command in SoapMaker to make a recipe using a particular quantity of lye.
For example, if you have a recipe using 100 oz of base oils that requires 15 oz of lye, and you want to resize it to use 5 oz of lye, then you'll want to reduce your recipe to 33.3% of its original size. (5 divided by 15)
Click the Resize button on the Recipe toolbar, and set the Percentage of original size to 33.3%.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   What's the difference between recipe groups and recipe types?

A:   Recipe groups are like "folders". You can create any group names you want to help you classify and organize your recipes. The groups provided with SoapMaker are just for illustration purposes; you can use them or replace them with something meaningful to you. (Note: You cannot delete or rename the Archive group).

Recipe types determine the behaviour of the recipe form. There are 4 recipe types:

  • Solid soap (the default when you open a new recipe)
  • Liquid soap - the lye section uses potassium hydroxide (KOH) instead of sodium hydroxide (NaOH). A handy calculator in the Additives section will help calculate neutralizing agent for making transparent soap, and extra water for dilution.
  • Cream soap - both KOH and NaOH lye are used. A handy calculator in the Additives section will help calculate glycerin and supercream agent.
  • Non soap - the lye section is disabled, and water can be entered directly like an Additive. Use the "non-soap" type for lotions, salves, etc. as well as 'melt and pour' soap using an already saponified soap base.

You choose the type when you open a new recipe. You choose the Group, as well as the recipe name, when you first Save the recipe. You can save any recipe type in any group. MyRecipes shows the type of each recipe by displaying an icon next to each recipe name.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I'd like to input my additives as a percentage of the base oils. Is there a way to do this?

A:   SoapMaker 3 provides a handy Fragrance Calculator built in to the recipe form. On the Options page, set the Suggested Fragrance Amount to the desired percentage of base oils. Then on the Additives page, you will see at the bottom the Suggested Fragrance Amount based on the percentage you have specified.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How can I include my labor costs?

A:   Define a "Packaging Item" called labor_hour or something similar, and then use it in your recipes. Type "labor" in the HELP index for more information.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   The lye amount recommended by SoapMaker is slightly different from another calculator I've used. Which is right?

A:   The quantity of lye recommended for a particular recipe is calculated from the Saponification (SAP) values of each base oil in the recipe as determined by industry research. However, the SAP values for different oils can vary slightly between different manufacturers and even between different batches from the same manufacturer. The SAP values used by SoapMaker are averages of the data from a number of sources. (The values used by other calculators probably are too.)

There is no way of knowing the exact SAP value for your particular oils except to actually measure them, and this is beyond the capability of most home-based soap makers. So don't be concerned about minor discrepancies between different calculators - there is no absolute "bible" of SAP values. We recommend using a lye discount of at least 4% to ensure there is some margin for error.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I purchase lye in liquid form. Can SoapMaker handle this?

A:   SoapMaker supports the use of pre-mixed lye solution. However, it assumes that you do your own pre-mixing of lye and water, so there is no "pre-mixed lye" category in the ingredients database. When you enter your lye purchases into the database, you will have to make adjustments. For more information, see "lye, pre-mixed" in the SoapMaker HELP index.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I use a base oil which is not in SoapMaker's database. How can I add it?

A:   You can add a new oil yourself if you know the SAP value and specific gravity. If you want the Qualities graph to reflect the new oil's propeties, you will also need to enter the fatty acid composition and iodine value. These data should be available from your supplier, or online.

Note that suppliers often provide SAP values stated in grams of potassium hydroxide (KOH) per kilogram of oil, whereas SoapMaker makes use of SAP values stated in grams of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) per gram of oil. To make sure you know how to deal with SAP values, please see the HELP topic Understanding SAP Values in the Reference section.

If the new oil you are adding is similar to one already in SoapMaker's database, you can use the Copy Properties From... feature as a starting point.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   If I enter a water discount in a recipe, what is it discounting from?

A:   In soap recipes, SoapMaker calculates the recommended water at 2.33 x the lye amount. If you like your mixture a bit thicker than that, you can reduce the water amount by some percentage. For example, if you specify a water discount of 10%, then the water amount will be calculated as 90% x 2.33 = 2.1 x the lye amount. If you like a wetter mix, you can specify a negative "discount".

If you generally use the same discount in all your recipes, set your Preferences so that new recipes will open with that water discount by default.

Note that if you are accustomed to calculators where you had to discount your water to allow for liquid additives, you no longer have to do that calculation. You can have SoapMaker adjust the water for you by checking the Adjust Water box next to any additive ingredient. Also, note that SoapMaker uses the undiscounted lye amount to calculate water. This enables you to vary the lye discount in different recipes without being surprised with a mix that's wetter or drier than usual.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Why does my recipe cost per bar go up when I increase the water discount?

A:   As you discount the water amount in a recipe, the cost per unit weight of the recipe increases because the proportion of water (the cheapest ingredient) is less.

Since the recipe with discounted water has a higher cost per unit weight, the cost per bar of a given weight (uncured) will be higher. You can compensate by reducing the recipe bar size, since the bars will shrink less as they cure compared with a recipe using no water discount.

Whenever you make a batch, adjust the Expected Shrinkage in MyProducts to match your experience with this water discount. Or set the default value in MyPreferences.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   My supplier of oils provides SAP values which are very different from those in SoapMaker. Can you explain?

A:   There is no universal standard in the way industry sources state saponification (SAP) values. However, it is fairly common to see SAP values stated in grams of potassium hydroxide (KOH) per kilogram of oil. SoapMaker makes use of SAP values stated in grams of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) per gram of oil. The conversion between the two methods is given by the formula:  

SAP for NaOH in grams/gram
(as used in SoapMaker)
= SAP for KOH in grams/Kg

1402.5

For example, a supplier may provide a Palm oil SAP of 197.8 (for KOH in grams/Kg).
This is equivalent to SoapMaker's Palm oil SAP of 0.141 (for NaOH in grams/gram). For more information, see the HELP topic Understanding SAP Values in the Reference section.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Why doesn't the graph include a cleansing quality?

A:   We removed the "cleansing" attribute because people found it confusing ("Doesn't all soap cleanse?"). The harder oils do make a harsher soap which "cleanses" more oils from the skin. They also produce the fluffiest lather, so you can use the "fluffy lather" quality as an indicator of "cleansing". Note also that the more "cleansing" the soap, the less moisturizing.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   What blend of oils does SoapMaker use for Shortening properties?

A:   Shortening manufacturers consider their recipes to be trade secrets, so we have used an educated guess to determine the properties. For US shortening, we used an equal blend of Palm, Soybean, and Cottenseed oils. For Canadian shortening, we used a 30/70 blend of Palm and Soybean.

Crisco consists of a blend of soybean oil, fully hydrogenated palm oil, and partially hydrogenated palm and soybean oils.

100% soy shortening is made from partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

If you know the proportion of different oils in the shortening you use, you can easily calculate the properties, and add a new oil as follows...

Say you use shortening which is 25% Palm and 75% Soy. You can add a new oil called "my shortening" and calculate the properties from those which SoapMaker shows for each of the constituent oils.
For example, to calculate the SAP value for your shortening:

        my shortening SAP = (0.25 x Palm SAP) + (0.75 x Soy SAP)

Do the same for all the other properties.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   The volume of a drop in SoapMaker does not agree with the drop size of my pipette...

A:   The drop unit of measurement is intended for very small quantites. The exact size of a "drop" depends on the viscosity of the particular liquid being measured, as well as the tool used to do the dropping. If you are using more than just a few drops in a recipe, then it would be more accurate to enter the amount in a different unit such as milliliters instead.

For example, if your pipette makes 20 drops per milliliter, and you want to use 15 drops in a recipe, calculate (15/20 = 0.75) and enter 0.75 ml. You could record the number of drops in the notes section of the recipe as a reminder when you are using the recipe.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Why isn't Lanolin included in the base oils list?

A:   Lanolin is a waxy substance, with only a tiny percentage of the fatty acids we normally use to calculate the numbers for SoapMaker's graph. The SAP value is 0.075 which is only about half of that for a typical soap-making oil. For these reasons, we suggest Lanolin be treated as an additive rather than a base oil in your recipes. If you prefer to add it to your base oils list, you can use the SAP value above, but it will not contribute to the graph numbers. The specific gravity of lanolin is 0.9.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I want to enter a recipe which calls for 15% superfat. Do I simply set the lye discount to 15%?

A:   Percentages can be tricky unless you're very clear what you mean...

If you use a lye discount of 15%, this means the amount of lye is 85% of that needed to fully saponify the oils, and the unsaponified (superfat) oil will be 15% of the total oil amount.

However, if you want to end up with 15% more oil than the amount that would be fully saponified by a given amount of lye, then the total oil amount will be 115% of the saponified amount. In this case you would need to use a lye discount of:

15

  x 100   = 13.04%
115


KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How can I make a layered soap with different oils for each layer?

A:   This can be done - it will just require an extra step. Say you are making a 3-layer soap, and want to use a different oil mix for each layer - the problem is that you need 3 separate component recipes to get your lye calculation, but you want a single combined recipe for recording batches, making sales and tracking your product stock.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Create the 3 component recipes to get your lye and water calculations. Use these recipes when you make the soap.
  2. Create a combined recipe, which includes ALL the ingredients of the 3 component recipes.
    (Note: If you don't use the same lye and water discounts for all 3 component recipes, you will have to fiddle with the combined recipe discounts to get the right total amounts of lye and water.)
  3. When you use the Make Batch command, use the combined recipe.
  4. Save all 4 recipes in a special group to keep them together.


KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   When I make an oil infusion, how do I account for oil waste in the Blend formula?

A:   When you make an infusion, some of the liquid will be lost when you strain out the solid material. Here's how to handle this in your Blend formula to make sure your inventory is correctly adjusted...

Let's assume you want to make an infusion of 10 oz of Calendula petals in 100 oz of Olive oil, and that you expect to waste 15% of the oil:

  1. Choose the Enter by Percent option, set the Blend's total weight to 100 oz
  2. Enter Olive oil twice in the blend formula, once to cover the oil that will remain, and once for the expected waste.
  3. Set the percentages to 85% and 15%
  4. Check the Exclude Weight box for the 15% waste oil.
  5. Now change back to Enter by Amount, and add your Calendula 10 oz (also checking the Exclude Weight box).

This will give you the correct final weight for the infusion, and when you make the blend it will adjust your inventory correctly for the Olive oil used, including the waste.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How should I include loofah sponges in a soap recipe?

A:   Some users have asked what's the best way to handle sponges embedded in soap...

You can simply treat them as 'packaging' items, but this will give an incorrect value for the recipe weight and volume.

Perhaps a better alternative would be to treat them as additives. In this case you would have to do some experiments:

  1. Weigh a typical piece of the sponge (e.g. a 10 inch piece) and make a note of the weight per inch (or cm).
  2. Determine it's specific gravity (See the Help topic 'Measuring Specific Gravity of solids' in the Reference section)

Now create a new additive called 'Loofah' and enter the specific gravity you just measured. In the Notes section of MySupplies, enter a note to say what the weight per inch (or cm) is. Or better still, make a little table showing the weight of the various lengths you use in recipes.

When you purchase Loofah, either calculate the weight using the notes in MySupplies, or just weigh the piece you purchased and record the quantity in ounces (or grams). Based on your cost, SoapMaker will record a unit cost in $ per ounce or gr.

When you use Loofah in a recipe, either weigh the piece, or calculate the weight based on the length and enter the quantity in ounces or grams. The recipe's weight and volume will be more accurate than if you used the 'packaging' option.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I include eggs in recipes?

A:   If you don't care about the added weight or volume caused by including eggs in your recipes, you could just treat them as packaging items. However, if you want to have accurate weight and volume calculation in soap recipes, treat them as additives (the effect on lye calculation will be negligible).

Rather than weigh the egg (minus shell) each time you use it, pick a typical egg and weigh that after breaking it. Make a note of this weight. (If you use the yolk and white separately, it's a bit more complicated.)

Assuming you use the whole egg, start by defining an additive in MySupplies called 'Egg'. The specific gravity is 1.03. For convenience, use the NOTES area to remember how much one egg weighs.

Now when you record a purchase, record a carton of a dozen eggs as 12 containers (i.e. egg shells) with a container SIZE equal to whatever you weighed a single egg after breaking it. Your egg stock in MySupplies will now show the total weight of the eggs (minus shells), and the unit cost.

In a recipe, include 'Egg' as an additive, and enter the weight of one egg multiplied by the number of eggs.

If you separate yolks and whites, you can use the same approach except create two additive names, etc.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page




Inventory management

Q:   Why does an ingredient's unit cost not match what I paid for it?

A:   The unit cost of an ingredient shown in MySupplies, and used to calculate recipe costs, is based on your most recent purchase of that ingredient.

If this cost does not match what you paid, there are several possible reasons. Check the Purchase History for that ingredient to see:

  • If the purchase you recall is not the most recent one.
  • Whether you may have made an error when recording the latest purchase - if so, you can select it in the Supply Orders Report and edit it to correct the error.
  • If you recorded the purchase using volume units (e.g. ml or fl oz). If so, it is important to have set that ingredient's specific gravity (SG) correctly because internally SoapMaker always saves unit cost as cost per gram, even if you choose to record or display it in volume units. If the SG is wrong, the conversion from the volume units to grams will be wrong, and so will the unit cost.

    To correct this, you must set the SG correctly in MySupplies, then open the purchase order for editing and save it (without changing anything). This will correct the saved unit cost for the affected ingredient.

For more information on specific gravity, see your users manual Reference section.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Why do the lists in MySupplies show only dashes in the In Stock and Value columns?

A:   These columns are not used if you have the Lite edition, since there is no inventory management. You can turn on these features by purchasing an upgrade to the Professional edition.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I change MySupplies to show the units I use in recipes?

When I add a new purchase to my stock I input the purchase in lbs because that's how I buy it. But my recipes use ounces. How do I change MySupplies to show ounces?

A:   MySupplies always tracks your ingredients inventory using the units in which they were purchased. There's no need for you to change the units from lbs to ounces, just because you use the ingredient in ounces. SoapMaker will do the necessary conversions to figure the cost for your recipes and to adjust your inventory in fractions of a lb.

If you prefer, however, to track your stock in ounces rather than lbs, then when you record a new purchase you can specify, for example, 80 ounces instead of 5 lbs.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   When I Edit a purchase record to change the quantity, I'm unable to change the units...

A:   The units in a purchase record are based on the units you specified when first recording the purchase. The only way to change them is to record a new purchase and delete the old purchase record.

Also see the previous question...

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I record the price of an ingredient I bought on sale while remembering my regular price?

A:   SoapMaker saves each purchase in the Purchase History for that ingredient or supply item. So you can see how much you bought and what you paid for it. However, the unit cost used in calculating recipe and product costs is always based on the most recent purchase, even though the stock being used to make batches is still from a lot purchased earlier.

So if you bought an ingredient at a one-time special price, and do not want this price to be reflected in all recipes and new batches using that ingredient, you may want to define a new ingredient name for this special purchase, and create special copies of any recipes that will use it.

When the special ingredient is all used, the recipes referring to it can be deleted or moved to the Archive group. If you delete them, you can also delete the special ingredient from MySupplies, otherwise you might want to create a category for one-time special ingredients.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Why does the cost/bar shown on a recipe differ from the same recipe's batch cost/bar?

A:   When you "make a batch", the number of bars made is intitally calculated from the bar size specified in the recipe. However, you can then specify exactly how many bars you make, and SoapMaker will re-calculate the cost/bar.

Also, the product costs are calculated differently from recipe costs... see the question below...

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Why does the total cost shown on a recipe form differ from the cost of batches made with that recipe?

A:   Recipe costs are always based on the most recent purchase of each ingredient (your 'current market value'). When you record a batch, however, the total cost is calculated from the actual cost paid for each ingredient lot used to make the batch. By default, SoapMaker takes stock from the oldest purchase records with stock remaining, but you can change this in the NEW BATCH dialog by using the EDIT LOTS command.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   When first setting up my inventory, how can I record batches made before SoapMaker?

A:   The HELP topic Initial Setup in the Inventory Management section provides set-by-step instructions for setting up your inventory of supplies and products.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Is there a way to copy my SoapMaker record of purchases and sales to a spreadsheet program?

A:   You can export the contents of MySupplies and MyProducts as CSV (character-separated-variable) files for importing into spreadsheet or accounting programs. With MySupplies or MyProducts as the front-most window, choose Export...as CSV under the File menu.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   When I buy more stock, should I enter the new price right away, or wait until I use up the old stock?

A:   It may help to understand how SoapMaker calculates the unit cost of each ingredient...

When you record a new purchase, the total Quantity in stock becomes the newly purchased quantity plus what was already in stock. The unit cost is calculated from the new price. The total Value becomes the new unit cost multiplied by the total quantity in stock - this reflects your stock value at current prices.

It's your choice whether to use up your old stock (at the old costs) before entering the new purchase, or to enter it now and have your recipes (and future batches) immediately reflect the new unit cost as soon as they are updated.

Note that batches already saved reflect the costs at the time they were made. If you repeat a batch, however, the new batch will reflect current costs if your recipe has been updated.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I buy supplies in bulk, and then resell them. How can I track them in my inventory?

A:   See the HELP topic Reselling Supplies in the Q and A section.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   When I delete a batch, why can't I re-use the batch number?

A:   Batch numbers are assigned automatically and can't be changed because this would affect the integrity of the database.

If you delete or cancel the most recent batch, the number will be re-used. However, if you delete an earlier batch, you cannot re-use the number.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How do I handle different local sales tax rates when I sell at different venues?

A:   You can define different Tax Groups for different regions. When you record sales, select the appropriate tax group.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   Why does the total of products sold in the Sales History report does not match the total gone in MyProducts?

A:   The Sales History is derived from your saved invoices, while the quantity gone shown in MyProducts is just the difference between bars made and stock left.

So if you have edited the stock left in MyProducts, or used the Remove Stock feature, the total gone may not match the totals in the Sales History.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How can I account for products which I give away, use myself, or waste because of flaws?

A:   Click the HELP button on the main SoapMaker toolbar, and choose the topic Accounting for Stock Removal.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How can I sell and track gift baskets?

A:   Under your SoapMaker HELP menu, choose:
 - Frequently Asked Questions
    - Products
      - How do I sell packages of products, or combinations of different products?


KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page




Hot Tips

Q:   I make one large batch of soap base, then split it into smaller batches to add different scents and additives. How do I record this?

A:   Create one recipe with just base oils for the large batch, then make resized copies for each of the smaller batches, add the desired scents and other additives to each, and save them with appropriate names. Use the large recipe as a guide when making the soap, but use the Make Batch command with each of the individual smaller recipes to actually record the batches made.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   How can I give a customer free shipping, but still record the shipping cost for my records?

A:   When creating the invoice, include the shipping cost, but enter a customer discount to match it. (Note: Since Release 3.4.1 you can enter the actual amount of the discount instead of the percentage.)

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I purchased a blend of oils - how can I determine the properties?

A:   If you purchased a blend of base oils which are already in SoapMaker's database of more than 80 oils, you can easily determine the properties of the blend so that recipe lye quantities will be calculated correctly, and the predicted soap qualities on the graph will be accurate.

There are two ways to do this - if you have the Professional edition, you can use the Blends feature to create a temporary custom blend with the same constituent oils and proportions as your purchased blend, then copy the properties of the temporary blend. Or you can calculate the purchased blend properties manually using the properties of the constituent oils. Following are step-by-step instructions for each method.

We will use the example of a blend of 60% Olive oil and 40% Canola - let's call the blend 'CanOlive'.

Using the Blends feature (Pro edition)

  1. On the Blends tab of MySupplies, click the NEW button to open a new blend formula. Enter the two base oils 'Olive' and 'Canola', and set the percentages to 60 for Olive and 40 for Canola. Enter any quantity for the total, then save the blend as 'temp'. You will not be keeping this, as you do not actually make this blend yourself.
  2. On the Oils tab of MySupplies, click the NEW button to create your new purchased blend item - call it 'CanOlive'. The Oil Properties window will open.
  3. At the bottom of the Oil Properties window under 'Copy properties from:' , select the temporary blend 'temp' that you just created. Click the Copy Properties button.
  4. Save the properties for CanOlive and close the Oil Properties window.
  5. Now you can select the 'temp' oil blend and delete it.

Manual calculation of blend properties

  1. On the Oils tab of MySupplies, select 'Olive' and click the Properties button. Write down the SAP, Specific Gravity, Iodine, and all the Fatty Acid values, or copy them into a spreadsheet.
  2. Select 'Canola' and capture its properties in the same way.
  3. For this example where 'CanOlive' is 60% Olive and 40% Canola, calculate the SAP value of the blend like this:

      CanOlive SAP = (0.6 X Olive SAP) + (0.4 X Canola SAP)

  4. Calculate all the other properties in the same way.
  5. On the Oils tab of MySupplies, click the NEW button to create your new purchased blend item - call it 'CanOlive'.
  6. In the Oil Properties window for CanOlive, enter all the calculated properties and click SAVE.

Now that you have your new blend's oil properties, you can see how its relative qualities compare with other oils by selecting Compare Oil Qualities under the main Tools menu.

You can adapt the above procedures for any combination of two or more base oils.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page




Error messages

Q:   I get a warning message when I try to download or install SoapMaker.

A:   Windows defender, or your virus protection software may simply be warning that the program you are about to download or install is not recognized as a well-known application. (Of course SoapMaker is well-known by people in the soap business, but this is a small market so there are not millions of downloads.)

If you are using Windows Defender, when you try to run the downloaded SoapMaker installer you may see a message saying... 'Windows prevented an unathorized app from starting!'
If you see this message, click the More Info link and then click Run Anyway.

Alternatively, you can disable Defender temporarily as follows:
Click on Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender.
Toggle the switch below 'Real-time protection' to the Off position. Now you should be able to download and install SoapMaker.

If you use Symantec's Norton security software, its 'reputation' system may not recognize SoapMaker as a 'well-known' application. It is safe to install, and you can correct the 'false positive' situation as explained in this link...
How to bypass Symantec’s WS.Reputation.1 System.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I just purchased SoapMaker, but when I try to register it says my registration number is not valid. What do I do?

A:   The most likely reasons for your registration number not being accepted are:

  • You may have typed the letter "O" instead of the number "zero", or vice-versa
  • You have entered your name differently from when you purchased SoapMaker.

If you still have problems, submit a problem report at Contact us....

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I downloaded SoapMaker, but when I try to install it I get an error. What should I do?

A:   The installer file may have been corrupted during download. Try downloading again. If you are using accelerator software, it may help to turn it off first. Or, try using a different browser, such as FireFox.

Make sure you are logged in to your computer using the Administrator account. It may also help to right-click the SM3installer and choose 'Run as Administrator' from the pop-up menu.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I'm unable to backup my database to an external medium (CD, DVD, Flash drive, etc.)...

A:   In order to backup to a CD or DVD, you must have a drive capable of writing, and a writeable disc.

If you cannot save the backup to the external media directly from within the SoapMaker program, save it to your desktop instead, then drag the file onto the writeable media (or use a CD/DVD writing utility).

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I got an error message saying SoapMaker has encountered an error. What should I do?

A:   Report the error by submitting a problem report at Contact us...
Explain what you were doing at the time the error occurred, and copy the contents of the error log.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   I got a system error message. What should I do?

A:   Report the error by submitting a problem report at Contact us...
Explain what you were doing at the time the error occurred, and provide the contents of the error message. Tell us whether the error is repeatable or not.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page

Q:   A message says I have missing Blend formulas - how can I recover?

A:   Prior to version 3.4.1, it was possible for a new blended ingredient to reference the wrong formula, or to lose its formula altogether. In the latter case, you may see an error message saying The following blended ingredient(s) do not have matching Blend Formulas: followed by one or more ingredient names.

To correct this you will need to delete any blended oils or additives which do not have a matching Blend formula. (NOTE: if an ingredient has been used in recipes, you will first have to delete the recipe, or modify it temporarily to not include the ingredient you are about to delete.)

To correct the problem, follow these steps:

  1. Make a list of the problem blends included in the error message
  2. In MySupplies, select the first blended ingredient that needs to be deleted. Click the Recipes... button on the toolbar to see a list of any recipes using that ingredient.
  3. If any recipes are listed, either delete them, or double-click to open each one and modify it to not include the problem blend.
  4. Delete the problem blended ingredient
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each problem blend
  6. Repair your database by choosing the File menu command Database/Compact and Repair Database

Now you can re-create your blends, and then correct any recipes you changed temporarily to avoid using them. If you had previously made any of the problem blends, you will need to make them again, and then audit your stocklist items to adjust quantities to match your actual stock.

If you have any questionss or problems, please use the contact us page.

KnowledgeBase index     Top of Page




















Home   Features   Guided Tour   Testimonials

Purchase   Upgrade   Gift Coupon   Redeem coupon   How to Install or Uninstall SoapMaker

Update   Support   KnowledgeBase   Contact   SoapMaker 2.x support

Wholesale   Partners   Other links   Extras   About us

Website Terms of Service   License Agreement   Our Privacy Policy