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SoapMaker Support

If you have a problem or question about SoapMaker, please try the following:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of SoapMaker: 3.15.0
    (If not, click here to log in to your account and download it).
  2. Check your SoapMaker users manual under the Help menu for answers.
    You can type a word in the index, or use the search option. (If you prefer, you can download a PDF version of the manual)
  3. Check the Frequently Asked Questions below. There's a good chance your question has already been answered.
  4. If you still can't find an answer, use the Contact button at the bottom of this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a free trial available?

The SoapMaker FREE application includes examples and demonstrations of the PROFESSIONAL edition features. You can download it to use as a soap calculator, and to check out what the Pro edition offers.

Can I use SoapMaker on my tablet, Mac or Chromebook?

SoapMaker requires the full Windows operating system with support for legacy apps. If a tablet meets this requirement, SoapMaker should run fine. You may want to consider adding a mouse and keyboard. (Note: Tablets using the Windows RT version or Windows-S do not support legacy apps like SoapMaker.)

iPad and Android tablets, and Chromebook computers are not compatible with SoapMaker. But you can access SoapMaker on your PC from your tablet using software such as realVNC.

Mac users can run Windows on their mac using a solution such as:

IMPORTANT: Make sure you are running in the Windows environment before downloading SoapMaker, or it may not install correctly.

Many Mac users have purchased a cheap Windows computer just to run SoapMaker.

Is SoapMaker available in languages other than English? What about metric units and other currencies?

SoapMaker is only available in English.

You can use any units of weight or volume you wish, and they are converted automatically as required. For example, you could enter a liquid ingredient in milliliters, and have it converted to ounces.

SoapMaker uses whatever currency symbol your system is set to use.

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

(NOTE: If you are changing from a Windows computer to a Mac, please see the above topic: Can I use SoapMaker on my tablet, Mac or Chromebook?)

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). Or if you do not have a backup copy ready, and you still have access to your old computer, then:

  1. If you can open 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 onto 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 which is normally located in this location:
    C:\Users\<your name>\AppData\Roaming
    Look for: SoapMakerData\SM3data.sdb.

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, but will have to recreate all your data...

2. Install SoapMaker on your new computer
  1. If you own SoapMaker LITE or PROFESSIONAL, Log in to your account and download the latest SoapMaker version to your new computer.
    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!
  2. If you just have the FREE edition, go to the SoapMaker FREE page and click the Download button.
  3. Locate the downloaded SM3installer file, right-click it and 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. If you own SoapMaker LITE or PROFESSIONAL, you will need to enter your name and registration number which you noted in step 2a. (If you just have the FREE edition, this is not necessary.)

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.

NOTE: You cannot re-install SoapMaker simply by copying the program file from the previous location. You must run the SoapMaker installer to install the program as described above.

My computer was repaired (or I've had system problems). How do I re-install SoapMaker

Follow the steps below to restore your SoapMaker:

  1. If you own SoapMaker LITE or PROFESSIONAL, then:
    1. Log in to your account and download the latest version. (If you have forgotten your login password, you can request a new one. Or if you have forgotten or changed your login email, you can use the contact button below to request assistance.)
    2. Once logged in, you will see your registered name and registration number which will be needed to run SoapMaker after it has been installed.
    3. Click the Download button, and save the SM3installer file to your hard drive.

    Or if you just have the FREE edition, then go to the SoapMaker FREE page and click the Download button.

  2. If the previous version of SoapMaker is still installed but was causing errors, un-install it by using Control Panel/Programs/Uninstall. (If it is no longer installed, or you just want to update to a newer version, you can skip this step.)
  3. Locate the downloaded SM3installer and right-click it - from the pop-up menu, choose Run as administrator to start the installation.
  4. When installation is complete, open SoapMaker. If requested, enter your name and registration number as noted in step 1b.
  5. If your data (recipes, supplies, etc.) are not showing, restore your latest backup copy using the Restore Data command under the File menu.

I get a warning message when I try to download or install the SoapMaker installer. What should I do?

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, just click the More Info link and then click Run Anyway.

If you failed to do this initially, follow these steps:

  1. right-click the SMinstaller icon and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  2. On the General tab, if there is a Security section at the bottom with a button labeled UNBLOCK, click this and then click OK.
  3. Right-click the installer icon again and choose Run as Administrator.

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

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. Or use a cloud storage feature such as Dropbox or Google Drive>. NOTE: If your database is shared, only one copy of SoapMaker can be running at a time!

How can I find my registration number and current version?

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 your account - your registration name and number are displayed there.

I previously used another calculator which shows different quantities for lye and water. Why is this?

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.

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.

Water amounts are not critical, and should be set to suit your process and any additives. As a starting value, SoapMaker suggests enough water to make a 30% lye solution (based on the un-discounted lye amount). If you already have a recipe that works from another calculator, simply adjust the water in SoapMaker to match using any of the three methods provided for specifying water quantity.

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

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. To make sure you know how to deal with SAP values, and to convert if necessary, please see the users manual topic Understanding SAP Values in the Reference section.

What blend of oils does SoapMaker use for Shortening properties?

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 custom 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.

Why aren't goats milk or Lanolin included in the base oils list?

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

You can define goats 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. Goats milk can be used to super-fat, or you can reduce the lye discount by one or two percent if you prefer.

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.

Can I change batch numbers?

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.

How do I un-install SoapMaker?

If you no longer want to keep SoapMaker on your computer, you can uninstall it by following these steps:

  1. Open your Windows Control Panel (Type 'Control Panel' in the Search bar at the bottom left of your screen, then click the Control Panel app icon.)
  2. Click the Programs and Features item
  3. Scroll down to find the SoapMaker item
  4. Right-click it and choose Uninstall from the pop-up menu

If desired, you can also delete the folder containing your database. If you have not used the Move/Share Database feature, your database is stored in this folder:

C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\SoapMakerData

How can I upgrade from the old SoapMaker version 2?

SoapMaker version 2.x is no longer supported. But you can purchase the latest version and then import your current database so you won't lose anything.

If your current database version is lower than 3.2 it will need to be updated before you can import it. To see your database version, open your current SoapMaker 2 and choose About SoapMaker under the HELP menu. See where it says Data ver X.X and check whether X.X is at least 3.2. If it is older than this, you can update it as follows:

  1. Save a backup copy of your database in a known location (e.g. in a folder on your desktop) using the Backup Data command. This way it will not affect your working database. The saved database file must be named SOAPDATA.MDB.
  2. Download the database patcher to the same folder...
    Download Database Patcher...
  3. Open the patcher to run it. 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.

After you have completed running the patcher to update your database file, you can then import the data into your new SoapMaker 3 - see the topic Importing your 2.x database in the new Users Manual for instructions.


If you still can't find an answer,

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