As a soapmaker, keeping track of your product is essential in controlling quality, consistency, and safety. Writing a comprehensive batch record is a critical part of this process.
In this blog post, we will guide you through each step of writing a batch record for soap and show you some examples of batch records for soap products, giving you with the knowledge and skill to be able to create your own.
What is a batch record?
A batch record is a master document that records every detail of each batch of soap you make - it’s essentially you recording everything you did and used to make the product.
A good soap batch record will cover the entire process, including ingredients, quantities, timing of each step, and any deviations from the standard procedure.
Why is batch recordkeeping important for soapmakers?
Along with creating a standard operating procedure for your soapmaking business, batch recordkeeping is crucial for soapmakers because it allows you to maintain consistency in your products, troubleshoot any issues that may arise, and ensure compliance with regulations and standards.
By keeping accurate batch records, you can easily track and identify any problems or variations in your soap-making process, allowing you to make necessary adjustments for future batches. This helps to maintain the quality and consistency of your products, which is crucial for customer satisfaction and building a reputable brand.
Additionally, accurate batch records are essential for regulatory compliance. In the event of an inspection or audit, you can easily present detailed batch records to demonstrate that your soap-making process follows all necessary guidelines and standards.
Components of a Batch Record
Let’s now delve into the core elements that make up a batch record for soap production. These components are integral to your documentation and will serve as a comprehensive guide every time you make a batch of soap. Understanding and accurately documenting each of these components will ensure that you maintain the highest level of quality and consistency in your soap production.
- Product Information: This section includes the name and description of the product, batch number, and date of production.
- Ingredients: A detailed list of all ingredients used in the batch, including their sources and quantities.
- Equipment and Tools: This section lists all equipment and tools used in the process, such as mixing bowls, thermometers, and containers.
- Manufacturing Process: The step-by-step procedure for making the soap, including temperatures, mixing times, and any other relevant details (tip: creating SOPs for each of your processes and linking them to batch records can be a great way to maintain good reusable and maintainable records).
- Quality Control: This section documents quality control tests performed during the production process, such as pH testing and visual inspections.
- Packaging and Labeling: Information on how the product should be packaged and labeled, ensuring compliance with regulations.
- Deviations: Any deviations from the standard procedure, including the reason for deviation and any corrective actions taken.
- Signatures: The batch record should be signed or initialled by all individuals involved in the production process, verifying that all steps were followed accurately.
Best Practices for Writing a Batch Record
- Use clear and concise language to ensure easy understanding.
- Record information in real-time to avoid forgetting important details.
- Be detailed and thorough in documenting the entire process, including any deviations or variations.
- Use a logical and consistent format for each batch record to ensure uniformity.
- Keep all batch records organized and easily accessible for future reference.
How to create logical soapmaking batch numbers
Creating a logical numbering system for your batch records is essential for keeping track of your products. Here are some tips for creating a logical soapmaking batch number:
- Use a combination of letters and numbers: This can help you easily identify the product, variation, or batch type (i.e. LY001, LY002 etc).
- Incorporate date/time information: Adding the production date and time in the batch number can help you keep track of the age and freshness of your products.
- Consider product codes: Assigning a unique code to each type of soap can help you quickly identify which batch record belongs to which product (i.e. Lavender Oatmeal Soap might be “LOS” whereas Rose Garden Soap might be “RGS”).
Soap Batch Record Example
Let’s now look at a very example of what a batch record could look like for a batch of lavender soap.
Batch Number: Batch #001 Product: Lavender Soap - Small (SKU: LAV003) Expected Batch Size: 6 units Actual Batch Size: 5 units Curing time: 4-6 weeks
|Unit of Measure
|Tropical Oils Inc.
|Tropical Oils Inc.
|Tropical Oils Inc.
|Ultramarine Violet Colour
|The Soapmaker Source
- Soap pot: Model 123, Serial Number 456
- Immersion blender: Model XYZ, Serial Number 789
- Measure out 30 oz of coconut oil and 15 oz of olive oil into soap pot.
- Heat oils on stovetop until they reach a temperature of 100°F.
- Measure out 7 oz of sodium hydroxide and mix with 16 oz of water in a separate container.
- Slowly add the lye mixture to the oils, stirring continuously.
- Use immersion blender to mix until soap reaches a light trace.
- Add 2 oz of lavender essential oil and mix well.
- Pour mixture into mold and let sit for 24 hours before unmolding and cutting into bars.
Testing/Inspection: pH test conducted, result: 8.5 - within acceptable range
Deviations from Standard Procedure: None
Person Responsible: John Doe (Signed)
As you can see here, a soapmaking batch record template like this provides a clear, concise, and comprehensive record of the entire soap-making process. Adjust the fields and sections as necessary to suit your particular process and needs.
Creating a Master Batch Template
Once you have created a couple of batch records for your soap products, you’ll want to start looking at creating a master batch template for each of your products.
Having a master template for your batch record can save you time and improve accuracy. The template should contain all the necessary information required for each batch. Having a master template means you only need to make minor adjustments for each new batch, reducing the risk of missed information and errors.
Using software to create batch records for your soap products
Using software for creating batch records can streamline the process, reduce errors, and save time. Spreadsheets can serve as a practical initial solution for managing your soap production batch records.
Excel, for instance, is a widely-used tool that offers not only data entry, but also robust data manipulation and analysis capabilities.
You can create a template within a spreadsheet that aligns with your production process, adjusting it as necessary for each batch. This approach allows for a high degree of customization and provides an easily accessible digital record of your production history. The use of formulas can automate calculations, reducing time and minimizing errors. However, as your business scales, you might find the limitations of spreadsheets becoming apparent.
Managing large volumes of data, maintaining data integrity and ensuring data security can become increasingly challenging. Spreadsheet software lacks the specialized features offered by dedicated batch record software, so while it may serve as an excellent starting solution, it’s worth considering more specialized tools as your business grows.
Craftybase is an excellent solution for creating batch records for your soap business. This soapmaking inventory and batch management software is specifically designed for in-house manufacturers, providing essential tools and features that make your batch record keeping a breeze.
With Craftybase, you can streamline your soap production process, manage your inventory more efficiently, and ensure that you’re maintaining compliance with regulations.
Craftybase offers customizable bill of material templates, allowing you to create detailed batch records that suit your specific needs. Its automated calculations eliminate errors and reduce the time you spend on record keeping. The software also offers real-time ingredient tracking to help you manage your inventory accurately and efficiently, and it provides batch and lot tracking to help you maintain quality control.
In addition, Craftybase integrates seamlessly with popular marketplaces like Etsy, Shopify, Wix and Faire, making it a great all-in-one solution.
Why wait? Upgrade your batch record process today with Craftybase. Click here to start your free trial now and discover how Craftybase can make batch record keeping easier and more efficient for your soap-making business.
Writing a comprehensive batch record is essential for any soapmaker to maintain quality, consistency, and safety. Following simple steps such as listing all the necessary information, choosing a suitable format, creating a master template, and maintaining detailed documentation will help you produce an accurate batch record.
Continually reviewing and updating the record will improve the quality of future batches. By following these simple steps, you can create an effective batch record that will ensure success with every new batch of soap.