Recipe scaling is something I get a reasonable amount of questions about, so I thought I’d write out a how-to on how to scale any recipe so you can confidently make lots (or very little) of the things you love. I’ve also created a downloadable spreadsheet that you can input your data into, and it’ll do all the math for you (score!). Grab that, and the instructions to use it, at the end of the post.

### General Principles

- Your numbers are unlikely to be pretty, so a scale that is accurate to one or two decimal points is a good investment.
- The ratios of the ingredients to one another
*must*remain the same. - Yes, you
*must scale everything*. Imagine if you scaled up a recipe for a chocolate cake but didn’t increase the amount of sugar or the amount of oil! I’m often asked if the preservative or emulsifier are exempt from scaling: they are not! Nothing is. - Working in weight is essential for accurate results. If you want to do something simple where precision isn’t imperative, like doubling a face mask recipe that’s in tablespoons and teaspoons, that’s generally fine, but if you’re working with a larger scaling factor, an emulsion, body butter, cosmetics, soap, or pretty much anything else—weight is a MUST.

### Step 1: If it isn’t in weights already, convert it to weights

Using grams or ounces, weigh out all the things in the amounts originally specified in the recipe (so if it’s 2 tbsp beeswax, weigh out 2 tbsp beeswax) and make note of all those weights. This applies to essential oils, too, but I know this can be hard if you don’t have a really accurate scale. If you have to, and you’re only scaling the recipe up or down by 1–3, you can get away with continuing to use drops, but if you’re getting to a point where you’re using 40+ drops of an essential oil, you really should be converting that to weights.

### Step 2: Convert those weights to percentages

Add up all the weights of all the ingredients to get your total recipe yield. Then, divide the weight of each ingredient by the total yield to get the percentage of each ingredient. Spreadsheets are super useful for this!

**Example:** If a recipe makes 70g, and has 13g of beeswax in it, divide 13/70. 13 ÷ 70 = 0.1857. So, the recipe is 18.57% beeswax.

### Step 3: Scale away!

Now that you have the percentages, you can scale the recipe to your heart’s desire—within the accuracy limits of your scale, at least. Trying to make a 3g batch if something with a scale only accurate to 1g is not going to work out particularly well! To scale, multiply the desired weight of the new batch size by the percentage that ingredient appears in that recipe.

**Example:** Let’s say we’re scaling the recipe with the beeswax from above, and instead of make 70g you want to make 30g. 30 × 0.1857 = 5.57. So, to make a 30g batch you’ll need 5.57g of beeswax.

## Here’s a helpful spreadsheet

Now that you’ve got the basics down, click here to download my scaling spreadsheet. I’ve used my Naked Lip Balm recipe as the example, so go check that out to see what’s what.

Here’s a rundown on how it works (click the image to see a full size version):

#### Column A

Enter the ingredient names in this column.

#### Column B

Enter the weights of the ingredients in this column; you can use grams or ounces, but you must use weight units. These amounts will add up to create the value in cell B13, which is the total weight of the final product.

#### Column C

This column calculates the percentage of each ingredient based on the total size of the recipe. Each of the values in this column are calculated by dividing the weight of the ingredient (10g for beeswax) by the total weight of the product (49.25g). So, for beeswax that’s 10/49.25 = 20.3%.

#### Columns D–F

These are our scaling columns. You can edit the values in cells D2, E2, and F2 to reflect the size of the batch you want to make, and the resulting values in the column below will automatically change.

What a fantastically generous resource! Thank you so much 😀

You’re welcome! I hope you find it super helpful 🙂

❤️❤️❤️❤️ Thank you ( math makes my head hurt)

You’re very welcome! Happy scaling 🙂

And the kids in my husband’s high school math classes are always moaning about why do they need to learn math…

Here’s a real life reason!

You did a great job of succinctly explaining percentage scaling.

I must admit I didn’t like maths much in junior high, but warmed to it in high school and am now quite fond of it (and spreadsheets!). Seventh grade me would be embarrassed, haha. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

very helpfull! thank you !

what about when recipe is in cups ,teaspoon etc ?

how i convert them in gr ? i find it dificult due to different US/cup ,,, Uk/cup .

That’s step 1: Using grams or ounces, weigh out all the things in the amounts originally specified in the recipe (so if it’s 2 tbsp beeswax, weigh out 2 tbsp beeswax) and make note of all those weights 🙂

thank you ! i just noticed that you mentioned ! <3

No worries, happy scaling!

OMGosh thank you for the spreadsheet! you’re the best!!!

Yay! Happy scaling 😀

Thank you for this!!! I tried scaling a lotion of yours because it was so thick!! But when I scaled to make enough for 7 4oz pump containers, the lotion was too thin. . The thickness is what gives the lotion it’s niche.

I hope it helps—happy scaling!

Oh no. I just made a lotion base from one of your recipes and simply x 4 every ingredient.

Example….

169 g water x 4

I did not convert to percentsges. Is it going to turn out bad?

Nope, that should be ok! The benefit of percentages is that you can easily scale to any end size 🙂

This is good.

You know, when you double or triple the amount of oatmeal or rice, for instance, the water measure goes down. Why? Its never explained. Its just a mystery. But I think I should learn your way because so far, everyone else is loving it and maybe they know something I don’t. Like how to do things properly.

Nice work, Marie.

Huh; I’ve never made rice or oatmeal that way, I always just scale in proportion 😛 Maybe it’s because less water (proportionately) would be lost to evaporation? I have no idea. Strange indeed.

Hello,

Sorry to reply to an old post, just found this because I’m having issues with this scale up and google suggested your post. I’m having the same issue as Gnome Beard. Made a great thick lotion at 4oz, scaled up to 16oz and it turned out runny 🙁 I double checked my calcs in your spreadsheet and it’s correct. What I find is that the water % needs to be reduced when scaling up. What amount by I’m not sure. I tried scaling up a cuticle balm (oil only) recipe and it worked great. As soon as water is involved, it’s not the same consistency anymore. Any suggestions? I hate wasting product 🙁

When you make your lotion are you topping up your water phase to replace the water lost before combining the phases? If not, a smaller batch would lose a larger percentage of the water to evaporation than a larger batch would, so that would likely explain it 🙂

Thank you so much. This is so helpful.

You’re very welcome! 🙂

Thank you so much I needed this! I am a big fan thank you for all your posts<3 You have taught me so much You are my go to DIY bible.

I’m so glad it was useful! Happy making 🙂

what kind of scale is pictured? You spoke of one you liked for weighing in grams and I can’t find the article. I prefer using grams when dealing with small amounts and want a scale for that. I have a good scale already but it doesn’t register odd numbers, goes from 2 to 4 etc in grams.

Those two are from Lotion Crafter 🙂

Thanks

The link to Lotion Crafter for the scales does not work. I really need to find a scale that registers odd numbers but have not had any luck. I’ve purchased 2 on Amazon but neither works as I need them to. How can I find scales that will register grams in odd numbers?

Any scale that measures in increments of 1g will measure odd numbers, while ones that work in 2g increments will not. Amazon has many, but you do need to read the description of the scale carefully. I’ve updated this page with a list of scales I am currently using, which should help 🙂