General Consideration of Raw Materials in Soap Making Process

Soap a commercial chemical product used for cleaning purpose, obtained from a simple chemical process. Making of soap is the best option for a small entrepreneur as a start. With simple considerations, regular cleaning soaps are manufactured with less number of equipment. Now in the market, we come across wide variety of soaps. Each classified for a particular purpose. Due to its demand for textile manufacturing, sanitation, food processing etc, it is a product with no loss business. For a consumer to select and use soap depends on its functional technique. Not all soaps are like or made in same way. Some general consideration can help to know and practice soap making.

Raw Materials in Soap Making Process:

Glycerides are the raw materials obtained from the natural substances that are hard oils with slow lathering property like whale oil, fish oil, tallow oil and lard oil. Some are quick lathering and hard oil like palm oil, coconut oil, and kernel oil. Finally soft oils like vegetable oil, cottonseed oil, soya bean oil and inedible olive oil. Rosin a faster lather-forming source of glycerides.

Caustic soda solution, flake or blocks are available with concentrations 90.32% NaOH, 92.9% NaOH or 95.48% NaOH as commercial grades 70o, 72o, 74o respectively. If the soap is meant for high foam formation than caustic potash of 18-20% concentration is enough.

Common salt or sodium chloride about 12.5gm per 100gm oil is used general and its function is for salting the soap out.

Fillers like pearl ash, starch with 2%, Glauber salt or talc with 5-10% are used as weight providers of soap.
Binding materials improve the cleaning action of soap. Sodium silicate of 5% concentration, soda ash, trisodium phosphate or borax acts as good binding materials. Soda ash of 58o grade is used commonly or 1-2% borax is preferred.

Perfume and fixatives of perfume provide the necessary fragrance to soap. Sandalwood oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil, lavender oil, cinnamon oil and bergamot oil are used as natural perfumes. Synthetic perfumes like benzyl acetate, phenyl ethyl alcohol, terpineol, and benzoate give the smell of jasmine, rose, lilac, and musk respectively.

Colouring matter like methyl violet, Bismark Brown, rhodamine, zinc oxide, chrome green, cadmium yellow, ultramarine, eosin, and vermilion are added to give a pleasant color of violet, brown, red, white, green, yellow, blue, pink and rose shade respectively.

Disinfectants are the extracted added from the neem derivatives or natural source plant extracts are used. Some of the compounds like sulfur a preventer of dandruff and pimples, mercuric iodide or hexachlorophene are used as germicides.