Soap is the salt of a fatty acid. This salt is the product of the combination of an acid and alkali and it is different from the type of salt we eat.
The acid used in soap making is known as fatty acid, while the alkali is generally sodium hydroxide or caustic soda.
Saponification is the process of making soap, when the fatty acid is mixed with the alkali it produces a tablet of salt and glycerine which is the soap.
How soap cleanses
When soap combines with water it acts as a surfactant, The surfactant has water soluble and oil soluble parts. Due to this property, soap molecules can surround grease or dirt particles and bring them into the water to be washed away.
Why you should make your own soap
Glycerine is a bye product of soap making and it’s function is to soothe and clean without irritation.
Commercially made soap are made in a cost effective way, making this type of soaps able to clean but hash on the hand and skin because it lacks glycerine.
Making your own soap helps to regularise the soap making ingredients to your advantage.
Soap making ingredients
Basic materials used for soap making are fat and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) with the addition of essential oils and fragrances to personalize your soap.
Fat can be animal or plant fat. Fat of cow, goat, buffalo is ok. Suitable fat from plants include the various types of cooking oil such as
Olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, sher butter, sunflower oil etc.
Colouring ingredients include;
Fragrance ingredients include;
Other ingredients for health benefit includes
and many more.
To add moisturizer to soap you can add glycerine. Some glycerine is already produced in the saponification process.
Beeswax is an ingredient to to harden the soap, salt can also be added to hasten it.
Borax and sugar are added to give the soap bubbles.
Types of soap
These soaps are made for children. They are mild on the children’s skin.
Strong scented soaps
As the name implies, they are small sized soaps used in hotels, motels, guest houses by guests in the bathroom. They can be taken home by the guests.
These soaps are special soaps that beautify the skin by removing wrinkles, spots, makes the skin clearer and so on.
These soaps are designed to treat all kinds of skin infections, such as acne, pimples, prickly heat, eczema and so on.
These are soaps containing glycerine. These types of soaps are very gentle on the skin.
A special type of soap that feels better against your skin when compared to other soaps.
As the name implies, these types of soap come in liquid form. As with solid bar soaps, some are suitable for bathing, others for washing clothes and others for washing dishes.