The principle Behind Soap making

After this post, you will not lack what to incorporate into your soap to make it unique. A soap is simply a salt of fatty acid. The fatty acid here is your Oil. Remember oils are liquid on room temperature while fats are solids at room temperature so they are used interchangeably.

How is a soap form? A soap is formed when an alkali ( which may be  NaOH or KOH) also called lye reacts with a fatty acid ( any oil). This process in Chemistry is called Saponification.
From the above, we see that soap can be formed virtually with any oil, the only thing that changes is the proportion for each oil.

When Sodium Hydroxide is used ( Caustic soda) a hard soap is made, when Potassium Hydroxide is used a soft soap is made. Potassium Hydroxide ( caustic potash) can be gotten from burning woods a process used for  making  black soap. Potassium hydroxide is often used to make liquid soap, while sodium hydroxide is used to make bar soap. You notice the greasy nature of the palms when in comes in contact with caustic soda. This is so because the body has oil. Soap is trying to form but has limited oil which ends up digging into your skin.

Now, there are other ingredients one can add to increase the quality of soap but these two ingredients stands out as the key ingredients  for the formation of soap. That means, even you don’t put any other ingredients, soap will still form if this two ingredients are there. Invariably, if other ingredients are added without these two ingredients, you cannot have a soap especially the hard one.

Soda Ash also call sodium carbonate helps to soften water for laundry

How does soap cleanse? When used for cleaning, soap allows insoluble particles to become soluble in water, so they can then be rinsed away.

What is an Antiseptic Soap? An antiseptic soap is a soap that does not only cleanses the body but has chemical ingredient that slows or stop the growth of micoorganism in our body. Antiseptic is applied on living tissue whereas disinfectant are applied to non living tissue. That is just the difference between disinfectant and antiseptic.

From the above, we see that the principle behind soap making is saponification. In the next post i will dwell in depth on how to use saponification chart to calculate the proportion of lye to oil

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