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Soap Manufacture: Instructions And Information On How To Make Soap Using Glycerol by Jo Alelsto

Sun, Oct 4, 2009

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Soap making is one of the oldest industries dating as far back as 2800 BC in among the ancient Babylonians where a soap-like substance was found among the ruins. The Romans, on the other hand, were the ones who popularized bathing, and as a result, the use of soap for personal hygiene. The earliest soaps were made from a mixture of tallow, or animal fat, and wooden ashes.

Today, however, soap is made from a mixture of oil (vegetable, animal, and glycerol), lye, and water. If you want to have a perfumed soap, you just add a certain amount of essential oil of your choice. You can also vary the color, texture and other properties of the soap according to the ratio of the ingredients.

Glycerol is produced as a result of the saponification and transesterification processes. The largest producer of glycerol is the biodiesel manufacturing industry. Glycerol is also known by its alternative names, glycerine and glycerin. It is an inexpensive resource which you can make use as a means to start up your very own soap making business; not only that, you can also contribute to the zero waste objective of the biodiesel industry.

Soap making is easy but not that easy. There are still things to keep in mind if you want to produce the best glycerine soap.

The first step is to purify glycerine. One way to do this is to filter glycerine; you can also heat and liquefy it to strain impurities. Raw glycerin may contain residual methanol and by heating the solution, you can also retrieve the methanol by setting up a simple condensing unit to trap the methanol and reuse it.

The ratio of the ingredients is dependent on your discretion but a 250 mL lye to 1000 mL of water ratio produces soap with good cleansing and lathering abilities. Finding the ideal recipe for your soap can be a slightly tricky affair since its end properties largely depend on the glycerin to lye ratio.

Mix the heated solution for 10 to 15 minutes with constant temperature. Remember that the trick to coming up with a great glycerine soap is to keep the temperature low and constant. A mushy or beaded look will result if the heat is a little too much.

Here is one thing you have to keep in mind: always add lye to water and never the other way around. Adding water to lye triggers a dangerous chemical reaction. So always add lye to water.

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If you want to add fragrances and colors, you can do so after adding lye into the mixture. Just stir your preferred fragrance and color, then pour into molds and cool. Plastic containers are the best choice for molds. You can also use containers with a large bottom area surface if you are planning on making bars which you can cut up after cooling.

You should not cover the container completely; leave a small opening for the soap to breathe. You should also allow the soap to cure for a period of four to seven days before using.

Glycerol is indeed a very useful substance. As a matter of fact, its importance is not only limited to its use in soap making. After extensive purification processes to get rid of unwanted residual impurities such as methanol, glycerol in its pure form is used in many applications such as solvent, sweetener, antifreeze agent, moisturizing agent, emulsifier, and stabilizer among other countless uses.

Enjoy your soap making experience, perfect it and you can turn it into a home business that can help you earn extra income. Make your contribution to a greener planet by making biodiesel production a zero waste industry.

About The Author

Jo is a writer for ‘ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd’ (http://www.reagent.co.uk), an established UK based chemical manufacturer that makes, carries and distributes an enormous range of premium chemicals. If your company is seeking superior quality chemical product for example Glycerol or has other industrial chemical needs for uses like chemical syntheses, analytical purposes and cleaning then have a look at ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd.

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