Liquid soap also known as liquid detergents are popularly known detergents used both domestically and industrially. It is used for washing clothes, kitchen utensils, cleaning the house, car wash, toilet washing, hand and body wash, shampoo, etc. It is popularly used in restaurants, eateries, laundry stores, hospitals, etc. Liquid soap is a necessity in every household just as washing is also a necessity.
Why venture into liquid soap production?
Apart from the fact that it is in high demand, the materials needed to make liquid soaps are readily available, the business can be started with a very small capital, as the raw materials are cheap to buy. Liquid soap is easy to produce and you can start the business from home and above all, most people like liquid soap because it dissolves fast in water and aids easier washing when compared to solid detergents. You can generate streams of income from liquid soap production.
There are many methods used in the production of liquid soaps. You can grind solid bar soap and use hot water to dissolve. After few days, it forms liquid soap. But when venturing into business, it is best to produce the soap from the scratch. It is expected that the soap should foam well, have sweet fragrance, attractive colouring, lasting foam and must not cause harm to the skin.
Equipments needed for the production of liquid soap
Equipments required for liquid soap production include:
1. Big mixing bowl
2. Wooden/steel spoon
3. Measuring bowl
4. Hand gloves
5. Nose mask
6. Slow cooker
Ingredients needed for the production of liquid soap
Ingredients required include:
1. Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP)
2. Soda ash
3. Sulphonic acid
5. Caustic soda
6. Nitrosol/Antisol/Carboxy methyl cellulose (C.M.C)
7. Sodium laurate sulphate (SLS)
9. Colorant and Perfume(optional)
Each of the chemicals has a specific function to perform in the soap production;
STPP: It appears in white crystal powder form. It serves as a cleaning and thicken agent. Also serves as a catalyst for SLS.
Texapon: It is a jelly- like substance which serves as foaming agent. It serves the same purpose with SLS. Hence, can be used together in production or use one and leave the other.
SLS: It is a whitish chemical that looks like rice grains. It lowers the surface tension of the aqueous solution and a foaming agent.
Nitrosol/Antisol/C.M.C: It is a whitish substance in charge of thickening the production. The only difference is that Antisol requires much time to dissolve in water than Nitrosol and C.M.C.
Caustic Soda: Looks like a granulated sugar. When dissolved in water, it forms a base which is very corrosive when in contact with the skin (in excess can peel the skin).It is in charge of stain/dirt removal.
Soda ash (sodium carbonate):This functions as a regulator. It regulate the concentration of caustic soda by neutralising it. It is also a cleaning agent.
Sulphonic acid: Do not mistake this for sulphuric acid. Sulphonic acid is a very strong acid and can be very corrosive. Sulphonic acid is a foaming and cleaning agent and alalso boost the performance of SLS in soap production.
Formalin: This is optional. It serves as a preservative agent, used if the soap is to be stored for a long time. For commercial purposes, it is advisable to use formalin. It can cause cancer if abused.
Colourant: This comes in powdered form. It gives a specific colour to the soap mixture, hence, enhancing it’s beauty and attractiveness.
Perfume: This gives the soap a sweet fragrance. There are different perfumes for liquid soap production. Look for sweet and attractive one.
Safety precautions for the production of liquid soap
1. The production should be carried out in a well ventilated environment.
2. Make use of the hand gloves, apron and nose mask for protection.
3. Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children and in case of chemical splash, wash with plenty of water and see a physician as soon as possible.
4. Lastly, do not just pour any ingredient into the mixture. Measure every ingredient including water to ensure they are in right proportions.
Experts selling the chemicals should have measured the exact amount of chemical for the quantity you wish to produce.
How to produce liquid soap for washing & cleaning
1. Dissolve caustic soda in a bowl A using the right quantity of water. Leave for 24 hours or over night.
2. Liquidify the soda ash in bowl B using water. Leave for 24 hours or overnight.
3. Dissolve the SLS in bowl C and leave for 24 hours or overnight.
4. Soften the STPP in bowl D just before production.
5. Mix the Sulphonic acid and Texapon together in bowl E and stir gently until mixture becomes homogeneous. It is an exothermic process (i.e gives out heat especially when properly done) so should be done in a well ventilated environment.
6. Dissolve Nitrosol or Antisol whichever you choose to use in bowl F just before production.
7. Colorant should be liquidify with a small quantity of water.
Ensure all the chemicals are properly dissolved before mixing together.
8. Pour the mixture in bowl E into a big mixing bowl G, add the mixture in bowl C and F and stir properly.
9. Add the dissolved caustic soda in bowl A to bowl G and stir carefully.
10. Add the dissolved STPP in bowl D and keep stirring.
11. If formalin is to be used, add it at this point and keep stirring.
12. Allow the lather formed by the mixture to disappear and then add your dissolved Colorant and perfume to the mixture and stir properly.
13. Water should be added gently while stirring the mixture until the desired thickness is attained.
When the above steps are properly followed, your liquid soap is ready for use and you can package them for sale. Although the liquid soap may not be clear immediately after production, you can wait for 24 hours to have a clear liquid soap.
How to produce liquid soap for body use
To produce liquid soap for body use like for bathing and hand wash which enriches the skin, the following are required:
1. Olive Oil
2. Coconut oil
3. Shea butter
4. Potassium hydroxide
5. Alkali solution.
1. Mix olive oil, coconut oil and Shea butter. Then add water.
2. Slowly heat the mixture until it is homogeneous.
3. Add the right quantity of alkali solution to the mixture.
4. Dissolve the potassium hydroxide and mix throughly with the above mixture.
5. Place the mixture in a water bath and stir continously. After 3 hours you have your cosmetic liquid soap.
How to go into large scale production of liquid soap
If you have a large capital and you intend starting a liquid soap production business in a big way, follow these steps:
1. Draft out your business plans.
2. Acquire the skills needed for production.
3. Get a space and the equipments.
4. Get a reliable suppliers of the chemicals required.
5. Register the company with the corporate affairs commission or any organization in charge of registering business in the country you intend to site your company.
6. Produce and distribute.
If you put in your best into the production and distribution of liquid soap, and you are consistent with the business, over time, you should succeed.
However, there are some things you need to do to succeed in this business.
There are various brands of liquid soaps in the market today. Therefore, do everything possible for your liquid soap to stand out by being creative. Uniqueness pays.
Create an attractive packaging for your liquid soap and your advertising should be continuous. You can meet and collaborate with events planners and managers so that they can ask thier clients to use your liquid soap as souvenirs in occasions like wedding, anniversaries, etc. This can serve as a very good way of advertising your products.
You can also strike deals with owners of supermarkets, shop owners at shopping malls, retail stores, hospitals, restaurants, etc. so that you can be their liquid soap supplier.
Do not forget to use all methods of marketing within your budget and capability including the use of social media and word of mouth business promotion.
There is always market for liquid soaps as it is one product that is always in use by households. Just be hardworking, focused and diligent then you should succeed in no distant time.
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About the writer:
This was written by Chiamaka Uduezue, content contributor 1 at MyAfribusiness.com. She is a graduate of Environmental Management and enjoys researching, learning new things, sharing knowledge with others and motivating people to succeed.
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