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Creating soap solution

  1. May 20, 2013 #1
    I want to start a home project to creating different soap solutions. Dish washing detergent, carpet cleaning solution, and car cleaning soap are my main focuses. I have no idea where to start as my internet research is getting no where.

    What is soap made of and how can I experiment with different solutions?
    What kind of tools will be needed?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2013 #2


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  4. May 21, 2013 #3


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    The process is called saponification, using oil and base ( lye ). Lye can be either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide depending on the recipee and type of soap desired.

    It is not as simple as it looks to make a suitable soap, since you are dealing with a caustic substance ( lye ). Depending upon your process you may be heating the oil of fat so do that in a safe way.

    Some people make this into a hobby soap making business.
  5. May 24, 2013 #4
    I have completed a little research and it seems that soap is made from a base+oil+water. Creating a carpet cleaner is more of creating a shampoo. Base (lye) and and a oil seems to be the way you create hand soaps or dish washing soaps. Which is very useful, figuring out the chemical compounds in a carpet cleaning solution seem to be allot more complex. I really want to start creating many of these types of chemicals but cannot find a starting point.
  6. May 24, 2013 #5
    When carpet cleaning companies create solutions does it all derive from the basic recipe of base+oil+water=soap?
  7. May 28, 2013 #6


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    Almost never. Simple soaps based on fats and oils are rarely used for the purposes you are interested in. Most detergents are alkyl or aryl sulfonates or are polyethoxylated phenols or alcohols.

    A good place to start looking is McCutcheon's" Functional Materials" and "Emulsifiers and Detergents".
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