Liquid soap production is one of the small scale businesses in Nigeria that is quite lucrative. One of the advantages of liquid soap making is that the cost of production is minimal compared to the profit generated from the business.
In this post, we take a look at how to make liquid soap in Nigeria prior to start your business.
How to Make Liquid Soap in Nigeria
The items you need to start production include:
- A plastic bowl
- Hand gloves
- Nose mask
- Stirring rod
You will also need the following ingredients in these quantities:
- Water (20 ltrs)
- Nitrosol or Antisol or C.M.S (1 kg)
- Caustic soda or soda ash (½ kg)
- Sulphonic acid (3 liters)
- Texapon (1 liter)
- Sodium laurate sulphate (5 – 6 tbsp)
- Sodium Tripolyphosphate (5 – 6 tbsp)
- Colorant (As desired)
- Perfume (As desired)
We have highlighted the functions of these ingredients below:
Water is the main solvent needed for the dissolution of the various ingredients and during the fermentation phase. It is an essential component in the production of liquid soap.
This is the thickening agent use in the liquid soap production process. It comes as a whitish substance and has the texture of powdered milk. The difference between Nitrosol and Antisol is that the former dissolves immediately in water while the latter takes a longer time.
It is whitish crystalline substance resembles granulated sugar. It forms a strong base when dissolved in water and can be corrosive if in contact with the skin. It is an essential ingredient in the soap making process. It is the stain/dirt removing agent in the liquid soap.
Soda Ash (Sodium carbonate)
This is also a whitish substance but with much coarse grains, it serves to regulate the concentration of the caustic soda which ordinarily is corrosive to the skin by neutralizing it.
SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate)
The SLS resembles rice grains and it’s whitish in colour. It is a surfactant which helps to lower the surface tension of the aqueous solution. It is the main active foaming agent.
Texapon is a pasty and jellylike substance that serves as a foaming agent and foaming booster. Many liquid soap producers don’t use Texapon and SLS together in same production because they perform the same function.
This is a dark looking liquid substance that boosts the performance of the SLS. It is also a foaming and cleaning agent. It is different from sulphuric acid which is a very strong acid and can be very corrosive.
STPP (Sodium Tripolyphosphate)
STPP is a sodium salt of triphosphoric acid. It has the appearance of white crystal powder and looks very much like a table salt. It is a strong cleaning agent too and helps the SLS to work on its full potential.
As the name implies, this ingredient makes the liquid soap foam well.
This is a preservative agent. It should be used if the soap will be stored for a long time like six months. This is useful for those producing for commercial purposes.
The colour comes in the form of powder and should be diluted with water before adding to the soap mixture. The colour adds beauty to the finished product. Most producers go with green colour.
Glycerine helps your skin to remain hydrated and soft after using the soap.
This gives your soap the attractive fragrance. There are different options such as lemon, pineapple, ambipur. lavender or strawberry fragrance.
This vitamin offers a great deal of protection to the skin and prevents wrinkles.
Soap making requires a great deal of patience especially during stirring in order to ensure the chemical(s) added at each stage dissolves properly before adding the next one.
When you’re working with smaller volume production such as 8 litres or 10 litres, you should follow the same process but work on your ratios. The vendors selling these chemicals usually sell them already measured according to the volume of liquid soap to be produced.
You will need to tell them how much volume you want to produce and they will give you the quantity of chemicals you require. It is also advisable to start with small volume and grow big later.
Here are the steps to take:
- Dissolve caustic soda in one liter of water and allow to cool
- In a separate container pour in sulphonic acid, add perfume, texapon and then add 3 to 4 liters of water and stir very well for some minutes
- Dissolve the SLS with 2 tin milk cups of water
- Dissolve the STPP with 2 tin milk cups of water
- Dissolve 1 kg of nitrosol into 20 liters of water and stir. It dissolves almost immediately. If you’re using C.M.C you’ll have to wait for 2 days to dissolve properly
- Add the already dissolved texapon, sulphonic acid and, perfume into the dissolved nitrosol or C.M.C and stir very well
- Pour in dissolved caustic soda or soda ash into the dissolved solution of nitrosol or C.M.C and stir
- Add dissolved STPP and SLS and stir
- Add formalin for preservation
- Dissolved colorant into the water, mix well then add to the solution and stir thoroughly
- If you feel it is too thick add a little water and stir
- Leave the solution for some hours.
- Package and sell
Qualities of a Good Liquid Soap
- The soap is expected to foam very well
- The fragrance should be attractive
- The colour must be appealing
- The soap must be durable
- It shouldn’t cause any form of irritation to the skin
Precautions & Safety Tips
- Wear rubber gloves
- Use nose mask
- Carry out production in a well-ventilated environment with good illumination
- In case of chemical splash to the face or delicate part of the body, wash very well with plenty water and see a physician as soon as you can.
- Keep all chemicals out of reach of children.
- Never taste any chemical with the tongue.
- Wear your apron or other protective clothing before you commence production.