A: There are two processes used in soap making, i.e. hot process as well as cold process. Commercial soaps are generally manufactured using a hot process technique in which the oils and alkali are heated together to cause saponification (a method where the oils and alkali bind). During the process, the soap products and the glycerin separate. In large commercial soapmaking processes, the glycerin is taken out and sold, and the remaining mixture of soap is then formed into bars or other shapes and sizes. As the soap mixture is heated for such as long time, the oils in the hot process can go sour. So to counter souring, a complete array of chemicals are added in the hot process soaps to increase their shelf life and keep them fresher for a long time.
Handmade soap manufacturers generally use the cold process technique of soap production in which the oils are boiled just to the melting temperature and then mixed with an alkali to cause saponification. The mixture is then poured into moulds, cut and cooled off and then cured for about 4 to 5 weeks.
Soaps manufactured using the cold process technique retain glycerin and do not require any chemical preservatives, as the oil is not boiled.
Q:2 Why don't commercial soap manufacturers make cold processed soaps?
A: The shelf life of cold processed soaps is smaller and the price is higher because of the glycerin content, essential oils and the expensive natural organic ingredients.
Q:3 What is saponification?
A: Saponification is a chemical process, which takes place when oil is mixed with an alkali (like sodium hydroxide), water & oils or butters. In other words, the oil and alkali bind together to produce soap. When adequate quantities of these products are used at suitable temperature, all of the alkali and oil are consumed by the reaction thereby leaving only the pure soap.
Q:4 Are antibacterial hand and body wash products are safe for usage?
A: Antibacterial wash and cleaning products have been used safely by the consumers for over 30 years. The safety and effectiveness of these products is governed and regulated by government authorities.
Q:5 Is it possible that the increasing use of antibacterial soaps and cleaning products could lead to "superbugs", which are resistant to antibiotic drugs?
A: No. For over 30 years in which antibacterial soaps and cleaning products have been used by consumers and medical professionals, there has not been any evidence that the usage of these products contributing to antibiotic resistance.
Q:6 What are those clear soaps found in stores?
A: Clear soaps are generally made most of the time by adding alcohol in the soap mixture. This alcohol can be one, which is obtained from corn grain alcohol to petroleum rubbing alcohol. Although most consumers think of clear soap as natural glycerin soap, they are usually made with a variety of foaming agents, wetting formulas and alcohol along with a standard mixture of water, oils and alkali. The "feel", which many people get from the clear soaps is due to the synthetic ingredients, detergents & foaming agents.
Q:7 What is the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils?
A: Fragrance oils are a blend of synthetic chemicals that are made to give a specific scent to a product. Essential oils are natural oils, which are extracted from plants, roots, flowers, leaves, bark, seeds, and citrus fruits. No synthetic chemicals are involved and present in essential oils. High quality organic soaps never use fragrance oils and are usually made using quality essential oils for a quality natural finished product.
Q:8 What is the difference between Liquid and Powder detergents?
A: Liquid detergents are generally better in removing and cleaning greasy stains, while powdered detergents have found to be better at removing dirt, mud and other ground soils.
Q:9 Can laundry be washed in cold water?
A: In order to achieve good cleaning performance with any detergent water needs to be at least 550 . It means in winter, people need to add some hot water in the cleaning solution to attain right temperature for superior cleaning.
Q:10 Are detergents with Bleach safe for usage on colored clothes?
A: Detergent powders that use oxygen based bleach are safe to use on colored clothing, as they do not affect the colors or finish of the fabric. Oxygen bleach also helps in removing tough stains.
Q:11 Which household cleaning products are the most toxic?
A: The most hazardous and toxic cleaning products are oven cleaners, corrosive drain cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners as they can cause skin or eye burns and may potentially cause permanent eye problem. These products can be by the word Danger on the package and the word "corrosive." Majority of drain cleaners, toilet bowls cleaners and oven cleaners fall into this category, but alternatives do exist and are worth looking for.
Q:12 How do dishwash detergents are different from other cleaning products?
A: A variety of choices and products are available in the market to clean effectively. Practically, any soap or detergent can be used for hand dishwashing except an automatic dishwashing detergent. However, the usage of soap for dishwash cleaning has almost become extinct and various all-purpose cleaners or laundry detergents do not deliver optimum results. These products may leave spots and streaks, may not wholly dissolve, and some may even discolor certain metals with soaking. Hence a well-formulated dishwashing detergent product should be preferred for cleaning dishes.
Q:13 What are the applications that dishwashing products are not recommended for use?
A: A dishwash cleaning products should not be used for cleaning of
- Carpet and rug stains
- Bathing or shampooing
- Cleaning glass or windows
Q:14 How does a disinfectant differ from a disinfectant cleaner or antibacterial cleaner?
A: Disinfectants contain anti microbial ingredients, which kill and destroy germs if the surfaces are free from heavy soil. Disinfectant or antibacterial cleaners contain ingredients, which can remove soil, as well as antimicrobial agents that kill germs. Household bleach products disinfect when used as per the directions given on the package.