Soap may be defined as a chemical compound or mixture of chemical compounds resulting from the interaction of fatty acids or fatty glycerides with a metal radical (or organic base). Soap may also be described as any water-soluble salt of those fatty acids which contain eight or more carbon atoms. The metals commonly used in soap making are sodium and potassium, which produce water-soluble soaps that are used for laundry and cleaning purposes (Kuntom et al. 1994). The qualities of soap are determined by the amount and composition of the component fatty acids in the starting oil. Blends of oils can be used in both the hot and cold soap production methods. Vegetable oil blends could be obtained by mixing different vegetable oils such as the mixture of coconut oil, palm kernel oil, groundnut oil and shea butter in different proportions. Kuntom et al. (1996), produced soaps of desirable quality by blending various fatty acids of palm oil (PO) and palm kernel oil (PKO) and the quality of the soap produced is comparable to the quality of commercially available soaps.
This research work involves using various blends of Neem Oil, Castor Oil and palm kernel oil (PKO) to prepare soap and analyzing the soaps so produced.
1.1: RESEARCH PROBLEM STATEMENTS
The production of quality soaps at cheaper rate has been a hitch to many soap producers in Nigeria; this has led to the production of soaps with poor qualities and high cost of production. Blending various vegetable oils of different qualities and prices for soap production could go a long way in the production of quality soaps for laundry, bathing and general cleaning purposes, still at minimized cost of production.
1.2: AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this research work is to study the quality of soap produced from blended vegetable oils. The objectives of this work are:
· To produce soap that can be used on both hard and soft water.
· To produce soap of high quality that can be used for both bathing and laundry.
· To investigate the properties of soap produced from blends of oils.
· To produce soap of high cleaning action that also lathers well in water.
· To produce soap at a cheaper rate from blends of cheap vegetable oils.
Blends of vegetable oils is essentially good in the production of quality and cheap multipurpose soaps that are firm to touch, with high cleaning action and formation of excellent lather in both hard and soft waters.
1.4: SCOPE OF RESEARCH WORK
The scope of this work covers the procurement of various vegetable oils and other essential soap materials from various Markets in Zaria, using the materials in carrying out the research and testing / analyzing the results obtained. This work will embrace quality and cost effectiveness.
Unavailability of blender specially designed for soap production to intermix the lye and fat so that trace stage can be reached in minutes instead of hours.