Bar soap production is simple and easy to do just like every other soap production. It does not need electric power nor very expensive machines. Soap making is generally a highly profitable and very fast selling product.This is a business that is extremely lucrative.
It offers reliable and constant revenue for businessmen and women who are producing and those who are marketing the soap either in wholesale or retail. Take yourself for instance how often do you go to a retail shop to buy soap? The statistics will explain better the prospect in bar soap production business.
Soap is a cleaning product that is made from natural substance, such as coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, palm kernel oil etc. It can be said to be a mixture of vegetable oil with caustic soda and soda ash.
Bar soaps are mostly used in bathing, washing of clothes, kitchen utensils etc. It is called bar soap because it is solid in form, you can actually hold it.
There are several methods of producing bar soaps, the commonest ones are:
- Melt and Pour Process: this is a very simple method of bar soap production. Here, already prepared pre-made soap is provided as a base and all that is required from you is to melt it and add ingredients of your choice then you pour the outcome into a mould
- Cold Process: this is the most complex of all the processes. What is required in this process is that you provide all the materials and formula for making the soap. After the production you allow the soap to cure for about 4-6 weeks. This is because no heat is applied to speed up the reaction. The period of waiting for the soap to bake is called saponification.
- Hot Process: this is just the same thing as cold process, the difference is just that heat is applied to speed up saponification process. Stir the mixture whenever you add ingredients then heat the batter( that which comes out as a result of the mixture). Place it on heat to drive out excess water.
- Soap rebatching: it is also called milled soap method. This method is very similar to melt and pour method the difference is that the base is your own mixture. You have to produce from cold or hot process before carving something out of soap rebatching. This is usually done to reuse unsuccessful soap batches or to preserve their healing properties and scents from the oil.
SOME TERMS USED IN BAR SOAP PRODUCTION
Builders and Supplement: builders are the materials that gives birth to soap. Supplement is the enhancer. The builder make sure the product are in place, the enhancer add values, quality and beauty to the product.
Saponification is the process of bringing oil and caustic soda together. Saponification takes place between 12-24hrs for curing this is because it is hand-made not machine-made. There is no heat applied to speed up the action so the product is allowed to cure naturally.
Curing: this is the point in which the soap has stayed enough and is ready for use.
REASONS FOR CURING IN BAR SOAP PRODUCTION
- Curing ensures that you have a good quality product.
- It makes the soap to be hard which in turn will make the product last longer.
- It also makes the soap to be mild on the skin when used.
- The soap leathers and foam when you allow it to cure.
- There is no traceable harm if you don’t cure your soap anyway.
Trace: this is the stage in which the mixture is well mixed and blended together. This is to say it is well stable and ready to be poured into the mould. The point in which the ingredients cannot be separated from each other.
READ ALSO: HOW TO START GERMICIDE PRODUCTION BUSINESS
It is important to know when the ingredients mixed has reach a trace point. When you remove the stirring rod and it leaves a sign at the top of the mixture then a trace is reached.. you can say it is a point you can design or form layers on top of the mixture. There are two kinds of trace the light and the heavy trace either of the two is good.
HOW MUCH IS NEEDED TO START BAR SOAP PRODUCTION BUSINESS
The amount to start bar soap production business depends on your capital, with #50,000 you can start the business. Get welders to produce locally manufactured mould and cutter for you. An artist can design a stamp for you for your label. It is better for you to start in a small-scale before accelerating to large-scale.
ITEMS NEEDED IN BAR SOAP PRODUCTION
Mixer, mould, cutting and stamping machines. others are; palm kernel oil (pko), caustic soda also known as Iye, soda ash, perfume, stirring rod to turn the mixture and water.
USING A SEMI BOILED METHOD
- Ingredients – caustic soda (Iye), soda ash, and oil, water: is for diluting the concentrates. Caustic soda and soda ash is the same measurement, it should be x3 of the oil used
- Put the measured oil in a bowl or mixer and apply heat enough to warm up the oil. If you don’t want to apply heat then shake the oil vigorously if it is in semi-solid form but if already in the solid form then you have to apply heat in other to melt it. But care must be taken in order not to over heat the oil to frying stage.
- Add the already diluted caustic soda into the bowl and stir very well. Always dilute the caustic soda with water before use. The water should be 3 times the quantity of caustic soda.
- Add the already dissolved soda ash into the mixture. It is the same process as that of caustic soda. Stir the mixture very well until a trace is reached. Cover the mixture for about 40 minutes for it to bake, apply perfume and stir.
- The outcome will be like pap, pour into the mould after placing nylon on it for easy removal and allow to stay for a day (24hrs minimum) before bringing out to cut.
- The end result will be a white coloured soap, allow the soap to stay for 3-6 weeks to cure. You can add colour to it if you want, this will be after adding perfume.
CHALLENGES OF BAR SOAP PRODUCTION
- Rejection of the product by consumers this maybe due to consumers inability to purchase the product or the quality of the soap does not meet acceptable standard.
- Product pricing: this is primarily driven by market and not the cost of production. This may be as a result of the prices of the same or similar products in the market.
- Place of purchase: if you are buying your products in a retail shop then the cost of production will be high and that will automatically affects the profit margin.
Any oil can be used in making soap, the ones that cannot be used are petroleum bi- products example diesel, fuel, kerosene etc. The type of oil used in producing soap can affect the quality of your soap, this is because every oil has its unique quality. Also more than one oil can be combined for use in bar soap production.
Take your products to open markets, shops, hotels, institutions, individuals etc. Before hitting the market do a sample test production for people around you to access the product and tell you the areas for improvement. Also find out what people complain about the ones that are already in the market and produce your own along that line.
Advertise your product and sell them online.
HOW TO START BAR SOAP PRODUCTION IN A LARGE SCALE
The amount to start bar soap production business on a large-scale would depend on the kind of equipment you have. But you will need from #2,000,000 and above.
THE EQUIPMENTS NEEDED FOR LARGE SCALE PRODUCTION
Boiler: this is where the mixing of the caustic soda and oil in the correct proportion is done to form the soap.
Crutcher/amalgamator: this is where the remaining ingredients apart from the mixed ones are blended into the soap. It is where the texture of the soap are refined. There is an inbuilt dryer in it that dries soap.
Cutting table: this is where the extruded soaps are cut into desired sizes.
Plodder: this is where the soap is molded into different shapes through extrusion which uses the die in the conical head. It has hopper at one end which the soap changes into. On the other end is the conical head which has the die (eyelet). The design of this die is the shape/design the soap comes out with.
Carton: this is where the soap are packed. A carton contains 100 tablets which is sold at the price of #1,800. Retailers sale each one for #50.
To print cartons you need a base, it looks like stencil, the price is #3,000. But it would cost you #70 to get a printed one.
To run bar soap production business successfully, you need a standby generator.
TIPS FOR BAR AOAP MAKING
- You can mix palm oil and palm kernel oil together. But you must blend the palm oil first with chemical because if you are using fire it would take time. Before mixing it with PKO this is to improve on the quality of the soap.
- Mixing oil will boost the quality example foaming ability. Coconut oil has the higher foaming ability but very expensive. The next foaming one is palm kernel oil.
- Adding alcohol to soap production makes the soap transparent. You can add the alcohol during boiling or crotching.
- The amount of water, oil and caustic soda and other additives used will determine the soap hardness.
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