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With very few ingredients including palm oil, you can make a transparent soap on your own.  In chemistry, a soap is a water-soluble sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids. The process of soap-making usually starts with saponification – a process that produces soap, usually from fats and lye. Vegetable oils and animal fats are the main materials that are saponified. Soaps for cleaning are produced by treating vegetable or animal oils and fats with a strong base, such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide in an aqueous solution.

Soap paste

The first step in making soaps is saponification. 2.8g of sodium hydroxide is weighed and then added into 10 ml of water to create the alkaline solution. The solution is then stirred until it is fully dissolved. For the fatty acids, 10g of stearic acid and 7g of lauric acid are mixed together. The mixture is then heated while stirring until the mixture is all melted. While stirring the mixture, the previous sodium hydroxide solution is added and stirred until  it becomes a thick paste of soap.

Malaysian palm oil can also be used to make soaps as it contains fatty acids. For this process, 20g of Malaysian palm oil and 5g of potassium hydroxide are weighed. The potassium hydroxide is then added to 10ml of water and stirred to create the alkaline solution. Next, the potassium hydroxide solution is added into Malaysian Palm Oil to induce saponification. The mixture is then heated and stirred until it becomes a thick paste of soap.

Liquid soap

From the soap paste, we can make our own liquid soaps. Ethanol (alcohol) and glycerin are usually added to make liquid soaps. In soap preparation, we used fatty acid oil and alkaline solution in water. Since the oil and water do not mix, ethanol is able to dissolve partially in both the oil and the water and essentially allows better contact between both liquids. Meanwhile, glycerine acts as a humectant that absorbs water from the air and thus attracts moisture to your skin.

For the process of making liquid soaps, 5g of glycerine is added into the soap paste and stirred. 60ml of water is added into the mixture and then it is heated and stirred until it is partially dissolved. Next, 5g of ethanol is added into the mixture and stirred. The mixture is then put into a water bath and is left to cool to 50°C. After it has cooled, 0.5ml of perfume is added into the mixture for a wonderful scent. Colour is also added into the mixture for an appealing look.  The mixture is then adjusted to pH 10 with citric acid because soap is naturally alkaline with a pH of around 9-10. This pH helps to gently clean the skin. Finally, the liquid soap is ready and poured into a bottle container.

Transparent Soap

To make colourful transparent soaps, firstly you need to heat 100g of semi-finished transparent soap, and the soap is stirred throughout heating until it is all melted. Then, you can add the colour combination of your choice into the soap for its aesthetic value. You can even add your favourite perfume oil to give it a nice scent. The soap is then stirred until it is well-mixed. Next, the soap is poured into a mould of your choice, for example, one that has beautiful and cute shapes. Let it cool at room temperature until it dries and becomes beautiful transparent soaps.