OJAppS  Vol.4 No.8 , July 2014
Assessment of the Physicochemical Properties of Selected Commercial Soaps Manufactured and Sold in Kenya
Soap is sodium or potassium salt of fatty acid produced by saponification reaction. Soap is used on a day to day basis by households. The physicochemical properties of soaps determine their quality and hence determine their efficiency and their cleansing properties. It remains obscure the quality of the soaps that are sold in the local markets in Kenya and thus the need to assess them. Eight commercial washing soaps were analyzed for Matter insoluble in alcohol, moisture content, total fat matter, free caustic alkalinity, Percentage chloride, pH and Total alkali according to documented methods of analysis. Values of matter insoluble in alcohol ranged between 6.22% to 61.80%, moisture content ranged between 10.91% to 22.69%, total fat matter ranged between 22.64% to 70.51%, free caustic alkali ranged between 0.00% to 0.06%, percentage chloride ranged between 0.07% to 1.01%, pH ranged between 10.63 to 11.71 and total alkali ranged between 0.00% to 0.99%. This study showed that the free caustic alkalinity of all the analyzed soap samples were below the KEBS set limits hence no adverse effects on the cloth or skin, and the pH values for all analyzed soaps were within KEBS limits.

Cite this paper
Vivian, O. , Nathan, O. , Osano, A. , Mesopirr, L. and Omwoyo, W. (2014) Assessment of the Physicochemical Properties of Selected Commercial Soaps Manufactured and Sold in Kenya. Open Journal of Applied Sciences, 4, 433-440. doi: 10.4236/ojapps.2014.48040.
[1]   Chalmers, L. and Bathe, P. (1978) Chemical Specialist, Domestic and Industrial. 2nd Edition, George Godwin, UK, 1-15.

[2]   Kirk-Othman (1963) Detergency, Soap and Surfactants. Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. Interscience, New York.

[3]   Ainie, K., Hamirin, K. and Peang-Kean, L. (1996) Chemical and Physical Characteristics of Soap Made from Distilled Fatty Acids of Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil. Journal of American Oil Chemists’ Society, 73, 105-108.

[4]   Shoge, M. (2011) Quality of Soaps Using Different Oil Blends. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology Research, 1, 29-34.

[5]   Viorica, P., Alina, S. and Simona, D. (2011) Quality Control and Evaluation of Certain Properties for Soap Made in Romania. Journal of Scientific Study and Research, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Food Industry, 12, 257-261.

[6]   Roila, A., Salmiah, A. and Razmah, G. (2001) Properties of Sodium Soap Derived from Palm-Based Dihydroxystearic Acid. Journal of Oil Palm Research, 1, 33-38.

[7]   American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) (1997) Official and Recommended Practices of the AOCS. 7th Edition, AOCS Press Publication, Champaign.

[8]   Milwidsky, B.M and Gabriel, D.M. (1994) Detergent Analysis: A Handbook for Cost-Effective Quality Control. Micelle Press, London, 160-161.

[9]   Onyegbado, C.O., Lyagba, E.T. and Offor, O.J. (2002) Solid Soap Production Using Plantain Peels Ash as Source of Alkali. Journal of Applied Science and Environmental Management, 3, 73-77.

[10]   Ogunsuyi, O. and Akinnawo, C. (2012) Quality Assessment of Soaps Produced from Palm Bunch Ash-Derived Alkali And Coconut Oil. Journal of Applied Science and Environmental Management, 16, 363-366.

[11]   Kuntom, A., Ahmad, I., Kifli, M. and Shariff, Z.M. (1999) Chemical and Physical Characteristics of Soap Made from Distilled Fatty Acids of Palm Oil and Palm-Kernel Oil. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 2, 325-329.

[12]   Osuji, C.N., Akunna, T.O. and Ahaotu, E.O. (2013) Use of Palm Oil Sludge in Toilet Soap Production. International Journal of Applied Sciences and Engineering, 1, 73-78.

[13]   Mak-Mensah, E. and Firempong, C. (2011) Chemical Characterization of Toilet Soap Prepared from Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) Seed Oil. Asian Journal of Plant Science and Research, 1, 1-7.

[14]   Hui, H.Y. (1996) Soap. In: Bailey’s Industrial Oil and Fat Products, John Wiley and Sons Inc, New York, 93.

[15]   Beetseh, C. and Anza, M. (2013) Chemical Characterization of Black Soap (Chahul Mtse) Made by Using Cassava Peels Ashes (Alkali Base) and Palm Oil in North Central Zone of Nigeria. Journal of Chemical Characteristics of Local Black Soap, 3, 82-93.

[16]   Eke, U.B., Dosumu, O.O., Oladipo, E. and Agunbiade, F. (2004) Analysis of Locally Produced Soap Using Sheabutter oil (SBO) Blended with Palm-Kernel Oil (PKO). Nigerian Journal of Science, 38 19-24.

[17]   Onyekwere, C. (1996) Cassava Peels Ash: An Alternative Source of Alkali in Soap Production. BEng Thesis, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Port-Harcourt, Port-Harcourt, 1-33.

[18]   Taiwo, A., Oluwadare, I., Shobo, A. and Amolegbe, S. (2008) Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Soap. Scientific Research Essay, 3, 515-517.

[19]   Warra, A., Wawata, I., Gunu, S. and Atiku, F. (2011) Soap Preparation from Soxhlet Extracted Nigerian Cotton Seed Oil. Pelagia Research Library, 2, 617-623.

[20]   Oyedele, A.O. (2002) The Skin Tolerance of Shea Fat Employed as Excipient in Topical Preparations. Nigerian Journal of Natural products and Medicine, 66, 26-29.

[21]   Tan, Y.A., Ong, S.H., Berger, K., Oon, H. and Poh, B. (1985) A Study of the Cause of Rapid Colour Development of Heated Refined Palm Oil. Journal of American Oil Chemical Society, 62, 999-1006.

[22]   Kaoru, T. (1998) Surface Activity: Principles Phenomena and Application. Academic Press, San Diego, 21-22.