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Do you know about different type of soap?

You can find different type of soap in market. Differences between soaps are due to their usage. They are salts of fatty acids so they have a general formula (RCO2_)nMn+.R can be a alkyl,M can be a metal and n is charge of cation. We can categorize soaps based on identity of Mn+.When soap manufacturers use Na or K for M.the product will be toilet soaps which is used for hand washing .If they use Mg2 ,Ca2+ the product will be metallic soap. When Li is used istead of M in soap formula, the result will be lithium soap that is used in high-performance greases.

  • Soaps are mandatory for your home. We need soaps for our personal hygiene. When we say “soap“, there is an image of toilet soap not anything else but we have a variety kind of soap.
  • Soaps are not only for personal cleaning but they ca be used as a cleaning agent for any kind of purpose from washing your car to washing your clothe.
  • Kitchen soaps

Kitchen soap can be categorized into two other types: cleansers and detergents.

Cleanser is made to remove heavy oil or solid particles stains. Cleanser is made with mild abrasives in many different types, depending on abrasives they contained.

Detergents are made to clean clothes; surfaces from tough grease .They produce foam in which solid dirt particle will be released. We can divide dish detergents into two categories: machine dishwasher detergents and hand washing detergents.


  • Laundry soaps

They are designed to remove grease, solid particles and organic things that attached to clothes. They can be produced in liquid, powder and gel forms.


  • Cleaning foams

They can be found in different types of formulas. They are formulated to eliminate grease and oil. Cleaning soaps unlike cleansers don’t have harsh abrasives.

  • Personal soaps

This kind of soap produced in variety of forms based on customer needs. One type of personal soaps in anti-bacterial soap which is made for preventing bacteria and viruses from spreading . You can find a body and hair soap which can be used for body and hair cleaning.

  • Novelty soaps

They are formulated for the kid’s skin .This kind of soap manufacture in different shapes like a rubber ducky or the soap -on- the- rope and different colors from green to blue. They can be used for children bathing because children will be amused by them.


  • Perfumed soap

They are like other soap but they have some extra ingredient and perfume.


  • Guest soap

They have special shape like flower, sea shell and round. Their size is usually smaller then bar soaps. They are designed to be used bt the guest in main bathroom or guest bathroom.


  • Beauty soap

This kind of soaps is contained of interesting fragrances and formula for a variety of skin types. They contain glycerin or special oil blends.


  • Medicated soap

Medicated soaps and original soaps have common formula except that, medicated soap feature some ingredient like antiseptic and disinfectant to kill bacteria.


  • Glycerin soaps

This kind of soap is produced during the process of soap making. In fact, they are by-products of the chemical reactions during the process of soap making .By using Glycerin soap; you can feel moister in your skin. This substance, glycerin, is removed by the soap manufacturer to sell for making other product like cosmetic or moisturizer.


  • Transparent soap

They are formulated in such a different way. Transparent soap is produced by hot process method. They contain some alcohol which alter the process and makes this kind of soap transparent .Some soap manufacturer use sugar syrup(sugar that is in distilled water) instead of alcohol ,but it’s not as effective as alcohol. If you think that, all transparent soaps are glycerin soaps, you are wrong. Some of the soap makers use ready-made soap base to produce transparent soap.


  • Liquid soap

Real liquid soap is difficult to produce. It’s made by hot process method .A lot of liquid soaps in market are just detergent. Some different lye is added during the making process such as potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide and more water is added as a result soap will be liquid. Process of making liquid soaps is more difficult than the soap bar process.

We can differentiate soaps by their usage.

  • Kitchen soap

This kind of soap made for the use in kitchen .We usually uses them for dish-washing.

  • Laundry soap

They are designed to remove dirt and grease from clothes. They can be used by tourists and travelers during their travel because they are so light.

  • Non-toilet soap

Soaps usually can be used in lubricating greases and thickeners formula. Greases are emulsion of lithium soap, calcium soap and mineral oil. There is much other metallic soap that contains aluminum, sodium or mixture of both. These kind of soap can be used as thickeners so they can increase the viscosity of oils. In the past, people made lubricating grease by adding more lime to olive oil.

We can find metal soaps in oil paint formulation that is used by modern artists .Metal soaps are manufactured by neutralization of fatty acids that are purified.

  • Toilet soap

Toilet soap refers to soaps that we usually use in our routine cleaning and washing. It is used for household and personal cleaning. When this kind of soap is used for cleaning, it can separate grime from any surface that is dirty. When we see toilet soap very closely, as a molecule, it has two ends, one can be attracted to water and the other can be attracted to fat or oil .This feature makes grime and dirt molecules soluble, which means they can be washed away with water very easily.


Aggregation of soap subunits will make a cell-like structure that is called micelle. Micelle has two parts, exterior and interior .The exterior of the micelle is hydrophilic which is attracted to water and the other part, lipophilic is attracted to oils.

Process of producing toilet soaps

By saponification of fats or triglycerides, toilet soaps will be produced. Triglycerides are actually vegetables and animal oils. Triglycerides, at first, hydrolyze into salts of fatty acids, then, an alkaline solution such as lye or sodium hydroxide cause saponification. After that, glycerol is liberated, it depends on the manufacturer whether glycerin remains in soap product or be separated. If it remains in soap product, it will be a soften agent.

The type of alkali metal that is used in soap product will determine the kind of soap .For example, Sodium soaps derive from sodium hydroxide, potassium soaps prepared from potassium hydroxide that are softer or even liquid. In the past, potassium hydroxide was obtained from ashes of bracken or other palnts .Lithium soaps are used in greases because they are so hard.

For producing toilet soaps, triglycerides are derived from some natural oils like coconut, olive or palm oils and also tallow .Trimesters of fatty acids and glycerin have a chemical name that is ‘triglyceride”. Tallow can be found easier than any other animal fats. By using different triglyceride, we will have different soaps. If we want a milder soap, we can use seed oil or by using pure olive oil, we will have a soap that is called Castile soap or Marseille soap which is reputed for its mildness. In soap making industry, sometimes Castile refers to some kind of soap from a mixture of oils that have high percentage of olive oil.

We will discuss some other categories of soaps:

Types of soap based on their usage:

  • Toilet soaps and bathing soaps

We have laundry soaps, beauty soaps ,novelty soaps, guest soaps, dish soaps, medicated soaps(such as antibacterial soaps , antifungal soaps and medicated soaps that are used for skin problems)

This kind of soap has a cosmetic soap. The terms “toilet soaps” and “bathing soaps” are usually used interchangeably but they aren’t same and there is difference between them. The difference between these two terms is because of their composition. Toilet soaps can clean better than bathing soap because it has more Total Fatty Material (TFM) in its component. Toilet soaps deliver a greater moisturizing effect because they have more TFM.Bathing soaps have lower TFM so based on cleaning purpose ,they will stand in the second position ,in compare to toilet soaps. They can be considered as entry-level soaps.


We can categorize toilet soaps in three different grades based on their TFM value:

  • Grade 1

Soaps with this grade contain 76 % TFM. They can be homogenized or high-grade milled soap or even a combination of them. Because of having high TFM,they can make an excellent lather. They produced in different colors and also are scented.

  • Grade 2

This kind of toilet soap contains approximately 70% TFM .Grade 2 soaps are plodded so they have a firm and smooth texture .They are produced in white ,also can be colored .Grad 2 has a good lathering property but they are not as good as grade 1. Majority of soaps that are available in the market are Grade 2 soap.

  • Grade 3

The TFM level of this kind of soap is low-about 60%.This kind of soap has the lowest lathering property among three kinds of toilet soaps. They have  a firm texture .They contain cresylic in their formula so they are in red .The cleaning power of grade 3 toilet soap is so low but they have a high quantity of fillers and additives.


Based on the usage ,we have the following categorize for toilet soaps:

  • Laundry soaps

They are produced in liquid, powder and gel forms .But as we know ,using natural substances like goat fat and wood ash was for past when these natural ingredients supplies were high but today because of high demand and low supplies ,soap manufacturers have to use synthetic substances in soaps so we can’t call them soaps ,they are detergents. In detergents ,there are surfactants ,surface active agents, which are in every laundry soaps. The composition of surfactants can be vary based on their brand.

Surfactants can help wash away dirt from your cloth. Surfactants have two ends, one attracted to water that is called hydrophilic, the other attached to dirt which is called hydrophobic, as a result ,dirt molecules can be washed away by water.

  • Beauty soaps

This kind of soaps is produces to be used on your face. They are manufactured in different types based on skin condition of costumer, so you can choose whatever kinds of beauty soaps which are suitable to your skin. They can reduce acne and dark spot on skin. They can bring about moisturizing and hydrating to skin.

According to FDA’s (Food and Drug Authority) regulation, a soap should be a real soap to be labeled as soap .In fact, soap is obtained from natural ingredients so many cleaning products that we see in the market aren’t soap but detergents. You can see that any soap manufacturers call their products “beauty bars” rather than “beauty soaps” .You can find beauty soaps in three different forms: bars, liquid washes and gels .Beauty soaps can be found in different color and compositions. Cleaning skin and removing bacteria si the common feature in all beauty soaps.

  • Novelty soaps

They forms are such attracting that children will be amused by them .They are in different shapes and colors ,such as bird, duck, car, etc. They are used in bathroom decoration ,also ,they can attract kids who aren’t fond of taking baths .Most of them are handmade and have a pleasant fragrance.

  • Guest soaps

Because of their shape and visualization  ,they can be used for guests. They are smaller than usual soaps. You can see this kind of soap in hotels ,but many want to have guest soap in their bathroom when they have a guest .There is no special feature or composition in this soap but they have a good shape .Guest soaps are round-shaped ,shell-shaped ,flower-shaped.

  • Dish soap

We can call them dish detergent or dish washing liquid too. They are produced to clean dishes .They have a strong chemicals in themselves so you shouldn’t use them in bare hands. Dish soaps have a higher amount of surfactants than the other kinds of soaps. They can easily remove any hard stains on dishes.

  • Non-toilet soaps
  • Glycerin soaps
  • Transparent soaps


We can classify different of soaps based on their form:

  • Hand-made soaps
  • Bar soaps
  • Liquid soaps

Soaps are categorized base on their ingredient too:

  • Milk soaps
  • Flavored soaps
  • Animal soaps
  • Luxury soaps
  • Perfumed soaps

We can categorize soaps based on how thy manufactured:

  • Melt and pour method
  • Hot press method and cold press method
  • Rebating or milling method





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