Hard soaps are made by boiling oils or
fats with a lye of caustic soda. In soft soaps the lye is potash. Resin is used in yellow
soaps, as it saves fat. Silicate of soda is now frequently used instead; it gives a white
soap, which has no offensive smell, and has not the stickiness of resin soap. Prentiss'
Washing and Scouring Solution is pure silicate of soda. Besides refuse fat, the palm and
cocoa-nut oils are largely used as a basis for soap. Castile soap is made from olive oil,
and is mottled by iron.
Add 3 galls. of rain or other soft water to 1 lb. of saponified or concentrated lye; boil
it and put into it 4 lbs. of tallow or soap-fat. When the solution becomes clear, add 12
galls. more of water. It is ready for use when cold.
Cut the soap into thin shavings, and heat it with enough water until liquefied. Let it
cool to 135° Fahr., and add the coloring matter and perfumes.
To 1 cwt. of the best hard curd soap add 20 of oz. oil of bitter almonds, or essence of
Mirban (p. 291).
Put into a copper vessel, placed in boiling water, 20 lbs. of white curd soap and 30 lbs.
of olive oil soap, both cut into thin shavings; add 5 lbs. of soft water, or rosewater;
keep the heat below boiling until the soap is uniformly liquified, and then add 12 oz. of
finely-sifted vermillion, or enough to give the required color. Withdraw from the fire
and, when sufficiently cool, add 3 1/2 oz. otto of roses, 1/2 oz. oil of cloves, 1/2 oz.
oil of cinnamon, and 2 1/2 oz. oil of bergamot. For cheap soap use less perfume.
White curd soap, 1 1/2 lbs.; Windsor soap, 1/2 lb. Cut into shavings and liquefy as before
directed, then add 4 oz. of honey, and keep it melted until most of the water is
evaporated. Perfume with any of the essential oils.
Are made by beating up soaps, liquefied as before directed, so as to incorporate a certain
quantity of air.
Are made by dissolving white soap in alcohol and evaporating. By the use of a still most
of the alcohol may be recovered. They are made round by moulding with a drinkingglass, and
then are known as wash-balls.
Cut the soap into fine shavings, dry, and powder it. Dissolve in a mixture of equal parts
of alcohol and water by the aid of a water-bath. When the greater part of the alcohol has
been evaporated, add a corresponding quantity of glycerine.
White tallow scraps, 20 lbs.; essence of bergamot, 1 oz.; carvi, 6 drs.; cloves, 4 drs.;
thyme, 1/2 oz.
Saponaceous Cream of Almonds (Creme d' Amandes ameres.)
The preparation sold under this name is a potash soft soap, made with lard and perfumed
with essential oil of almonds. It has a beautiful pearly appearance, and makes an
excellent lather with a brush, and has met with an extensive demand as a shavingsoap,
especially in Paris. It is prepared thus: Take of fine clarified lard, 7 lbs.; potash lye,
containing about 26 per cent. of caustic potash, 3 lbs. 12 oz.; rectified spirit, 2 oz.;
essential oil of almonds, 2 drs. Melt the lard in a porcelain vessel, by a salt-water bath
or a steam-heat under 15 lbs. pressure, then run in the lye very slowly, agitating
continually from right to left during the whole time, when about half the lye is run in
the mixture begins to curdle; it will, however, finally become so firm and compact that it
cannot be stirred, if the operation is successful. The soap is now finished, but is not
pearly; it will, however, assume that appearance by long trituration in a mortar,
gradually adding the alcohol, in which is previously dissolved the perfume.