INVESTIGATION OF QUALITATIVE PARAMETERS IN SOAP PRODUCED FROM BLEND OF NEEM AND CASTOR OIL
Soap is a chemical compound formed by interaction of fatty acids and metal radicals. Different types of vegetable oils have been found to be good candidates for soap production due to their saponifiable nature. However, edible oils are often expensive to use for soap production due to competing demand between commercial and domestic buyers. So, in this work, blend of nonedible neem and castor oils were used at different proportions to produce various soap samples. The foregoing was achieved via the two well-known processes of soap production, that is; the hot and cold processes. The work investigated the parameters that influence the quality of soap and determined their optimum values using various blends of the oils. Six samples were produced, and their properties analyzed and compared with two commercial samples to determine a blend with the most desirable qualities. The yield, foamability, pH, hardness and cleansing power of the produced soap samples were determined. It was found that the blend of 60 ml neem oil and 40 ml castor oil was the best with a yield of 70.4%, foamability of 11.8 cm, pH of 10.42 and a high cleansing power. The results were found to be consistent with those of the two commercial samples used as controls.