CLEAPSS Supporting practical science and technology
PP086 - Making soap the microscale way
Soap making is an ancient process, going back at least 4000 years. It is an example of saponification of an ester group, which is sometimes included in GCSE, A-level and BTEC courses. The conventional procedure can be hazardous as concentrated sodium hydroxide solution is heated with oil, which can spit. Some recipes use highly flammable ethanol.