Do you know how to make soap? This is one of our regular activities at St. Benito Menni Hospital, one of the centres that Sisters Hospitallers have in Ghana. It is a laborious process, that takes quite a lot of time and one in which many of our patient s and staff are involved. Below, we explain how we make it.
Before starting we need a few ingredients. Among them are: vegetable oil, coconut oil or palm kernel oil, caustic soda, soda ash, sodium silicate, perfume, colour and water.
Next comes the preparation process, and as we mentioned before, it takes time. Let’s look at it step by step.
- We have to soak 1kg of caustic soda in 4 litres of water for 48 hours.
- Also, we need to soak 1kg of soda ash in 4 litres of water for 48 hours in a different basin.
- After 48 hours, we continue working on it. Now we measure 8 litres of oil into a basin.
- We mix a small quantity of colour with the oil.
- Next, we add ¼ litres of silicate and 1/8 litres of perfume and stir it very well.
- We add the fermented caustic soda and stir.
- Next, we add the fermented soda ash and continue stirring.
- Finally, we pour the mixture into a mould and leave it to settle for 8 hours. Then, we cut the soap to the desired shape.
We leave the finished product for two weeks before using it. We use the soap we make ourselves and we sell it too. It is a good way for our patients to develop new skills and learn a new way to earn some money.