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What is Soap and How is it Regulated?

What is Soap and How is it Regulated?

We know many products such as soap. The shower gel is soap, the stuff we wash our dishes with is soap, and even the detergent we clean our clothes with is often called soap. However, by definition, soap is not any of these!

According to the FDA soap is defined as “composed mainly of the “alkali salts of fatty acids,” that is, the material you get when you combine fats or oils with an alkali, such as lye.” By this definition, hot-process and cold-process soaps made with oils, water, and lye are considered a soap. Also, any MP base that does not contain detergents will also be considered soap because it receives its cleansing properties from the saponification process created by combining oils, water, and lye.

In short, if you’re making and selling soap, you are responsible for ensuring it contains no ingredients that can harm the consumer through normal use. To do so would be in violation of the safety standards set forth by the CPSC. The soap cannot be:

  • Toxic
  • Corrosive
  • Irritating
  • A strong sensitizer
  • Combustible or flammable
  • Cause anyone in harm in the course of normal use

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