A biodegradable soap is a cleaning agent that can decompose naturally over time. These soaps can help reduce environmental impact when hikers, backpackers and campers need to bathe or clean their belongings. Depending on the formulation of soap that is purchased, a biodegradable soap can be used on the body, face, hair, hands and objects such as dishes and clothes. Non-toxic soaps can be manufactured with organic oils so as to remain environmentally friendly. Oils can be used in soap formulations not only to provide a nice fragrance, but also as part of a therapeutic bathing experience. For example, lavender and peppermint oils can help relax a tense hiker. Tree oil, eucalyptus and pumice ingredients can help soothe aching feet. Jojoba, castor and almond oils are other common oils used in soap formulations. A biodegradable soap can come in special formulations. Individuals might be able to purchase biodegradable soaps for babies or those with special skin conditions. These soaps can be created so that they are unscented and free of additives that would otherwise dry or irritate sensitive skin or skin prone to allergic reactions. Natural soap can come in forms other than the standard bar. A biodegradable soap also can be formulated to be a liquid. Liquid soaps can make bathing easier for hikers or backpackers who have limited supplies of bathing water with which to work. Shampoo and conditioners can be marketed as biodegradable soaps. Hikers and backpackers might be interested in shampoos and conditioners if they feel that they aren't able to wash their hair properly with a bar of soap. These products can come in liquid or cream forms. In addition, a biodegradable soap can be used to wash objects. Natural soaps that help clean dishes or clothes can be employed instead of their harsher, chemical alternatives. Formulations for these types of biodegradable soaps might also include ingredients, such as citronella, that naturally deter insects. It is important for individuals to realize that using a biodegradable soap does not necessarily mean that the soap is safe to use around all water sources. Biodegradable soaps degrade over time, but they require contact with soil to do so. If a biodegradable soap isn't used at least 200 feet (60.96 m) from water sources, it can pollute them and make them unsuitable for other uses. Campers, hikers and backpackers are encouraged to keep this in mind and use the soaps wisely so as to lessen any potential effects on the environment.
MAIN INGREDIENTS IN SOAP
Soap plays an important role in today's society, especially when it comes to getting clean. Soap-making has evolved into a lucrative industry that caters to many different skin types and problems, including dry skin, oily skin, acne and others. Regardless of the many new soap products on the market, most still revolve around certain primary ingredients. FAT
Most modern soaps are made with fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, soybean oil, tallow lard or palm oil. The use of different fats can provide different types of soap. For example, lard can create a harder soap, while soaps made with olive oil create a softer-textured soap. SODIUM HYDROXIDE
Fats and oils needs to be combined with an alkali to start the soap making process, also known as saponification. The most common alkali for this process is sodium hydroxide, more commonly known as lye. When the acidic fats react with the sodium hydroxide base, a chemical reaction occurs, creating two products: soap and glycerin. The glycerin is most often removed, leaving only the soap behind. PRESERVATIVES
Because soap is made from oils and fats, preservatives are often included to keep the soap from going rancid. Commercial preservatives, such as butylated hydroxytoluene may be used, or in natural soap, products like natural carrot root oil or grapefruit seed extract may be used to keep the soap from going bad. DETERGENTS
Detergents may also be added...