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How To Start a Soap Making Business in Uganda

How to start a soap making business in Uganda.

Soap products like liquid soap, detergents, herbal soaps and many others are becoming many on the market but you too can introduce your own soap or liquid soap.

There is a high demand for soap products for many purposes like laundry work, cleaning floors, sanitizing and many others

How To Start a Soap Making Business in Uganda
Carrying a bar of soap

If you are an entrepreneur interested in starting a soap-making business but you don’t know where to start, this post is just for you. So lets’ dive in right away.

What soap is made from

Soap is made from a combination of fat and an alkaline material, which react through a chemical process called saponification

To start making soap, you’ll need the two elements for saponification: a fat and an alkaline material.

Any type of fat will do — from olive oil to lard to coconut oil — but different fats give the soap different properties.

“Olive oil is good for moisturizing but doesn’t provide a good lather. Coconut oil makes a nice lather but it’s so cleansing that it makes your skin feel dry,” she says.

The alkaline material is lye. |For Bar Soap, you use Sodium hydroxide Lye, while Potassium hydroxide is used for liquid soaps.

A combination of both can be used to make gel-like soaps. Lye can generally be purchased online, at major retail stores, or at hardware stores here in Uganda.

The process of saponification can take a period of days to weeks depending on what you are making and the quantity of the mixture of lye and fat.

In this chemical reaction, the molecules in the lye are rearranged and fat is transformed into soap.

If you don’t like the process of handling soap lye and saponification, you can purchase a soap base.

A soap base is a bar of soap that has already undergone saponification. You can melt the bar and add colours and fragrances of your choice.

How to make soap

There are three main methods for making soap. They include;

Melt and pour

This is by far the simplest method of how soap is made and it is advisable to start with this process because it requires little energy.

In this method, you melt a soap base and add your fragrances and colours and after make soap moulds.

The main advantage of using this type of soap making that is it easy to learn and it requires less raw material, it is less dangerous as compared to other soap-making processes however the main disadvantage is the quality of soap made by this method is not good as compared to soap made by cold process and the hot process.

The Cold Process

This process involves making soap from scratch.

You mix fat and lye and wait for saponification and then add fragrances, colours and herbs.

There is no heating involved in this process, but the soap will need 4 to 7 weeks to cure and all the lye to go away. It is the most commonly used by people.

However, you need to be careful when using this method because lye is a dangerous chemical. You need to buy lye from a trusted source.

You can get quality soap making chemical at Regency Chemicals Limited in Uganda

The advantages of using this process are you can make quality soap, you can also make long-lasting soap. The only disadvantage of this process is the long curing process involved.

Hot Process

This process involves the same process as the cold process except to speed up the saponification process, you cook the soap mixture to speed up the saponification process.

The advantages of the heat process are it speeds up soap making process but the only disadvantage is the dangerous chemicals that are being boiled, they pose a threat to the soap maker.

READ: Small Business Ideas to Try in Uganda

Market your products

After making your soap, you need to look for a market to sell your products.

Looking for a market for your products can be a hustle at first because there are many products currently on the market and also there are already big companies like OMO, NOMI, Magic and many more.

So you need to be wise and strategic in order to get the market for your soap.

Here are a few things that can make you stand out quickly in the market.

  • Make soap that lathers quickly
  • Make soap that does not quickly dissolve when placed in water (The common Example is Geisha)
  • Make soap that will remove stains when used for laundry work.

Now that we have seen what can make you stand out among many other soap makers like you, you need to market your soap products after making the soap.

There are many ways of marketing from;

  • Paying salesmen to move your products around your customers
  • Advertising on Radio, Tv’s and Newspapers
  • Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter
  • Starting a blog that makes your products
  • Using online advertisements (google ads)

As your customers get to know you more, you will start making sales.

But DON’T make a mistake that most soap-making business owners make when they see they have loyal customers, they start making soap products that are not on the standard.

This will chase away customers and you will soon go back to ground one.

So be loyal too to your customers and keep the standard for the soap you make or improve it and make it even better than making it of low quality.

Also, don’t forget to register your business and also get your products checked by UNBS for quality.

If you sell your soap without approval from UNBS, you will be charged for selling products that are not standard.

Cleaning Product Formulas provide advice on How to make Detergents and Other cleaners. 

If you are interested in How to Make Detergents at Home, You can Checkout their website and they will teach you how to make and sell your Detergents and Cleaners.

Your Turn…

That is all that you require to start a soap making business here in Uganda.

According to the process of soap making you are going to use and the type of soap you are going to make, you need around 500,000 Ugx to 3 Million Uganda Shillings to start a soap-making business.

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