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FK Follow-up activities: environmentally friendly soap-making workshop by Vieng Phet

On the 19th of September 2014, Vieng Phet organized a practical workshop to share a new method of making natural soap in HEPA. This is not the first method that has been shared and practiced in HEPA, but for various reasons, the previous methods were not convenient and hence were not maintained.

Vieng Phet has learned this method during his internship in Myanmar and finds it easy, cheap and suitable for HEPA. The soap should be used for washing dishes and can also be used for washing clothes. It’s not suitable as body-soap or shampoo.
Materials for 11 litres of soap:
- 1 kg of sodium laureth sulfate (detergent substance, also called ‘N70’, available in Hanoi for 52.000 VND per kg)
- 1 kg of salt, dissolved in 3 litres of clean water
- 6 litres of filtered water in which charcoal or ash has been soaked for 1 week
- 1 litre of boiled lemon or starfruit juice
- 1 clean container with cover
- Put the N70 in the container and stir it with a clean stick slowly, in one direction until it becomes white and soft.
- Add a cup of salt solution and keep stirring (always in the same direction, so it doesn’t start foaming) until all the water has been diluted and the mixture becomes thicker again.
- Add a cup of charcoal water and keep stirring until all water has been diluted and the mixture becomes thicker again.
- Repeat this until all the salt solution and charcoal water have been diluted into the N70 mixture bit by bit. Always stir slowly and in the same direction, so all materials mix well and evenly.
-  After mixing all salt solution and charcoal water, start mixing the fruit juice into the substance bit by bit, in the same way as before.
- When all fruit juice has been dissolved, cover the container and keep the soap for 3 hours before using.
The soap can be conserved for 3-6 months.
Feedback by the participants
All participants agreed with Vieng Phet that this method is very easy and suitable for HEPA as well as households. All HEPA farms will start using this soap and make it again every month. Vieng Phet will monitor the user convenience and the usage per farm to know how much needs to be produced every month. He also plans to experiment with different ingredients and proportions (e.g. lemongrass solution instead of lemon). If the results are good, HEPA plans to share this product with SPERI offices, key-farmers and other network partners. 

Written by: Miriam van Muijlwijk  
A few pictures attached

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