The material contained in this work appeared several years ago in serial form in the American Perfumer and Essential Oil Review. Owing to the numerous requests received, it has been decided to now place before those interested, these articles in book form. While it is true that the works pertaining to the soapmaking industry are reasonably plentiful, books are quite rare, however, which, in a brief volume, will clearly outline the processes employed together with the necessary methods of analyses from a purely practical standpoint. In the work presented the author has attempted to briefly, clearly, and fully explain the manufacture of soap in such language that it might be understood by all those interested in this industry. In many cases the smaller plants find it necessary to dispense with the services of a chemist, so that it is necessary for the soapmaker to make his own tests. The tests outlined, therefore, are given as simple as possible to meet this condition. The formulae submitted are authentic, and in many cases are now being used in soapmaking.
In taking up the industry for survey it has been thought desirable to first mention and describe the raw materials used; second, to outline the processes of manufacture; third, to classify the methods and illustrate by formulae the composition of various soaps together with their mode of manufacture; fourth, to enumerate the various methods of glycerine recovery, including the processes of saponification, and, fifth, to give the most important analytical methods which are of value to control[Pg iv] the process of manufacture and to determine the purity and fitness of the raw material entering into it.