Woman turns leftover cooking oil into soap

HanoiTwo months ago, Ms. Pham Minh Hau in Ba Dinh district successfully made the first batch of soap to clean the kitchen, dishes… from the family’s excess oil.

When showing off her results on her personal page, she received interest from friends, please share the recipe. The idea of ​​a waste oil recycling project was born.

“I only make it for family use, but many families working together will have a great effect on the environment,” said Ms. Hau, 36 years old, about the meaning of the project. According to her, recycling excess oil both reduces pollution, reduces the harmful effects of harmful cleaning chemicals, and saves costs.

Pham Minh Hau with soap products made from excess grease. Photo: Character provided.

To produce soap from excess cooking oil, Post-filter removes residue and impurities, then uses ingredients such as distilled water, NaOH (caustic soda), essential oils to create fragrance and mask the smell of old grease. Soap is made according to the correct process, after two hours will complete a batch. To ensure that no residual caustic soda is harmful to the skin of the hands, it is necessary to dry the soap in a cool, dry place for 30-40 days. But if you only clean the toilet, you can use it the next day.

According to Dr. Ha Thi Hai Yen, a chemistry lecturer at Nha Trang University, the processing of excess cooking oil into soap has long been practiced by many advanced countries. If released into the environment, oil often floats to the surface, causing sewer blockages. Since 2010, in Barcelona, ​​Spain, the government has also distributed a tool called “OliPots” for free to encourage people to keep used cooking oil to recover and use as ingredients. producing soap, biodiesel, paint… while helping to prevent water pollution.

According to Ms. Yen, some people are concerned that excess cooking oil contains many toxic substances, but in fact those substances have evaporated when frying. The remaining ingredients are mostly just fat and food particles, which can be filtered before making soap.

Ms. Hau said that with 1 kg of cooking oil as a raw material, plus additional ingredients, you will get 1.5 kg of soap, equivalent to 15 cakes, 100 g each. Each time washing, scrubbing, users need to soak in water into liquid form. The production cost of 1.5 kg of soap is from 100,000 VND to 200.00 VND, depending on the choice of materials.

“Left cooking oil often has a fishy smell from food, so recycled soap should not be used for bathing or skin care. It can be soaked with coffee for a day and then filtered before making, the oil will have a more pleasant smell.” further instructions.

So that everyone can do it at home, Ms. Hau makes a video to share the recipe and steps. For busy people who can’t do it themselves, her project can collect, recycle and deliver products to those in need after 1-2 weeks.

In addition to the shipping fee, the person who sent the cooking oil did not bear any additional costs, all of which were paid by her. “Before the epidemic, I opened a tea shop. In the shop there was a box called “Box of Hope”, customers came to pay with satisfaction. Now this money is used to fund the project,” she said.

Due to the prolonged Covid-19 epidemic, the transportation was delayed, unable to send oil outside of Hanoi. To avoid overload and ensure fire safety, Hau established collection and recycling points in each area, called satellite recycling stations. These clues are shared knowledge to guide others, and at the same time receive excess oil for recycling and finished products.

Woman 'turns' leftover cooking oil into soap

Video about the process of making soap from excess grease.

A lover of natural ingredients, 38-year-old Dang Thi Viet Ha, who lives in Da Nang, has been making soap from excess oil for a month now. She is also the head of the project’s local satellite recycling station.

“1.5 kg of soap, I can use it for half a year, and it won’t hurt my hands,” a female chemistry teacher living in Hoa Tho Dong district shared. Currently, Ha is also researching a type of recycled soap in liquid form, which is more convenient for washing.

After more than a month of implementation, the waste oil recycling project has more than 400 members and 4 satellite recycling stations in many provinces. “As long as we act, say we can do it, the environment will be protected, from the smallest things,” Hau said.

Hai Hien


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