(See also Cleaning Compounds and Polishes.)

Antiseptic Soap

I

Various attempts have been made to incorporate antiseptics and cosmetics with soap, but for the most part unsuccessfully, owing to the unfavorable action of the added components, a good instance of this kind being sodium peroxide, which, though a powerful antiseptic, soon decomposes in the soap and loses its properties, while the caustic character of the oxide renders its use precarious, even when the soap is fresh, unless great care is taken. However, according to a German patent, zinc peroxide is free from these defects, since it retains its stability and has no corrosive action on the skin, while possessing powerful antiseptic and cosmetic properties, and has a direct curative influence when applied to cuts or wounds.

II

The soap is prepared by melting 80 parts of household soap in a jacketed pan, and gradually adding 20 parts of moist zinc peroxide (50 per cent strength), the whole being kept well stirred all the time. The finished mixture will be about as stiff as dough, and is easily shaped into tablets of convenient size.

III

Take 50 parts, by weight, of caustic soda of 70 per cent, and free from carbonic acid, if possible; 200 parts, by weight, of sweet almond oil; 160 parts, by weight, of glycerine of 30° Be.; and sufficient distilled water to make up 1,000 parts by weight. First, dissolve the alkali in double its weight of water, then add the glycerine and oil and stir together. Afterwards, add the remainder of the water and keep the whole on the water bath at a temperature of 140° to 158° F., for 24 to 36 hours; remove the oil not saponified, which gives a gelatinous mass. Mix 900 parts, by weight, of it with 70 parts, by weight, of 90 per cent alcohol and 10 parts, by weight, of lemon oil, and as much of the oil of bergamot and the oil of vervain. Heat for some hours at 140° F., then allow to cool and filter on wadding to eliminate the needles of stearate of potash. The liquid after filtering remains clear.

Carpet Soap

Fuller's earth........ 4 ounces

Spirits of turpentine.. 1 ounce Pearlash............ 8 ounces

Rub smooth and make into a stiff paste with a sufficiency of soft soap.

To Cut Castile Soap

A thin spatula must be used. To cut straight, a trough with open ends made with 1/2-inch boards should be taken, the inside dimensions being 2⅞ inches wide, 3.75 inches deep, and about 14 inches long. Near the end a perpendicular slit is sawed through the side pieces. Passing the spatula down through this slit the bar is cut neatly and straight. For trimming off the corners a carpenter's small iron plane works well.