Share This Content - Benefit a Friend!

With the tough economic situation in Nigeria, learning how to make detergents and starting up a detergent making business is not a bad idea at all.

Millions of Nigerians make use of detergents daily, both for household and commercial purposes.  The good thing about detergent production is that it’s not expensive but the returns fetches good morning.

Anyone can go into this business without a degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry.

Also, detergents have more market than the bar or laundry soaps mainly because they clean better. However, the chemicals used for their production are almost similar to that used for laundry soap production.

There are many brands of detergents in the market place at present due to the huge dividends that could be reaped from its production. This should not scare you as there are millions of people still in need of your product as the demand is huge.

Also, the production of detergents is both easy and not capital intensive so you shouldn’t get scared.

There are two forms of detergents:

  • Powdered detergents and
  • Liquid detergents

Both types of detergents make use of the same chemicals; but the difference likes in the fact that one is oil based while the other is water based. We will be treating the production of both types but we will start with the production of powdered detergents.

Production of Powdered Detergents

Chemicals Required For Detergent Production


The following are the chemicals you would need for making powdered detergents and their purposes.

  1. Caustic soda
  2. Light soda ash
  3. Palm kernel oil
  4. Kaolin
  5. Sodium sulphate
  6. Hydrogen peroxide – acts as a catalyst in facilitating the rate of the reaction; transforming them to powder.
  7. Ammonia solution – aids the hydrogen peroxide in transforming the chemicals to powder
  8. Sulphonic acid – acts as a forming agent. Also acts as an anti-aging agent for the skin.


  • 2 fermenting tanks
  • Drying machine
  • Hydrometer
  • Grinding machine or grater
  • Mixing tank
  • Scale
  • Mixer
  • Rubber gloves

Industrial Formula

Chemical Requirements

  • Caustic             6kg
  • Light Ash Soda 800g
  • Palm Kernel Oil 8kg
  • Sodium sulphate 150g
  • Kaolin 125g
  • Sulphonic acid 800g
  • Hydrogen peroxide 250litres
  • Ammonia solution 400 litres
  • Colour
  • perfume


  • Put the caustic soda into one of the fermenting tanks. Add four litres of water. Stir thoroughly; cover tightly and leave to ferment for 48 hours. The concentration should be kept at 1, 275.
  • Put the light soda ash, kaolin and sodium sulphate into the fermenting tank and add 2.8 litres of water. Stir thoroughly, cover tightly and keep aside for 24 hours to allow for fermentation. The concentration should be 1, 200.
  • After 48 hours, set up the heating system and pour in the palm kernel oil. You could also use ground nut or vegetable oil. Add colorant and allow to heat. Make sure you heat properly and then allow to cool down.
  • Set up mixer and gradually pour in the fermented caustic soda.
  • Gradually add the fermented light soda ash as mixing continues
  • Add the sulphonic acid gradually as the mixing continues
  • Also add the hydrogen peroxide and ammonia solution as you continue to mix
  • Add perfume and mix continuously for about 5 minutes. Allow about 5 hours for the mixture to set.
  • After setting, transfer the mixture to the drier and allow to get dried
  • Grind the mixture after its dried and then package for usage or sale.

Household Formula

Chemical Requirements

  • Caustic soda 2 milk tins
  • Light soda ash 1 milk tin
  • Palm kernel oil 6 milk tins
  • Kaolin 1/6 milk tin
  • Sodium sulphate 1/8 milk tin
  • Hydrogen peroxide 1/3 milk tin
  • Ammonia solution ½ milk tin
  • Colour pigment
  • Perfume


  • Measuring cup
  • 2 rubber bowls (with covers)
  • Bucket
  • Mixing stick
  • Grater
  • Stove and pot


  • Pour the caustic soda into one of the rubber bowl. Add 6 milk tins of water
  • Stir thoroughly; cover and keep aside for 48 hours
  • Pour the light soda, kaolin and sodium sulphate into the second bowl and add 4 milk tins of water. Stir thoroughly, cover it up and keep aside for 24 hours.
  • After 48 hours, place the palm kernel oil on the fire, adding the colouring pigment. Allow heating.
  • Heat properly; remove from the fire and allow to cool down. Pour into the bucket.
  • Pour in the fermented caustic soda gradually while stirring the mixture with the mixing stick.
  • Gradually add the fermented soda ash as you continue with the stirring
  • Add the sulphonic acid as the stirring continues
  • Also add the hydrogen peroxide as the stirring continues
  • Also add the ammonia solution as you continue to stir
  • Finally, add the perfume and stir thoroughly for about 5 minutes to allow proper blending of the chemicals
  • Keep the mixture aside for about 5 hours to allow setting
  • After about 5 hours, spread the soap in the sun to allow drying
  • Pour the dried soap in the grater and grind properly and carefully
  • Finally package the product and your powdered detergent is ready

As you can see, making detergents either for household or commercial use is not a big deal, and there is much profits to be made from this business. Trust me, it’s a lucrative one.