Antiseptic soap recipe

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Sep 4, 2021
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Does anyone have a recipe for an antiseptic cold process soap? I've been buying Detol bars, but would prefer to make my own, now that I'm on a role.


Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
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I know Dettol has been mentioned here a few times, but I don't recall anyone offering a dupe recipe. Most of the soap makers here are trying to make soap without medicinal ingredients, synthetic detergents, and other additives. Including antimicrobial chemicals to soap doesn't fit that goal.

A full ingredients list for Dettol cleanser is provided here --

Sodium Palmate, Talc, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Parfum, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Chloroxylenol, triclocarban, Titanium Dioxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate [misspelled as "Etudiante"], Sodium Sulfate, Peg-7 Amodimethicone, CI 11680, Trideceth-10, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Acetic Acid, Tetrabutyl Ammonium Bromide, CI 12490, Methylcloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.​

It looks like Dettol is mostly lye-based soap based on palm oil and palm kernel oil. It is superfatted with the fatty acids from these fats (palm kernel acid, palm acid), but a small scale soap maker could superfat with the fats themselves. There are also synthetic detergents (Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Trideceth-10) blended with the soap, so this is a "combo" bar -- a combination soap-syndet bar.

In addition, there is a silicone additive (PEG-7 Amodimethicone), chelators (Tetrasodium Etidronate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin), preservative/antimicrobial additives (Triclocarban, Chloroxylenol), plus pH adjusters, fragrance, and color. I'm sure some of these additives have other functions as well, so you'd want to read about them in more depth.

Another listing for this soap says Chloroxylenol is the main antimicrobial additive in Dettol bars, and it is present at 0.5% by weight of the total product. So if you look at the ingredients list above, the ingredients listed after chloroxylenol are present at less than 0.5% and the ones listed before chloroxylenol are more than 0.5%.

If I wanted to dupe this product, I'd design a basic soap recipe -- maybe a blend of 80-85% palm, 15-20% PKO with a modest superfat. The main syndet, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, is fairly easy to buy in small quantities, at least in the US where I'm based, so you might be able to buy that fairly easily.

There are a lot of other secondary ingredients in this commercial product, and I'm not sure it's realistic to include them all in a dupe. I'd recommend choosing only the ones you think are most essential. A challenge might be to find suppliers for some of the additives not normally used by small-scale makers like us.

I'd suggest making the soap using a hot process method and adding the secondary ingredients after the cook. You'll need to understand any temperature limitations of your additives -- add the temp sensitive ones at the right moment as the soap cools.
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