What is the science of using sugar in soap making?

In soap making if we add sugar, the soap heats up very fast and goes through gel phase much more quickly than without sugar.  Can anyone tell me why? What's the science of this? It's also used to boost lather, so what chemical changes does sugar go through when reacting with sodium hydroxide? 


  • If you have a carbon monoxide detector such as those used to monitor room heaters, you might try it next time to see if you can detect the carbon monoxide given off during the reaction between NaOH and sugars.
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  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited September 2018
    @Soaper_Babe i read about it and the cause that suggar accelerate the kinetic of reaction. why and how??? i could not know ...
  • @Soaper_Babe just for a twist, the next time you can try either buying distilled fatty acids, or hydrolyzing oils to get them with acid (be careful) 
    and neutralizing the free fatty acids with Ammonia instead of Sodium or Potassium hydroxide to get Ammonium soaps.
    (You may wish to do so in a closed bottle, to avoid ammonia fumes).

    I just tried that with Oleic acid and it feels so much better than the Sodium salt, and pH ain't as high.
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