How to Start Powder Detergent Production in Nigeria

If you still don’t know the importance of a powder detergent; maybe you should ask a mother of four. Then you will know, ‘powder detergents’, are the life saver! Irrespective of your perspective to life; you will agree with me that cleanliness is next to godliness. No wonder; Nigerian parents don’t joke with powder detergent.

That aside, there are companies who already made fortune in the business. The likes of Omo, Klin and Ariel will not want anybody to dare to go into this line of business because it’s a gold mine to them.

Sometimes last year, someone contacted me through earnbase and requested if I can help him get a machine that dries detergent and make it smoother; this was necessary because the cost of importing one was very high…

When I look at the number of home use we have discussed on earnbase; I marvel!! On this blog, we have discussed how to make liquid soap, jik, bleach, perfume, bar soap, vaseline, liquid hand wash, car wash liquid soap and many more

Today, I will be teaching you how to make powder detergent but before then I will like to start with some definition of terms. I hope you give me 100% attention here!

What is actually a detergent?

A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with “cleaning properties in dilute solutions. These substances are usually alkyl benzenesulfonates, a family of compounds that are similar to soap but are more soluble in hard water, because the polar sulfonate (of detergents) is less likely than the polar carboxylate (of soap) to bind to calcium and other ions found in hard water – by the almighty Wikipedia.

In another word; a detergent is a cleaning agent that helps to remove dirt and grease from the porous surface (such as fabric, cloths, not-treated wood) and/or non-porous surface (such as materials, plastics, and treated wood). All detergents are made principally of soaps or surfactants.

What are surfactants?

You might think water gets you wet—and it does. But it doesn’t get you nearly as wet as it might. That’s because it has something called surface tension. Water molecules prefer their own company so they tend to stick together in drops. When rain falls on a window, it doesn’t wet the glass uniformly: instead, it sticks to the surface in distinct droplets that gravity pulls down in streaks. To make water wash better, we have to reduce its surface tension so it wets things more uniformly. And that’s precisely what a surfactant does.

The surfactants in detergents improve water’s ability to wet things, spread over surfaces, and deep into dirty clothes fibers.

Surfactants do another important job too. One end of their molecule is attracted to water, while the other end is attracted to dirt and grease. So the surfactants molecules help water to get a hold of grease, break it up, and wash it away.

Often we use the words “soap” and “detergent” interchangeably, but really they’re quite different things. A detergent is a chemical substance you use to break up and remove grease and grime, while soap is simply one kind of detergent. Soap has a long history and was originally made from purely natural products like goat’s fat and wood ash.

Types of Detergents

Detergents are classified into three broad groups, depending on the electrical charge of the surfactants.

  1. Anionic detergents
  2. Cationic detergents
  3. Non-ionic and zwitterionic detergents

Today, I shall be teaching the Anionic detergent!

Materials Needed to produce Detergent

  1. Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) ————————– 5Liters
  2. Soda Ash —————————————— 1kg
  3. Caustic Soda ————————————– 1kg + 4liters of water
  4. Sulphuric Acid ———————————— 1liter
  5. Catalyst (Hydrogen Peroxide) —————- As desired
  6. Ammonia Solution —————————– 1liter
  7. Color ———————————————– As desired
  8. Perfume ——————————————- As desired

Differences between Sulphonic and Sulphuric

Aside from the differences in spelling; there are two reasons why some people chose Sulphonic over Sulphuric vise visa.

  1. Sulphonic acid is more dangerous when compared to sulphuric.
  2. Sulphuric acid acts faster.

Please note, at this stage, your mixture begins to dry up, harden and break down. That is why you need to be fast with whatever you intend to add next. Quickly add your color and perfume if you have not added it earlier.

Steps Required to Produced Detergent

 Step 1: Get two big buckets which are 25liters each; Bucket A and Bucket B

Step 2: Pure 5liters of PKO in the first Bucket A

Step 3: Pure 4 liters of water into the second Bucket B

Step 4: Add 1kg of Caustic Soda into Bucket B

Step 5: Add the colorants into Bucket A

Step 6: Add perfume to Bucket A

Step 7: Add soda Ash into Bucket A

Step 8: Add hydrogen into Bucket A as a catalyst

Step 9: Add 1kg of Sulphuric acid into Bucket A

Step 10: Now turn the other bucket, containing caustic soda solution (BUCKET B) into Bucket A.

Step 11: Add ammonia solution into Bucket A to turn down the heat.

Step 12: Leave the mixture to dry or put it in an oven, and once it’s fully dry, grind it into powder.

72 thoughts on “How to Start Powder Detergent Production in Nigeria”

  1. Good Day, Please in your ingredient you mentioned 1kg of sulphuric while in the production steps you wrote 1 liter. kindly lets know if the 1 liter is = 1 kg.

    Thank you

  2. Thanks to you for this guidelines… God bless you. Pls can you help me with where to get the detergent nylon customized like other detergent in the market… I want start it up in bigger form but don’t know how to go about the packaging so it will be in role like other detergents. Thank you.

  3. Thank you earnbase.
    God bless you.
    Please how can i get a machine that can help me dry it, so that production will be faster.
    At least for a start up

  4. God bless you for this knowledge Sir. PKO is black,detergents are mostly white. Is there a different kind of PKO…I’m confused. Just want to be sure of what I should be expecting because I want to praticalise it …help out sir

  5. Thanks so much for this useful information, pls what is d foaming agent in d formular sir? And how can one increase it?

  6. Thanks for the information. Please my question is if the soda ash
    Will be in solution or in powder form and if it’ll be in solution what is the ratio of water to ash. Thanks

  7. Thanks so much, I really appreciate your info, please can this be done same day or one has to soak some of this ash chemicals for some days first. Thanks

  8. good morning sir,
    Thanks very much for this information you shared. But I have a question. formula you presented, is for how many kg of detergent powder?


  9. Please sir, Is Palm kernel oil the same as Unsaturated fatty acid oil, how many hours will it take the solution to dry with sun and what can I use to grind the mixture after drying into powder soap?

  10. Thank you for the good work, please my worry is that when I produce this using the above formula, there is salt formation so I wish to ask what concentration of sulphuric acid should be use?

  11. Plz sir, can I use sun to dry the detergent.. I have no oven to dry and since I spread it under the sun, it has not dry yet.

  12. this is an amazing info earnbase u guys are wonderful. an in ondo how can i get all this chemicals from and when and where is ur next seminar. pls drop ur contact a million thanks

  13. Good day sir, please for homemade use, what can I use to grind it.
    Secondly what’s the foaming agent used.
    Thank you

  14. Wow this great. Please I live in abuja and will like to attend any training. Please I need your contact. Thanks God bless you

  15. All about Earnbase sounds so awesome pls am interested in your on coming seminar I leave in Akwa ibom state let me have ur guide lines.

  16. Thanks for d info but I suggest Der should be a platform wer people can easily reach out to d admin so dat we can ask question or talk more on each challenges we come across,……. All am asking is if admin can drop us a WhatsApp linking address I think it will be better sir/ma…….

  17. thanks very much for your wonderful post. please can i dry it in the sun and how long will it take to dry and how many hours should i dry it in the oven too. thanks

  18. Please can you send me your contact number. I will like to give you a call. Am interested in starting up the powder detergent business. Thanks

  19. Many thanks goes to the EarnBase team. No word or phrase can adequately capture the extent to which you guys truly deserved to be appreciated. I just want infoinfomation wherehere to get the complete set of equipment to produce powdered detergent on small scale especially the filling/ packaging machine

    • @Bukkybal, you can import from Aliexpress, and if you don’t MIMD; I can help you out with the importation.


      • Ok, kindly furnish me d breskdown cost of procuring d machines through my e-mail. Some equipment like d mixer and d drier can be procured locally so u may not include that. Thanks

  20. Thank you so much for this info, I learnt alot, please how do I get my own plastic nylon bag and sealing machine I want to customize it like Other detergent, do you have an idea of where I can buy, and also customize it?thanks.

  21. more blessing to you for these information,my question is how long should the mixing remain under the sun for drying.

    • @Gisele, for as long as it needs to dry. Don’t forget the reason for putting it under the sun was for it to dry. So, you can take it off from the sun as soon as it’s dried.
      Thanks for visiting EarnBase

  22. Thanks for his awesome information.i appreciate.please kindly help with information on where to buy a dryer and grinding machine for this purpose.Many thanks

  23. @earnbase, Great job, back in the Nineties when we were making powdered detergent, we use soak caustic soda for 3 days to remove all acidity, and the soda ash for 1 day prior to making the soap/detergent. this use to ensure that the soda does not ‘chop your hand’.

    At the point of turning the detergent, you would pour in the soda water first into the PK oil and start turning, before pouring in the soaked soda ash and then mixing consistently.

    Every other method is the same. but there is need for a foaming agent, is it an oversight, without it, u would use too much detergent cos it would never foam enough, more like persil.

    thank you so much, keep it up.

  24. May God bless you,the question i have i; what are the primary chemicals in making detergent powder,you did not mention the measurement of hydrogen peroxide.

    • Regarding your comment, hydrogen peroxide is just a catalyst and any quantity will be fine. Just be rational!
      Thanks for visiting earnbase

  25. how much hydrogen peroxide is ideal according to your experience? and what percentage of hydrogen peroxide should one use? is it one of 5o%, 35% or 3%?


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