Types of Soaps | Toilet, Non-toilet, Glycerin, Transparent Soaps

There are mainly four types of based on usage. According to the requirement, toilet soap, non-toilet soap, glycerin soap or Transparent soaps are used. Price changes with type of soap. Toilet soaps are commonly used for household and personal cleaning are called toilet soaps. Some soap types should be used under a medicinally advices.



Written by: Shashika Madusanka Gamage, (undergraduate), Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


  1. Toilet soaps
  2. Non-toilet soaps
  3. Glycerin soaps
  4. Transparent soaps

Toilet Soaps

Soaps are commonly used for household and personal cleaning are called toilet soaps. Toilet soap has a high (Total Fatty Material) TFM value. As the TFM value increases, the cleaning properties of the soap increase.


Let's now consider what TFM value is.


Total Fatty Matter

The percentage of sodium salt in the fatty acid contains in a soap sample is called the TFM value. This describes the quality of the soap. Toilet soaps are divided into three main categories based on TFM value.


  1. Grade 1 - The TFM content of toilets soaps in this series is about 76%. Soaps with this level of TFM content make an excellent lather. Also, this grade of soap comes in variety of colors and scents.
  2. Grade 2 - This grade of toilet soap has a TFM of about 70%. This soap can be white or colored. These soaps are not as good as first grade soaps. The toilet soaps on the market are usually grade 2.
  3. Grade 3 - Toilet soaps of this grade have a low TFM of about 60%. They are often red in color due to cresylic acid. The cleaning power here is a bit low.

Toilet soaps can be further classified based on use.


Laundry Soaps

These are made from natural ingredients including goat fat and wood ash. Synthetic materials are used today due to the demand and scarcity of natural raw materials.


Beauty Soaps

This soap is usually used to cleanse the face. These soaps are also available for different skin types and skin conditions. Helps reduce acne and dark spots, enhance fairness as well as moisturize and hydrate the skin.



Dish Soaps

This soap is usually used for kitchens. This soap is also good for the body as it is used to wash dishes and cups. This soap produces a lot of foam.


Medicated Soaps

This soap is usually used specifically to treat skin problems. Mainly available as antibacterial soaps, antifungal soaps and medicated soaps for skin problems soaps.

  1. Antibacterial Soaps: These soaps contain antibacterial agents such as triclosan, triclocarban, tetrasodium EDTA, and PCMX. This soap is used to apply on the skin affected by bacterial infections.
  2. Antifungal Soaps: This soap is used to treat fungal infections of the skin. It contains carbonic medical plant, essential oil, vitamin C and natural glycerin, tea tree oil, zinc oxide.


Non-Toilet Soaps

Non-toilet soaps are soaps used to clean excess dirt. This soap is used to remove hard stains and grease. These are more commonly known as lithium soaps. This soap contains lithium salts of fatty acid.



Glycerin Soaps

Glycerin soap is a moisturizing soap. This soap is gentle on the skin. This soap moisturizes and keeps the skin healthy.



Transparent Soaps

This soap is transparent than other soaps. Instead of dissolving the soap solution in water, it is mixed with a hot alcohol solution. The insoluble particles in the alcohol are filtered and thus the transparent soap is formed.