The ‘Soap Factory’ transforms used kitchen oil into biodegradable soap in a practical and safe way, avoiding water pollution.
The new prototype, which has been patented, but is not yet available for sale, is based on traditional methods of making soap. However its innovative design has been adapted to the modern lifestyle where time is precious, environmental sustainability is important and economic solutions to running a household are highly desirable.
The designer, 30 year old Polytechnic University of Valencia industrial engineering student Analia White, was the recipient of the International James Dyson Award for design for the economically and environmentally friendly innovation.
The appliance is simple in appearance and design, shaped as a small white box. Waste oil is added to an upper reservoir, filtered and then passed into an inner bowl to mix with other products like caustic soda and water. This mixture is then poured into a mold and set for 48 hours resulting in easily unmoldable bars of biodegradable soap.
Oil is the major component of the product and other ingredients are easily obtainable and cheap, making it a viable option for many households, although there is also the option to add a fragrance if a more luxurious soap is desired.
The main ingredient of the soap is oil and any type can be used from cheap vegetable oils to extra virgin olive oil. With more and more people choosing to cook with EVOO due to its health benefits, despite its higher price tag, it is reassuring to know that any oil that is left from cooking has the potential to be re utilized in this way.
Not only does the new invention reduce waste, it can also help considerably with the reduction of water pollution from oil being washed down the sink. While many systems are in place to recycle oil in commercial kitchens, recycling at home can be messy and time consuming. This new innovation is designed to minimize the effort required to recycle and provide the incentive to do so.
An average person generates around four liters of waste oil in a year, with each liter capable of contaminating thousands of liters of water. The Soap Factory has the capacity to turn a liter of oil into 850 grams of soap, which can be used in various ways such as directly the wash dishes, or even used in washing machines or dishwashers if grated, paving the way to a greener household.