Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Sewer Soap

Sewer Soap production trials

Following on from the recent fat and fantasy post about sewer fat causing sewer blockages, it occurred to me that sewer fat could be made into soap. It’s an ancient process easily carried out in open vats with nothing more than fat and caustic soda. 

From Wikipedia
The earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates back to around 2800 BC in ancient Babylon. A formula for soap consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil was written on a Babylonian clay tablet around 2200 BC. 

So making the stuff is easy and cheap. Even today many people make their own soap, although not usually from sewer fats. However, the only real problem is how one would go about marketing Sewer Soap. I suppose I'm enough of a realist to admit that this could be the tricky bit.

Obviously the green, recycling-is-next-to-saintliness, planet-saving angle is best. I envisage two basic campaigns here, the first being a little more down to earth than the second.

1. Sewer Soap
Pure soap from recycled waste? Not only is it possible, but it’s here now. No chemicals, no additives. Just soap – the way it used to be.

Why Sewer Soap? Because if that’s what it takes to save the planet, that’s what it takes. Get used to it and don't be an eco-wimp – buy Sewer Soap.

2. EcoSoap
EcoSoap is a new environmentally friendly product made entirely of pure soap. No chemicals, no detergents. Just plain recycled soap with a few fragrant Fairtrade natural oils wafted gently into our ancient recipe. That’s it – EcoSoap.

To be honest, I’m not at all satisfied with either approach, but then I’m not a marketing expert. Could it be done though? Could Sewer Soap become an unlikely eco-nut success story?


Scrobs... said...

This is a real problem here, Mr H!

We have a private single treatment plant in the garden, as we're not on main drainage, and I regularly have to rod through the stuff, although there's only two of us now.

I'm looking forward to seeing the maintenance chap get down in there, as he's promised he will, come November! Up to now, I had to do it, with a big stick from the top, but I'm b******d if I'm going to now!

My dad said that on one building job he was running, digging out an old sewage pit made the bloke's beards grow twice as fast...

Any soap we make will be sold at an enormous profit!

Scrobs... said...

Sorry, typo - "blokes'"

Macheath said...

Since it originates in the capital, why not set about marketing it to tourists...

'Sourced below the historic pavements of London, 'My Fair Lady' soap brings you that undefinable touch of British class'.

Alternatively, you could suggest this to Lord Sugar as a task for the next series of 'The Apprentice'.

Woodsy42 said...

Everywhere I go nowadays I find gell detergents in dispensers, I rarely see soap. I think the idea may have missed its time.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea, if commercially viable, but as W42 says, bars of soap seem to be going out of fashion (sadly).

Can you turn sewer fat into "hand gel"?

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - don't you get some anaerobic digestion going on to break it down?

Mac - My Fair Lady sounds like an excellent name. I wonder if the Body Shop would be interested.

Woodsy - I suppose it's connected with detergents not creating scum, especially in hard water.

Mark - yes you could turn sewer fat into hand gel - it would be the oily component that keeps your skin beautifully soft.

Sackerson said...

Needs a more attractive name. Fairy Poo?

A K Haart said...

Sackers - yes, Fairy Poo has a kind of lighthearted modern ring to it. Other aromas could be Pixie Poo and Elf Poo.

Demetrius said...

Revitalised Soap?

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - it's a lot better than recycled as far as soap is concerned!