We are so lucky to have a soaper in Ghana. Jeremy in Ghana answered the follow-up questions from these two posts (here and here). A big thank you to Jeremy for sharing his knowledge with the Soap Queen community.
*It sounds like they use this soap mostly for cleaning things. What do they bathe with? How often do people bathe over there?
People buy bath soap for bathing. A very popular brand is Lux, and sells for about 30 cents a bar. People here usually bathe once in the morning and once in the evening. Some of the poorer families, and a lot of times children, use the key or banku soap for bathing. I use the key soap to bathe because it is a hard bar of soap that lasts a long time and is multi-purpose.
*That picture is just fabulous! pyramid of soap…does that say save space for soap drying or what?Do they turn the soap later? oh the questions!
The soap pyramid is that way, yes, because it saves space. They do not come to turn the balls after they are set like that. In fact, when they come to count the balls and put them in sacks to take to market, they are stuck together, so they have to put on the plastic bags and socks on their hands to remove them. Even after a full day, the balls at the core of the pyramid are still hot from the chemical reaction of the soda.
Also, because the soap dries outdoors, there is the worry of theives. The town where Ma Comfort lives is a big town, and leaving the soap sitting out at night could cause problems. After the pyramid is finished, they cover it with plastic to protect it from the rain, and then take some old zinc roofing sheets and put those on top of the piles. That way, if you remove them, you will hear the zinc banging. A high technology alarm system.
*Wow, this interview was cool! It’s great how soap is helping their local economy and to improve the standard of living for these women.I’d like to know if the 2 soaps mentioned are used for different purposes or not, like for bathing or washing clothes only?Most often, banku soap is used for washing dishes, the cooking pots and utensils, and whatever serving bowls. Most often, key soap is used for washing clothes. But either one is soap, so they can serve a variety of purposes. I have used both for washing dishes, washing clothes, bathing dogs, and bathing myself. Using banku soap too much makes my skin dry, but key soap isn’t too bad. The key soap works great for clothes.
Here is more information about Lux Soap:
It’s still being sold if you can believe it.If you Google Image search it, you’ll recognize the brand.
Mo, I’ll pass your note along to Jeremy. Do you have an email address you can email me to give to him? My email is info (at) brambleberry (dot) com
koinonia community says
Aha! I went to the Thai market this morning and they have Lux soap – three different kinds. It said ‘Product of Thailand’. I couldn’t read most of the label and the primary ingredients weren’t listed in English – only the additives that differentiated one type from the other. Sorry! Maybe someone else will know.
i wanted to see if you could email me? i am interesting in going to Ghana on a medical trip, i am an ER nurse/paramedic, and would love to see the soap mkaing etc in person and find a good org to travel with to volunteer. maybe jeremy could help me find a safe route….melissa bodybalms.com
koinonia community says
Great interview. Thanks for sharing. I remember seeing Lux soap in one of the ethnic markets I frequent. I’ll try to check and see what is in it. I just can’t remember which market it was. 🙁
I’m dying to know what is in the Lux soap too. I love the interview, thanks Jeremy!
I love your blog Anne-Marie and yes, thank goodness for air conditioning..lol. I’d be dead without it.
Hugs and love, Cyb
Thank you for the great follow-up interview, Anne-Marie and Jeremy!
Amazing interview. It’s always interesting to see different different cultures and learn about other soapers out there.
Little Shadow Creations says
~Thanks for the follow up! It would be interesting to know what the ingredients of “Lux” are.
Those are some hard core soap women. 🙂
Out of curiosity, can any of us here even make a bar for 30 cents?
This helps remind me of all that I have to be thankful for.