Experiment 27: Saponification reaction



  • To study Saponification reaction

Materials required:

  • Dil. Sodium hydroxide solution
  • vegetable oil such as castor/ coconut oil (25 mL)
  • common salt (about 10 g)
  • beakers (50 mL)
  • test tubes


  • Take about 10 mL of coconut oil in a beaker
  • Add 15 mL of sodium hydroxide in the beaker (It is exothermic reaction)
  • Add 5 g of common salt to this mixture and using a glass rod to stir the mixture continuously till the soap begins to set.
  • Leave it for a day till the mixture cools and becomes solid.
  • Filter the mixture to separate out the soap
  • Remove the soap cake and cut it into desired shapes and sizes

Observations and Findings:

  • Does it smell like any soap that you have used?
  • Wash your hands with your soap. Does it lather like regular soap?
  • Does it clean your hands as well as regular soap? Explain.


  • Heat is liberated during saponification


  • Oil or fat when treated with sodium hydroxide solution, gets converted into sodium salt of fatty acid (soap) and glycerol. This reaction is known as saponification.