Are you aware that millions of gullible consumers are taken for ride by the leading soap manufacturers? A recent survey conducted by the VOICE revealed that the most brands are under weight and their fatty content is lower than claimed.

Have you ever noticed words like “toilet soap” or “bathing bar” on your soap’s wrapper? This led me to do little research on soap and put forward my findings here. Sadly, we don’t find time to know about simple things such as soap that comes in contact with our body everyday. Hence, I’ve gone ahead and revealed soap story.

toilet soaps stock Photo: Courtesy of jimshields@Flickr


Toilet Soap Vs Bathing Bar:

We seldom use the words “toilet soap” and “beauty soap” interchangeably. In reality, there is a considerable difference between them. The first one is used to cleanse the body and the latter is to beautify the skin.

Similarly, there is a distinction between toilet soap and bathing bar. Toilet soap contain more fatty material on the other hand bathing bars contain surface active agents with low TFM (total Fatty Matter). Today, 85 percent of soaps available in the consumer market are bathing bars. If you have observed the premium brands like Dove and Pears, be surprised to find that they are bathing bars.

The bathing bars are nothing but entry level soaps while toilet soaps are categorized into 3 grades based on their TFM values. The higher TFM present in soap contributes better cleansing action. An ideal fat to bases ratio of 5:1 makes a TFM of 83.3%. However, it is disappointing to note that you will not find such ideal toilet soap in the market.

What is Grade I Soap?

As per Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the Grade I soap has TFM above 80%, Grade II with TFM 65-80% and Grade III with TFM 55-65%. Usually, bathing bars do have a TFM value less than 55%. Therefore, it is always recommended to pick a toilet soap that falls under Grade I category that has high cleansing efficiency.

It is mandatory for toilet soap marketing companies to display TFM value on soap wrapper. Always make sure to check the cover for TFM value and get high TFM soap for pleasant bath. Don’t let MNC’s to take you for granted. Remember Grade III means a lot of filler. It may be asbestos or any other harmful surfactant. Be wise and make a judicious choice for yourself with TFM value not less than 75%.

Sadly, the popular soap brands like Lux and Dettol have 70% and 71% respectively. Similarly, the popular ayurvedic tagged brands like Chandrika and Medimix have a low TFM of 65% and 62%.

To sum it up, I’ve collected TFM value of various soap brands found in local general stores and retail outlets.

Soaps and their TFM Values

S.No. Soap Name TFM (in %)
1. Mysore Sandal 80
2. Doy Care Crème Soap 80
3. Cinthol Original 79
4. Johnsons Baby Soap 78
5. Nivea Crème Soap 78
6. Amway Pesona Soap 76
7. Godrej No: 1 76
8. Park Avenue Luxury Fragrant Soap 76
9. Yardley 76
10. Vivel Luxury Creme with Olive Butter 74
11. Liril 2000 with Tea Tree Oil 73
12. Santoor 72
13. Lux International 72
14. Santoor 72
15. Dettol Original 71
16. Lux 70
17. Rexona 70
18. Vivel 70
19. Hamam 68
20. Chandrika Original 65
21. Doy Care Aloe Vera 62
22. Medimix Ayurvedic Soap with 18 Herbs 62
23. International Camay 60
24. Lifebuoy 60
25. Dove ##
26. Fiama Di Wills ##
27. Pears ##


Bottom Line Up Front:

Don’t worry too much if you make a mistake. You can rectify it from now-on-wards. Just check for TFM value on the soap wrapper and pick the higher grade TFM toilet soap for the best cleansing action and bathing experience.