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The long awaited Mohalalitoe Natural Soap is now available in the markets, much to the delight of its fans! This after more than 6 years of patient development at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Innovation Hub. “You will recall that Mohalalitoe is that soap which independent NUL scientists proved it beats five popular South African soap brands hands down,” said Rethabile Nthebe, the NUL Chemical Technology student who is part of the Development of Mohalalitoe.

You can find Mohalitoe in the following shops in Maseru: [1] Enrich Stores, Ha Mafafa, [2] First Choice, Opposite Sefika Complex [3] Lekhaloananeng Casha and Carry, Lekhoaloaneng, [4] Mpeoa Supermarket, Naleli, [5] ‘Na le Uena Supermarket, Ha Thetsane, Lekhalong, [6] Lovely Cosmetics, Sefika Complex.

Why did it take so long before we could enjoy Mohalalitoe? “One of the beauties of innovation is that you don’t only seek to master the product, that is the easy part,” Nthebe said. “The hard part is mastering the process of making that product. Look! we didn’t import a soap making system from China, we designed and implemented it ourselves. That is not easy.”

Today, we are going to remind you how and why Mohalalitoe took five well respected South African soap brands into a boxing ring and beat them all to pulp—scientifically. However, we don’t want you to take our word for it. Why not buy a bar of Mohalalitoe and prove for yourself that there is nothing quite like it in the market?

Here we go:

1. Percentage Chloride: A high percentage of chlorides leads to cracking of soap, which is undesirable. Some soap manufacturers put chlorides in their soap to make it harder. Of the five soaps tested against it, Mohalalitoe had the lowest percentage chloride. It maintains the right hardness without chemicals, NUL scientists revealed.

2. PH: High PH creates dry skin. Mohalalitoe was not only within the recommended PH, it was the second best in terms of PH, being beaten by only one of the five soaps.

3. Moisture Content: Soap with low moisture content has the highest shelf-life—they spend more time on the shop shelves without going bad. Mohalalitoe had the lowest moisture content of them all. “It could be due to the way Mohalalitoe is manufactured, it spends more than three dozen days where it is allowed to mature before it is sold, loosing moisture in the process,” said Limakatso Nthethe, one of the scientists who did the extensive tests.

4. Foam Stability: This factor measures how long it takes for a foam from soap to last before it disappears. If the foam lasts long, that means it would clean more. In this case, Mohalalitoe was number 3, beaten by two other soaps. However, these soaps might have had a better foam stability because of their use of harsh chemicals.

5. Saponification Value: This measures how well oils used to make soaps will react with alkaline liquids also used in soap-making. If the value is high, it means the oils react well with the liquids. Mohalalitoe oils had a well acceptable value. Since this value is based on the oils used in soap-making, comparing with other soaps was not feasible because soap-makers often hide some of their raw materials.

6. Total Fatty Matter: This is one of the most important ways to gauge the usefulness of soap. It is so important that it is used as a means to measure soap quality, with grade A (75-100%) being the best, grade B (60-74%) being medium quality and grade C (50-69%) being the not-so-good. Well, Mohalalitoe received as score of 92%, beating all the competing soaps in terms of quality. It was followed by another soap at a distant 81% and some bowed as low as the 60s.

7. Free Caustic Alkali: This measures the abrasiveness of any given soap. free alkali has a tendency to attack important soap oils. Soaps without free alkali are no good because excess free alkali can also cause skin itching. Here Mohalalitoe and one other soap were tied up in the first position.

8. Foam Height: Foam height indicates presence of additives that lead to big foams. Mohalalitoe, which does not depend on chemical additives, had a moderate foam height, which is okay. Still, Mohalalitoe was beaten by only one soap.

9. Effectiveness of Cleaning: With this factor, your first guess is the right guess. It measures the ability of a soap to do what we buy it to do—cleaning. Well, as you may have guessed, Mohalalitoe beat all the soaps. “It was the best cleaner among the rest,” said Sepheka Ntjana, one of the scientists who examined the soap.

10. Matter Insoluble in Alcohol (MIA): This is used to determine the purity of soap. It measures non-soap ingredients known as builders or fillers such as sodium silicate, sodium phosphate and sodium carbonates (they can be used to make a soap cheaper—but not necessarily good).

A soap with high MIA value suggests that it contains a high level of these impurities. “Mohalalitoe had the lowest MIA, implying the lowest content of impurities among all the soaps,” Ntjana said.

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