ASTM D460 - 91(2014)

    Standard Test Methods for Sampling and Chemical Analysis of Soaps and Soap Products

    Active Standard ASTM D460 | Developed by Subcommittee: D12.12

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.04

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    Significance and Use

    3.1 Soap and soap products are widely used. These test methods are suitable for setting specifications and performing quality control on soap and soap products.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover the sampling and chemical analysis of cake, powdered, flake, liquid, and paste soaps, and soap products.

    1.2 The test methods appear in the following order:




    General Requirements


    Cake Soaps, Flake and Powdered Soap Products when Packed in Cans or Cartons


    Flake and Powdered Soap Products when in Bulk


    Liquid Soap


    Paste Soap Products


    Preparation of Samples


    Test Methods for Chemical Analysis

    Safety Precautions


    Purity of Reagents


    Duplicate Tests



     Choice of Method


     Method A—Matter Volatile at 105°C (Oven Method)


     Method B—Distillation Method

    15 – 18

    Total Matter Insoluble in Alcohol

    19 and 20

    Free Alkali or Free Acid


    Matter Insoluble in Water


    Total Alkalinity of Matter Insoluble in Alcohol, Alkaline Salts


    Combined Alkali, Total Anhydrous Soap

    24 and 25

    Combined Sodium and Potassium Oxides

    26 – 29

    Free Alkali and Potassium Carbonate in Potash Paste Soaps

    30 – 32

    Unsaponified plus Unsaponifiable Matter

    33 – 35

    Unsaponifiable Matter

    36 – 38

    Unsaponified Matter


    Rosin (McNicoll Method)

    40 – 43

    Preparation of Total Fatty Matter, Fatty and Rosin Acids, and Unsaponified Matter

    44 and 45

    Titer Test

    46 and 47

    Acid Number of Fatty Acids

    48 and 49

    Iodine Number (Wijs Method)

    50 – 52


    53 – 55


    56 – 58

    Silica Present as Alkaline Silicates

    59 and 60

    Carbon Dioxide (Carbonates):


     Train-Absorption Method

    61 – 64

     Evolution-Volumetric Method

    65 – 68


    69 – 76

    Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate

    77 – 79


    80 and 81

    Glycerine, Sugars, and Starch:


     Glycerine in the Absence of Sugars

    82 – 84

     Glycerine in the Presence of Sugars

    85 and 86


    87 and 88


    89 and 90

     Volatile Hydrocarbons

    91 – 95

     Copper (Trace Amounts)

     96 – 102

     Precision and Bias


    1.3 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific hazard statements, see Section 10. Material Safety Data Sheets are available for reagents and materials. Review them for hazards prior to usage.

    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D216 Method for Distillation of Natural Gasoline

    D459 Terminology Relating to Soaps and Other Detergents

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    E1 Specification for ASTM Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 71.100.40 (Surface active agents)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D0460-91R14

    Citation Format

    ASTM D460-91(2014), Standard Test Methods for Sampling and Chemical Analysis of Soaps and Soap Products, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2014,

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