“Jua Kali” is colloquial for “informal”. Juakali has no standards, no user (ingredient) values and hygiene is at times at its lowest for the finished product.
Kenya Bureau of Standards processes are designed to provide and guide the Formulators with production platforms pegged on standard guidelines that meet minimum quality standards.
Take for example Liquid multi purpose detergent. A juakali formulator will approach a chemical shop selling raw materials for various products. Since the aim of the stockist is to make money, the retailer will stuff the juakali buyer with anything disolvable in water, and a concoction of sort, foamy, soapy and with qualities of a detergent will be made. The preservative is formalin! When KEBS takes your Detergent for analysis, among series of tests that will be done, including pH and Viable Count, a critical parameter will be Total non Detergent Organic Matter. Presence of hydrocarbons, fatty alcohols and certain levels of perfumes may result in detection of the Total non Detergents organic matter levels above the limit of 0.5%. And unfortunately, this is the parameter that fails almost all juakali formulators.
Loading Your Detergent with materials that should otherwise be used in very small quantities can amount to wastage of money. There is a common belief among chemical stockists that Sodium Metasilicate, a chemical intermediate for silica gel catalysts, is a vital component in cleaning products. From my chemistry knowledge, sodium Metasilicate ( stockists fondly refer to it as “CIMET”) is not a cleaning agent by itself, rather it is a VERY strong base. In fact, the pH of 1% aqueous solution of sodium Metasilicate (SMETA) is about 13! Its use in All Purpose detergent, if a must, should be for the purpose of a Builder Component. It principally inactivates water hardness in soaps and Detergents. And with this knowledge, it is an optionally used component in Detergents but a must in degreasers. Its use, therefore, must be in extremely small percentage in all purpose cleaners.
Clarity is an issue with poorly formulated Detergents while deposits occasionally found settling on the container are a true testimony that no standards have been followed during formulation.
Severally, I have observed people use more money to formulate a product when they purchase raw materials from hungry stockists. For example; a superior 20kg liquid detergent should cost about Ksh 328 and not 480/520/650 shillings.
It is therefore advisable to take a lesson on the subject matter as this will not only save you money, but it will assure you quality of the product.