Green soap tincture is a mild type of liquid soap primarily utilized for disinfecting medical instruments and in preparing the skin for piercings and tattoos. It consists of glycerin, alcohol, and lavender oil. It is widely available for use in medical facilities, tattoo parlors, and personal beauty regimens.
During the 20th century, green soap was used throughout Europe as a common type of everyday soap. In its earlier incarnations, its ingredients included linseed, rapeseed, or other vegetable based oils. These were typically mixed with fish oil, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide. When green soap was brought to America, the recipe changed considerably, evolving into the tincture of green soap currently on the market. Though it was once green in color because of the chlorophyll in the unprocessed vegetable oils, the vast majority of green soap manufactured today is actually orange or yellow.
Green soap tincture is recognized as an ideal disinfectant. Hospitals utilize it to wash and sanitize medical tools and it helps in dried blood removal and in the breakdown of protein soils. It is particularly effective for skin preparation before surgery and has been widely employed to efficiently wash the skin after exposure to poison ivy and other toxic plants.
Tattoo artists and body modification professionals use it on the skin for tattoo and piercing preparation. The glycerin in green soap helps keep the skin moist and counteracts the drying effects of the alcohol, creating an optimal working surface on which the artist can ply his or her craft. The soap's mild makeup and disinfectant properties also make it popular for general hand and skin washing.
There are a few warnings to be kept in mind when using green soap tincture. It is solely for external use and should under no circumstances be consumed. The soap has an extremely high level of toxicity, and if ingested, one should promptly seek medical help or contact the nearest poison control center. Green soap tincture can also be irritating to the eyes and may cause an adverse skin reaction in those who have particularly sensitive or damaged skin.
Green soap tincture can be readily found online and in medical or tattoo supply stores. Businesses and institutions often purchase it in bulk, and the soap is typically diluted from its concentrated form. As with any toxic product, it should be kept away from children and pets and stored according to the manufacturer's specifications.