Queen Mother is a Scientist Ch 8.2

Translator: @xercia

Queen Mother is a Scientist

Chapter 8 – Chemical Composition of Soap


“Ah! It’s bubbling! Bubbles!” When Li Jingnan saw the reaction in the pot, he shouted!

“Don’t get so close!”

Hua Qingxue pulled Li Jingnan aside. He still looked into the pot and said, “Hua Qingxue, are you making immortality pills…”

Hua Qingxue: “…”

Well, she thought about it, ancient chemistry really started from those Daoist priests making immortality pills…

“It’s a double decomposition of two things that together produce calcium carbonate precipitate and sodium hydroxide.”

“Where? Where is it?”

“Look, now the precipitate in this pot is calcium carbonate, and the rest is sodium hydroxide. It’s very easy to separate. It doesn’t need to be filtered twice.”

Li Jingnan looked at the unknown things in the pot doubtfully, then looked at Hua Qingxue with a puzzled expression, “This can make soap?”

Hua Qingxue nodded assuredly, “En! I’ll clean up. Go inside and get the oil.”

“Alright!” Li Jingnan rushed into the house happily and soon came out holding the oil pot.

Hua Qingxue carefully separated the sodium hydroxide from the precipitate in the pot, then poured the sodium hydroxide back into the pot, scooped a spoon of water from the bucket, and slowly mixed it into the pot.

There was a violent reaction in the pot immediately. Layers of smoke came out of the pot!

Hua Qingxue was prepared long ago and immediately covered her mouth and nose. Li Jingnan imitated her and covered half of his face. In the end, his childish nature was hard to get rid of and he secretly opened his mouth to inhale midway. He immediately choked to the point of a runny nose and tears!

Hua Qingxue couldn’t attend to him now. She wrapped both hands in thick cloth, held her breath, and grabbed both sides of the pot. She lifted it and put it into the prepared basin which submerged the bottom half of the pot. 

“Sodium hydroxide produces high temperatures and steam when it meets water, but it only lasts about one minute. Now we’ll let it cool it down.”

“And then you can make soap?” Li Jingnan wiped his nose and asked her.

Hua Qingxue shook her head. She waited quietly for a while, reached out, and touched the outer edge of the pot carefully. Now in winter, things would cool down quickly. Plus, by submerging it in cold water, the pot wasn’t very hot. 

Once it was about 40 degrees [Celsius], they could add oil when it was warm. 

“En? Where is the oil I asked you to get?”

Li Jingnan immediately pointed to the oil pot at the side.

As soon as Hua Qingxue saw this, she spanked his butt! 

“This is the oil we eat ourselves! I asked you to get the waste oil that Aunt Yan gave us!”

There was always a lot of waste oil left over in restaurants every day. After countless times of frying, the oil was mixed with the residue of many ingredients. The color was brownish-black, so it was no longer edible. 

Waste oil didn’t cost a cent. It was perfect for making soap. 

Li Jingnan dawdled for a bit, frowned, and mumbled “I’m the crown prince“. Then he shrugged, ran back to the house, and brought out the waste oil Hua Qingxue had talked about.

Hua Qingxue added oil to the dissolved sodium hydroxide and stirred with long chopsticks at the same time. Once she was tired of stirring, Li Jingnan switched out with her. 

“Don’t change directions. Keep going in one direction.”

The two people continued to stir for about fifteen minutes by switching between the two. The contents of the pot became like milk tea. No oil could be seen on the surface. 

Hua Qingxue took out several large bowls and arranged them in a row beside the pot, pouring the contents of the pot into the bowls, one by one. After that, Hua Qingxue clapped her hands and said: “Alright! Put it under the roof where the sun can’t reach it, it will dry tomorrow and then it will be cut into small pieces.”

Li Jingnan’s face was full of expectation, “Will it become soap tomorrow?”

Hua Qingxue smiled, “En! But we have to wait a month before we can use it. The longer you let it sit, the more effective it will be!”

Li Jingnan turned pale with fright! “What are you doing! How can the Liao soldiers wait for you for a month?!!”

Hua Qingxue turned to look at him with a blank face. “I didn’t plan to use the soap to wash those military uniforms…”

Soap was only effective when it had sat out for a long time. Hua Qingxue already estimated that the shortest time would be one month. Even in the era of modern large industries, the best time to sell handmade soap was three to six months after it was made. 

Of course, if the soap was mass-produced by machine, they wouldn’t need to wait for such a long time. The price would also be much cheaper than handmade soap.

The price of a commodity is always tied to two things: one is whether its materials are scarce and the other is how long it takes to make. 

Sometimes, Li Jingnan really felt an overwhelming headache for Hua Qingxue who was slow-witted!

He was anxious and angry as he said: “Since these things are not used for washing clothes…why do you bother?! Aren’t you afraid that if you don’t wash clean those clothes, they will stab you?!”

He wanted to say more: What time is it now! How do you still have time to make soap? Ah?!

Hua Qingxue was not slow-witted. She was very smart. She had countless scientific knowledge in her mind. But the problem is— her thinking and cognition were different from Li Jingnan’s.

She must quickly find a way to survive here, so she could live well after escaping with Li Jingnan. 

Renqiu was too disorderly. She hadn’t met with a mishap so far. Other than being very careful, she was even luckier. 

The chaotic public order, the fluctuating prices, and the tense and oppressive atmosphere that permeated the city all the time made her want to leave the city constantly…

Hua Qingxue began to clean up the utensils and prepared to make another pot of soap mixed with sulfur. Simultaneously, she replied to Li Jingnan: “They don’t need this for their clothes. We just need to dip potato flour in vinegar and apply it directly to the places with blood. When the potato flour is dry, once we lightly rub it, the blood will also rub off together with the flour…if it still isn’t clean, rinsing it with boiled rotten radish water will be enough. 

Li Jingnan was wide-eyed, “It’s that simple?”

Hua Qingxue helplessly spread her hands, “Otherwise, how hard do you think it will be?”


TN: Just guest translating for this project. Hope you guys like it!


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