Preparation of Cresol with Soap Solution

Aim: To prepare and submit 100 ml Cresol with a soap solution. 

Requirements: Cresol, Vegetable oil, Potassium hydroxide, Purified water, Beaker, Glass rod, etc. 

Theory: Cresol is a mixture of ortho-cresol (o-cresol), meta-cresol (m-cresol), and para cresol (p-cresol). It acts as a disinfectant. The solubility of cresol in water is only about 3%, whereas the quantity of cresol present in this preparation is 50%. For dissolving this high proportion of cresol, the solubilizing agent is required. Fatty acids containing vegetable oil react with sodium hydroxide and form soap. This soap acts as a solubilizing agent. The reaction between vegetable oil and potassium hydroxide is known as saponification. Cresol is mixed only after completion of the reaction between vegetable oil and potassium hydroxide. It should be handled carefully as it is a phenolic compound and is caustic. 


IngredientsStandard formula
Cresol50 ml 
Vegetable oil18 gm 
Potassium hydroxide4.2 gm 
Purified water100 ml 


  1. Dissolve potassium hydroxide in 25 ml of purified water. 
  2. Then add vegetable oil. Heat the mixture in a water bath and mix thoroughly. 
  3. Continue heating until a small portion dissolves in water without the separation of oily drops. 
  4. Add cresol and mix thoroughly. 
  5. Add a sufficient amount of purified water to produce the required volume. 

Category: Disinfectant. 

Storage: Preserve in a narrow-mouthed bottle. 


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