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Basically, yes, by common terms, soft soap has K+$\ce{K+}$ and hard soap has Na+$\ce{Na+}$.

They are both alkali metals, but K+$\ce{K+}$ is below Na+$\ce{Na+}$ on the periodic table so maybe we should consider periodicity trends. As you go down a table the atoms become more reactive, so K+$\ce{K+}$ is more likely to react with polar parts of water than Na+$\ce{Na+}$. Here are solubilities for both (though there are other values that would tell this story, perhaps better than solubility of the product):

Solubility for KOH [Solubility for $\ce{KOH}$] in H2O$\ce{H2O}$ at 25C: 121 g / 100 mL

Solubility for NaOH [Solubility for $\ce{NaOH}$] in H2O$\ce{H2O}$ at 25C: 100 g / 100 mL

Regarding your question of going straight into hard soap, based on this link it seems doable; he just used NaOH $\ce{NaOH}$ (lye) and oils with no mention of KOH $\ce{KOH}$ (potash?) to speak of.

And yes, the positive ions connect to the O-$\ce{O-}$ of the fatty acid as seen in this diagram. img

(img src: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~doetqp-p/courses/env440/env440_2/lectures/lec19/lec19.html)

Basically, yes, by common terms, soft soap has K+ and hard soap has Na+.

They are both alkali metals, but K+ is below Na+ on the periodic table so maybe we should consider periodicity trends. As you go down a table the atoms become more reactive, so K+ is more likely to react with polar parts of water than Na+. Here are solubilities for both (though there are other values that would tell this story, perhaps better than solubility of the product):

Solubility for KOH in H2O at 25C: 121 g / 100 mL

Solubility for NaOH in H2O at 25C: 100 g / 100 mL

Regarding your question of going straight into hard soap, based on this link it seems doable; he just used NaOH (lye) and oils with no mention of KOH (potash?) to speak of.

And yes, the positive ions connect to the O- of the fatty acid as seen in this diagram. img

(img src: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~doetqp-p/courses/env440/env440_2/lectures/lec19/lec19.html)

Basically, yes, by common terms, soft soap has $\ce{K+}$ and hard soap has $\ce{Na+}$.

They are both alkali metals, but $\ce{K+}$ is below $\ce{Na+}$ on the periodic table so maybe we should consider periodicity trends. As you go down a table the atoms become more reactive, so $\ce{K+}$ is more likely to react with polar parts of water than $\ce{Na+}$. Here are solubilities for both (though there are other values that would tell this story, perhaps better than solubility of the product):

[Solubility for $\ce{KOH}$] in $\ce{H2O}$ at 25C: 121 g / 100 mL

[Solubility for $\ce{NaOH}$] in $\ce{H2O}$ at 25C: 100 g / 100 mL

Regarding your question of going straight into hard soap, based on this link it seems doable; he just used $\ce{NaOH}$ (lye) and oils with no mention of $\ce{KOH}$ (potash?) to speak of.

And yes, the positive ions connect to the $\ce{O-}$ of the fatty acid as seen in this diagram. img

(img src: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~doetqp-p/courses/env440/env440_2/lectures/lec19/lec19.html)

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Basically, yes, by common terms, soft soap has K+ and hard soap has Na+.

They are both alkali metals, but K+ is below Na+ on the periodic table so maybe we should consider periodicity trends. As you go down a table the atoms become more reactive, so K+ is more likely to react with polar parts of water than Na+. Here are solubilities for both (though there are other values that would tell this story, perhaps better than solubility of the product):

Solubility for KOH in H2O at 25C: 121 g / 100 mL

Solubility for NaOH in H2O at 25C: 100 g / 100 mL

Regarding your question of going straight into hard soap, based on this link it seems doable; he just used NaOH (lye) and oils with no mention of KOH (potash?) to speak of.

And yes, the positive ions connect to the O- of the fatty acid as seen in this diagram. img

(img src: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~doetqp-p/courses/env440/env440_2/lectures/lec19/lec19.html)