Azul e branco soap
Azul e branco (Blue and White), also known as sabão Offenbach (Offenbach soap) is a type of soap used in Portugal. It is comparable to household soap, but it has a rugged texture, bulky shape, and lack of odour and can generally be purchased in many convenience stores. In Portuguese "azul e branco" literally means "blue and white", which are the distinctive colours of the soap. It can also be found in red and white.
Given the size of a bar of soap (a long 4-sided prism which weighs approximately 1.5 kg), it must be cut to the desired size before use.
Formerly, azul e branco soap was popularly used to wash linen, carpets, and floors, and also for personal hygiene.
Being more effective than normal soap, it was formerly used in to disinfect operating theatres. On the advent of Influenza A virus, the Portuguese health minister advised the population to use it as a substitute for the alcoholic hand cleaners that emerged at that time.
Its usage has greatly declined in recent years as more attractive soaps and detergents become more common, but even now around 6k metric tons are produced every year.
The product consists of saponified fat, water and silicates. Comparable to Marseille soap, but differently colored, it is manufactured into bars with weights of either 400 grams or 1500 grams.
- "O sabão azul e branco já tem 150 anos e continua a vender 6 mil toneladas". Jornal de Negócios. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2011.