Sugar soap is a generic name used to describe a popular chemical cleanser and paint priming solution, available in powder and liquid forms. Homemade versions are common as an popular alternative to commercial preparations.
Sugar soap is used to clean and prepare walls for painting or wallpapering, and is very useful in cleaning nicotine stains, grease, pet odors, germs and bacteria, sanitizing the interior walls and floorboards of a desired area.
In the U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand, sugar soap describes a cleanser composed of sodium carbonate, sodium phosphate, and at times sodium silicate as an abrasive, but homemade versions may differ in composition. Sugar is not an ingredient in sugar soap, but the dry form of some brands of this soap resembles sugar crystals, resulting in the name. In the U.S., a comparable cleaning product is TSP, also known as trisodium phosphate.
The name sugar soap is often confused in the United States for skin care and beauty products that lather and contain sugar.
Sugar soap should not be used on the skin, and precautions should be taken to keep the skin and eyes protected from contact with the chemicals.