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Soap is a
salt Salt is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure fo ...
of a
fatty acid In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
used in a variety of cleansing and lubricating products. In a domestic setting, soaps are
surfactant Surfactants are compounds that lower the (or interfacial tension) between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as s, agents, , s, or s. The word "surfactant" is a of ''surface-active a ...

surfactant
s usually used for
washing Washing is a method of cleaning Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment. Cleaning occurs in many different contexts, and uses many different m ...

washing
,
bathing Bathing is the washing Washing is a method of cleaning Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment. Cleaning occurs in many different contexts, ...

bathing
, and other types of
housekeeping Housekeeping refers to the management of duties and chores involved in the running of a household, such as cleaning, cooking, home maintenance, shopping, and bill payment. These tasks may be performed by members of the household, or by other pers ...
. In industrial settings, soaps are used as
thickener A thickening agent or thickener is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anythin ...
s, components of some
lubricant A lubricant is a substance that helps to reduce friction Friction is the force In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and b ...
s, and precursors to
catalyst that utilizes a low-temperature oxidation catalyst to convert carbon monoxide to less toxic carbon dioxide at room temperature. It can also remove formaldehyde from the air. Catalysis () is the process of increasing the reaction rate, rate of a ...

catalyst
s. When used for cleaning, soap solubilizes particles and grime, which can then be separated from the article being cleaned. In
hand washing Hand washing (or handwashing), also known as hand hygiene, is the act of cleaning one's hand A hand is a prehensile, multi- fingered appendage located at the end of the forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the El ...

hand washing
, as a surfactant, when lathered with a little water, soap kills
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s by disorganizing their membrane
lipid bilayer The lipid bilayer (or phospholipid bilayer) is a thin polar membrane A polarized membrane is a lipid bilayer, lipid membrane that has a positive electrical charge on one side and a negative charge on another side, which produces the resting pote ...
and
denaturing Denaturation may refer to: *Denaturation (biochemistry), a structural change in macromolecules caused by extreme conditions *Denaturation (fissile materials), transforming fissile materials so that they cannot be used in nuclear weapons *Denaturati ...
their
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
s. It also
emulsifies An emulsion is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavi ...
oils, enabling them to be carried away by running water. Soap is created by mixing fats and oils with a
base Base or BASE may refer to: Brands and enterprises * Base (mobile telephony provider), a Belgian mobile telecommunications operator *Base CRM Base CRM (originally Future Simple or PipeJump) is an enterprise software company based in Mountain Vie ...
, as opposed to
detergent A detergent is a surfactant Surfactants are compounds that lower the (or interfacial tension) between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as s, agents, , s, or s. The word "surfact ...
which is created by combining chemical compounds in a mixer. Humans have used soap for millennia. Evidence exists of the production of soap-like materials in around 2800 BC in ancient
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
.


Types

Since they are salts of fatty acids, soaps have the general formula ( RCO2)nMn+ (Where R is an
alkyl In organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, pr ...

alkyl
, M is a
metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

metal
and n is the charge of the
cation An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are u ...
). The major classification of soaps is determined by the identity of Mn+. When M is
Na
Na
(Sodium) or
K
K
(Potassium), the soaps are called toilet soaps, used for handwashing. Many metal
dication A dication is any cation An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects ...
s (
Mg2+
Mg<sup>2+</sup>
,
Ca2+
Ca<sup>2+</sup>
, and others) give
metallic soap A metallic soap is a metallic salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its natural form as a crystallinity, crystalline minera ...
. When M is
Li
Li
, the result is
lithium soap Lithium soap is a soap Soap is a salt (chemistry), salt of a fatty acid used in a variety of cleansing and lubricating products. In a domestic setting, soaps are surfactants usually used for washing, bathing, and other types of housekeeping. ...
(e.g.,
lithium stearate Lithium stearate is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by c ...

lithium stearate
), which is used in high-performance greases. A cation from an
organic base An organic base is an organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's ability to Catenation, ...
such as
ammonium The ammonium cation An ion () is an atom or molecule with a net electric charge, electrical charge. The charge of an electron is considered negative by convention and this charge is equal and opposite to charge of a proton, which is conside ...

ammonium
can be used instead of a metal; ammonium
nonanoate
nonanoate
is an ammonium-based soap that is used as an herbicide. Unlike detergents, when used in
hard water Hard water is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living orga ...
soap does not lather well and a scum of
stearate
stearate
, a common ingredient in soap, forms as an insoluble precipitate.


Non-toilet soaps

Soaps are key components of most lubricating greases and thickeners. Greases are usually
emulsion An emulsion is a mixture In chemistry, a mixture is a material made up of two or more different chemical substances which are not chemically combined. A mixture is the physical combination of two or more substances in which the identities are ...

emulsion
s of
calcium soap
calcium soap
or lithium soap and
mineral oil Mineral oil is any of various colorless, odorless, light mixtures of higher alkanes Higher alkanes are alkanes having nine or more carbon atoms. Nonane is the lightest alkane to have a flash point above 25 °C, and is not classified as da ...
. Many other metallic soaps are also useful, including those of
aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in and ) is a with the  Al and  13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common , at approximately one third that of . It has a great affinity towards , and of on the surface when exposed to air ...

aluminium
,
sodium Sodium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical eleme ...

sodium
, and mixtures thereof. Such soaps are also used as thickeners to increase the
viscosity The viscosity of a fluid In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, ...

viscosity
of oils. In ancient times, lubricating greases were made by the addition of
lime Lime refers to: * Lime (fruit), a green citrus fruit * Lime (material), inorganic materials containing calcium, usually calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide * Lime (color), a color between yellow and green Lime may also refer to: Botany * Austra ...
to
olive oil Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomi ...

olive oil
. Metal soaps are also included in modern artists'
oil paint Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, color, ...

oil paint
s formulations as a
rheology Rheology (; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...

rheology
modifier.


Production of metallic soaps

Most metal soaps are prepared by neutralization of purified fatty acids: :2 RCO2
H
H
+
CaO Calcium oxide (CaO), commonly known as quicklime or burnt lime, is a widely used chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter ...
→ (RCO2)2
Ca
Ca
+
H2O
H<sub>2</sub>O


Toilet soaps

In a domestic setting, "soap" usually refers to what is technically called a toilet soap, used for household and personal cleaning. When used for cleaning, soap solubilizes particles and grime, which can then be separated from the article being cleaned. The insoluble oil/fat molecules become associated inside
micelle Image:Micelle scheme-en.svg, 250px, Scheme of a micelle formed by phospholipids in an aqueous solution A micelle () or micella () (plural micelles or micellae, respectively) is an aggregate (or supramolecular assembly) of surfactant phospholipid ...

micelle
s, tiny spheres formed from soap molecules with polar
hydrophilic A hydrophile is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral group of two or more atoms ...

hydrophilic
(water-attracting) groups on the outside and encasing a
lipophilicLipophilicity (from Greek language, Greek λίπος "fat" and :wikt:φίλος, φίλος "friendly"), refers to the ability of a chemical compound to dissolve in fats, oils, lipids, and non-polar solvents such as hexane or toluene. Such non-polar ...
(fat-attracting) pocket, which shields the oil/fat molecules from the water making it soluble. Anything that is soluble will be washed away with the water.


Production of toilet soaps

The production of toilet soaps usually entails
saponification Saponification is a process that involves the conversion of fat, oil, or lipid, into soap and alcohol by the action of aqueous alkali (e.g. Sodium hydroxide, NaOH). Soaps are salts of fatty acids, which in turn are carboxylic acids with long carbon ...

saponification
of
triglyceride A triglyceride (TG, triacylglycerol, TAG, or triacylglyceride) is an ester An ester is a derived from an (organic or inorganic) in which at least one –OH group is replaced by an –O– () group, as in the substitution reaction of a an ...

triglyceride
s, which are vegetable or animal oils and fats. An alkaline solution (often
lye A lye is a metal hydroxideMetal hydroxides are hydroxides of metals. They are often strong base (chemistry), bases. They consist of hydroxide anions and metallic cations. Some metal hydroxides, such as alkali metal hydroxides, ionize completel ...
or
sodium hydroxide Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye A lye is a metal hydroxide traditionally obtained by leaching wood ashes, or a strong alkali In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chem ...

sodium hydroxide
) induces saponification whereby the triglyceride fats first
hydrolyze Hydrolysis (; ) is any chemical reaction in which a molecule of water breaks one or more chemical bonds. The term is used broadly for substitution, elimination, and solvation reactions in which water is the nucleophile In chemistry, a nucleop ...

hydrolyze
into salts of fatty acids.
Glycerol Glycerol (; also called glycerine in British English and glycerin in American English) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic. The glycerol backbone is found in lipids known ...
(glycerin) is liberated. The glycerin can remain in the soap product as a softening agent, although it is sometimes separated.Cavitch, Susan Miller. ''The Natural Soap Book''. Storey Publishing, 1994 . The type of alkali metal used determines the kind of soap product. Sodium soaps, prepared from
sodium hydroxide Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye A lye is a metal hydroxide traditionally obtained by leaching wood ashes, or a strong alkali In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chem ...

sodium hydroxide
, are firm, whereas
potassium Potassium is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, b ...

potassium
soaps, derived from
potassium hydroxide Potassium hydroxide is an inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, ...

potassium hydroxide
, are softer or often liquid. Historically, potassium hydroxide was extracted from the ashes of
bracken Bracken (''Pteridium'') is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV classificati ...
or other plants. Lithium soaps also tend to be hard. These are used exclusively in greases. For making toilet soaps,
triglyceride A triglyceride (TG, triacylglycerol, TAG, or triacylglyceride) is an ester An ester is a derived from an (organic or inorganic) in which at least one –OH group is replaced by an –O– () group, as in the substitution reaction of a an ...

triglyceride
s (oils and fats) are derived from coconut, olive, or palm oils, as well as
tallow Tallow is a rendering (industrial), rendered form of beef or mutton fat, primarily made up of triglycerides. In industry, tallow is not strictly defined as beef or mutton fat. In this context, tallow is animal fat that conforms to certain techni ...

tallow
.David J. Anneken, Sabine Both, Ralf Christoph, Georg Fieg, Udo Steinberner, Alfred Westfechtel "Fatty Acids" in Ullmann's ''Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry'' 2006, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. Triglyceride is the chemical name for the tri
ester An ester is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by chemic ...

ester
s of fatty acids and
glycerin Glycerol (; also called glycerine or glycerin) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) und ...

glycerin
. Tallow, ''i.e.,'' rendered fat, is the most available triglyceride from animals. Each species offers quite different fatty acid content, resulting in soaps of distinct feel. The seed oils give softer but milder soaps. Soap made from pure
olive oil Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomi ...

olive oil
, sometimes called
Castile soap Castile soap is a vegetable oil-based hard soap made in a style similar to that originating in the Castile (historical region), Castile region of Spain. History The origins of Castile soap go back to the Levant, where Aleppo soap-makers have made ...
or
Marseille soap Marseille soap or ''Savon de Marseille'' () is a traditional hard soap made from vegetable oils that has been produced around Marseille Marseille ( , also spelled in English as ''Marseilles''; , ; oc, Marselha ) is the Prefectures in France ...
, is reputed for its particular mildness. The term "Castile" is also sometimes applied to soaps from a mixture of oils, but a high percentage of olive oil.


History


Ancient Middle East

The earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates back to around 2800 BC in ancient
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
. A formula for making soap was written on a
Sumerian
Sumerian
clay tablet around 2500 BC; the soap was produced by heating a mixture of oil and
wood ash Wood ash is the powdery residue remaining after the combustion Combustion, or burning, is a high-temperature exothermic In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and tempe ...

wood ash
, the earliest recorded chemical reaction, and used for washing
woolen Woolen (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is th ...
clothing. The
Ebers papyrus The Ebers Papyrus, also known as Papyrus Ebers, is an Egyptian medical papyri, Egyptian medical papyrus of herbal knowledge dating to circa 1550 BC. Among the oldest and most important medical papyri of ancient Egypt, it was purchased at Luxor i ...
(Egypt, 1550 BC) indicates the
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
ians used soap as a medicine and combined animal fats or vegetable oils with a
soda ash Sodium carbonate, , (also known as washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals) is the inorganic compound with the formula Na2CO3 and its various hydrates. All forms are white, water-soluble salts that yield moderately alkaline solutions in water. H ...
substance called Trona to create their soaps. Egyptian documents mention a similar substance was used in the preparation of
wool Wool is the textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitti ...
for weaving. In the reign of
Nabonidus Nabonidus (Babylonian cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the begi ...

Nabonidus
(556–539 BC), a recipe for soap consisted of ''uhulu'' shes
cypress Cypress is a common name for various conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta ( ...

cypress
and sesame eed oil"for washing the stones for the servant girls". In
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
, the ashes from
barilla plants ''Barilla'' refers to several species of salt-tolerant (halophyte) plants that, until the 19th Century, were the primary source of soda ash and hence of sodium carbonate. The word "barilla" was also used directly to refer to the soda ash obtained ...
, such as species of
Salsola ''Salsola'' is a genus of the subfamily Salsoloideae in the family Amaranthaceae. The genus ''sensu stricto'' is distributed in central and southwestern Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. A common name of various members of this genus and ...
, saltwort ('' Seidlitzia rosmarinus'') and ''
Anabasis Anabasis (from Greek ''ana'' = "upward", ''bainein'' = "to step or march") is an expedition from a coastline into the interior of a country. Anabase and Anabasis may also refer to: History * ''Anabasis Alexandri ''The Anabasis of Alexander'' ...

Anabasis
'', were used in soap production, known as
potash Potash () includes various mined and manufactured salts In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structu ...
. Soap made from potash (a concentrate of burnt wood or vegetable ashes mixed with lard or olive oil) is alkaline. If animal lard were used, it was heated and kept lukewarm (not boiling hot; neither cold). Lard, collected from
suet Image:Beef suet-01.jpg, Calf suet Suet is the raw, hard fat of beef, Lamb and mutton, lamb or mutton found around the loins and kidneys. Suet has a melting point of between 45 °C and 50 °C (113 °F and 122 °F) and congelat ...
, needed to be rendered and strained before being used with ashes (with the recommended consistency of 1 cup of lard to 3/8 cup of concentrated ash water). Traditionally, olive oil was used instead of animal lard throughout the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
, which was boiled in a copper cauldron for several days. As the boiling progresses, alkali ashes and smaller quantities of
quicklime Calcium Calcium is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxide-nitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical pr ...
were added, and constantly stirred. In the case of lard, it required constant stirring while kept lukewarm until it began to trace. Once it began to thicken, the brew was poured into a mold and left to cool and harden for two weeks. After hardening, it was cut into smaller cakes. Aromatic herbs were often added to the rendered soap to impart their fragrance, such as
yarrow ''Achillea millefolium'', commonly known as yarrow () or common yarrow, is a flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Gre ...

yarrow
leaves,
lavender ''Lavandula'' (common name lavender) is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living or ...

lavender
, germander, etc. This ancient method is still in use in the production of
Nabulsi soap Nabulsi soap ( ar, صابون نابلسي, ''ṣābūn Nābulsi'') is a type of castile soap produced only in Nablus Nablus ( ; ar, نابلس, Nābulus ; he, שכם, Šəḵem, Biblical ''Shechem'', ISO 259-3 ''Škem''; el, Νεάπολις ...

Nabulsi soap
.


Roman Empire

The word ''sapo'', Latin for soap, likely was borrowed from an early Germanic language and is
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
with Latin ''sebum'', "
tallow Tallow is a rendering (industrial), rendered form of beef or mutton fat, primarily made up of triglycerides. In industry, tallow is not strictly defined as beef or mutton fat. In this context, tallow is animal fat that conforms to certain techni ...

tallow
". It first appears in
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
's account, '' Historia Naturalis'', which discusses the manufacture of soap from tallow and ashes. There he mentions its use in the treatment of scrofulous sores, as well as among the
Gauls The Gauls ( la, Galli; grc, Γαλάται, ''Galátai'') were a group of peoples of in the and the (roughly from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD). The area they originally inhabited was known as . Their forms the main branch of th ...
as a dye to redden hair which the men in
Germania Germania ( , ), also called Magna Germania (English: ''Great Germania''), Germania Libera (English: ''Free Germania'') or Germanic Barbaricum Barbaricum (from the gr, Βαρβαρικόν, "foreign", "barbarian") is a geographical name used by ...

Germania
were more likely to use than women. The Romans avoided washing with harsh soaps before encountering the milder soaps used by the Gauls around 58 BC.
Aretaeus of Cappadocia Aretaeus ( grc-gre, Ἀρεταῖος) is one of the most celebrated of the ancient Greek physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simpl ...

Aretaeus of Cappadocia
, writing in the 2nd century AD, observes among "Celts, which are men called Gauls, those alkaline substances that are made into balls ..called ''soap''". The Romans' preferred method of cleaning the body was to massage oil into the skin and then scrape away both the oil and any dirt with a
strigil The strigil ( el, στλεγγίς, translit=stleggís) is a tool for the cleansing of the body by scraping off dirt, perspiration Perspiration, also known as sweating, is the production of fluids secreted by the sweat glands in the skin Sk ...
. The standard design is a curved blade with a handle, all of which is made of metal. The 2nd-century AD physician
Galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modi ...
describes soap-making using lye and prescribes washing to carry away impurities from the body and clothes. The use of soap for personal cleanliness became increasingly common in this period. According to Galen, the best soaps were Germanic, and soaps from Gaul were second best.
Zosimos of Panopolis Zosimos of Panopolis ( el, Ζώσιμος ὁ Πανοπολίτης; also known by the Latin name Zosimus Alchemista, i.e. "Zosimus the Alchemist") was an Greeks in Egypt, Egyptian-born Greek Alchemy, alchemist and Gnostic mysticism, mystic who li ...
, ''circa'' 300 AD, describes soap and soapmaking.


Ancient China

A detergent similar to soap was manufactured in ancient China from the seeds of Gleditsia sinensis. Another traditional detergent is a mixture of pig pancreas and plant ash called ''zhuyizi'' (). True soap, made of animal fat, did not appear in China until the modern era. Soap-like detergents were not as popular as ointments and creams.


Middle East

Hard toilet soap with a pleasant smell was produced in the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, when soap-making became an established industry. Recipes for soap-making are described by Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (c. 865–925), who also gave a recipe for producing glycerine from
olive oil Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomi ...

olive oil
. In the Middle East, soap was produced from the interaction of fatty oils and fats with alkali. In Syria, soap was produced using olive oil together with alkali and Lime (material), lime. Soap was exported from Syria to other parts of the Muslim world and to Europe.Ahmad Y. al-Hassan (2001)
''Science and Technology in Islam: Technology and applied sciences'', pages 73-74
, UNESCO
A 12th-century document describes the process of soap production. It mentions the key ingredient, alkali, which later became crucial to modern chemistry, derived from ''al-qaly'' or "ashes". By the 13th century, the manufacture of soap in the Middle East had become virtually industrialized, with sources in Nablus, Fes, Damascus, and Aleppo.


Medieval Europe

Soapmakers in Naples were members of a guild in the late sixth century (then under the control of the Eastern Roman Empire), and in the eighth century, soap-making was well known in Italy and Spain. The Carolingian capitulary ''De Villis'', dating to around 800, representing the royal will of Charlemagne, mentions soap as being one of the products the stewards of royal estates are to tally. The lands of Medieval Spain were a leading soapmaker by 800, and soapmaking began in the Kingdom of England about 1200. Soapmaking is mentioned both as "women's work" and as the produce of "good workmen" alongside other necessities, such as the produce of carpenters, blacksmiths, and bakers. In Europe, soap in the 9th century was produced from animal fats and had an unpleasant smell. Hard toilet soap with a pleasant smell was later imported from the Middle East. By the 15th century, the manufacture of soap in the Christendom had become virtually industrialized, with sources in Antwerp, Castile (historical region), Castile, Marseille, Naples and Venice.


15th–18th centuries

In France, by the second half of the 15th century, the semi-industrialized professional manufacture of soap was concentrated in a few centers of Provence—Toulon, Hyères, and Marseille—which supplied the rest of France. In Marseilles, by 1525, production was concentrated in at least two factories, and soap production at Marseille tended to eclipse the other Provençal centers. English manufacture tended to concentrate in London. Finer soaps were later produced in Europe from the 16th century, using vegetable oils (such as
olive oil Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomi ...

olive oil
) as opposed to animal fats. Many of these soaps are still produced, both industrially and by small-scale artisans.
Castile soap Castile soap is a vegetable oil-based hard soap made in a style similar to that originating in the Castile (historical region), Castile region of Spain. History The origins of Castile soap go back to the Levant, where Aleppo soap-makers have made ...
is a popular example of the vegetable-only soaps derived from the oldest "white soap" of Italy. In 1634 Charles I granted the newly formed Society of Soapmakers a monopoly in soap production who produced certificates from ‘foure Countesses, and five Viscountesses, and divers other Ladies and Gentlewomen of great credite and quality, besides common Laundresses and others’, testifying that ‘the New White Soap washeth whiter and sweeter than the Old Soap’. Industrially manufactured ''bar soaps'' became available in the late 18th century, as advertising campaigns in Europe and America promoted popular awareness of the relationship between cleanliness and health. In modern times, the use of soap has become commonplace in industrialized nations due to a better understanding of the role of hygiene in reducing the population size of pathogenic microorganisms. File:Dobbins' medicated toilet soap, advertising, 1869.jpg, Advertising for Dobbins' medicated toilet soap File:Palmolive soap 1922 advertisement ladies home journal.jpeg, A 1922 magazine advertisement for Colgate-Palmolive, Palmolive Soap File:Liquid antibacterial soap.jpg, Liquid soap


19th century

Until the Industrial Revolution, soapmaking was conducted on a small scale and the product was rough. In 1780, James Keir established a chemical works at Tipton, for the manufacture of alkali from the sulfates of
potash Potash () includes various mined and manufactured salts In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structu ...
and soda, to which he afterwards added a soap manufactory. The method of extraction proceeded on a discovery of Keir's. In 1790, Nicolas Leblanc discovered how to make alkali from common salt. Andrew Pears started making a high-quality, transparent soap in 1807 in London. His son-in-law, Thomas J. Barratt, opened a factory in Isleworth in 1862. During the Stuart Restoration, Restoration era (February 1665 – August 1714) a soap tax was introduced in England, which meant that until the mid-1800s, soap was a luxury, used regularly only by the well-to-do. The soap manufacturing process was closely supervised by revenue officials who made sure that soapmakers' equipment was kept under lock and key when not being supervised. Moreover, soap could not be produced by small makers because of a law that stipulated that soap boilers must manufacture a minimum quantity of one imperial ton at each boiling, which placed the process beyond the reach of the average person. The soap trade was boosted and deregulated when the tax was repealed in 1853. William Gossage produced low-priced, good-quality soap from the 1850s. Robert Spear Hudson (soap), Robert Spear Hudson began manufacturing a soap powder in 1837, initially by grinding the soap with a mortar and pestle. American manufacturer Benjamin T. Babbitt introduced marketing innovations that included the sale of bar soap and distribution of product samples. William Hesketh Lever and his brother, James Lever, James, bought a small soap works in Warrington in 1886 and founded what is still one of the largest soap businesses, formerly called Lever Brothers and now called Unilever. These soap businesses were among the first to employ large-scale advertising campaigns.


Liquid soap

Liquid soap was not invented until the nineteenth century; in 1865, William Shepphard patented a liquid version of soap. In 1898, B.J. Johnson developed a soap derived from palm and olive oils; his company, the Colgate-Palmolive#History, B.J. Johnson Soap Company, introduced "Palmolive (soap), Palmolive" brand soap that same year. This new brand of soap became popular rapidly, and to such a degree that B.J. Johnson Soap Company changed its name to Colgate-Palmolive, Palmolive. The global market for organic liquid soaps was $ 74.3 million in 2020. During the projected period from 2021 to 2030, it will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% and will be organic worldwide in 2030. The liquid soap market is projected to reach US $ 160.4 million. In the early 1900s, other companies began to develop their own liquid soaps. Such products as Pine-Sol and Tide (brand), Tide appeared on the market, making the process of cleaning things other than skin, such as clothing, floors, and bathrooms, much easier. Liquid soap also works better for more traditional or non-machine washing methods, such as using a Washboard (laundry), washboard.


Soap-making for hobbyists

A variety of methods are available for hobbyists to make soap. Most soapmakers use processes where the glycerol remains in the product, and the saponification continues for many days after the soap is poured into Mold (cooking implement), molds. The glycerol is left during the hot process method, but at the high temperature employed, the reaction is practically completed in the kettle, before the soap is poured into molds. This simple and quick process is employed in small factories all over the world. Handmade soap from the cold process also differs from industrially made soap in that an excess of fat or (Coconut Oil, Cazumbal Process) are used, beyond that needed to consume the alkali (in a cold-pour process, this excess fat is called "superfatting"), and the glycerol left in acts as a moisturizing agent. However, the glycerine also makes the soap softer. The addition of glycerol and processing of this soap produces glycerin soap. Superfatted soap is more skin-friendly than one without extra fat, although it can leave a "greasy" feel. Sometimes, an Moisturizer, emollient is added, such as jojoba oil or shea butter. Sand or pumice may be added to produce a wikt:scouring, scouring soap. The scouring agents serve to remove dead cells from the skin surface being cleaned. This process is called exfoliation (cosmetology), exfoliation. To make antibacterial soap, compounds such as triclosan or triclocarban can be added. There is some concern that use of antibacterial soaps and other products might encourage antimicrobial resistance in microorganisms.


Gallery

File:African Black Soap.jpg, Dudu-Osun a popular type of African black soap File:Azul e Branco.JPG, Azul e branco soap – a bar of blue-white soap File:Soap P1140887.jpg, Handmade soaps sold at a shop in Hyères, France File:Savon de Marseille.jpg, Traditional
Marseille soap Marseille soap or ''Savon de Marseille'' () is a traditional hard soap made from vegetable oils that has been produced around Marseille Marseille ( , also spelled in English as ''Marseilles''; , ; oc, Marselha ) is the Prefectures in France ...
File:Soap Shop, Tübingen (2019).jpg, Modern soap shop in Tübingen (2019) File:Pouring lye into water to make soap.jpg, The
lye A lye is a metal hydroxideMetal hydroxides are hydroxides of metals. They are often strong base (chemistry), bases. They consist of hydroxide anions and metallic cations. Some metal hydroxides, such as alkali metal hydroxides, ionize completel ...
is dissolved in water.


See also


Personal use soap

* African black soap, popular in West Africa * Aleppo soap, popular in Syria *
Castile soap Castile soap is a vegetable oil-based hard soap made in a style similar to that originating in the Castile (historical region), Castile region of Spain. History The origins of Castile soap go back to the Levant, where Aleppo soap-makers have made ...
, popular in Spain * Lava (soap), cleaning hands from industrial grease and dirt *
Marseille soap Marseille soap or ''Savon de Marseille'' () is a traditional hard soap made from vegetable oils that has been produced around Marseille Marseille ( , also spelled in English as ''Marseilles''; , ; oc, Marselha ) is the Prefectures in France ...
, popular in France *
Nabulsi soap Nabulsi soap ( ar, صابون نابلسي, ''ṣābūn Nābulsi'') is a type of castile soap produced only in Nablus Nablus ( ; ar, نابلس, Nābulus ; he, שכם, Šəḵem, Biblical ''Shechem'', ISO 259-3 ''Škem''; el, Νεάπολις ...

Nabulsi soap
, popular in the West Bank * Saltwater soap, used to wash in seawater * Shaving soap, used for shaving * Vegan soap, made without use of animal byproducts


Soap-related

* Antibiotic misuse * Dishwashing soap * Foam * List of cleaning products * Hand washing * Palm oil * Soap bubble * Soap dish * Soap dispenser * Soap plant * Soap substitute * Soapwort * Shampoo * Shower gel * Toothpaste * Soap made from human corpses


References


Further reading

* Free ebook at Google Books. * Donkor, Peter (1986).
Small-Scale Soapmaking: A Handbook
'. Ebook online at SlideShare. . * Dunn, Kevin M. (2010). ''Scientific Soapmaking: The Chemistry of Cold Process''. Clavicula Press. . * Garzena, Patrizia, and Marina Tadiello (2004). ''Soap Naturally: Ingredients, methods and recipes for natural handmade soap''
Online information and Table of Contents
/ * Garzena, Patrizia, and Marina Tadiello (2013). ''The Natural Soapmaking Handbook''
Online information and Table of Contents
/ * Mohr, Merilyn (1979). ''The Art of Soap Making''. A Harrowsmith Contemporary Primer. Firefly Books. . * Spencer, Bob; Practical Action (2005).
SOAPMAKING
'. Ebook online. * * Thomssen, E. G., Ph.D. (1922).
Soap-Making Manual
'. Free ebook at Project Gutenberg.


External links

* {{Authority control Soaps, Anionic surfactants Cleaning products Salts Skin care Bathing