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History of Soap Shahid Khan

History of Soap Shahid Khan

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Categories:Types, Recipes/Menus
Published by: Mukhtar Ahmad Shaheed on Sep 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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History of soap
Although no one really knows who or when soap was discovered, there are various legends surrounding it’s
beginning. According to Roman legend, soap was named after Mount Soap, an ancient site of animalsacrifices. After an animal sacrifice, rain would wash the animal fat and ash that collected under theceremonial altars down the slopes to the banks of the Tiber River. Women washing clothes in the rivernoticed that if they washed their clothes in certain parts of the river after a heavy rain their clothes weremuch cleaner. Thus the emergence of the first soap
or at least the first use of soap.A soap-like material found in clay cylinders during the excavation of ancient Babylon is evidence that soapmaking was known as early as 2800 B.C. Inscriptions on the cylinders say that fats were boiled with ashes,a soap-making method.Moses gave the Israelites detailed laws governing personal cleanliness. Biblical accounts suggestthat the Israelites knew that mixing ashes and oil produced a kind of hair gel. Soap is mentioned twice in the
Bible, but it is generally agreed that the Hebrew word “borith”, which has been translated as soap, is a
generic term for any cleansing agent.By the second century A.D., the Greek physician, Galen, recommended soap for both medicinal andcleansing purposes.Bathing habits all over Europe rose and declined with Roman civilization. When Rome fell in 467 A.D., so
did bathing. It’s said that the lack of cleanliness and poor living conditions contributed to t
he many plaguesof the Middle Ages.Not until the seventh century did soap makers appear in Spain and Italy where soap was made with goat fatand Beech tree ashes. During the same period, the French started using olive oil to make soap. Eventually,fragrances were introduced and specialized soaps for bathing, shaving, shampooing, and laundry began toappear. King Louis XIV of France apparently guillotined three soapmakers for making a bar that irritatedhis very sensitive Royal skin.The English began making soap during the 12th century. In 1633 King Charles I granted a 14 yearmonopoly to the Society of Soap makers of Westminster. In the reign of Elizabeth I, soap consumption inEngland was greater than in any other European country. It seems that Queen Bess set the fashion herself,for it was reported that the Queen took a bath every four weeks "whether it was necessary or not." Just asthe soap industry was gaining momentum in England; it became the subject of a series of restrictions andcrippling taxation. It was not until 1853 that Gladstone abolished the tax on soap.It wasn't until the 18th century that bathing came into fashion. In 1791, the French chemist Nicolas Leblancdiscovered how to extract soda from common salt. Around the same time, Louis Pasteur proclaimed thatgood personal hygiene would reduce the spread of diseases.By the beginning of the 19th century, soap making was one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.Rural Americans made homemade soap using a process from the Colonial times. They would save ashesfrom their fires for months. When they had enough fat left over from butchering hogs they would makesoap.Some soap makers used an ash hopper for making lye instead of the barrel method. Using the same basicprocess, the lye dripped into a container located underneath the hopper.
Old fashioned lye was made using hardwood ashes, a barrel or ash hopper, and rainwater. Holes weredrilled in the bottom of a barrel. The barrel was placed on a grooved stone slab which rested on a pile of rocks. A layer of gravel was placed over the holes. Then a layer of straw, twigs, and sticks was placed ontop of the gravel as a filter to prevent the ashes from getting in the solution. After filling a barrel withhardwood ashes, rainwater was pored through the ashes to leach out the brown lye liquid.
The most difficult part of early soap making was determining if the lye was the correct strength
. The
“lye water” was considered the proper strength to make soap when an egg or small
potato placed in thesolution floated about halfway beneath the surface of the solution. If the egg or potato floated on top, thelye was too strong. If it sank quickly, the lye was too weak. Some early soap makers used goose or chickenfeathers to test their lye. If a feather inserted in the lye water began to dissolve in it, then the lye water wasat the right strength.Since there was no accurate way to measure the lye concentration, this old fashioned method often resultedin harsh soap, which has given lye soaps an undeserved bad reputation? Early soap makers often had tomake many batches of soap before one was suitable to be used by their family.
During World War I, commercial soap, as we know it today, came into existence
. The injuries of warbrought an increased need for cleaning agents. However, at the same time, the ingredients needed to makesoap were scarce. German scientists created a new form of "soap" made with various synthetic compoundsand as a result detergents were born. Much commercial soap available today are actually detergents, whichare made with petroleum by-products. Since these "soaps" are detergents, by law cannot be called soap.Chances are that when you see a soap called a "body cleanser", it is not soap at all.After the Great War and until the 1930's, soap was made by a method called batch kettle boiling.Commercial soap makers had huge three story kettles that produced thousands of pounds of soap over thecourse of about a week. Shortly thereafter, an invention called continuous process was introduced andrefined by Procter & Gamble. This process decreased soap making production time to less than a day.Large commercial soap manufacturers still use continuous process.
Today there is a heightened awareness of the possible adverse effects of many of the syntheticadditives and chemicals in commercial soap
. Educated consumers are turning to all natural products likeours. Even large companies are starting to advertise "natural ingredients" in their products. BUT
BEWARE! The addition of one or two natural ingredients does not make a product "all natural.” It is
virtually impossible for large companies to create natural, handmade soaps.
Soap is a mixture of sodium salts of various naturally occurring fatty acids. Air bubbles added to a moltensoap will decrease the density of the soap and thus it will float on water. If the fatty acid salt has potassiumrather than sodium, a softer lather is the result.
Types of Soap:
The type of fatty acid and length of the carbon chain determines the unique properties of various soaps.Tallow or animal fats give primarily sodium stearate (18 carbons) a very hard, insoluble soap. Fatty acidswith longer chains are even more insoluble. As a matter of fact, zinc stearate is used in talcum powdersbecause it is water repellent.
Coconut oil is a source of lauric acid (12 carbons) which can be made into sodium laurate. This soap is verysoluble and will lather easily even in sea water.Fatty acids with only 10 or fewer carbons are not used in soaps because they irritate the skin and haveobjectionable odors.
What Is Soap?
The first step in understanding soap requires that we be clear about just what soap is. Soap is a cleaningproduct made from natural ingredients.These ingredients may include both plant and animal products, including such items as:
animal fat
, such as tallow or vegetable oil, such as castor, olive, or coconut oil.
such as soapwort or Western soapberry (aptly named!).
• rainwater.
such as cinnamon, rose water, oil of bergamot or cloves.Detergent, on the other hand, is a synthetic product. It often has petroleum-based ingredients, although thereare plant-based detergents available as well.
Some Types of Soap
One way of looking at types of soap is by origin. There are handmade and commercially made soaps.Another way to look at soap is by its use. Soap is available for personal use, laundry use, and dishwashing,and pet cleaning products that are soaps can also be found.
Novelty soaps
include the soap in the shape of a rubber ducky and the soap-on-a-rope, made not only toclean, but for enjoyment as well. Soaps may be made novel by their shape and/or coloring. There are noveltysoaps for children, for example, a bar of soap can have a toy inside or be formed like a crayon and used todraw on the tub. As with other types of soap, you can purchase novelty soaps or make your own. Manyspecialty soap molds are available in a vast array of ethnic, holiday, and other shapes.
Beauty soaps
are likely to feature attractive fragrances, and ingredients to address a variety of skin types.Beauty soaps may feature glycerin, or special oil blends, for example, combining Shea butter, with coconutpalm oil and other oils.
Guest soaps
are usually miniature soaps, molded into attractive shapes and designed for use by guests inthe main bathroom, or in a separate guest bathroom. Popular shapes are flowers, sea shells, and rounds.
Laundry soap
is specially formulated to clean clothes. Be sure to follow package directions for bestresults.
Dish soap
is the counterpart of dish detergent and comes in a variety of scents. As with laundry soap, besure to follow package directions, and do not use dish soap in a dishwasher.
Medicated soap.Chemistry of Soap

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