How did soap appear

How did soap appear?

In everyday life we ​​are surrounded by a lot of things to which we are so used that we do not think about their origin. How often when we wash our hands we ask ourselves the question: “Where did the soap come from?” And is it true, what is soap? Where did it first appear? How did our ancestors do it? And by the way, what is 72%

So, soap is a water-soluble detergent, obtained by combining fats and alkalis, used as a cosmetic for cleansing and skin care, or as a detergent for household chemicals. The word "soap" is derived from the Latin "sapo", the English transformed into soap, the Italians - sapone, the French - savon.

There are several versions of the appearance of soap.

Soap dish
According to one of them, the first mentions of the “soap solution” were confirmed on clay tablets dating back from 2500 to 2200. BC e., found by archaeologists during excavations in Mesopotamia. They contain a method of preparing a soap solution by mixing wood ash with water, boiling this mixture and dissolving the fat in it. However, Egyptian archaeologists claim that the production of soap was established about 6,000 years ago.During excavations in the Nile Delta, papyruses were found that contain recipes for soap by heating animal or vegetable fats along with alkaline salts.

According to another version, the invention of soap is attributed to the ancient Romans. The most reasonable is the theory that the first mention of soap is associated with the name of Mount Sapo (“soap” - soap) on which in ancient Rome sacrifices were made to the gods. According to the legend, animal fat melted in the course of the action mixed with the ash from the sacrificial fire and flowed down to the banks of the Tiber River, where women rinsing clothes over time noticed that with this mixture the clothes became cleaner. No wonder that in the end the first soap was considered the gift of the gods, which they brought to humanity in exchange for generous sacrifices. Confirmation of this fact can be found in the treatise of the Roman writer and scholar Pliny the Elder “Natural History”.

There is another interesting version, according to which, the composition for washing was invented by more Gallic tribes. From the ashes of beechwood and lard they prepared an ointment, which was used for washing and dyeing hair.When combined with water, it turned into a thick lather. Later, the Romans, after the conquest of the Gallic tribes in II in AD. e., began to use this ointment when washing hands, face and body. And, adding to it the ashes of sea plants, we got a real quality soap.

Soap has long been invented, but many people continue to use lye, bean flour, pumice stone, and clay for washing and washing. And why? The first reason: soap is a rather expensive pleasure that even wealthy people could not afford. And Scythian women made a washing powder from cypress and cedar wood, which was mixed with water and incense. The resulting mass, which had a delicate delicate flavor, rubbed the whole body. After which the solution was removed with special scrapers, and the skin became clean and smooth.

The second reason: the persecution of the Inquisition, raging in the Middle Ages. It was considered seditious attention to their own sinful flesh.

It is a reliable fact that in 164 AD The ancient physician Galen described in detail the “correct” composition (fat, water, lime) and the production technology (using saponification of fats) of soap, as well as the method of its application.However, further historical events - the fall of the developed Roman Empire - provoked a big “break” in the history of soap making, when personal hygiene was completely forgotten, therefore this time in Europe is called “dark time”. Unsanitary living conditions led to many terrible diseases and caused the spread of the plague. In the Middle Ages, the situation was exacerbated by the fierceness of the Inquisition, which punished for its increased attention to its own flesh.
However, even the “black band” with a length of several centuries could not last forever. The “ray of light” on the important issue of hygiene was the return of the knights to France from the Crusades with war trophies in the form of natural Syrian soap. The reign of Louis XIV in France, a well-known lover of purity and luxury, favored the birth of local soap-making in the country, which soon developed into an entire industry under the protection and control of the Government. The city of Marseille became the center of this process due to the close territorial location of the sources of olive oil and soda - two indispensable components of soap.
Gradually, the whole of medieval Europe acquired its own first factories for the manufacture of soap, the composition of which varied depending on geographic location and available resources: in the north animal fat remained the main component, and in the south they used vegetable substitute - olive oil. In Germany, beef, pork, horse, lamb fat and even fish oil were used as animal fat, and cotton, almond, linseed, sesame, coconut and palm oils were used as vegetable oils. In Spain (province of Castile), seaweed ash (barilla) was added to olive oil of local manufacture, and the famous high-quality soap “Castilian soap” was obtained.

But nevertheless, the purity fashion moved to Europe along with the medieval knights who brought soap as a trophy from the crusades in Arab countries. The art of soap making from the Arabs was transferred to Spain. Here, on the Mediterranean coast, people learned to make solid and beautiful soap, adding olive oil and sea plant ashes to it. Alicante, Carthage, Seville and Venice have become famous soap making centers.

In 1790, the French chemist Nicolas Leblanc derived from common salt a new substance - soda, which became widely used as a cheaper substitute for ash, and not only determined the entire history of soap-making, but also helped prevent massive deforestation.

In the XV century in Savona (Italy) for the first time began to produce soap by industrial means. Instead of ash used natural soda ash, which led to a decrease in the cost of soap.

Only in 1808 did soap receive its modern composition. It was brought out by the French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul at the request of the owners of the textile factory.

In the Renaissance, soap making in Europe was practically brought to perfection. The fashion for fragrances added a new stream to the soap making process: the use of natural fragrances based on essential oils soon made the fragrant product not only a subject of personal hygiene, but also a symbol of special chic. In Venice, in Damascus, fragrant soaps of various shapes were made, with trademarks ... the famous “fragrant balls” were carried as a gift from abroad to their beloved.

In Russia, up to the 18th century, potash was widely used as a detergent - wood ash, which was boiled down to produce lye, from which water was then evaporated. The peasants bathed in the bath with a simple mixture of ash and water steamed in the oven. From ancient times in Russia, people had the habit of regularly going to the bathhouse, where they took with them lye. Soap was learned to be made from potash and animal fats in the pre-Peter the Great era. Entire villages were engaged in "potash business": felled trees burned in boilers right in the forest. From the ash they made lye, after evaporation of which they obtained potash. Soap began to cook not only artisans, but also ordinary people at home. Masters - soap makers appeared only in the XV century. Especially popular were Valdai and Kostroma masters.


During the reign of Peter I, soap making was given considerable importance: entire fields were set aside for plants that were used as components; Potash began to be mixed with animal fats for making solid soap. Only half a century has passed, and already 8 soap factories were operating in Russia. Unfortunately, however, until the middle of the 19th century, industrial soap was not only very unattractive, but also contained traces of raw alkali that irritated the skin.There were cases of the release of soap, which had such a high percentage of fat that the skin after its use became greasy. Much later, soap factories learned to use fragrances for a pleasant aroma and overseas oils - palm, coconut. This significantly increased consumer demand.

In the 18th century, soap made at a factory in the city of Shuya was famous all over the country - this is indicated by the bar of soap located on the coat of arms of this city. It was prepared in almond and butter, with and without perfume, white and colored. This soap was considered the best after the Italian. And at the famous Moscow perfume factory produced figure soap.
The most surprising thing is that the whole variety of soap making products was obtained practically “by experience”, and only at the beginning of the 18th century the Swedish chemist Carl Scheele reliably described those chemical reactions that caused the saponification of fats and the formation of the infamous glycerin today. The development of the chemical industry has brought many changes in the field of soap making, giving the soap any properties, colors and smells.However, for human health there is still nothing better than what is created by nature itself; therefore, the process of returning to the origins of soap making is gradually taking place - an awareness of the benefits of the cold process soap, the low-component “Castilian soap” based on olive oil. Today's interest in natural soap based on vegetable glycerin is fully justified and predictable, because such soap not only cleanses the skin, but also makes it healthier, moisturizes, nourishes with various natural ingredients. Vegetable soap, which contains essential oils, also has an aromatherapy effect and a positive effect on the entire body.
Yes, I completely forgot about the first picture. What is this 72%?

This percentage of fatty acids in household soap is a liquid or solid product containing surfactants, used in combination with water or used as a cosmetic product for cleansing and skin care (toilet soap); or as a household chemical product - detergent (laundry soap) (from Wikipedia). Soap is sodium, potassium, and fatty acid salts. Fatty acid + sodium = solid soap.Fatty acid + potassium = liquid soap.

They get soap very simply - they heat the fats in the boilers, add soda (sodium or potassium) and boil them again. And then peeled off. And the hard part is frayed.

As a result, the actual soap (salts of fatty acids) in what happened is 40-72% (these numbers are written on pieces of household soap). Whats the rest? The unreacted components of the reaction and the by-products of the reaction are soda, fatty acids, glycerin.

Neither soda nor fatty acids are harmful to humans. Accordingly, household (washing) soap is also harmless to humans.

Next, the resulting soap with 40-72% of the active substance is processed - clean, aromatize, add bleach, glycerin and other things. It turns cosmetic soap. They wash - only money in vain to transfer to flavors. Therefore, for washing and it is proposed to use cheap laundry (washing) soap - safe for humans.

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  • How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

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    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

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    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear

    How did soap appear