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Participate in the worlds largest photo competition and help improve Wikipedia!SoapFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchFor other uses, see Soap (disambiguation).A collection of decorative soaps, often found in hotelsTwo equivalent images of the chemical structure of sodium stearate, a typical soap.In chemistry, soap is a salt of a fatty acid. Soaps are mainly used as surfactants for washing,bathing, and cleaning, but they are also used in textile spinning and are important components oflubricants. Soaps for cleansing are obtained by treating vegetable or animal oils and fats with astrongly alkaline solution. Fats and oils are composed of triglycerides; three molecules of fattyacids are attached to a single molecule of glycerol. The alkaline solution, often called lye,brings about a chemical reaction known as saponification. In saponification, the fats are firsthydrolyzed into free fatty acids, which then combine with the alkali to form crude soap. Glycerol(glycerine) is liberated and is either left in or washed out and recovered as a useful byproduct,depending on the process employed.Soaps are key components of most lubricating greases, which are usually emulsions of calciumsoap or lithium soaps and mineral oil. These calcium- and lithium-based greases are widely used.
Many other metallic soaps are also useful, including those of aluminium, sodium, and mixturesof them. Such soaps are also used as thickeners to increase the viscosity of oils. In ancient times,lubricating greases were made by the addition of lime to olive oil.Contents 1 Mechanism of cleansing soaps o 1.1 Effect of the alkali o 1.2 Effects of fats 2 History of cleansing soaps o 2.1 Early history o 2.2 Roman history o 2.3 Islamic history o 2.4 Medieval history o 2.5 15th–20th centuries 3 Soap-making processes o 3.1 Cold process 3.1.1 Hot processes 3.1.2 Molds o 3.2 Purification and finishing 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External linksMechanism of cleansing soapsStructure of a micelle, a cell-like structure formed by the aggregation of soap subunits (such assodium stearate): The exterior of the micelle is hydrophilic (attracted to water) and the interior islipophilic (attracted to oils).When used for cleaning, soap serves as a surfactant in conjunction with water. The cleaningaction of this mixture is attributed to the action of micelles, tiny spheres coated on the outsidewith polar hydrophilic (water-loving) groups, encasing a lipophilic (fat-loving) pocket that cansurround the grease particles, causing them to disperse in water. The lipophilic portion is made
up of the long hydrocarbon chain from the fatty acid. Whereas oil and water normally do notmix, the addition of soap allows oils to disperse in water and be rinsed away. Syntheticdetergents operate by similar mechanisms to soap.Effect of the alkaliThe type of alkali metal used determines the kind of soap produced. Sodium soaps, preparedfrom sodium hydroxide, are firm, whereas potassium soaps, derived from potassium hydroxide,are softer or often liquid. Historically, potassium hydroxide was extracted from the ashes ofbracken or other plants. Lithium soaps also tend to be hard—these are used exclusively ingreases.Effects of fatsSee also: Total fatty matterSoaps are derivatives of fatty acids. Traditionally they have been made from triglycerides (oilsand fats). Triglyceride is the chemical name for the triesters of fatty acids and glycerin. Tallow,i.e., rendered beef fat, is the most available triglyceride from animals. Its saponified product iscalled sodium tallowate. Typical vegetable oils used in soap making are palm oil, coconut oil,olive oil, and laurel oil. Each species offers quite different fatty acid content and, hence, resultsin soaps of distinct feel. The seed oils give softer but milder soaps. Soap made from pure oliveoil is sometimes called Castile soap or Marseille soap, and is reputed for being extra mild. Theterm "Castile" is also sometimes applied to soaps from a mixture of oils, but a high percentage ofolive oil. Fatty acid content of various fats used for soapmaking Lauric Myristic Palmitic Stearic Linolenic Oleic acid Linoleic acid acid acid acid acid acid C12 C14 C16 C18 C18 C18 C18 fats saturate saturate saturate saturate monounsaturate diunsaturate triunsaturate d d d d d d dTallow 0 4 28 23 35 2 1Coconu 48 18 9 3 7 2 0t oilPalmkernel 46 16 8 3 12 2 0oilLaurel 54 0 0 0 15 17 0oilOlive 0 0 11 2 78 10 0oilCanola 0 1 3 2 58 9 23
History of cleansing soapsEarly historyBox for Amigo de Obrero (Workers Friend) soap from the 20th century, part of the Museo delObjeto del Objeto collectionThe earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates back to around2800 BC in ancient Babylon. In the reign of Nabonidus (556–539 BC), a recipe for soapconsisted of uhulu [ashes], cypress [oil] and sesame [seed oil] "for washing the stones for theservant girls". A formula for soap consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil was written on aBabylonian clay tablet around 2200 BC.The Ebers papyrus (Egypt, 1550 BC) indicates the ancient Egyptians bathed regularly andcombined animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to create a soap-like substance. Egyptiandocuments mention a soap-like substance was used in the preparation of wool for weaving.[citationneeded]Roman historyThe word sapo, Latin for soap, first appears in Pliny the Elders Historia Naturalis, whichdiscusses the manufacture of soap from tallow and ashes, but the only use he mentions for it is asa pomade for hair; he mentions rather disapprovingly that the men of the Gauls and Germanswere more likely to use it than their female counterparts. Aretaeus of Cappadocia, writing inthe first century AD, observes among "Celts, which are men called Gauls, those alkalinesubstances that are made into balls, called soap".A popular belief claims soap takes its name from a supposed Mount Sapo, where animalsacrifices were supposed to have taken place; tallow from these sacrifices would then havemixed with ashes from fires associated with these sacrifices and with water to produce soap, butthere is no evidence of a Mount Sapo within the Roman world and no evidence for theapocryphal story. The Latin word sapo simply means "soap"; it was likely borrowed from anearly Germanic language and is cognate with Latin sebum, "tallow", which appears in Pliny theElders account. Roman animal sacrifices usually burned only the bones and inedible entrails of
the sacrificed animals; edible meat and fat from the sacrifices were taken by the humans ratherthan the gods.Zosimos of Panopolis, circa 300 AD, describes soap and soapmaking. Galen describes soap-making using lye and prescribes washing to carry away impurities from the body and clothes.According to Galen, the best soaps were Germanic, and soaps from Gaul were second best. Thisis a reference to true soap in antiquity.Islamic historyA 12th century Islamic document has the worlds first extant description of the process of soapproduction. It mentions the key ingredient, alkali, which later becomes crucial to modernchemistry, derived from al-qaly or "ashes".By the 13th century, the manufacture of soap in the Islamic world had become virtuallyindustrialized, with sources in Fes, Damascus, and Aleppo.Medieval historySoapmakers in Naples were members of a guild in the late sixth century, and in the eighthcentury, soap-making was well known in Italy and Spain. The Carolingian capitulary DeVillis, dating to around 800, representing the royal will of Charlemagne, mentions soap as beingone of the products the stewards of royal estates are to tally. Soapmaking is mentioned both as"womens work" and as the produce of "good workmen" alongside other necessities such as theproduce of carpenters, blacksmiths, and bakers.15th–20th centuries
Ad for Pear Soap, 1889A 1922 magazine advertisement for Palmolive SoapLiquid soapManufacturing process of soaps/detergentsIn France, by the second half of the 15th century, the semi-industrialized professionalmanufacture of soap was concentrated in a few centers of Provence— Toulon, Hyères, andMarseille — 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 otherProvençal centers. English manufacture tended to concentrate in London.Finer soaps were later produced in Europe from the 16th century, using vegetable oils (such asolive oil) as opposed to animal fats. Many of these soaps are still produced, both industrially andby small-scale artisans. Castile soap is a popular example of the vegetable-only soaps derived bythe oldest "white soap" of Italy.In modern times, the use of soap has become universal in industrialized nations due to a betterunderstanding of the role of hygiene in reducing the population size of pathogenicmicroorganisms. Industrially manufactured bar soaps first became available in the late 18thcentury, as advertising campaigns in Europe and the United States promoted popular awarenessof the relationship between cleanliness and health.Until the Industrial Revolution, soapmaking was conducted on a small scale and the product wasrough. Andrew Pears started making a high-quality, transparent soap in 1789 in London. Hisson-in-law, Thomas J. Barratt, opened a factory in Isleworth in 1862. William Gossage producedlow-priced, good-quality soap from the 1850s. Robert Spear Hudson began manufacturing a soappowder in 1837, initially by grinding the soap with a mortar and pestle. American manufacturerBenjamin T. Babbitt introduced marketing innovations that included sale of bar soap anddistribution of product samples. William Hesketh Lever and his brother, James, bought a smallsoap 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 thefirst to employ large-scale advertising campaigns.Soap-making processesThe industrial production of soap involves continuous processes, such as continuous addition offat and removal of product. Smaller-scale production involves the traditional batch processes.The three variations are: the cold process, wherein the reaction takes place substantially at roomtemperature, the semiboiled or hot process, wherein the reaction takes place near the boilingpoint, and the fully boiled process, wherein the reactants are boiled at least once and theglycerol is recovered. The cold process and hot process (semiboiled) are the simplest andtypically used by small artisans and hobbyists producing handmade decorative soaps and similar.The glycerine remains in the soap and the reaction continues for many days after the soap ispoured into moulds. The glycerine is left during the hot-process method, but at the hightemperature employed, the reaction is practically completed in the kettle, before the soap ispoured into moulds. This simple and quick process is employed in small factories all over theworld.Handmade soap from the cold process also differs from industrially made soap in that an excessof fat is used, beyond that needed to consume the alkali (in a cold-pour process, this excess fat iscalled "superfatting"), and the glycerine left in acts as a moisturizing agent. However, theglycerine also makes the soap softer and less resistant to becoming "mushy" if left wet. Since itis better to add too much oil and have left-over fat, than to add too much lye and have left-overlye, soap produced from the hot process also contains left-over glycerine and its concomitant
pros and cons. Further addition of glycerine and processing of this soap produces glycerin soap.Superfatted soap is more skin-friendly than one without extra fat. However, if too much fat isadded, it can leave a "greasy" feel to the skin. Sometimes, an emollient additive such as jojobaoil or shea butter is added "at trace" (i.e., the point at which the saponification process issufficiently advanced that the soap has begun to thicken in the cold process method) in the beliefthat nearly all the lye will be spent and it will escape saponification and remain intact. In the caseof hot-process soap, an emollient may be added after the initial oils have saponified so theyremain unreacted in the finished soap. Superfatting can also be accomplished through a processknown as "lye discount" in which the soap maker uses less alkali than required instead of addingextra fats.Cold processEven in the cold soapmaking process, some heat is usually required; the temperature is usuallyraised to a point sufficient to ensure complete melting of the fat being used. The batch may alsobe kept warm for some time after mixing to ensure the alkali (hydroxide) is completely used up.This soap is safe to use after about 12–48 hours, but is not at its peak quality for use for severalweeks.Cold-process soapmaking requires exact measurements of lye and fat amounts and computingtheir ratio, using saponification charts to ensure the finished product does not contain any excesshydroxide or too much free unreacted fat. Saponification charts should also be used in hotprocesses, but are not necessary for the "fully boiled hot-process" soaping.A cold-process soapmaker first looks up the saponification value of the fats being used on asaponification chart. This value is used to calculate the appropriate amount of lye. Excessunreacted lye in the soap will result in a very high pH and can burn or irritate skin; not enoughlye leaves the soap greasy. Most soap makers formulate their recipes with a 4–10% deficit of lye,so all of the lye is converted and excess fat is left for skin-conditioning benefits.The lye is dissolved in water. Then oils are heated, or melted if they are solid at roomtemperature. Once the oils are liquefied and the lye is fully dissolved in water, they arecombined. This lye-fat mixture is mixed until the two phases (oils and water) are fullyemulsified. Emulsification is most easily identified visually when the soap exhibits some level of"trace", which is the thickening of the mixture. (Modern-day amateur soapmakers often use astick blender to speed this process). There are varying levels of trace. Depending on howadditives will affect trace, they may be added at light trace, medium trace, or heavy trace. Aftermuch stirring, the mixture turns to the consistency of a thin pudding. "Trace" correspondsroughly to viscosity. Essential oils and fragrance oils can be added with the initial soaping oils,but solid additives such as botanicals, herbs, oatmeal, or other additives are most commonlyadded at light trace, just as the mixture starts to thicken.
Handmade soaps sold at a shop in Hyères, FranceTraditional Marseille soapThe batch is then poured into moulds, kept warm with towels or blankets, and left to continuesaponification for 12 to 48 hours. (Milk soaps or other soaps with sugars added are the exception.They typically do not require insulation, as the presence of sugar increases the speed of thereaction and thus the production of heat.) During this time, it is normal for the soap to go througha "gel phase", wherein the opaque soap will turn somewhat transparent for several hours, beforeonce again turning opaque.After the insulation period, the soap is firm enough to be removed from the mould and cut intobars. At this time, it is safe to use the soap, since saponification is in essence complete. However,cold-process soaps are typically cured and hardened on a drying rack for 2–6 weeks before use.During this cure period, trace amounts of residual lye are consumed by saponification and excesswater evaporates.During the curing process, some molecules in the outer layer of the solid soap react with thecarbon dioxide of the air and produce a dusty sheet of sodium carbonate. This reaction is moreintense if the mass is exposed to wind or low temperatures.Hot processes
Hot-processed soaps are created by encouraging the saponification reaction by adding heat tospeed the reaction. Unlike cold-processed soap, in hot-process soaping, the oils are completelysaponified by the end of the handling period, whereas with cold-pour soap, the bulk of thesaponification happens after the oils and lye solution emulsification is poured into moulds.In the hot process, the hydroxide and the fat are heated and mixed together at 80–100°C, a littlebelow boiling point, until saponification is complete, which, before modern scientific equipment,the soapmaker determined by taste (the sharp, distinctive taste of the hydroxide disappears afterit is saponified) or by eye; the experienced eye can tell when gel stage and full saponification hasoccurred. Beginners can find this information through research and classes. Tasting soap forreadiness is not recommended, as sodium and potassium hydroxides, when not saponified, arehighly caustic.An advantage of the fully boiled hot process in soapmaking is the exact amount of hydroxiderequired need not be known with great accuracy. They originated when the purity of the alkalihydroxides were unreliable, as these processes can use even naturally found alkalis, such aswood ashes and potash deposits. In the fully boiled process, the mix is actually boiled (100 °C+),and, after saponification has occurred, the "neat soap" is precipitated from the solution by addingcommon salt, and the excess liquid is drained off. This excess liquid carries away with it much ofthe impurities and color compounds in the fat, to leave a purer, whiter soap, and with practicallyall the glycerine removed. The hot, soft soap is then pumped into a mould. The spent hydroxidesolution is processed for recovery of glycerine.MoldsMany commercially available soap moulds are made of silicone or various types of plastic,although many soapmaking hobbyists may use cardboard boxes lined with a plastic film. Soapscan be made in long bars that are cut into individual portions, or cast into individual moulds.Purification and finishingA generic bar of soap, after purification and finishingIn the fully boiled process on factory scale, the soap is further purified to remove any excesssodium hydroxide, glycerol, and other impurities, colour compounds, etc. These components areremoved by boiling the crude soap curds in water and then precipitating the soap with salt.
At this stage, the soap still contains too much water, which has to be removed. This wastraditionally done on chill rolls, which produced the soap flakes commonly used in the 1940s and1950s. This process was superseded by spray dryers and then by vacuum dryers.The dry soap (about 6–12% moisture) is then compacted into small pellets or noodles. Thesepellets or noodles are then ready for soap finishing, the process of converting raw soap pelletsinto a saleable product, usually bars.Soap pellets are combined with fragrances and other materials and blended to homogeneity in anamalgamator (mixer). The mass is then discharged from the mixer into a refiner, which, bymeans of an auger, forces the soap through a fine wire screen. From the refiner, the soap passesover a roller mill (French milling or hard milling) in a manner similar to calendering paper orplastic or to making chocolate liquor. The soap is then passed through one or more additionalrefiners to further plasticize the soap mass. Immediately before extrusion, the mass is passedthrough a vacuum chamber to remove any trapped air. It is then extruded into a long log orblank, cut to convenient lengths, passed through a metal detector, and then stamped into shape inrefrigerated tools. The pressed bars are packaged in many ways.(Azul e branco soap) – A bar of blue-white soapSand or pumice may be added to produce a scouring soap. The scouring agents serve to removedead cells from the skin surface being cleaned. This process is called exfoliation. Many newermaterials that are effective, yet do not have the sharp edges and poor particle size distribution ofpumice, are used for exfoliating soaps.Nanoscopic metals are commonly added to certain soaps specifically for both colouration andantibacterial properties. Titanium dioxide powder is commonly used in extreme "white" soapsfor these purposes; nickel, aluminium, and silver compounds are less commonly used. Thesemetals exhibit an electron-robbing behaviour when in contact with bacteria, stripping electronsfrom the organisms surface, thereby disrupting their functioning and killing them. Because someof the metal is left behind on the skin and in the pores, the benefit can also extend beyond theactual time of washing, helping reduce bacterial contamination and reducing potential odoursfrom bacteria on the skin surface.See also
Aleppo soap Castile soap Marseille soap Nabulsi soap Vegetarian soap Soap substitute Foam Soap bubble Soap dish Soap dispenser insoluble soap Soap plant ToothpasteReferences 1. ^ IUPAC. "IUPAC Gold Book – soap" Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook. Accessed 2010-08-09 2. ^ a b Cavitch, Susan Miller. The Natural Soap Book. Storey Publishing, 1994 ISBN 0- 88266-888-9. 3. ^ Thorsten Bartels et al. "Lubricants and Lubrication" in Ullmanns Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2005, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a15_423 4. ^ David J. Anneken, Sabine Both, Ralf Christoph, Georg Fieg, Udo Steinberner, Alfred Westfechtel "Fatty Acids" in Ullmanns Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2006, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a10_245.pub2 5. ^ Willcox, Michael (2000). "Soap". In Hilda Butler. Pouchers Perfumes, Cosmetics and Soaps (10th ed.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 453. ISBN 0-7514-0479-9. "The earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates back to around 2800 BCE in ancient Babylon." 6. ^ Noted in Martin Levey (1958). "Gypsum, salt and soda in ancient Mesopotamian chemical technology". Isis 49 (3): 336–342 (341). doi:10.1086/348678. JSTOR 226942. 7. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural History, XXVIII.191. 8. ^ Aretaeus, The Extant Works of Aretaeus, the Cappadocian, ed. and tr. Francis Adams (London) 1856:494 note 6, noted in Michael W. Dols, "Leprosy in medieval Arabic medicine" Journal of the History of Medicine 1979:316 note 9; the Gauls with whom the Cappadocian would have been familiar are those of Anatolian Galatia. 9. ^ soap. Etymonline.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-20. 10. ^ a b Partington, James Riddick; Bert S Hall (1999). A History of Greek Fire and Gun Powder. JHU Press. p. 307. ISBN 0-8018-5954-9. 11. ^ BBC Science and Islam Part 2, Jim Al-Khalili. BBC Productions. Accessed 30 January 2012.
12. ^ footnote 48, p. 104, Understanding the Middle Ages: the transformation of ideas and attitudes in the Medieval world, Harald Kleinschmidt, illustrated, revised, reprint edition, Boydell & Brewer, 2000, ISBN 0-85115-770-X. 13. ^ Anionic and Related Lime Soap Dispersants, Raymond G. Bistline, Jr., in Anionic surfactants: organic chemistry, Helmut Stache, ed., Volume 56 of Surfactant science series, CRC Press, 1996, chapter 11, p. 632, ISBN 0-8247-9394-3. 14. ^ Robinson, James Harvey (1904). Readings in European History: Vol. I. Ginn and co. 15. ^ John U. Nef (1936). "A Comparison of Industrial Growth in France and England from 1540 to 1640: III". The Journal of Political Economy 44 (5): 643–666 (660ff.). doi:10.1086/254976. JSTOR 1824135. 16. ^ L. Barthélemy, "La savonnerie marseillaise", 1883, noted by Nef 1936:660 note 99. 17. ^ Nef 1936:653, 660. 18. ^ McNeil, Ian (1990). An Encyclopaedia of the history of technology. Taylor & Francis. pp. 2003–205. ISBN 978-0-415-01306-2.Further reading Book: SoapWikipedia books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print. Garzena, Patrizia-Tadiello, Marina (2004). Soap Naturally—Ingredients, methods and recipes for natural handmade soap. Online information and Table of Contents. ISBN 978-0-9756764-0-0 Thomssen, E. G., Ph. D. (1922). Soap-Making Manual Free ebook at Project Gutenberg Mohr, Merilyn (1979). "The Art of Soap Making". A Harrowsmith Contemporary Primer. Firefly Books. ISBN 978-0-920656-03-7 Dunn, Kevin M. (2010) " Scientific Soapmaking: The Chemistry of Cold Process" Clavicula Press. ISBN 978-1-935652-09-0External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: soap Handmade soapmaking information, resources and mailing list Soap History American Cleaning Institute (formerly The Soap and Detergent Association) A short history of soap The Pharmaceutical Journal Medieval Sourcebook: The Capitulary De Villis How to Make Soap SoapView page ratings
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