SOAPIntroductionWe like to be clean. Clean feels good. It smells good. Clean meansfewer microbes are around to hurt us. Clean clothes feel good.Clean dishes make food safer and more attractive.For thousands of years, soap was the last word in clean
INGREDIENTS IN SOAPS Ingredients used in making of soaps initialy: The first soaps were probably the saps of certain plants, such as the Soap Plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum), whose roots can be crushed in water to form a lather, and used as a shampoo. Other plants, such as Soapbark (Quillaja saponaria), Soapberry (Sapindus mukorossi), and Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) also contain the same main ingredient, a compound called saponin, which forms the foamy lather, and is also a toxin used to stupefy fish in streams to make them easy to catch.
VARIATION IN THE INGREDIENTS USED INSOAPS IN THE LATER PART OF SCIENTIFIC WORLDLater, people learned that fats would react with alkalies in the ashes leftover from a fire to produce saponified compounds such as sodiumstearate and the related potassium stearate.
AND TODAY: Today, soaps are made from fats and oils that react with lye (sodium hydroxide). Solid fats like coconut oil, palm oil, tallow (rendered beef fat), or lard (rendered pork fat), are used to form bars of soap that stay hard and resist dissolving in the water left in the soap dish. Oils such as olive oil, soybean oil, or canola oil make softer soaps. Castile soap is any soap that is made primarily of olive oil, and is known for being mild and soft.
As warm liquid fats react with lye and begin to saponify,they start to thicken like pudding. At this point dyes andperfumes are often added. The hardening liquid is thenpoured into molds, where it continues to react, generatingheat. After a day, the bars can be cut and wrapped, but thesaponification process continues for a few weeks, until allof the lye has reacted with the oils.
Soaps are often superfatted, so after all of thelye has reacted with the fats, there are still fatsleft over. This is important for two reasons. First,the resulting soap is easier to cut, and feelssmoother on the skin. Second, the extra fatsmake sure that all of the lye reacts, so no lye isleft to irritate the skin, and the resulting soap isnot too alkaline
The saponification process results in about 75%soap, and 25% glycerine. In homemade soaps, theglycerine is left in, as it acts as an emollient (skinsoftener) and adds a nice feel to the soap. Incommercial soaps, the glycerine is often removedand sold separately, sometimes showing up in skinmoisturizers that remedy the damage done by dryingsoaps.
Commercial bar soaps contain sodium tallowate, sodiumcocoate, sodium palmate and similar ingredients, all ofwhich are the results of reacting solid fats (tallow, coconutoil, and palm kernel oil respectively) with lye.
To these ingredients, they add fatty acidssuch as coconut acid and palm acid (the fatsin coconut oil and palm kernel oil) as the extrafats needed to ensure the lye is completelyreacted, and the soap has a good feel.
Polyethylene glycols such as PEG-6methyl ether may be added as eithersurfactants, detergents, emulsifiers (tomake the dyes and perfumes blendevenly), or as thickeners
Glycerine is added as an emollient and texture enhancer.Sorbitol is another emollient used along with glycerine. Itis often added to help make glycerine soaps moretransparent. Titanium dioxide is added to make the soapopaque.
Pentasodium pentetate, tetrasodium etidronate andtetrasodium EDTA are added as water softeners, and toprotect the dyes and perfumes from the effects of metal ionsin the mixtures. These compounds lock up calcium andmagnesium in the water, preventing them from reacting withthe soap to form insoluble soap scum.
DETERGENT BARS Not all bars that lather contain just soap. Many contain the same detergents that you find in shampoo, along with soap. In addition to the soaps and fatty acids, some bars will contain cocamidopropyl betaine (a mild amphoteric detergent added to decrease irritation without decreasing suds or cleaning power) and benzine sulfonate detergents such as sodium dodecylbenzinesulfonate. Other detergents such as sodium isethionate and sodium cocoyl isethionate are also common.
PRESERVATIVESBHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) is sometimes addedas an anti-oxidant preservative to keep the oils fromgoing rancid.
ANTI MICROBIALS Antibacterial soaps usually contain triclosan or triclocarban as the active anti-bacterial ingredient.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SOAPS Soap making goes back to the ancient city of Pompeii, Italy about 2000 years ago. Before the advent of bath soap, people would wash with plain water, and in ancient Rome they washed with oil. The Romans body was rubbed with oil and the person would sweat in a steam bath. The oil was then rubbed off, and the bather finished up in a pool of cool water. This Roman oil bath sounds interesting, but not very clean.
Why are soap bubbles round? We thoughtyoud never ask. Its because the surfacetension of the bubbles water wants tocontract, and the sphere is the shape thatholds the most volume within the smallestsurface area.
Why does Ivory soap float? One dayin 1875, an employee at Procter &Gamble accidentally left a soap mixeron when he went to lunch. The soapwas so over-mixed that it had muchmore air in it and was more whitethan usual. The company tried sellingthis new product, and people loved it.The soap became very popular andhas been floating ever since.
In the 1930s, soap companiessponsored the first US radio showsabout the lives of everydaypeople. These were 15-minute showsintended to grab the attention of thelistener so they would stick around tohear the advertisements. The term"soap opera" was eventually appliedto all similar dramas. And all this timeyou thought a soap opera involvedsinging the praises of good soap.
Most Expensive SoapCor retails for $125 for a 120 gram bar.
If you can’t stand using the same soap as the plebeianhordes, then Plank—a producer of yoga-themed products—has the soap for you. It’s called Cor and it’s the world’s mostexpensive soap.Among its ingredients, Cor has chitosan to even out skin tone, sericin—asilk extract—to trap moisture and provide UV protection and four types ofcollagen to help maintain skin structure. Silver, a known antibacterialagent, is what makes Cor the most expensive soap in the world.On the other hand, it’s questionable (at best) that any of thatcrap can really help your skin. Chitosan and sericin will rinseright off and collagen is more useful in deeper layers of skin.The silver is, of course, proven, but there are much cheaperantibacterial soaps out there.