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History of soap


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A brief look at soap, something we use everyday.

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History of soap

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  2. 2. INTRODUCTION<br />Soap. We use it daily. For cleansing our bodies. For hand washing our clothes. For disinfecting our homes. To the average North American, ‘clean’ means spending quality time with a bar of soap at least once every day. Many of us would recoil in horror at the thought that our aristocratic 17th-century ancestors changed their linen shirts daily, with only a quick dip of hands in water, and nary a thought for the rest of their bodies. 1<br />This presentation opens with a brief history of soap. Next we take a look at how the chemical composition of soap works to get both our clothes and bodies clean. We learn about different types of soap and close with two questions on the small bar that is such an intimate part of our lives. Soap.<br />
  3. 3. THE WORD SOAP<br />The first time a ‘soap’ word appears in Roman literature is in NaturalisHistoria. The author, Pliny the Elder (23 -79 CE)<br />tells us the word sapo, borrowed from<br />the Gauls, refers to a mixture they used to dye hair red. It was not used for cleansing themselves or their clothes. In fact, sapo did not take on the meaning ‘soap’ in Latin for another 1000 or so years. 2<br />
  4. 4. SOAP TIMELINE<br />2800 BC: Amidst the ruins of Mesopotamia, archaeologists <br />uncover clay cylinders inscribed with the following recipe for<br />soap: <br />ashes (uhulu) + cypress oil + sesame seed oil. <br />1550 BC: TheEbers Papyrus records that the ancient Egyptians bathed regularly and used vegetable and animal oils (tallow) combined with alkaline salts to create a <br />soap-like material. <br />1525 BC: The Bible refers to a form of hair gel made from <br />mixing ashes together with oil. <br />
  5. 5. 175 BC to 150 BC: Citizens of Athens and Rome rub oil over their bodies before scraping it off with pumice stones or metal scrapers. The Gauls and Germans combine ashes with animal fats and rub it in their hair.<br />2nd Century AD: Greek physician, Galen, recommends soap for both medicinal and cleansing purposes on his patient’s skin. <br />3rd Century AD: Arabs make liquid and solid soaps using a combination of vegetable and aromatic oils to sell at markets in Kufa, and Basra. They also start to use soaps for face <br />shaving. An Arabian manuscript describes a method of making soap by mixing sesame oil with a potash, alkali and some lime, before boiling the concoction, and pouring it into moulds.<br />
  6. 6. 5th Century AD: After Rome falls in 467 A.D, bathing habits <br />go downhill. Lack of cleanliness leads to the devastating <br />plagues of the Middle Ages including the Black Death. <br />600 AD: Soap guilds begin to form in Naples, Italy. The formula for soap in use today is created. Guild soap makers use vegetable and animal oils with plant ashes and perfumes to create body soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergent.<br />Italy, Spain, and France quickly become regions known for soap production because of their wealth of olive groves.<br />800 AD: DuringCharlemagne’s reign, soap becomes one of the products estate stewards tally.<br />1200 - 1300 AD:Soap manufacturing starts in London. <br />14th Century: During the Renaissance, Europeans start to use soap for personal hygiene.<br />
  7. 7. 16th - 17th Century: During the reign of Elizabeth the First, soap consumption in England is the highest in all Europe. Indeed the Queen herself bathed once a month "whether it was necessary or not." But just as the soap industry was growing strong in England, it became subject to crippling taxation and tight restrictions. <br />1609:Sir Hugh Plat, gives a recipe for 'a delicate washing ball': Take three ounces of Orace, half an ounce of Cypres, two ounces of CalamusAromaticus, one ounce of Rose leaves, two ounces of Lavender flowres … incorporate all your powders therewith, by labouring of them well in a mortar.<br />1682:King Louis XIV of France guillotines three unlucky soapmakers for producing a bar that caused irritation to his skin.<br />
  8. 8. 1700 onwards: Better quality soaps made in Europe, such as Castile soap, use olive oil instead of animal fats. <br />1725:In the United States, women make household soap using lye. <br />1789:The world’s first transparent soap is produced in London by Andrew Pears. <br />Late 18th century: Industrialized manufacture of soap gears up following crusades in Europe stressing the relationship between cleanliness and health. Soap making methods improve dramatically when in 1790, Nicholas LeBlanc, discovers how to make caustic soda (Na2CO3) from table salt (NaCl). This leads to a decrease in the cost of producing soap because chemists develop a method for making natural fats and oils react with caustic soda. <br />
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  10. 10. THE FORMATION OF SOAP<br />O<br />O<br />O<br />CH2-O<br />__<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />3 Sodium Hydroxides<br />__<br />Triglyceride<br />Na<br />H<br />O<br />Na<br />H<br />O<br />Na<br />H<br />O<br />Na<br />H<br />O<br />Na<br />H<br />O<br />CH-O<br />__<br />CH2-O<br />
  11. 11. THE FORMATION OF SOAP<br />-<br />-<br />-<br />H<br />O<br />H<br />O<br />H<br />O<br />Ions form<br />O<br />O<br />O<br />CH2-O<br />__<br />Na<br />+<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />__<br />Triglyceride<br />Na<br />CH-O<br />+<br />__<br />CH2-O<br />Na<br />+<br />
  12. 12. THE FORMATION OF SOAP<br />O<br />O<br />O<br />CH2-O<br />__<br />Na<br />+<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />H<br />O<br />-<br />__<br />Triglyceride<br />Na<br />CH-O<br />+<br />H<br />O<br />-<br />__<br />CH2-O<br />Na<br />+<br />H<br />O<br />-<br />-<br />*<br />Oxygen end of hydroxyls attack carbon in the carboxyl groups.<br />
  13. 13. THE FORMATION OF SOAP<br />3 Fatty Acids<br />O<br />O<br />O<br />-<br />CH2-O<br />Na<br />+<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />H<br />O<br />-<br />Strong Conjugate Base <br />Na<br />CH-O<br />+<br />H<br />O<br />CH2-O<br />Na<br />-<br />+<br />H<br />O<br />*<br />The hydroxyl bonds with the carbon and the C/O single bond is broken. <br />The intermediate is 3 fatty acids and a strong conjugate base.<br />
  14. 14. THE FORMATION OF SOAP<br />O<br />O<br />O<br />CH2-O<br />Na<br />+<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />H<br />O<br />-<br />Na<br />CH-O<br />+<br />-<br />H<br />O<br />CH2-O<br />Na<br />+<br />H<br />O<br />-<br />*<br />The strong base grabs the hydrogen ions from the fatty acids forming`…<br />
  15. 15. THE FORMATION OF SOAP<br />O<br />O<br />O<br />CH2-O<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />C___(CH2)14-CH3<br />H<br />O<br />Na<br />-<br />+<br />3 Sodium Palmitates (Soap)<br />Triglyceride<br />CH-O<br />-<br />H<br />O<br />Na<br />+<br />CH2-O<br />H<br />O<br />Na<br />-<br />+<br />
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  17. 17. ARSEILLES<br />For more than 600 years, Savon de Marseille has been made in Marseille, France, In 1688, Louis XIV introduced the Edict of Colbert limiting the use of the Savon de Marseille to soaps made in the Marseille area, and only from olive oil. This law still applies, although the regulations have been relaxed to allow other oils like palm to be used. <br />Traditionally, the soap is made by combining sea water from the Mediterranean, olive oil, together with the alkaline chemicals soda ash (sodium carbonate) and lye (sodium hydroxide). The concoction is then heated for several days, before it is poured into moulds, cut into bars, stamped, and left to harden. Within a month, the soap is ready to be used. <br />
  18. 18. ASTILE<br />Castile soaps were first produced in the Castile region of Spain in the 13th century and by 1567, importations of Castile soap through Antwerp appear in the London port books, In his article, A Short History of Soap, John Hunt states that barilla (an impure form of sodium carbonate obtained from plant ashes) was boiled with locally available olive oil instead of animal fat. By adding brine to the boiled liquor, the soap was made to float to the surface, where it could be skimmed off, leaving the excess lye and impurities to settle out. This produced what was probably the first white hard soap made of 100% olive oil. <br />
  19. 19. LYCERINE<br />Glycerin soap is a translucent soap composed of either fat or oil. The clearness of the soap is due to an alignment of soap molecules which can be induced by adding alcohol and sugar. <br />Traditionally, glycerine soap is made by melting and continuously heating soap that has been partly dissolved in a high percentage alcohol solution until it reaches a clear, jelly-like state. The mixture is then simmered with a sugar solution until the soap becomes translucent. Modern glycerin soaps bases are produced by combining glycerols and polyols with soap using a method similar to that of traditional glycerine soapmaking.<br />
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  21. 21. What is the world’s most costly soap?<br />Ever wonder what is the world’s most expensive soap? Well ponder no more. Plank, a high end producer of all things yoga, is the creator of the most luxurious bar on the planet, Cor.<br />Listed amongst its lush ingredients are: chitosan to balance skin tone and oil levels, sercin—a type of protein created by silkworms—to retain moisture and provide UV protection and four types of collagen to maintain skin structure. However it is silver, a mineral known for its antibacterial properties, which gives Cor the honour of being the world’s most expensive soap. <br />Cor retails for $125 per 120 gram bar.<br />
  22. 22. What is African Black Soap?<br />Over the past couple of years, numerous alternatives to commercially produced soaps have become available to the consumer. Ingredients used in these natural homemade soaps largely depend upon the area of the world in which the buyer resides.<br />African Black Soap from Ghana is made with 100% natural ingredients including: coconut and palm kernel oils, raw shea butter, cocoa pod ash and water. It is a very mild soap and is used to ease the acne symptoms, eczema psoriasis, dandruff, and ringworm. <br />African Black Soap is very soft because of its high glycerine content. High glycerine levels cause the soap to absorb moisture from the air, so to prevent the soap from becoming too soft, it must be stored in a cool dry place.<br />
  23. 23. Credits<br />1. Ashenburg, K (2008). An Unsanitised History of Washing. London, UK: London Times<br />2. Casselman, B (2009). Bill Casslelman’s Words of the World. USA<br />All graphics (excluding photos) appearing in this presentation are the copyright of Peter Eastman 2011. Powerpoint design copyright of <br />