History Of Soap• The exact moment that someone invented soap is not known. However, it is known that the Babylonians had soap in 2800 BC. We also know that soap was mentioned throughout history in a number of different writings.• It is speculated that soap was discovered by washer women who did laundry in the Tiber River at the base of Sapo Hill in Rome. Sacrifices were made on Sapo Hill, so the rainwater running down the hill was rich in potassium hydroxide, derived from the potash in the ashes from the fires and animal fat from the sacrifices.
History Cont.• during the 700’s soap making began to be a craft in some part of Europe. The benefits of soap were beginning to be recognized and soap spread across that continent.• In the late 1700’s lye was produced and soap could be made by more people. The European settlers that came to the Americas brought a form of soap with them and continued to make soap once they arrived. – They took hot water and poured it over wood ashes. This created alkali potash which was boiled with animal fats. The soaps they made were often harsh and had a pungent odor.
History cont.• By the 1800’s the soap industry was in full swing in North America. There are still some that choose to make their own soap as a hobby or to save money.
Uses• Different people made soap for different tasks mainly for : – Washing clothes & pots – To form makeup – Bathing (Minor purpose)• modern times, the use of soap has become universal in industrialized nations due to a better understanding of the role of hygiene in reducing the population size of pathogenic microorganisms
Alternatives to Soap• Glycerin bars (Glycerin is popular for use in soap because its humectant properties help bring moisture to your skin)• Vegetarian bars• Body washes• Body scrubs (The lemon and baking soda scrub, another alternative is to grind up oats into flour. Mix into a paste using a little bit of water, and then add some tumeric spice as an anti-bacterial agent.)
Chemical structure• Most soaps are soluble sodium or potassium salts of carboxylic acids. The most common commercial soap is sodium stearate, Na[C17H35CO2]. It dissolves in water, forming the sodium and stearate ions. Even though most of the stearate ion is a hydrocarbon chain, it dissolves in water because of the carboxylate group. The carboxylate end is called hydrophilic (water-loving), and the hydrocarbon tail is called hydrophobic (water-fearing).
Common Ingredients• Sodium Tallowate Sodium tallowate is a true soap created when the fatty acid from animal tissue is combined with some type of lye, usually sodium hydroxide. The resulting soap is often used as an ingredient in skin cleanser.• Sodium Cocoate Sodium cocoate is a generic name for the mixture of fatty acid salts derived by reacting coconut oil with sodium hydroxide. Package labels refer to sodium cocoate using the names coconut oil, fatty acids, coco and sodium salts. It is a surfactant and emulsifying agent. It is a critical ingredient in soap making. The Bottom Line: This ingredient cleanses your skin.• Water Water is typically used in soap as a solvent for dissolving the oxidizer (the thing that combines with the oils to make soap)
Common Ingredients cont.• Tetrasodium EDTA Tetrasodium EDTA is used as a chelating agent, or, it makes hard water become soft. As water makes its way through the water cycle, it tend to pick up metal ions such as calcium and iron. These metal ions can make water hard, which is a problem because hard water wont get you clean. Body washes, shampoos and other cleansers work as surfactants, which are responsible for attracting dirt and oil and pulling it off your skin so it can be rinsed away by water. The problem is that surfactants also attract the metal ions found in hard water, hindering the surfactants ability to cleanse your skin. As the chelating agent, Tetrasodium EDTA neutralizes the metal ions in hard water and allows the surfactant to do its job.• Fragrance Fragrances give soaps a pleasant smell which is very important for a hygienic product.• Sodium Chloride This ingredient appears not to have any beneficial properties for skin. In soaps it is used as a thickening agent.
Cont.• Titanium dioxide Titanium dioxide has no benefit to the skin only to the appearance of the soap, it makes it whiter. A normal goat’s milk soap will not be white; it will truly be creamy beige.
Cost Comparison1 bar Dove - $3.251 bar Irish spring - $1.491 bar Zest - $1.59• Research has shown that the most expensive ingredients in the soap bars are the essential and natural oils.• The ingredient listing on the Dove bar shows that the bar contains more oils than both contenders, making it pricier. We can also see, that Zest has a minute, but acceptable amount of oils.• Irish Spring however has no extra oils than those shared among the three.
Performance• The dove white soap bar contains ¼ pure moisturizing cream. – This proves to be true as the bar leaves skin clean, soft and smooth. Dove, however is the most costly of the three.• The motto for the Irish Spring Original soap bar is “Fresh without the frills, for a classic clean”. – This bar is all clean and no moisture. – It contains drying ingredients that strip skin of its natural moisture, leaving it feeling dry and tight. This may contribute significantly to its low price.
Performance• Zest bar soap has a few cons that we noticed when using the product. – The bar dissolves very quickly under water and finishes quicker than its contenders. – The bar has nothing special about it. It does not have moisturizing properties like the Dove bar and it does not have a fresh scent like the Irish Spring bar
Environmental & Health Concerns• It is surprising that the product we use to wash our bodies and keep it clean could actually cause much damage to not only the environment and aquatic systems, but also to our own skin.• Most commercial soaps contain harsh chemical additives to make them lather properly. – They contain perfumes and fragrances that are known to cause irritation in some people. – These sweet smelling fragrances are not extracted from natural sources like flowers; they are produced chemically using cancer- causing chemicals. – Studies have also shown that some of the chemicals used in soap fragrances can cause skin diseases, birth defects and even liver damage in animal testing.
Cont.• Soaps hold their bar-like shape because of ingredients like animal tallow, paraffin wax and other crude oil derivatives.• Other problem: is that those same chemicals run down our drains and into our water systems. Disrupting the marine eco system and the bacterial breakdown required for a functional sewage system.
Conclusion & Findings• Based on our research we can conclude that the best soap is determined by one’s preference. You may have a preference for a high quality moisturizing soap bar and unconcerned about its price, then the Dove soap bar would be an ideal choice. If you have a preference for highly fragrant soap bars and is unconcerned about moisture, then the Irish Spring soap bar is for you.• If you are simply in search of a low cost, light smelling soap, then Zest bar soap is ideal for you. If you are an environmental and health conscious individual, I would say that no form of hard soap is ideal for you as most of them have trace amounts of toxic chemicals. You may want to know why hard soaps are still so popular despite their many flaws.
Cont.• The answer is simple; tradition. Hard soaps have been around for centuries and they are all some people come to know. They are usually cheaper than their alternatives and information about their health and environmental concerns are not accessible to individuals from all walks of life.